[Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a cooking oil?

galefridus at optimum.net galefridus at optimum.net
Wed Feb 1 08:46:55 PST 2012

Based on my reading of numerous medieval Islamic cookbooks, it seems unlikely that olive oil was limited to use as a condiment.  I have found recipes from Baghdad to al-Andalus that call for it to be used as cooking oil.  It was by no means the only oil or fat in use -- some have already mention sheep tail fat, and I've seen recipes calling for sesame oil.  Possible Miller was referring to what we now call extra virgin olive oil, which because of its more intense flavor and greater cost may have been used in a more limited fashion.  But it is difficult to apply our modern olive oil standards to the medieval world, so I don't know whether they made a distinction between what we now call extra virgin and lower grades of oil.

-- Galefridus

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