A Baghdad Cookery Book: Tthe Book of Dishes (Kitaab Al-oTabaikh) (Petits Propos Culinaires) Paperback – 1 Nov 2005
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About the Author
Kitab al Tabikh, composed by a thirteenth-century scribe we usually call al-Baghdadi, was long the only medieval Arabic cookery book known to the English-speaking world, thanks to A.J.Arberry s path-breaking 1939 translation as A Baghdad Cookery Book (reissued by Prospect Books in 2001 in Medieval Arab Cookery)."
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True, the writing style of these recipes is not like that familiar to most 21st C. Americans, with the exact quantity of every ingredient and every step of the process enumerated. However, the writing style is not much different from cookbooks written in other languages even today, such as those I purchased when I lived in Indonesia. And the recipes are quite useable by the adventurous cook. I've been cooking using al-Baghdadi's cookbook, in one form or another, for about 9 years. I am very happy to have it now in this convenient paperback format.
For those not accustomed to using these sorts of recipes, it may take a bit of courage and several experiments. But I'm sure that once you play with them a few times, you will find yourself rewarded by the opportunity to dine like a Caliph.
For those more cautious, but interested in the history of cookbooks, in the history of cuisines in general, and in Middle Eastern cuisines in particular, even if you don't cook from these recipes, this over 700 year old cookbook will be a fascinating study in the dining of the past.
This is a vital book on Middle East cooking. My mother says that
Middle Eastern food is the best food ever. She's ninety-six.
She is never without cracked wheat, olive oil, figs and dates, tabouli (a finely chopped salad), etc.
The book is the work of two geniuses, and I'm grateful to have this book in my kitchen,
along with the unrelated, but important books by
Paul Blange, Paul Prudhomme and Emeril LaGasse.
Eat, eat, the best food ever.