An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century.
April 15, 2002 9:53 PM   Subscribe

An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century. Because you never know when you'll need to make Marrow Without Marrow (Which No One Will Suspect), forget how to grease your Chicken Called Madhûna, or need to rustle up something for the in-laws (A Dish Praised in Springtime for Those with Fulness and Those with Burning Blood).
posted by obiwanwasabi (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some of those sound delicious! Can't wait to do a bit of experimenting with these..
posted by evanizer at 10:21 PM on April 15, 2002

That is the coolest thing ever. I'm going to go nuts trying to scrounge up thouse gourds.
posted by Nothing at 10:28 PM on April 15, 2002

Even if you're not interested in the food, read the Editor's Notes. Unsurprisingly this is a SCA project, and the cookbook they translated was the Spanish version of the Arabic original; later someone else returned to the Arabic and finessed the English translation further. Then there are some interesting notes on the preparation of a dish made from slightly rotted loaves of bread.
posted by dhartung at 10:28 PM on April 15, 2002

A lot of the recipes refer to something called 'murri yaqi', which seems to be some sort of Islamic soy sauce. I've found a recipe (elsewhere on the site, inside a .pdf - not sure if this is the recipe you're referring to, dhartung) if you want to make your own:

3 T honey
2/3 t fennel
1/4 oz carob = 1 T
1 pint water
1 1/2 oz bread or 1/3 c breadcrumbs
2/3 t nigela
1/4 oz walnut
lemon (1/4 of one)
1 T wheat starch
1/4 t saffron
1 1/2 oz quince
2/3 t anise
1/3 t celery seed
1/2 c salt in 3 T honey

Cook the honey in a small frying pan on medium heat, bringing it to a boil then turning off the heat and repeating several times; it will taste scorched.

The bread is sliced white bread, toasted in a toaster to be somewhat blackened, then mashed in a mortar.

Toast the anise, fennel and nigela in a frying pan or roast under a broiler, then grind in a mortar with celery seed and walnuts.

The quince is quartered and cored. Boil all but the lemon together for about 2 hours, then put it in a potato ricer, squeeze out the liquid and add lemon juice to it; this is the murri.

The recipe generates about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c of liquid. You can then add another 1/2 c of water to the residue, simmer 1/2 hr -1 hr, and squeeze out that liquid for the second infusion, which yields about 1/3 c. A third infusion using 1/3 c yields another 1/4 c or so.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:30 PM on April 15, 2002

D'oh - it is the same recipe. Sorry!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:32 PM on April 15, 2002

Take fresh kidney meat and remove its veins, and peel off the spleen its under-skin; take one part of the spleen, and five parts of clean kidney fat; pound all this until it is like brains, and stuff this into tripe or large intestines or cane tubes or the like, and boil it in a pot of tafaya; take it out and empty it into a serving dish and serve it hot.

Um, wow. Now how about a vegetarian version.
posted by anathema at 10:34 PM on April 15, 2002

That is the coolest thing ever. I'm going to go nuts trying to scrounge up thouse gourds.
posted by Nothing at 10:35 PM on April 15, 2002

how did I manage that?
posted by Nothing at 10:37 PM on April 15, 2002

Actually there really are a bunch of vegetarian versions of some of the recipes. This is outstanding.
posted by anathema at 10:38 PM on April 15, 2002 [1 favorite]

Also be sure to visit the wonderful Boke of Gode Cookery site, which is jam-packed with medieval recipies from all over the world, as well as other information about the daily food experience of the average medieval citizen (as well as the 16th and 17th century citizen) . The site also features helpful modern translations of ingredients and methods. An an avowed medievalist, this site is pure gold!
posted by evanizer at 10:54 PM on April 15, 2002

I hereby nominate this as the official MeFi cookbook.

Another Extraordinarily Good Lamb Breast

posted by Neale at 10:56 PM on April 15, 2002

Ah, those were the good old days - when Jewish and Muslim recipes co-existed in peace in the same cookbook...
posted by laz-e-boy at 11:02 PM on April 15, 2002

These recipes transport you back through time. Now I want servants, exotic food, fine wine and cushions to lie on!
posted by Tarrama at 3:22 AM on April 16, 2002

For those of you who are interested, there are quite a lot of historical and ancient cookbooks available out on the web - for example: Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin (1420) (English Translation), Ein Buch von guter Spise (c. 1350) (in German w/English Translation), and Monumenta Culinaria et Diaetetica Historica (in a variety of languages). Also, I highly recommend the home page of the editor of the original link (David Friedman). Dig around in the Recreational Medievalism section if you like the stuff in the original link.
posted by anastasiav at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2002

Awesome links, anastasiav!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:38 AM on April 16, 2002

That Friedman link is great for many reasons. Not the least of which is that I am studying Law and Economics this semester.
posted by anathema at 7:43 AM on April 16, 2002

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