It's Only a Little Stale
December 1, 2021 4:20 PM   Subscribe

A recipe for an ancient cookie "If cookies go 1,300 years without getting eaten, they get carefully preserved in a case at the British Museum."

"But these cookies aren’t just for Turpan ancestors anymore. After seeing a photograph of the cookies on Twitter, Nadeem Ahmad set out to make them. Ahmad is the founder of Eran ud Turan, a living history group based out of the United Kingdom. The group focuses on early medieval Central Asia, particularly the 7th and 8th century. His special interest is the Sogdians, especially their vibrant art, lucious textiles, and feats on horseback."

The recipe in the article looks like your typical sugar cookie, but it's missing any kind of leavening.
posted by kathrynm (8 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
"this Website uses cookies"....
posted by MtDewd at 4:29 PM on December 1, 2021 [8 favorites]

Looks interesting and I may try them out, but I have to question whether seedless grapes are an authentic ingredient. Although it may be hard to find seeded grapes for many people.
posted by TedW at 5:45 PM on December 1, 2021

"but it's missing any kind of leavening."

Eggs are a leavening agent, when you beat them a while. (Egg whites are more common, but whole eggs will incorporate air and leaven the dough a bit.)

Also my 12-year-old would now like to know how he can be "an archaeologist, but only for cookies." We going to try to make this as a family Christmas season activity!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

I left a cookie out for 1,300 years. Can I eat this?
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:43 PM on December 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

Love this!

Linked at the bottom of the article is a related piece about Hildegard von bingen and her Cookies of Joy.
posted by delight at 8:17 PM on December 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Huh, another entry into the ledger of Stuff The British Stole.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:36 PM on December 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Mary Ellen, I wanted to give the article the benefit of the doubt. Until I ran into this passage.

"Today, the pastries are owned by the British Museum, as part of what Stein described as his 'haul' of artifacts sent back to the United Kingdom. During his expeditions, Stein also helped himself to priceless cultural objects, such as the first-known printed book. Stein’s plundering of the Diamond Sutra caused vociferous protests in China. In 1961, the National Library of China released a statement saying that Stein’s book theft was enough to cause 'people to gnash their teeth in bitter hatred.' The cookies, in comparison, are regarded more as curiosities."

Yes, Marc Aurel Stein literally stole the cookies from a Xinjiang grave. But meh, he stole worse. /s
posted by micketymoc at 9:59 PM on December 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

Subhūti, if there were a person who took the amount of the seven jewels in numberless, countless worlds and gave them away charitably, and there were also a good son or good daughter who gave rise to the bodhisattva's aspiration, taking just a four line verse of this scripture, memorizing it, reciting it, and teaching it to others, this person's merit would exceed that of the former. How should one teach it to others? Without grasping to signs, staying with things as they are, immovable. Why?

     All conditioned phenomena

     Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow

     Like the dew, or like lightning

     You should discern them like this

The Buddha concluded his delivery of this scripture. The elder Subhūti, along with all the other monks, nuns, male and female lay practitioners, all the worlds of celestials, men, and titans, having heard this teaching of the Buddha, experienced great bliss. They believed, memorized, and practiced according to the Scripture of the Diamond Transcendent Wisdom Scripture.
posted by y2karl at 12:08 AM on December 2, 2021 [5 favorites]

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