The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia

Author:   Jean Bottero ,  Teresa Lavender Fagan
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226067353


Pages:   152
Publication Date:   04 May 2004
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia


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Overview

Cumin, garlic, and leeks. Sound familiar? What about francolin, halazzu, and kissimu? In this intriguing blend of the commonplace and the ancient, Jean Bottero's The Oldest Cuisine in the World gives us the first comprehensive look at the delectable secrets of Mesopotamia. Bottero's anthropological perspective encompasses the religious rites, everyday rituals, attitudes and taboos, and even the detailed preparation techniques involving food and drink in Mesopotamian high culture during the second and third millenniums BCE, as the Mesopotamians recorded them. With offerings including translated recipes for pigeon and gazelle stews, the elements and uses of medicinal teas and broths, and the origins of ingredients native to the region, this book reveals the cuisine of one of history's most fascinating societies. Bottero delves into the culture's idiosyncrasies - explaining behaviors and habits like the absence of pork in Mesopotamians' diets by a newly discovered proverb that proclaims it dirty ; the reason milk was considered a luxury beverage; and the formula for beer, along with an explanation of why it wasn't consumed (or abused) with regularity. As Bottero concludes, although the ingredients may have differed, food was prepared in a manner astoundingly similar to how we do it today. Such links to the modern world, along with incredible recreations of a rich, ancient culture through its cuisine, make Bottero's guide an entertaining and mesmerizing read. In this impeccable translation by Teresa Lavender Fagan, The Oldest Cuisine in the World uncovers the relish with which Mesopotamians consumed food and drink, so many centuries ago.

Full Product Details

Author:   Jean Bottero ,  Teresa Lavender Fagan
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
Dimensions:   Width: 9.00cm , Height: 1.90cm , Length: 6.00cm
Weight:   0.374kg
ISBN:  

9780226067353


ISBN 10:   0226067351
Pages:   152
Publication Date:   04 May 2004
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Reviews

An enticing new book of Ancient Mesopotamian recipes. (The Times) Truly a wonderful read. (History Today)


[These recipes] shed light on aspects of social life related to food preparation and eating at the time. Here we are given intriguing, sometimes alluring quotes, on processes of preparation and what the Mesopotamians ate. Often the author has to patch and bridge from the fragmentary bits; what certain items and methods might have been, but he does this with the support of his considerable scholarship, and with a flare that suggests that M. Bottro must be an accomplished cook himself. These rare recipes carefully reconstructed and sometimes deduced can seem surprisingly modern, yet this book is ever fascinating. . . . It makes one yearn to know more about these ancient sophisticates, as revealed in the swirling robes and haughty profiles of reliefs in the British Museum and in Berlin. Economically illustrated, with neat chapter headings, it is elegantly presented. The engaging chapters go from the practical to the mythical. Truly a wonderful read.


Author Information

Jean Bottero is director emeritus of L'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He is the author or coauthor of many books, several of which have been translated and published by the University of Chicago Press, including Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancestor of the West: Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated more than a dozen books, including Jean-Claude Schmitt's Ghosts in the Middle Ages and Remi Brague's The Wisdom of the World, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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