Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook
NYU Press, May 2, 2017 - Literary Collections - 352 pages
This popular 13th-century Syrian cookbook is an ode to what its anonymous author calls the “greater part of the pleasure of this life,” namely the consumption of food and drink, as well as the fragrances that garnish the meals and the diners who enjoy them. Collecting 635 meticulous recipes, Scents and Flavors invites us to savor an inventive cuisine that elevates simple ingredients by combining the sundry aromas of herbs, spices, fruits, and flower essences.
Organized like a meal, it opens with appetizers and juices and proceeds through main courses, side dishes, and desserts, including such confections as candies based on the higher densities of sugar syrup—an innovation unique to the medieval Arab world. Apricot beverages, stuffed eggplant, pistachio chicken, coriander stew, melon crepes, and almond pudding are seasoned with nutmeg, rose, cloves, saffron, and the occasional rare ingredient like ambergris to delight and surprise the banqueter. Bookended by chapters on preparatory perfumes, incenses, medicinal oils, antiperspirant powders, and after-meal hand soaps, this comprehensive culinary journey is a feast for all the senses.
With the exception of four extant Babylonian and Roman specimens, cookbooks did not appear on the world literary scene until Arabic speakers began compiling their recipe collections in the tenth century, peaking in popularity in the thirteenth century. Scents and Flavors quickly became a bestseller during this golden age of cookbooks, and remains today a delectable read for epicures and cultural historians alike.
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How to Make Various Kinds of Fruit Juices and Treat Them
How to Melt the Several Varieties of Tail Fat
Section on maṣūṣ
Recipe with tamarind
Sautés and Related Dishes
How to Make the Various Types of Sour and Salty Pickles
The sixth type is caper pickles of which there are several kinds
The seventh type is bottlegourd pickles of which there are
The twelfth type is pickled onions of which there are three
The nineteenth type is pickled carrots
Section on the ridgedcucumber dish of which there are four
Section on cabbage dishes for which there are two recipes
Section on green almonds for which there are two recipes
Two variations on sourorange stew
Kashk crushedwheat dish of which there are two types
Section on lentil dishes for which there are four recipes
Section on bananas for which there are three recipes
The twentythird type is seasoned iskandarāniyyah fish paste
The twentyseventh type is eggplant dishes of which there
On Handwashing Powders and Perfumed Soaps
On Distilling Waters and Perfuming the Breath
Weights and Measures
About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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