Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Of Chinese gruel and Byzantine parrotfish

MORE CULINARY ARCHAEOLOGY! The Archaeologists and Chefs Recreating the World's Oldest Recipes. In Byzantine times, parrotfish was considered was considered a great delicacy from Constantinople to the Negev. Scholars and chefs are trying to learn why (Ronit Vered, Haaretz). The first half of the article, quite interesting in itself, is about cooking in ancient China. It take to the second half to get to the parrotfish, in relation to a recent conference at NYU:
The first day of the conference was devoted to lectures, and the second day to the cooking and tasting of the recipes and the ancient foods. A delegation from Yale University – which included the curator of the university museum, an expert on hieroglyphics, a chemist and a culinary historian – looked for the origin of the cooking techniques that have been preserved to this day in an ancient Babylonian codex of recipes, which is considered the oldest cookbook in the world.

A group of British, Spanish and American scholars examined garum sauce – a fermented fish sauce that was one of the most important cooking ingredients of the ancient world – was served. Someone studied the origin and evolution of blancmange, a dairy dessert based on almonds and spices, in medieval Europe. The Israeli delegation from the University of Haifa presented the story of the parrotfish, the caviar of the Byzantine era, in the ancient cities of the Negev.
Cross-file under Osteology.

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