The Delicious Legacy
Medieval Arab Cuisine with Professor Daniel Newman Pt1
The Islamic Golden Age...
What does it come to one's mind when hears the above words?
Do you think of the 'Arabian Nights' ? Or as it is properly called as 'One Thousand and One Nights'?
Is your imagination also filled with other Middle Eastern Folk tales of Aladdin and Ali Baba and Sinbad the Sailor?
Or, maybe, the flourishing of scientific, cultural, economic activities in the near middle east and the centre of the worlds knowledge in the largest city then in the world, Baghdad?
Well so you should; these are superbly important aspects of the medieval Arab world, but for me equally important was the flourishing of an extremely delicious, complex culinary tradition, a cuisine with one foot in the Arab peninsula and the other in ancient Persia! Mouth watering rich stews and elaborate banquets, feasts for kings and caliphs that lasted weeks on end...
In other words, food! Food glorious food, food that we've never heard of, food and recipes that influenced the European medieval cuisine and to this day we find echoes of them in recipes across the known world,-without exaggeration- from India to South America!
For this reason I have invited on today's episode Professor Daniel Newman; an academic from Durham University specialising in Arabic literature, to talk to us about the medieval Arab cuisine. He is also known for his blog "Eat like a Sultan" where he brings the medieval recipes to our modern world with some mouth watering creations, professor Newman shares with us his unique insight of a rich and wonderful world!
This was such a fun interview and I thoroughly enjoyed our chat. He is such a passionate and knowledgeable man who loves sharing his wisdom with us! If I had such lecturers when I was at University doubtless my time there would have been much, much more worthwhile!
Today's music Nihavend peşrev is kindly performed by Pavlos Kapralos and it's by Petros Peloponnesios a great cantor, composer and teacher of Byzantine and Ottoman music (born c. 1735 Tripolis– died in 1778 Constantinople) the music is influenced obviously by Persian motifs and the song is played with a santur which is a hammered dulcimer of Iranian or Mesopotamian origins.
Prof Daniel Newman's blog, Eat Like A Sultan: http://eatlikeasultan.com/
Thank you and enjoy!
Thom & The Delicious Legacy