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Eating/Iraqi Cuisine

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154536.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:52 am Reply with quote

Q: What's Quite Interesting about Iraq's contribution to world cuisine?

F: Any mention of "Sad Ham".

A: Iraq boasts the world's oldest recipes. Quite Interestingly, most of the recipes mention stew.


The oldest recipes in the world are contained on three clay tablets that reside at Yale University in America.

Of the forty recipes on the tablets, over half are for stews. The cooks would have braised the meat in water laced with fat, thickened the sauce with blood and flavoured it with mashed leek and garlic. Most of the ingredients sound common place to us now: beef, lamb, goat, pork, venison and fowl.Perhaps the most exotic dish for contemporary tastes would be 'gazelle stew'. Turtles were also eaten.

The tablets date from circa 1750 BC and came from Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq.

The elaborate recipes and the complex 'cuneiform' writing style suggest that they were meant for educated chefs, possibly in the Royal Housegold.

Preparation of these dishes required sophisticated and varied techniques including "mixing, sprinkling, slicing, squeezing, pounding, steeping, shredding, crumbling, straining and marinating."

A popular sauce (their equivalent of ketchup I guess) was called "siqqu". It was a fermented concoction of grasshoppers, fish and shellfish.

According to Frenchman Jean Bottero, who deciphered the tablets: "I would not wish such meals on anyone save my worst enemies."

The national drink of the time was beer (made from "fermented barley mush) although Royal Households will also have drunk wine.



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