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Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia

by Jean Bottero University of Chicago Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 152 pages
AU$52.99 NZ$55.64
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In this intriguing blend of the commonplace and the ancient, Jean Bottéro presents the first extensive look at the delectable secrets of Mesopotamia. Bottéro’s broad perspective takes us inside 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 millennia BCE, as the Mesopotamians recorded them.

Offering everything from translated recipes for pigeon and gazelle stews, the contents 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. Links to the modern world, along with incredible recreations of a rich, ancient culture through its cuisine, make Bottéro’s guide an entertaining and mesmerizing read.

AcknowledgementsTranslator's NoteCooking and the Pleasures of the Table in Ancient MesopotamiaThe Framework, the Region, and the PeopleSourcesFood and EatingFireCookingHearths and EquipmentIndirect Cooking in Fatty BrothPrecookingFood Preparation without HeatCooking with HeatCooks and Culinary TraditionDrinksMeals and FeastsThe Table of the GodsThe Table of the DeadFood, Life, and DeathConclusionNotesAbbreviations and BibliographyIndex

Jean Bottero (1914-2007) was director emeritus of L'Ecole pratique des hautes etudes in Paris. He is the author of many books, several of which have been translated and published by the University of Chicago Press. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated numerous books for the University of Chicago Press.