The Culinary Historians of New York is having a meeting on Tuesday, October 21, 2003:
"What's Cooking in Mesopotamia?" by Nawal Nasrallah
With all of the recent tragedies in Iraq, we may forget that Mesopotamia was home to a dazzling, sophisticated civilization with highly advanced arts, including the culinary arts. Mesopotamia gave us the world's first documented cuisine, with complex recipes incised in clay tablets c.a. 1700 BCE. Nawal Nasrallah, who lived in Iraq until 1990, has meticulously researched the history of her homeland's cuisine around the Tigris and Euphrates and has now lovingly told the story of Iraqi cooking from its earliest records in a splendid new book, Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine (2003). Combining a native's intimate knowledge of cookery with a scholar's eye for detail, and drawing extensively on archeological research and contemporaneous literary sources, Ms. Nasrallah weaves a vibrant tapestry of culinary history with recipes that can easily be created in modern American kitchens. Ms. Nasrallah will describe the ingredients, techniques, recipes, and social and religious aspects of the Mesopotamian kitchen to paint an unparalleled insider's portrait of one of the world's most ancient cuisines that still reverberates in the Iraqi kitchen today. We will sample Sumerian tannour flat bread with Hummus, a Lamb and Dried Apricot Stew, and desserts of date syrup with tahini and the ancient qullupu pastries, all accompanied by beer, the national drink of the ancient Mesopotamians.
The reception is at 6:30, and the program beings at 7 pm. I'm a member, so I can bring guests. It's $30 for guests, and includes the talk and food. It's being held at the French Culinary Institute, 462 Broadway at Grand Street, in the 2nd floor theater. Take the A, E, N, R, W, 1, 4, 5 or 6 trains to Canal and walk north. [Directions]
If people are interested, please RSVP by Sunday October 5th. We will likely meet a little before the reception to make sure we all get in ok, and I'll probably need to collect the money before-hand, although I'll call and see if we can just pay at the door.
If people like it, there are other events that happen from time to time. Here's the list of the rest of the year:
November 19th: New York's First Regional Cuisine with Anne Mendelson
December 9th: Art in Food and Food in Art with Peter Rose