If you ever wondered what tastes and flavors characterized a medieval Middle Eastern meal, Daniel L. Newman, Chair of Arabic Studies at the University of Durham, and a specialist in the Arabic language and culture, will guide you well through Ibn Mubārak Shāh’s cookery book, in both the book’s original language, Arabic, and in its fluent, vivid translation into English.

This ambitious endeavor undertaken by Newman contributes to a growing interest in historical Arabic cookery in recent years. This manual is one of nine titles written in Arabic between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Until now, it was the last one not translated into a European language; it was edited previously by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raḥman al-Shāghūl (2007), who did not provide a translation, so the text remained inaccessible to non-Arabic readers.

Written in fifteenth-century Egypt, this cookbook’s edition...

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