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Thursday, July 28, 2011

History In Food - Mesopotamia

Photo property of The Silk Road Gourmet.

My family has had an interest in foreign foods for a long time. Here are some interesting recipes that will allow you to eat a little history. The majority are from Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, but there are some others as well. (Note: Disclaimer on some ingredients. If you really want to make the recipe, try substituting something that seems like a good alternative.)

From The Silk Road Gourmet:  “The worlds' most ancient recipe collection was actually found on cuneiform tablets from Ancient Ur. These are currently at the Yale Library. Here are some adaptations.” So, here are some recipes that Abram and Sarai might have eaten, more or less, when they lived in Ur of the Chaldeas! How about that? :-)
Lamb with Licorice and Juniper Berries
Lamb and Carob Stew
Roasted Barley and Herb Pilaf
Mersu with Cheese
Mashed Turnips with Herbs
Mesopotamian Wildfowl Pie

Babylonian Apricot Jewels – I’m not sure why these are called Babylonian. There isn’t much explanation here. But, they look and sound good (with some modification), and apricots are an ancient food in that area.

Date Cookies – Why these Mesopotamian/Iraqi cookies are listed at an Asian site, I am not sure, but here they are, nonetheless.

Mesopotamian Barley, Lentil and Tahini Soup

Cooking Ancient Recipes – This collection includes two other areas of the ancient times as well as Mesopotamia. Just a word of warning: one of the recipes calls for blood. We, as Christians, have been forbidden to eat blood. Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

I hope you enjoy trying some of these recipes out and learning something about this part of the world that is so important to the history both of the world and of the Bible.


  1. Oh, this is so interesting! I would like to try some of these recipes - I love trying old recipes and recipes from other regions! The turnips stewed in blood sounds disgusting (apart from it not being something a Christian should eat)! :/

    1. I think food is a great way to make "social studies" or history come alive. I agree that turnips stewed in blood sounds bad....and also is unbiblical.