Culinary History Mystery 6 – Tomato Eggs

Tomato Eggs is a home-cooked Chinese dish that reminds students, travelers, and those living abroad of home. Just a whiff of this cooking and folks will tell tales of sitting in or near the kitchen as a kid as a parent made this dish – and how good it tasted! it is simple, elegant, and savory, and less than 10 – 15 minutes from wok … Read more

Old Baghdad and Fragrant Lamb Meatballs with Sour Sauce

Today we are treated to another guest post by the brilliant Deana Sidney from the site Lost Past Remembered. Deana is a professional designer by day and an avid food historian and accomplished cook all the time. She writes: Whenever I see the word Baghdad, a small door in my brain opens to a storybook world where perfumed silks billow over marble floors, scimitars flash … Read more

1001 Tales from the Spice Trade: Cinnamon

We take so much for granted these days.  Almost every household cupboard has ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks in them.  Mass produced cinnamon is cheap and readily available at almost every market and even higher quality cinnamon sticks from the far reaches of the globe are accessible and relatively affordable via the internet.   In times past, however, spices were rare and expensive and significant portions … Read more

Venice and the Silk Road: The Muslim World

Sea gulls calling, businessmen sweeping the sidewalks in front of their shops and restaurants and of course the incessant lap of the waves on the stone foundations of La Serenissima – the serene place. These are the sounds of Venice at dawn – the same sounds to which the city has woken to for countless generations. More than a powerful city-state that became an Italian … Read more

Culinary History Mysteries #2 – Ice Cream!

Triple digit temperatures have hit the Central Atlantic once again, leaving locals and visitors alike to find any way they can to keep the mercury down.  Some become shut-ins moving between their air-conditioned homes to their air-conditioned cars to their air-conditioned jobs and back again; some take to the beaches, lakes and pools to swim and soak the heat away; still others turn to cold … Read more

Ibn Battuta in IMAX

“. . . If I am to die, then what better place to do so than on the road to Mecca,” declares a very young and confident Ibn Battuta to his family and friends who saw him off on his first great journey. Time and the realities of travel in the fourteenth century soon tempered his youthful bluster as Battuta made his way across the … Read more

An Ode to Arab Cuisine

For those of you who think I’ve made an error in omitting the Levant States from The Silk Road Gourmet – you may be right. Originally, I intended to do a follow on to the Silk Road Gourmet that treated the cuisines of the Maghreb and Levant, but the more cooking I do from these countries (especially Arab cooking), the more I understand their influence … Read more