Cookoff Challenge #1 – Ancient Mesopotamia I

Ancient Near East! Come to the Ancient Mesopotamian Cookoff Challenge! Think of it like Iron Chef – Mesopotamian Style! But instead of a theme ingredient, you have a list of ingredients without amounts or directions attached to them. The only thing between you and a finished dish is your own culinary creativity. There are two goals to the challenge: 1). Create dishes that could have … Read more

An Assyrian Banquet

Imagine for a moment you are at a royal banquet. It is an Assyrian royal banquet in the seventh century BCE. It is a large dining hall in the palace at Nineveh draped with fabric and decorated for the celebration. Smoke and incense perfume the room. Music fills the air. Quiet pieces have harps, lyres or lutes and perhaps pipes accompanying singers or poets and … Read more

The Changing Landscape of Mesopotamian Flavors

I’m at it again – questioning the assumptions and conclusions Jean Bottero made when examining the Old Babylonian culinary tablets from Yale University. Is it some manic spirit that grabs me each Spring and forces me back into the ancient Near East or is it just that it is an activity that grabs my attention from time to time? Whatever the cause, those of you … Read more