Recipes for a Field: Translating Middle Eastern Cookbooks and the Horizons of Food Studies

Anny Gaul
  • Gastronomica The Journal of Food and Culture, May 2019, University of California Press
  • DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2019.19.2.87

Middle Eastern Cookbooks in Translation

What is it about?

This essay discusses three recently translated Middle Eastern cookbooks from the medieval and early modern eras: one from Persian and two from Arabic. I explore what they have to offer the broader field of food studies, from rethinking culinary categories to tracing new dimensions of the histories of foods like noodles and stews.

Why is it important?

As food studies increases its scope and becomes more global, attention to what is being translated can help us better understand possibilities for moving beyond Eurocentric frameworks and alert scholars to new untapped primary sources that are more accessible than ever for research and teaching.

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