Symposium J-13 Out of the East

Today, I would like to present the first thematic of the symposium “ Out of the East” where Melitta Weis Adamson and Helene Jawhare-Piner will be speaking.

During 90 minutes you will discover the culinary practices of less well known areas, you will be introduced to the work of Ibn Butlan, the famoust Arab Nestorian Christian physician who was active in Baghdad during the Islamic Golden Age, and you will discover the oldest cookbook of the Iberian Peninsula !  

Helene Jawhare-Piner’s abstract :

This paper presents a singular recipe called the “Making of braids” which belongs to the oldest cookbook of the Iberian Peninsula. The shape and ingredients of this sweet-fried braided loaf remind a sweet dish commonly consumed by Jews, and which is nowadays known under the name “challah”. This work aims to highlight and understand this unique recipe by analyzing its ingredients, the culinary techniques, and its uniqueness, so. How a recipe written under Muslim domination, that has nothing in common with the other recipes of the cookbook, could be part of the Jewish culinary heritage? How the transmission and permanence of this recipe led to consider it as a part of the Jewish culinary heritage of present-day? Finally, this paper challenges the assumption that the challah bread is not of Ashkenazi origin but instead of Sephardic origin. It also purports by offering an explanation on the link between Ashkenazi and challah bread, which has made it the paragon of the Jewish cuisine from Eastern Europe. 


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