Researchers have reproduced the 'recipe for cooking made by the people of ancient Mesopotamia' written on clay tablets about 4000 years ago.

Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers , Mesopotamia is part of modern Iraq, Syria and Turkey, and the people of ancient Mesopotamia farmed and developed a high civilization. Clay tablets on which such ancient Mesopotamian people wrote 'cooking recipes' still remain today, and researchers and the general public are trying to make dishes based on the recipes that are said to be the oldest in the world. ..

Cook Like an Ancient Mesopotamian With the World's Oldest Recipes --Gastro Obscura

About 4000 years ago, Mesopotamia had a very good civilization, including big cities and established secretary systems. Some of the clay tablets on which the documents of the time were written have survived to the present day, and researchers are trying to decipher the documents to obtain various information and clues about ancient civilization.

In the 1980s, French historian

Jean Bottéro succeeded in deciphering a part of the clay tablet in Yale University , and found out that what was written was a 'cooking recipe'. rice field. Since being added to the Yale University collection in 1911, this clay tablet has been thought to be related to medicine and medicine for decades, but it is actually the world's oldest cooking recipe collection. It was.

It is said that there are four clay tablets on which cooking recipes are written, three of which are believed to have been written in 1730 BC and the remaining one around 700 BC. The remaining clay tablets in their most perfect condition contain a total of 25 recipes, 21 of which are meat dishes, 3 of which are meat and vegetable dishes, and 1 of which is vegetable only. It's cooking.


Mary Harrsch

The letters written on the clay tablet are incomplete due to some parts being missing, and it is unknown what some material names refer to. On the other hand, scholars seem to find something in common between ancient and modern recipes, and Iraqi scholar Nawal Nasrallah admits that there are cases where the ingredients used in ancient recipes are unknown, but modern times. He points out that there are similarities in the recipes transmitted to Iraq.

In addition, it seems that the simplest recipe discovered by Mr. Botero of the recipe is written in only two lines. The deciphered content is 'Meat soup. Take the meat. Prepare the water. Add the fat. (The part where the letters are missing), crush the green onions and garlic together, and use it as it is with' shuhutinnu '. The instructions are rough and do not indicate the amount of ingredients or the cooking time. Still, multiple ingredients are used in cooking, and it probably took a long time to cook.

Although there are candidates for onions, herbs, root vegetables, etc., what the ingredient 'shuhutinnu' that appears in the above recipe refers to, it seems that no answer has been given so far. Also, since the type of meat used is not specified, modern people need to read between the lines and use their imagination when trying to cook based on ancient Mesopotamian recipes.

At the time of writing, there is no clear reason why ancient people wrote recipes for these dishes. However, it has been pointed out that these dishes, which use expensive meat and require complicated techniques and use various seasonings, may have been made for the purpose of offering to the gods as well as themselves. .. Ancient Mesopotamian recipes also include date palm and honey sweets, a sweet cookie called 'qullupu' made from date palms, recorded as being dedicated to the Sumerian goddess Inanna during the New Year and Spring festivals. There is.

by max nathans

In the book 'The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia, ' which describes the recipes of ancient Mesopotamia, Mr. Botero wrote that the ancient Mesopotamian cuisine, which uses a large amount of garlic and is lightly salty, is the tongue of modern people. It points out that it will not fit. However, modern people are trying to improve the recipes of ancient Mesopotamia and make the best possible dishes. In 2018, Yale University and Harvard University collaborated to hold an event to recreate the ancient Mesopotamian stew.

Interdisciplinary team cooks 4000-year old Babylonian stews at NYU event --YouTube

Below is the 'Recipe for Ancient Mesopotamia' introduced by the science media Atlas Obscura.

◆ Meat soup
Ingredients: sliced garlic (8 pieces), sliced green onion (1 cup, approx. 240cc), sliced carrot (1 and 1/2 cup, approx. 360cc), roasted beef shoulder loin (1 pound) , About 450g), water (3 cups, about 720cc), salt and pepper if you like (not used by Mesopotamians)

・ 1: Slice carrots, garlic, and green onions, and crush the green onions and garlic in a bowl using a spoon. Cut the beef into 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) squares and season with salt and pepper as you like. Oil in a large saucepan and bake the meat.

・ 2: When the meat is browned, set it to medium heat and add carrots, crushed garlic and green onions. Add 3 cups of water and reduce the heat to low when it starts to foam.

・ 3: Cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours with occasional stirring. Remove the beef tallow before eating and season with salt and pepper if you like.

◆ mesu (sweets using dates)
Ingredients: dried dates (1 cup, approx. 240 cc), pistachios (2 cups, approx. 480 cc), melted butter (1 tbsp)

・ 1: Cut the dried date palm in half, transfer it to a bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water, and cover it. Peel the pistachios while soaking the dates in boiling water for about 30 minutes, and crush them well with a blender.

・ After 2:30 minutes, discard the boiling water from the bowl containing the dates, add the pistachio powder and butter to the bowl, and mix while crushing the whole. At this time, do not put all the pistachio powder in the bowl, but leave it to some extent. Also, it is easier to mix if a small amount of boiling water is left.

・ 3: After crushing the material, roll it into a sphere by hand to make about 12 balls. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio powder and cool in the refrigerator to complete.

by Jess Eng

In addition, some people actually cooked food with the recipe of ancient Mesopotamia, perhaps because they had time to lock down due to the epidemic of the new coronavirus. As a result of incorporating ingenuity such as replacing the 'sheep blood' in the ingredients with tomato sauce, the dish was quite delicious.

in Junk Food, Posted by log1h_ik