This monograph is a pioneering study and reconstruction of the food cultures and menu of medieval Cairenes and their daily practices, customs and habits in relation to food and eating, through the analysis of a large corpus of historical texts in Arabic. Paulina B. Lewicka explains what, why and how the inhabitants of medieval Cairo ate, and how food shaped their everyday lives, against the background of several relevant social, political and economic factors and circumstances.
Paulina B. Lewicka, PhD (2000) in Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Warsaw, is a professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw. Her research focuses on various aspects of the cultural and social history of the medieval Middle East and, more particularly, the Mamluk and the early Ottoman period, such as interfaith and gender relations, foodways and the medical cultures of Egypt and Syria, including self-treatment manuals in the Arabic language as sources for the study of the social and cultural contexts of the art of medicine in premodern Egypt.
Introductory Essay: Medieval Cairo and its Inhabitants
Survey of the Sources for the Study of the Medieval Cairene Food Culture
PART I. ON FOOD
Chapter I. The Cairene Menu: Genesis
Chapter II. The Cairene Menu: Ingredients, Products, and Preparations
PART II. ON EATING
Chapter III. The Place to Eat
Chapter IV. Sharing the Table
PART III. ON BEVERAGES AND DRINKING
Chapter V. Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter VI. Alcohol and Its Consumption in Medieval Cairo
Primary Arabic sources: texts and translations
Non-Arabic primary sources: texts and translations
Medievalists, social historians, ethnohistorians, food historians, arabists, and all those interested in the history of everyday life in the Middle East and the Mediterranean and in historical folklife studies.