Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid, a fourteenth-century cookbook, is unique for its variety and comprehensive coverage of contemporary Egyptian cuisine. It includes, in addition to instructions for the cook, a treasure trove of 830 recipes of dishes, digestives, refreshing beverages, and more.
It is the only surviving cookbook from a period when Cairo was a flourishing metropolis and a cultural haven for people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. Now available for the first time in English, it has been meticulously translated and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction, glossary, and 117 color illustrations to initiate readers into the world of the
Kanz al-fawāʾid. The twenty-two modern adaptations of
Kanz recipes will inspire further experimentations. It is a valuable resource for scholars of medieval material culture, and for all lovers of good food and cookbooks.
Nawal Nasrallah is an independent scholar, previously professor of English literature at the universities of Baghdad and Mosul. She has published books and articles on the history and culture of Arab food, including
Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens (Brill, 2007), and
Delights from the Garden of Eden (Equinox, 2013).
Shortlisted for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2018 in the categories
Culinary Historyclick here.
Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq's Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook Nawal Nasrallah was presented with the Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2007 for best translated cookbook.
في 117 من الرسوم التوضيحية الملونة، و22 من الوصفات المُحدّثة لبعض أشهر الأطعمة والطبخات فى الكتاب؛ نمضى فى هذا «الكنز» إلى التعرّف على أشهى وصفات مطبخ ذلك الزمان، ونوادره وحكايات الطعام، وأسواقه ومطاعمه فى القاهرة، ومهرجاناته العامة فى مواسم مثل رمضان والأعياد. «كنز الفوائد فى تنويع الموائد» يحفل بوصفات تخليل اللفت والزيتون والليمون، والباميا، والملوخية، والسمبوسك، والكشك، والعجّة، و«حُمّص كسّا» الذى عرفناه لاحقًا بـ«الحُمّص بالطحينة». وغير ذلك من أصناف أخرى تتماثل تمامًا مع وصفات المطبخ المصرى الحديث.
إيمان علي، مجلة روز اليوسف
Rose Alyoussef, no. 4658, 25 Sept. 2017, pp. 46-7.
Read an interview about the book with the author on Marcia Lynx Qualey's blog
Table of contents
NOTES ON TRANSLATING THE TEXT
PART I: THE MAKING OF KANZ AL-FAWĀʾID
1. The Text
2. The Provenance
3. Date and Sources
4. A Case of Abridged Borrowing: Kanz al-fawāʾid and Zahr al-ḥadīqa
PART II: MEDIEVAL EGYPTIAN FOOD CULTURE
5. Diet and Formation of a Cuisine
6. What was Cooking in Medieval Cairo?
7. The Culture of Food and Cooking
8. Shopping and Eating out
9. Medieval Egyptian Cooking as Reflected in Kanz al-fawāʾid
10. Eating in Good Health
INFINITE BENEFITS OF VARIETY AT THE TABLE (ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
Chapter 1: Indispensable Instructions for Cooks
Chapter 2: How to Knead Bread Dough and Bake It; and Making Varieties of Bread: Enhanced (muṭayyab), Seeded (mubazzar), Salted (mamlūḥ), and More
Chapter 3: Measures Taken When Drinking Water: muzammal, and Chilled with Ice (thalj maḍrūb)
Chapter 4: Qualities of Air-Cooled Water and What the Physicians Said About It
Chapter 5: Miscellany of Dishes
Chapter 6: Making murrī (Liquid Fermented Sauce), and Preserving Juice of Sour Unripe Grapes (māʾ al- ḥiṣrim) and Lemon Juice (māʾ al-laymūn)
Chapter 7: Eggs Cooked as Omelets and Other Dishes
Chapter 8: Vegetarian Dishes (muzawwarāt al-buqūl) for the Nourishment of the Sick
Chapter 9: All Kinds of Dishes Made with Different Varieties of Fish
Chapter 10: Making All Kinds of Sweets (ḥalwā)
Chapter 11: Digestive Stomachics (juwārishnāt), Electuaries (maʿājīn), and Drinks (ashriba) Offered Before and After the Meal
Chapter 12: Making fuqqāʿ (Foamy Beer), and Other Drinks
Chapter 13: Dried-Apricot Compote (naqūʿ al-mishmish)
Chapter 14: Making Preparations Which Relieve Nausea (adwiyat al-qaraf)
Chapter 15: Making Mustard [Condiments], Mild and Pungent-Hot
Chapter 16: Making Table Sauces (ṣulūṣāt)
Chapter 17: Dishes Made with Dairy (albān): kawāmikh (Fermented Condiments), jājaq (Drained-Yogurt Condiment), Condiments with kabar (Capers) and zaʿtar (Thyme); bīrāf (Clotted Cream); and the Like
Chapter 18: All Kinds of Pickled Turnip and Onion, Pickling Fruits and Vegetables of All Kinds, and Preserving Lemon, Damascus Citron and the Like, in Salt
Chapter 19: Making Cold Dishes (bawārid)
Chapter 20: On Aromatics (ṭīb), and Properties of Toothpicks (khilāl) Made from Willow Wood (ṣafṣāf) and Egyptian-Willow Twigs (ʿīdān al-khilāf)
Chapter 21: Varieties of Aroma-Diffusing Incense Which Fortify Spirit and Heart; Aromatizing Pills; Deodorants; and Other Preparations
Chapter 22: Top Quality Perfumed Powders (dharāʾir mulūkiyya) and Other Preparations
Chapter 23: Storing Fresh Fruits and Keeping Them to Use After Their Season
1. Beverages for Pleasure and Health
2. Breads, Grains, Pasta, Noodles, and Sweet and Savory Pastries
4. Desserts, Sweeteners, and Conserves; for Pleasure and Health
5. Dishes and Prepared Foods: Main and Side Dishes, Snacks, Condiments, Pickles, Dips, and Table Sauces
6. Fats and Oils
7. Fruits and Nuts
8. Ingredients Used in Foods and Medicinal Preparations: Herbs, Spices, Aromatics, Minerals, Food Colors, and Seasoning Sauces
9. Kitchen and Cooking Implements, and Culinary Techniques and Terms
11. Medical Terms, Medicinal Preparations, and Personal Hygiene and Perfumes
12. Vegetables and Legumes
13. Weights and Measures
APPENDIX: A TASTE OF TIME: MODERN ADAPTATIONS OF TWENTY-TWO RECIPES FROM THE KANZ AL-FAWĀʾID
A valuable resource for academic and public libraries; for readers interested in medieval material culture, including that of the Arabo-Islamic world; for those in the social sciences, anthropology, comparative studies, and linguistics; and for anyone interested in Middle Eastern food culture and history.