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Quick ask questions about African food


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#1 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:52 AM

I'd rather start in the Maghreb. If interest builds I will invite others to this forum.

#2 foodie52

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:55 AM

Question: where is this Maghreb of which you speak?
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#3 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:11 AM

Question: where is this Maghreb of which you speak?

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Algeria is in the center with the greatest range of dishes. It shares a history with Morocco as well as Tunisia.

Algerian cooking is Amazigh (Berber) sustenance cooking, Arab (Bedouin and royal court), African, Moorish/Morisco and European (French, Sicilian and Spanish) influenced.

#4 mongo_jones

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:12 AM

i suppose we could begin by asking to what degree the term "african food" is even coherent. how much continuity is there among the various north african cuisines? between these generally and sub-saharan cuisines? how much between north african arab islamic foodways and other african non-arab islamic foodways?

i will expect to have these questions answered in great detail, with pictures, charts and samples by the time i finish my dinner.

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#5 fml

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:15 AM

i suppose we could begin by asking to what degree the term "african food" is even coherent. how much continuity is there among the various north african cuisines? between these generally and sub-saharan cuisines? how much between north african arab islamic foodways and other african non-arab islamic foodways?

i will expect to have these questions answered in great detail, with pictures, charts and samples by the time i finish my dinner.

What are you eating for dinner?

#6 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:25 AM

i suppose we could begin by asking to what degree the term "african food" is even coherent. how much continuity is there among the various north african cuisines? between these generally and sub-saharan cuisines? how much between north african arab islamic foodways and other african non-arab islamic foodways?

i will expect to have these questions answered in great detail, with pictures, charts and samples by the time i finish my dinner.

coherent? what does this strange word mean? It's not a tower of babel though. We can take this step by step. In the meantime. Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Senagalese. Algerian cuisine is influenced by Mauritania, Mali and Niger as well as it's own sub-saharan part. The moors had large numbers of Mauritanians.

The idea of being African is very different in France. The experience of the African diaspora there is more unified. It may sound crude to Americans (like I care) but there are the North Africans who can be black and the black Africans who are obviously black. The distinctions are not based on skin tone. I can't it's cultural though either. It is the soil. Yes there is some sense of pan-African identity especially amongst those from former French colonies.

#7 Blondie

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:19 AM

Great to have you here, Chef Zadi.

First, maybe you can help me find a use for Grains of Paradise (melegueta pepper). After reading Amanda Hesser’s piece in the Times years ago, I looked high and low. By the time I finally found it, I had forgotten what I was supposed to do with it :o so I’ve only used it in spice rubs thusfar. From what I recall it’s more associated with West Africa, but there were references to its use in Moroccan and Tunisian dishes.

What cookbooks would you recommend for someone with little experience of these cuisines?
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#8 Lost Virtue

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:38 AM

coherent? what does this strange word mean? It's not a tower of babel though. We can take this step by step. In the meantime. Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Senagalese. Algerian cuisine is influenced by Mauritania, Mali and Niger as well as it's own sub-saharan part. The moors had large numbers of Mauritanians.

Zadi, you are no chef, much less an historian or cultural anthropologist. This is totally revisionist. As you know, food has never been much a part of any of those African cuisines. They are basically scavengers and foragers and can't hold a candle to the French, whom invented cuisines. Where are the gendarmes now that we need a convenient arrest?

#9 rancho_gordo

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:39 AM

This post has been edited three times now because I see Chef Zadi answered my query in a previous thread. it's a good thing I am so good looking because I am a bit slow. Well, very slow. And let's face, not so good looking!

Edited by rancho_gordo, 27 May 2005 - 06:06 AM.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#10 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:42 PM

coherent? what does this strange word mean? It's not a tower of babel though. We can take this step by step. In the meantime. Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Senagalese. Algerian cuisine is influenced by Mauritania, Mali and Niger as well as it's own sub-saharan part. The moors had large numbers of Mauritanians.

Zadi, you are no chef, much less an historian or cultural anthropologist. This is totally revisionist. As you know, food has never been much a part of any of those African cuisines. They are basically scavengers and foragers and can't hold a candle to the French, whom invented cuisines. Where are the gendarmes now that we need a convenient arrest?

If it weren't for the Moors out of AFRICA the Europeans would still be starving and eating boiled cat with no seasoning.

I will substantiate all of this later. I don't think it can happen in a s i n g l e p o s t.

#11 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:53 PM

Great to have you here, Chef Zadi.

First, maybe you can help me find a use for Grains of Paradise (melegueta pepper). After reading Amanda Hesserís piece in the Times years ago, I looked high and low. By the time I finally found it, I had forgotten what I was supposed to do with it :o so Iíve only used it in spice rubs thusfar. From what I recall itís more associated with West Africa, but there were references to its use in Moroccan and Tunisian dishes.

What cookbooks would you recommend for someone with little experience of these cuisines?

It's found in West African and North African cuisine where it is sometimes added to ras el hanout or used to flavor stews/soups.

For a spice mixture I would combine the peppery pungency of grains of paradise with sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Historically it had a greater importance, used as a substitute pepper, to flavor beers...

#12 johnnyd

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:09 PM

F,

A couple weeks ago I killed an entire morning reading your link to a 11th century cookbook from North Africa (?). Fascinating! I can't find it now and I bet others here would get a kick out of it. Can you re-post this link?

Thanks,
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#13 Farid

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:16 PM

The link

#14 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 04:36 PM

The link

I'm very curious about this, for copyright reasons. The link says the book is an anonymous 13th Century tome which is wrong as it was written by al-Baghdadi's Kitab al-Tabikh. And I would find it hard to believe that Charles Perry would allow the whole thing to posted online when it was published only a few years ago.

It is a stunning book, BTW

#15 tanabutler

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 06:05 PM

Farid, I am so glad you made you way over here.

Can you expound on the diet of Tarzan, and how it changed when Jane started him down the path of domesticity?