Tastes of Byzantium: The Cuisine of a Legendary Empire

Overview

For Centuries the food and culinary delights of the Byzantine Empire - centred on Constantinople - have captivated the West, although it appeared that very little information had been passed down to us. Andrew Dalby's Tastes of Byzantium now reveals in astonishing detail, for the first time, what was eaten in the court of the Eastern Roman Empire - and how it was cooked. Fusing the spices of the Romans with the seafood and simple local food of the Aegean and Greek world, the cuisine of the Byzantines was unique ...

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Overview

For Centuries the food and culinary delights of the Byzantine Empire - centred on Constantinople - have captivated the West, although it appeared that very little information had been passed down to us. Andrew Dalby's Tastes of Byzantium now reveals in astonishing detail, for the first time, what was eaten in the court of the Eastern Roman Empire - and how it was cooked. Fusing the spices of the Romans with the seafood and simple local food of the Aegean and Greek world, the cuisine of the Byzantines was unique and a precursor to much of the food of modern Turkey and Greece. Bringing this vanished cuisine to life in vivid and sensual detail, Dalby describes the sights and smells of Constantinople and its marketplaces, relates travellers' tales and paints a comprehensive picture of the recipes and customs of the Empire and their relationship to health and the seasons, love and medicine. For food-lovers and historians alike, Tastes of Byzantium is both essential and riveting - an extraordinary illumination of everyday life in the Byzantine world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A fascinating read, with its descriptions of the glittering centre of an empire. Along with his portrait of Byzantines feasting on spiced wine and sugary sweets, Dalby includes many colourful observations." -- Charles Perry, Cornucopia

"A delightful book…Tastes of Byzantium offers a novel and humane approach to the Byzantines and their culture, and one that should appeal to Byzantinists as well as general readers." -- The Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"The only book in English concerning the history of the very elusive cuisine of Byzantium. Dalby – classicist, historian, and aficionado of linguistics – brings impressive credentials to this pioneering study...bubbles and roils with tales, anecdotes, and just plain gore" -- Culinary Historians of New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848851658
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 681,331
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Dalby is a classical scholar, historian, linguist and translator most well-known for his books on the history of food, in particular the Greek and Roman empires. Siren Feasts, Andrew Dalby's first food book, won the Runciman Award and his second, Dangerous Tastes, won the Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year in 2001. He is also the author of The Classical Cookbook and Empire of Pleasures as well as biographies of Bacchus and Venus.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7

An Introduction to Byzantium 11

Tastes and Smells of the City 33

Foods and Markets of Constantinople 57

Water and Wine, Monks and Travellers 83

Rulers of the World 105

The Texts 125

The Eight Flavours 129

Categories of Foods 132

Humoral and Dietary Qualities of Foods 147

A Dietary Calendar 161

Instructions and Recipes 171

A Phrase-Book of Byzantine Foods and Aromas 183

Bibliography 239

Index 257

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