For the history buffs amongst us, it is likely that you have wondered about the food habits of those who lived thousands of years ago. Over the years, archaeologists have gained a better understanding after ancient cookbooks and recipes were unearthed.
While rather rudimentary, they offer some unique insights, and food scientists and historians have even attempted to recreate some of these items over the years. In June 2018, an Yale-Harvard team had tested some of these recipes, writing that the "variety of ingredients, complex preparation, and cooking staff required to create these meals" suggested that these recipes were "intended for the royal palace or temple" — essentially the haute cuisine of Mesopotamia.
One Twitter user who decided to take up the challenge amid the lockdown, has now recreated many of these recipes. He avoided a few ingredients, such as sheep's blood, but managed to create an assortment of dishes that he says was the "best Mesopotamian meal" he had eaten.
Twitter user Bill Sutherland posted a series of tweets, sharing photos of the dish created by him, as well as the recipe of sorts that he had followed.
"I blame lockdown but for some reason decided to cook Babylonian meal from the recipe tablet on the right; at 1750 BCE are the oldest recipes existing. Seemed to go down OK. Best Mesopotamian meal I have eaten," he wrote.
In total, Sutherland seems to have made four recipes, at least going by the posts he shared. He created a "simple and delicious" stew of lamb which had barley cakes crumbled in.
He also created a dish called Tuh'u with middling success. "Thought this looked stunning and full of flavour. Think I should have cooked a bit longer to disintegrate more," Sutherland wrote.
"Unwinding”, a vegetarian stew made with leek and onion was Sutherland's next recipe. "Saute leek and spring onion then baked with sourdough crumbs. Looks good but bit boring," he summed up in his post.
The final dish saw him deviate somewhat, using tomato sauce rather than sheep's blood to create an 'Elamite Broth'. "Peculiar but delicious thick flavoursome soup," he concluded.