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Professor Tries Out Recipes That Are Nearly 4000 Years Old, Shares How They Looked And Tasted
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Food1 year ago

Professor Tries Out Recipes That Are Nearly 4000 Years Old, Shares How They Looked And Tasted Interview

The recent lockdown has surely sparked an inner chef in most of us. With endless egg and flour hoards, we’ve seen people baking and trying out some pretty questionable recipes with little to no success.

Meanwhile, Bill Sutherland was also busy in the kitchen, but with a different kind of project in mind. The professor of conservation biology at the University of Cambridge rolled up his sleeves and cooked up some very intricate meals as carved on an ancient Mesopotamian tablet. You see, it’s not just some avocado toast. Apparently, these 3770-year-old dishes like lamb stew and elamite broth “are the oldest recipes existing.”

In a viral Twitter thread, Bill showed us what to expect from such ancient delicacies and for those who worry about the well-being of his stomach, let me tell you Bill says it’s the “best Mesopotamian meal I have eaten.”

The professor cooked some of the oldest recipes existing from a Mesopotamian tablet and his thread went viral

Bill’s Babylonian dining consisted of 4 intricate dishes and a loaf of bread

Bored Panda reached out to Professor Bill Sutherland to find out more about his Mesopotamian cooking experience.

Bill heard about the recipes from Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid, who’s “a real expert on Mesopotamian culture.” He bought the book about the Yale Collection and thought “it would be fun to try and cook them.“

This was about an hour of planning and a couple of hours cooking,” said Bill. But in no way did he expect so many to take interest in his peculiar Twitter thread. “Currently, 3.7 million people have seen this,” the professor said in disbelief.

Simply delicious lamb stew with a sharp edge

Bill also said the instructions were “astonishingly terse” and “perplexing.” That’s why he sometimes had to make guesses, like “I didn’t fry the onion and garlic that was sprinkled on top as it wasn’t in the recipe.” He also “added the sourdough breadcrumbs and then baked it so it was like a crumble, but perhaps I should have used it as a sauce thickener.”

Show-stealer Tuh’u packed with flavor

Having said that, the recipes were surprisingly easy to cook. “You probably wouldn’t consider them odd if served to you.” The professor said they all had lots of leek, onions, garlic, and coriander, which he enjoyed.

Bill’s favorite one was a lamb stew with barley cakes made by his daughter Tessa. “I sprinkled a couple of cakes in and they made a lovely thick stew.” I mean, who’d ever need a restaurant when you’ve got these?

Laden with bread crumbs, the “Unwinding” looks cool but lacked some character

This modern version of Elamite broth has no sheep’s blood in it

Apparently, there’s a whole book dedicated to Babylonian cuisine

And this is what people had to say

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Jonas Grinevičius
BoredPanda Staff
1 year ago

This is my favorite post of the day :) Everything looks delicious and now I can't wait for lunch.

Rose the Cook
Community Member
1 year ago

Now that was intersting.

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything old is new again. Think of how delicious and healthy the dishes are, compared to our modern Western diet. One term, decades ago, a culinary arts student asked for another option instead of the term paper in the Ancient history class. I agreed, being nice. She baked Syrian-style baklava, and made a 20-minute presentation on its history, including a recipe from a 9th century BCE Mesopotamian document. The class and I loved the treat. -Dr M, retired history professor

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Jonas Grinevičius
BoredPanda Staff
1 year ago

This is my favorite post of the day :) Everything looks delicious and now I can't wait for lunch.

Rose the Cook
Community Member
1 year ago

Now that was intersting.

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
1 year ago

Everything old is new again. Think of how delicious and healthy the dishes are, compared to our modern Western diet. One term, decades ago, a culinary arts student asked for another option instead of the term paper in the Ancient history class. I agreed, being nice. She baked Syrian-style baklava, and made a 20-minute presentation on its history, including a recipe from a 9th century BCE Mesopotamian document. The class and I loved the treat. -Dr M, retired history professor

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