The Book of Chives: The Story of Cooking, Contempt, and Holiness

Shams al-Din al-Maqdisi mentions in his great book “The best division in the knowledge of the regions” that the people of the Levant blamed the Egyptians for eating the chickpeas and mocked them by saying: “They brought chickpeas, their hallumi cheese, and dessert. their sweet (Ashura dessert made from locally boiled wheat).

And transportation, by opening the nun and adding it, is what can be summed up these days with the fun of nuts and dried fruits, including “paper,” i.e. roasted chickpeas, or grilled green chickpeas, and those or one of them were. with what the Egyptians traveled, so they had fun.

Note that this story happened more than a thousand years ago. Previously tastes fluctuated in leisure over these centuries, so chives in the Levant became like today. Make falafel with chickpeas, or just mix it with beans that refuse to partner with lower-order corneas. Many Egyptians do not know that Shawam’s affiliation with chickpeas, and they had previously denied it, led them to invent a dish of chickpeas mixed with chickpeas and called it rosary.

The recently published “Kitab Al Hummus”, in which the French scholar Robert Pistolfi and the Syrian-French writer and publisher Farouk Mardam Bey trace this type of cornea “with a protective path in history” and with it we reach interesting research areas for grains of qiqras that has accompanied mankind since prehistoric times.

The two authors, who have other books on the history of food, published “Kitab Al Hummus” in French in 1998 and it was finally translated into Arabic through the Kalima project in the UAE and the task was done by the translator. Mary Tawk.

Part of this book was a declaration of solidarity because of the devaluation that befell this cornea, as it was accompanied by hardships and hardships in life, and this degradation was uneven in the Mediterranean basin, which is often the first home of chicks.

According to the Swiss botanist Candol (1778-1841), 15 species of wild chickpeas are known to have originated in Greece or West Asia, and one of them is from Abyssinia.

However, finding evidence of its consumption from the seventh millennium BC in southern France suggests that trade relations between the eastern and western Mediterranean are much older than we think, or that the domestication of wild chickpeas has occurred simultaneously in different places. vend.

Georges de Latour painting … a poor man and woman sharing a bowl of humus

The book notes, through many examples, how chickpeas were viewed with contempt in urban areas as a rural food, but their consumption was sometimes and still is associated with important rituals and traditions, especially Easter symbols for Christians, until it was said in the Occitan tradition (southern France) chickpeas are not eaten on Palm Sunday, not really Christian ”.

Even before that time, why were chickens not part of religious traditions in the time of the Pharaohs of Egypt? The discovery of a tomb in Deir al-Medina in Upper Egypt, to which the book refers, dates back to 1300 BC, and what accompanied the dead was a bowl full of chickpeas, which they called “herbak”.

In Greek culture, chickpeas were served during drinking sessions, toasted with dried fruits and cakes, as a crunchy pastry.

There is always a historical circumstance that regulates the flow of things, pushing them to the forefront or bringing them back.

Chives were the food of the lower classes, but in the Roman era you find it in great abundance with the Frankish king Charlemagne, who ordered its cultivation in all the countries of the empire.

This did not prevent, if we summarize the most salient thing in the book on this point, from the presence of chicks honored by a king, in a place of contempt like a horn that refers to a class, as is the case in ancient Rome. , where the rich do not offer this food, until the twentieth century, when Jean says that Paul Sartre describes the change of status from abundance to absence: “Today is a beef-free steak, tomorrow is chickpeas.”

These great horns, in spite of the service they have rendered to humanity, are still a metaphor for inferiority and laziness, which come from the words of a philosopher like Sartre, as they are for the public, in famous popular examples.

Beyond that, chives were a description of mockery of peoples, as the authors mention how the Roman playwright Plautus (184-254 AD) was mocking the Iberians who preferred to eat this kind of legume, and as Shawam said of the Egyptians seven centuries later. .

On the contrary, these corneas were not spared by Ibn Sirin, who interprets dreams, as seeing cuckoos in a dream means sadness or turmoil, and they were not spared by the servants as they tease the short stature when they say in their popular proverb: “Clean bullets in what stays.”

Consistently, not instead of all this contempt, famous lawyers will aim to make hummus an example of virtue. Corruption in Greece is a sign of generous banquets and one of its opponents is Plato, who called for a chicory-based diet to awaken the masculinity of the citizens.

So contempt, manliness and holiness I used qiqras as a bridge of expression. But take with you chives on black magic, folk medicine and its benefits for sexual manhood, diuresis, milk production for breastfeeding mothers and the expulsion of worms and other things you find present in many of the literature that the book presents in detail.

Qiqja has become the coffee of the poor. The book records how chickpeas replaced coffee in many countries at the lowest possible cost, roasting it until browned and ground. Chickpea coffee was popular in European regions during the eighteenth century, and even revived during World War II.

Three-quarters of the book will go into a series of recipes that prove the victory of chickpeas, through 130 recipes distributed among foods, crackers, purees, soups, porridge, pie, main dishes with meat, fish, poultry and finally cakes.

Many of these dishes are the legacy of a distant history, in which different cultures intertwined and excelled in the culinary arts of the Mediterranean, especially in Baghdad and Andalusian cuisines, and in Africa and Latin America, as far as India, and which softened and took its throne, with its share of 70% of its global output.

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