Medieval Lecture

Saturday 30th April

On Saturday 30 April 2016, Blackfriars will host, in partnership with Durham University's IMEMS (*), a 9th Public Lecture on Medieval Food.

We’re delighted to welcome professor Daniel Newman from Durham University’s School of Modern languages to discuss: ‘Food of the Arabian Nights: An Introduction to Medieval Arab Cuisine’: Food and health went hand in hand in the Islamic holistic tradition of medicine. This may explain why a rich culinary tradition emerged as early as the 9th century, when the first cookbooks were produced, often at the request of powerful rulers, some of whom were keen cooks themselves.

The great variety in dishes (approximately 700) was matched by highly creative cooking techniques and tools, as well as a veritable gourmet culture, in which the appreciation of good food and drink was a  mark of great refinement. The link between food and sexual well-being was also there from the start as the number of aphrodisiac references makes clear.

The presentation will look at the main features of medieval Arab food, and trace its history, including the spread and influence on various Western cuisines and dishes.    

£25pp including a suitably medieval 3 course lunch. Early-bird concessions. Starts 11am

(*) Durham University's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMES) is one of the most diverse and dynamic centres of medieval and early modern studies in the world.

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