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Testing different recipes


Cooking medieval dishes
Claudia Roden Writer
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And when I got home, I also was testing recipes all the time in my time. When the children were small, I was testing recipes. And they had to eat what I cooked. What we tested. And when they were little they even helped to make, because for a whole long period, I was cooking medieval dishes to try them.

My greatest enthrallment was that we had dishes in my family that were in medieval times in Damascus. Like there was a dish that somebody gave me that was in Lebanon and in Egypt. My aunt Regine, who came from Aleppo, she made a dish called treya. And they had a dish called treya. And it was chicken and pasta, and it had an apricot sauce. And I just thought, I can't believe it. It really means we are who we are. If we still eat that, we were there. We were Jews of Syria. And so, there was this incredible excitement. And really, my excitement was also great when Nigella Lawson, when she did her first television series, she put my Jewish Book, because it eventually went into my Jewish Book much later. And she said, 'This is the best book in the world'. And this recipe... she cooked this recipe treya of pasta with chicken and apricot sauce. And so, there it was. Something from the medieval times through a book of my time, in my time, came for many centuries just from mother to daughter. And then it came... and mother-in-law. And so, that was very, very exciting for me.

But I was testing all the medieval recipes. And we had back then, a long medieval table that is now in my study. And that my husband had bought when he was buying... or getting clothes made in Portugal. He would go there with patterns, and they would make the clothes.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: cooking, Syrian food, medieval, recipe, treya

Duration: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023