Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Cultural appropriation; a primer

Last night, I cooked an Uzbek plov. It reheats well so I can eat it when I get in from the theatre tonight.

Recipes for fragrant Pilaffi were recorded in the earliest Greek cook book Gastrology, by the poet Archestratus in 350 BC. In fact, Alexander the Great was served a Rice Pilaf when he captured the city of Maracanda (the modern city Samarkand, Uzbekistan) in 329 BC.

Though it is well over a millennium later, some claim that the first known recipe for pilaf is by the tenth-century Persian scholar Avicenna, who in his books on medical sciences dedicated a whole section to preparing various dishes, including several types of pilaf. In doing so, he described advantages and disadvantages of every item used for preparing the dish. Accordingly, Persians consider Ibn Sina to be the "father" of modern pilaf.

Pilaf, Pilaff, Pilaffi, Pilau, Perloo, Pillao, Paella ... Plov. You pays your money and takes your choice.

Let's say it belongs to the world rather than any group or culture in particular.

Probably best if we don't get into Moros y Cristianos, though. It is the Cuban version of rice and beans. "Moors" refers to the black beans, and "Christians" to the white rice.

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