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A Biblical Feast: Foods from the Holy Land Paperback – April, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898159652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898159653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Growing up in Morocco, Kitty Morse was struck by how many people still lived as their ancestors had in biblical times. This observation led her to wonder what people ate during the time of the Scriptures. Poring exhaustively through the Bible, she found many food references, such as the one for Esau's porridge, and another about a garden of cucumbers, but only the text of Ezekiel 4:9 regarding bread came close to being a recipe. So Morse delved into other sources, from the Dead Sea Scrolls to archaeological data. In A Biblical Feast, she draws reasonable and enlightening conclusions from the information she gleaned. For biblical cooks, "Low cooking (stewing), rather than roasting or frying, was their favorite method of cooking.... The ancient Hebrews prepared and ate most foods with their hands."

Morse lists all the foods mentioned in the King James Bible, but assumes there were others, too, because the writers of the Old and New Testaments were, logically, more concerned with theology and other events than with "botanical, zoological, and culinary matters."

Biblical cooks had no sugar for sweetening, only reduced syrups from dates, pomegranates, and other fruit. Morse also explains what grains were available and how they were used. There are recipes you will enjoy, such as Toasted Ground Almond and Sesame Dip; Chicken, Leek, and Garbanzo Bean Stew; and Apricots with Pomegranate Seeds and Toasted Nuts in Honey Syrup. Many of the recipes, reflecting ancient times and ingredients, produce bland results, such as Barley Cakes, which are mostly of historical interest. A Biblical Feast is recommended for teachers and for those who might use its information in family activities. --Dana Jacobi

Review

This book is out of print! The second edition, totally revised, came out in 2009. Please look for it on Amazon.com!

More About the Author

Kitty Morse was born in Casablanca, of a French mother and British father, and emigrated to the United States in 1964. She returns frequently to Morocco to spend time at her family's riad, Dar Zitoun, the subject of her latest book, Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories.

Kitty's career as a food writer, cooking teacher, and lecturer, spans more than twenty-five years. She is the author of nine cookbooks, five of them on the cuisine of Morocco and North Africa. They include Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen now in its tenth printing from Chronicle Books, The Scent of Orange Blossoms (Ten Speed Press), and The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing).

In recent years, she became author/publisher for the second edition of A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today's Table.

Her latest book, a memoir titled Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories, she published in December 2012. The book was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards in 2012, and awarded Best Book Arab Cuisine/USA/ 2013 from the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Biblical times? Or just wanted to try making your own yogurt or unleavened bread? A Biblical Feast gives insight into daily life in the Middle East in Biblical times, foods mentioned throughout the Bible, as well some unique recipes! Highly recommended for something different!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Moroccan raised cook and cookbook author researches and produces an exceptional cookbook on biblical land cuisine, not to invent any biblical haute extravaganza, but to provide examples of what the Lord and apostles might have dined on.

The layout adorning these recipes and commentary is neat --- it's sort of a faux ancient look and feel, which with the Biblical text quoted with each recipe, creates an unusual and attractive backdrop for this collection.

These are not hard recipes to prepare either technique wise nor ingredients. They are basic and using foodstuffs of that age: lamb and goat and olives and wine and nuts and wheat and beans and spices and leeks, etc.

This is well researched and produced with nice written comments throughout. I've tried several: Flatbread with Cheese and Melon; Barley Gruel with Honey, Dates and Raisins; Pomegranate Honey-Glazed Grilled Fish (unbelievable that tilapia was likely fish of Jesus' choice). They are edible and enjoyable and takes one away from all frills to basics.

This is fascinating book to use and to give as meaningful gift.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Originally stumbled across this gem of a reference/cookbook in the cooking section of the public library. Found it fascinating. In 2000 I used it to plan & prepare "Biblical finger foods" for a Maundy Thursday service at the church I belong to. We served all the foods from handmade pottery and baskets on a bed of palm fronds (from Palm Sunday). Along with the Lenten music program provided by our choir and a slide presentation of the Holy Land narrated by our pastor the Biblical foods were one aspect of a very moving "multi-media" evening for over 100 people. I can't wait to have my own copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Meyer on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now this is a book to be cherished. The author has taken a good amount of time exploring the actual foods from biblical times and creating/discovering recipes that we can all enjoy. This book is great for both the anthropolical reader as well as the gourmand. It is worth owning if this is your area of interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BRIAN A. O'DELL on May 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This a nicely designed cookbook whose only fault in that it doesn't include photos of any of the recipes, but other than that is quite pretty and has useful information. There is an introductory essay "From the Holy Land to Today's Table". Then there is a dictionary listing of "Foods of the King James Bible" from Anise to Wine (with their botanical and zoological names, 84 food ingredients in total). Then there are the food categories, and recipes using ingredients commonly found Biblical times and/or Middle-Eastern cooking for each category. Each recipe include one or two Bible verses (Hebrew Scriptures and/or New Testament) which illustrate one or more ingredients. SIMPLE DISHES include: Ground Sesame Seed Dip; Leek Dip; Toasted Ground Almond and Sesame Dip; Cumin-Laced Garbanzo Bean Spread; Flatbread and Goat Cheese with Melon; Brine-Cured Seasoned Olives; Bitter Herb Salad; Lentil Salad with Watercress and Goat Cheese; Millet with Saffron and Walnuts; Fresh Fava Bean with Olive Oil and Garlic; Braised Cucumbers and Leeks with Fresh Dill; Fried Fava Beans; Dilled Cucumbers with Olives and Goat Cheese; Leeks with Olive Oil, Vinegar and Mustard Seed; and Squash with Capers and Mint. MAIN DISHES include: Basic Lamb/Beef Stock; Lamb and Lentil Stew; Chicken, Leek, and Garbanzo Bean Stew; Lamb and Fresh Fava Bean Stew; Goat, Squash and Olive Stew; Jacob's Pottage of Lentils, Barley, Mustard Greens and Mint; Barley, Beef and Onion Pottage; Three-Bean Pottage with Wheat Berries; Barley Gruel with Honey, Dates and Raisins; Barley with Lentils and Onions; Pomegranate Honey-Glazed Grilled Fish; Cumin-Rubbed Roasted Lamb; Grilled Sardines with Fish Sauce; and Grilled Quail.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cindy's Doodles on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach religious education at my parish & I wanted to share something with my students that Jesus might have eaten. The book is very interesting & full of history.
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