On Thu, 31 Mar 2005, Orion2 wrote:

> Ethiopian Lamb Stew in Spiced Butter & Berbere Sauce
> This is a rich, spicy dish - throw your diet out the window.


LOL What diet?! This *is* my diet. :-)
Well - except for the Injira bread.

The chances are slim we'll get any Spring lamb here. The chances are slim we'll get any lamb here, any time soon. People here have passed their whole lives without *ever* even having tasted lamb! The South just doesn't know about lamb. I find that completely weird, and know no explantion for it, even an unreasonable explanation.

Ethiopians give good food. It's amazingly like N Indian food - which I'm rather convinced derives from Persian cooking in large measure. It would not surprise me to see (which I don't happen to) that Persian and Ethiopian cuisine are cousins. A genuine high civilization of the Amharic (a semitic language) speaking people in Ethiopia goes back millennia BCE. 1-7 centuries seem to be its ascendency (*Always* the problems of what places are called when, and how the boundaries are defined). It was seemingly called Axum at the time by many, but now that's just a city (that claims to have the ark of of covenent and the tablets of Moses - um sure). Anyhow it seems this is the period of connections with Persia, as Axum (then approximately what modern ethiopia is today. (that used to be Abyssinia [sigh]). It was a focal point of trade in all sorts of goodies, including spices. I figure that circumstance, helped by being one terminus of the "slik road" is what facilitated Persian cuisine.

In trackings and meanderings of cusisine, it seems regularly to turn out that cuisine developed much later than I had thought, but also spread in ingredients, ideas and techniques like a fucking wild fire with such speed that I didn't dream possible. "Classical" Tibetan cuisine employes potatoes and tomatoes?! Hello? They come after Columbus, and are strictly New World goods. The Tibetans also have a wonderful corn soup. :-) All the way to Lhasa - in the blink of an eye.

When I started this little quest on the origins of cuisine, I thought I had it down to three core centers: China, India and Persia. Now I've eliminated India, and guess what? The two centers are exactly the termini of the silk road, and that trade route is set of points from which and through which it all spread. Everything else is variation by what's available locally.

The full route built slowly from each end, starting around 390 BCE on up through the 8th century CE, when, as all things do at their heights, declined in usefulness by a kind of social entropy. From there on, the idea of replacing it with a sea route emerges - which as we all learned in school (this time correctly LOL) is a major reason for Columbus to set sail - 700 years later! Some things take a *long* time - others don't. :-)

When exactly the facilitated trade between the two termini became smooth is fuzzy to me, but I'll guess somewhere around the 7th century - with a mess of xtian-moslem friction causing a problem for Mongol traders, which I'll bet was a cause of the eventual 11th century Mongol invasions of the west. Just a guess at this point.


	-- (TSC)


   "Knowing ignorance is strength; ignoring knowledge is sickness."

	-- Lao-Tzu, philosopher (6th century BCE)

	Microsoft is to Operating Systems and Security what
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