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How The Service Of Dishes Is Ordered

This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

How the Service of Dishes is Ordered, and Which is Fitting to be First, and Which Last. The first dish to be presented is a feminine one, such as baqliyya mukarrara and the various kinds of tafâyâs; after this the dish jimli; then muthallath (meat cooked with vegetables, vinegar and saffron); then the dish of murri; then mukhallal (a vinegared dish); then mu'assal (a honeyed dish); then fartun; then another mu'assal. This is the succession of the seven dishes and the order in which they are eaten. Many of the great figures and their companions order that the separate dishes be placed on each table before the diners, one after another; and by my life, this is more beautiful than putting an uneaten mound all on the table, and it is more elegant, better-bred, and modern; this has been the practice of the people of al-Andalus and the West, of their rulers, great figures, and men of merit from the days of 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz and the Banu Umayya to the present.


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