- The Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.42, no.2, pp.22-39, 1999
Medieval Arabic books of culinary, hygiene and pharmacology indicate that there were at least nine different types of pasta at the time. The records also provide us with detailed information on shapes, production process, recipes, commercial production, and medical use of pastas, as well as when and where they were eaten under what circumstances, and how pasta dishes were received by people back then.<br>According to the definition in medieval books of hygiene and pharmacology, pastas in the medieval Islamic period were made from dough kneaded without adding yeast and then cooked in soup or boiled in hot water.<br>1) <i><b>Itriya</b></i>, <i><b>rishta</b></i> These noodle-type pastas were the most popular in the medieval Middle East. <i>Itriya</i> had been known in the Middle East since before Islam. A twelfth-century geographer al-Idrîsî says that <i>Itriya</i> was then manufactured in Sicily on industrial basis and was shipped to various regions along the Mediterranean coast. <i>Rishta</i> was served during banquets at the Mamluk court in the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century Egypt, it was served as a special diet for the sick people.<br>2) <i><b>Kuskus</b></i>, <i><b>fidâsh</b></i>, <i><b>muhammas</b></i>, <i><b>taltîn</b></i>: These are the pastas from the Maghrib region. The first three are grain-like in shape, while <i>taltîn</i> is a pasta cut into small, thin square. <i>Sha'îrîya</i> is another kind of pasta shaped like barleycorn and was consumed only in Mashriq. <i>Kuskus</i> first appears in a book of culinary compiled in Mashriq in the mid-thirteenth century. A sixteenth century essay on cooking cites <i>kuskus</i> as one of the foods sold at <i>al-sûq</i>.<br>3) <i><b>Tutumâj</b></i>, <i><b>shashaburk</b></i>: These are the pastas from the Central Asia. In the Middle East, they make their first appearance in the books of culinary and pharmacology in the mid-thirteenth century. In China, two cooking books, both compiled in the mid-thirteenth century, carries a recipe of <i>tutumâj</i>, which is transliterated into Chinese as "_??__??__??__??_ or _??__??__??__??_ <i>tu'tu'mashih."</i> It appears that the dish had been regarded exotic in both China and the Middle East. <i>Tutumâj</i> is a flat pasta with square or disc-like shape. <i>Shashaburk</i> is <i>tutumâj</i> stuffed with ground meat. They were both served with yogurt. According to a thirteenth century Arab pharmacologist al-Kursî, <i>tutumâj</i> is a loan word form Turkish.<br>Mention in Arabic records on <i>kuskus</i>, which is from the Maghrib, or <i>tutumâj</i>, which is from the Central Asia, suggests that there was a massive migration from these regions to the Middle East in the mid-thirteenth century.