Islam and Food: A Select Annotated Bibliography

Purity, Soul Food, and Sunni Islam: Explorations at the Intersection of Consumption and Resistance

Author: Carolyn Rouse and Janet Hoskins

Publisher: Brill, 2007

Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook

Author: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraaq, al-Muzaffar ibn Nasr, 10th cent.?


Description: “Written nearly a thousand years ago, al-Warraq’s cookbook is the most comprehensive work of its kind. This traditional cookbook with more than 600 recipes from the luxurious cuisine of medieval Islam is also a rare guide to the contemporary culinary culture. Its numerous anecdotes and poems unfold the role of food in the politics of Islam’s golden era.”

Food and Foodways of Medieval Cairenes: Aspects of Life in an Islamic Metropolis of the Eastern Mediterranean

Author: P. Lewicka

Publisher: Brill, 2011


Description: “This is a pioneering study which analyzes the food cultures of medieval Cairenes on the basis of a large corpus of historical texts in Arabic. Individual chapters discuss what, why, and how the inhabitants of medieval Cairo ate what they did, and in which ways food shaped their everyday lives. Given the complex nature of “food” and “foodways” as areas of research, the book covers such diverse subjects as the genesis of the culinary culture of Egypt’s capital and various practices related to food and eating. This monograph also considers several relevant social, political and economic circumstances in medieval Cairo, studying food culture in its broader context.”

Food Culture and Health in Pre-Modern Muslim Societies

Editor: D. Waines

Publisher: Brill, 2011


Description: “This book brings together edited articles from the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam that are relevant to food culture, health, diet, and medicine in pre-Islamic Muslim societies. This compilation consists of edited entries on agriculture and irrigation, with attention for various staples and fruits; animals and the legal aspects of their consumption; hunting and fishing; the preparation of food, with entries on both the kitchen and various ingredients; dietetics and pharmacology; and the medicinal properties of a wide variety of foodstuffs.”

Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law

Author: David M. Freidenreich

Publisher: University of California Press, 2011


Description: “Foreigners and Their Food explores how Jews, Christians, and Muslims conceptualize “us” and “them” through rules about the preparation of food by adherents of other religions and the act of eating with such outsiders. David M. Freidenreich analyzes the significance of food to religious formation, elucidating the ways ancient and medieval scholars use food restrictions to think about the “other.” Freidenreich illuminates the subtly different ways Jews, Christians, and Muslims perceive themselves, and he demonstrates how these distinctive self-conceptions shape ideas about religious foreigners and communal boundaries. This work, the first to analyze change over time across the legal literatures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, makes path-breaking contributions to the history of interreligious intolerance and to the comparative study of religion.”

Cuisine & Culture: A History of food and People, 3rd Edition

Author: Linda Civitello

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011


Description: “Cuisine and Culture presents a multicultural and multiethnic approach that draws connections between major historical events and how and why these events affected and defined the culinary traditions of different societies. Witty and engaging, Civitello shows how history has shaped our diet–and how food has affected history. Prehistoric societies are explored all the way to present day issues such as genetically modified foods and the rise of celebrity chefs. Civitello’s humorous tone and deep knowledge are the perfect antidote to the usual scholarly and academic treatment of this universally important subject.”

Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World: A Concise History with 174 Recipes

Author: Lilia Zaouali

Translator: M.B. DeBevoise

Publisher: University of California Press, 2009


Description: “Vinegar and sugar, dried fruit, rose water, spices from India and China, sweet wine made from raisins and dates—these are the flavors of the golden age of Arab cuisine. This book, a delightful culinary adventure that is part history and part cookbook, surveys the gastronomical art that developed at the Caliph’s sumptuous palaces in ninth-and tenth-century Baghdad, drew inspiration from Persian, Greco-Roman, and Turkish cooking, and rapidly spread across the Mediterranean. In a charming narrative, Lilia Zaouali brings to life Islam’s vibrant culinary heritage.

The second half of the book gathers an extensive selection of original recipes drawn from medieval culinary sources along with thirty-one contemporary recipes that evoke the flavors of the Middle Ages. Featuring dishes such as Chicken with Walnuts and Pomegranate, Beef with Pistachios, Bazergan Couscous, Lamb Stew with Fresh Apricots, Tuna and Eggplant Purée with Vinegar and Caraway, and Stuffed Dates, the book also discusses topics such as cookware, utensils, aromatic substances, and condiments, making it both an entertaining read and an informative resource for anyone who enjoys the fine art of cooking.”

Acceptable Genes? Religious Traditions and Genetically Modified Foods

Editors: Conrad G. Brunk, Harold Coward

Publisher: State University of New York Press, 2009


Description: “Modern biotechnology has surpassed science fiction with such feats as putting fish genes in tomatoes to create a more cold-resistant crop. While the environmental and health concerns over such genetically modified foods have been the subject of public debate, religious and spiritual viewpoints have been given short shrift. This book seeks to understand the moral and religious attitudes of groups within pluralistic societies whose traditions and beliefs raise for them unique questions about food and dietary practice. What questions are there for kosher Jews, halal Muslims, and vegetarian Hindus about food products containing transgenes from prohibited sources? How do these foods impact the cultural practices and spiritual teachings of indigenous peoples? Concerns from the above traditions as well as Christianity, Buddhism, Chinese religion, and ethical vegetarianism are included. Contributors look at the ethical context of each tradition and also include information from focus groups. This enlightening work concludes with recommendations for the labeling of genetically modified foods.”

The Halal Frontier: Muslim Consumers in a Globalized Market

Author: Johan Fischer

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011


Description: “Halal: Arabic, literally “permissible” or “lawful.” Johan Fischer’s illuminating study proves that in the modern world, halal is no longer an expression of esoteric forms of production, trade, and consumption, but part of a huge and expanding globalized market. Exploring contemporary forms of halal understanding and practice among Malay Muslims in London – that is, halal consumption by middle-class Malays on “the frontier” – evokes important and pressing questions on both Islamic thought and how we live our lives today. The Halal Frontier gives us fresh insight into the religious dimensions of food consumption in an era of globalized mass production.”