What are some really old recipes that Jews are known to have used (actual recipes that say how to make the dish, not just names or descriptions of what was eaten like צלי קדר)? I'm seeking specifically recipes for food, not for medicine.

And if you've tried one of the recipes, or know someone who has, I'd love to hear how it was.

  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16498/759 – Double AA May 20 '12 at 16:34
  • I complelty forgot about this till now. What do you think of hebrewbooks.org/rambam.aspx?rid=7332 (based on Chullin 132b)? Is that answer-worthy? – Double AA Dec 27 '12 at 22:01
  • Not much of a recipe... doesn't say when to add the mustard, for example... but I suppose so, if you want.... – msh210 Dec 28 '12 at 5:33
  • @msh210. Sorry, I am a wee-bit late responding. Esther Levy's "Jewish Cookery" was written in the 1870's for American Jews who had little knowledge of kosher. It is available at Amazon.com. – JJLL Nov 2 '14 at 3:11
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    In reading about R' Gil Marks, who just passed away, I've learned that his books, especially the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food contain many such recipes and detailed, scholarly description of their histories. – Isaac Moses Dec 10 '14 at 17:03

Kutach HaBavli -- moldy bread, milk, and salt. Yum yum!

Anomalin (or "yeinmilin"): Wine + honey + pepper. Delish!

How about Rashi's favorite? Fried eggs with honey. He would make a shehakol and eat this even before hamotzee -- "oh he held like the Rambam that chaviv trumps all."

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    Kutach I knew, but I don't know the proportions for it (or for the other things you mention, which are new to me). (Also, incidentally, I thought kutach had some seasoning in it. No?) Do you know any proportions? I mean the proportion of ingredients to one another. – msh210 Oct 7 '10 at 3:47
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    Hm you could go through the sugya in Eilu Ovrin and figure out if it's more or less than k'zayis bchdei achilas pras, then the machlokes rishonim what that ratio is ... no sorry I don't really have proportions. – Shalom Oct 7 '10 at 14:27

A Drizzle of Honey is a collection of recipes redacted (by modern scholars) from expulsion-era Spain based on, of all things, inquisition testimony. All redaction from just ingredients lists is speculative, but these ring true based on other renaissance cooking research I've seen. I've made several of the recipes in this book with generally-good results; when I didn't care for the dish it was because I didn't care for the dish, not because the recipe was fundamentally flawed. (I am an hobbyist in medieval and renaissance cooking, a fact that I never would have expected to be relevant on Mi Yodeya. :-) )

Obviously that's not as old as reconstructions from Rashi or the talmud would be, but I don't know of any of those with enough information to form a real recipe.

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    Never say Never! – Double AA May 20 '12 at 18:23
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    I didn't even know that was a hobby! Cool! – Seth J Jun 25 '13 at 2:00
  • @SethJ, here is one entry point if you're interested in knowing more. (You'll find transcriptions and translations of medieval & renaissance cookbooks, recipe redactions, and some articles.) – Monica Cellio Jun 25 '13 at 2:15
  • There are way too many nerdy hobbies for me to keep up with already. I'm sure I won't really be able to delve into this one. Alas. – Seth J Jun 25 '13 at 3:06
  • I have been finding my medieval recreation hobby to be relevant in learning Shabbat. When I have questions about for example how weaving looms work, it is my Society for Creative Anachronism friends that I turn to. – Ze'ev misses Monica Jul 29 at 17:33

I've seen on the supermarket shelves Ezekiel Bread, based on the 2600 year old "recipe" given in Yechezkiel 4:9.....without the dung, of course. According to the maker's site's info page, it's extremely healthy. Thanks for the recipe, HaShem!

An even older one from the same Chef is Roasted Whole Lamb w/Bitter Herbs and a side of Matzoh, given in Shemot 12.

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