Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"KUTACH" - Ancient Food from Babylon


Don't we sometimes ask ourselves what kind of food people ate thousands of years ago ? Of course, they were hunting animals and ate them. In those days,  people were already working in the fields and harvesting as well as planting herbs and vegetables.

What did the Jews in Israel ate during the time of King David or during Talmudic times ? 
When we look into the Talmud we will find many descriptions about the food in those days giving us an idea about nutrition. We realize that even then, people were basically eating the same as we do today: Olive oil, butter, cheese, bread, meat or fish … only a small list of the different foods the Jews in Israel ate during Temple times.

The Talmud Tractate Pesachim 42a even describes us a specialty from Babylon. Not necessarily my cup of tea because I don't eat mold let alone moldy bread. It says in the Talmud that a Jew would not be allowed to eat "KUTACH" during Pessach, as this would be Chametz.

KUTACH used to be a very famous Babylonian dish in ancient times, eaten in various countries which had contact to Babylon. However, the Talmud doesn't see Kutach as too healthy, as it was hard to digest it.

Kutach was a dip composed of sour milk, moldy bread and salt. Not any kind of salt but Sodomite salt from the Dead Sea. When a person dipped his food into it, the salt had become so sticky sometimes that it stuck on fingers. The effect could have been really nasty as soon as someone is rubbing his eyes afterwards.

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