Winner of the James Beard/ KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year 2000 and Winner of the Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food 2000.
September 28, 2023
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Mangia Bene

    The famous Arab explorer Hasan al-Wazan, who was known as Leo Africanus (c. 1465-1550) in the West and journeyed into Africa, gives a recipe: Boil water in a large pot, add the barley flour, stirring with a stick. Pour the gruel into a plate and in the center make a small shallow where one puts the argan seed oil. The argan seed oil he mentions is extracted from the argan tree (Argania sideroxylon Roem. et Schult.), a kind of evergreen, the word coming from the Arabic, where an oil is extracted from the seed. It is still used today in Moroccan cooking, and is also known as the “almond of Barbary.”