Laura Kelley, author of The Silk Road Gourmet, has challenged fellow chefs, ancient historians and food enthusiasts to compete in the first ever Ancient Mesopotamian Cookoff Challenge. Participants are invited to make dishes inspired by recipes preserved in the cuneiform tablets of ancient Mesopotamia. Featured recipes include Meat with Wild Licorice, Lamb with Barley and Mint, and Mersu, an ancient dish filled with dates and pistachio nuts. There’s only one catch: The recipes typically include only the ingredients, with little mention of amounts or directions, meaning chefs will be putting their own spin on what Mesopotamian food looked, smelled and tasted like. The competition began August 1 and will wrap up September 30.
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