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University of Balamand > Academics > Faculties > School of Tourism and Hotel Management > News & Events > The Banquet of Old Times - Cuisine of Al-Kurah

The Banquet of Old Times - Cuisine of Al-Kurah

Date: November 1st, 2012

The School of Tourism and Hotel Management at the University of Balamand launched its new book: "The Banquet of Old Times - Cuisine of Al-Kurah" on Thursday November 1st, 2012. The event took place on the Ethnographic Museum Square on the Main Campus of the University. The book emphasizes the traditional and somewhat soon to be forgotten recipes of Al-Kurah cuisine illustrating its use of the "fruits of nature". The publication is not intended to be a typical cook book, it is a memoire! It includes an expansive introduction with a socio-anthropologic approach linking the cuisine of Al-Kurah at that time with people's habits, rituals and religious traditions. Highlighted upfront is an interview with an old timer (108 year-old man). The interview reports tales of the old days of the wheat and olive harvest seasons and the food preservation and storage for the winter. The interview is followed by three chapters: -soups, -appetizers, salads and Lenten food and -main courses. This set of traditional recipes reflects the way people made use of nature offerings. These recipes are simple, yet creative. The book's idea is the brainchild of Dr. Elie Salem, the President of the University of Balamand. Dr. Salem is passionate about ancient customs and traditions and he treasures the roots of the Lebanese culture. His main aim of the idea is to preserve the authentic, innovative and creative means that our ancestors used to make use of God's gifts and turn them into simple, nutritious and delicious dishes for our bodies and souls. It is with certainty that our ancestors lived a nature-dependent life that is simple, practical, customized and healthy. This life is worlds-apart from the fast-paced globalized world that we live in, a world that is governed by preservatives-filled materials. "The Banquet of Old Times - Cuisine of Al-Kurah" documents these recipes by a set of photos taken by the late artist Mario Saba. It employs both Arabic and English and it will surely appeal to people of different tastes and backgrounds.

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