Considers how Arab and Islamic culinary culture may be represented in literary forms. Scholars of the medieval Islamic period are keenly aware of the importance of food and wine as themes in literature. Van Gelder's witty and subtle approach teases the most out of texts as well as enabling the reader to enjoy a panorama of medieval Arabo-Islamic culture from a most unexpected, yet immediately appreciable, perspective.
'A concise, erudite and attractively written study … Van Gelder's adab-like comilation about adab has the merit of its forebears in being both highly entertaining and instructive, and thus of benefit to both specialists and general readers interested in the history and literary portrayal of food. It is a rich mine of information and constitutes, behind an appearance of light-heartedness and ease, an academic tour-de-force.' - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society