The Arab System of Preparing Milk for Delicate Patients

Sir Baker’s culinary advice, as we have seen in past blogs,  ranged throughout a wide variety of topics – here, he expounds on the best way to prepare milk for ‘delicate patients.’  He is talking about his time in Eastern Sudan, where he and his wife travelled and lived about a year with both settled and nomadic groups in the area:

Baker, Samuel –The Nile Tributaries Of Abyssinia; And The Sword Of Hamran Arabs, 1867

Some persons dislike the milk of the camel; I think it  is excellent to drink pure, but it does not answer in general  use for mixing with coffee, with which it immediately  curdles; it is extremely rich, and is considered by the Arabs  to be more nourishing than that of the cow.

To persons of  delicate health I should invariably recommend boiled milk in  preference to plain; and should the digestion be so  extremely weak that liquid milk disagrees with the stomach,  they should allow it to become thick, similar to curds and  whey: this should be then beaten together, with the  admixture of a little salt and cayenne pepper; it then  assumes the thickness of cream, and is very palatable.

The  Arabs generally prepare it in this manner; it is not only  considered to be more wholesome, but in its thickened state  it is easier to carry upon a journey.

With an apology to  European medical men, I would suggest that they should try  the Arab system whenever they prescribe a milk diet for a  delicate patient. The first operation of curdling, which is a  severe trial to a weak stomach, is performed in hot climates  by the atmosphere, as in temperate climates by the  admixture of rennet, &c.; thus the most difficult work of the  stomach is effected by a foreign agency, and it is spared the  first act of its performance.

I have witnessed almost  marvellous results from a milk diet given as now advised.


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-East, Colonialism, Explorers & exploration, Health, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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