Medieval Egyptian cottage cheese

This recipe for qanbarīs (قنبريس) from The Sultan’s Feast requires vinegar and milk. After boiling the vinegar, the milk is poured in and then the mixture is left overnight to coagulate. It was a particular favourite of the author, who added that some people could not enjoy their food unless there was cheese on the table. Qanbarīs was often sold dried and then dissolved when needed. According to a 13th-century Syrian cookbook, the best kind came from Baalbek, the city in Lebanon’s Beqaa valley best known for its magnificent Roman temple complex.

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