Today marks the 7th Annual Logos Curry Cook-Off!
The very first Logos Curry Cook-Off occurred in early April, 2001, with Rick Brannan taking top honors and Eli Evans coming in a close second. I just dug back into my email folder and found a link to photos from the First-Ever Logos Curry Contest at Rick’s website. Seems like ancient history.
Of course, curry has a great history of its own—stretching back to biblical times no less! Peter & Colleen Grove write in their work Curry, Spice & All Things Nice,
“The earliest known recipe for meat in spicy sauce with bread appeared on tablets found near Babylon in Mesopotamia, written in cuniform text as discovered by the Sumerians, and dated around 1700 B.C., probably as an offering to the god Marduk.”
Curry is Cooking!In the first English cookbook, published in 1390, the word cury denotes cooking.
Our curry is enjoyed for its own sake, with no religious connotations except a prayer before the meal. But perhaps the Ancient Near East connection explains why we at Logos love curry so much! (I will be concerned, however, if Vincent Setterholm and Mike Heiser team up to decode the Sumerian cuneiform and enter Marduk Curry next year.)
The Grove book has a chapter devoted to the origins of curry, which includesan extensive discussion of the etymology of the word curry, the lineage of this noble food, and the following delightful poem by Thackeray. The authors introduce the poem thus:
“In 1780 the first commercial curry powder appeared and in 1846 its fame was assured when William Makepeace Thackeray wrote a ‘Poem to Curry’ in his ‘Kitchen Melodies’.”
Three pounds of veal my darling girl prepares,And chops it nicely into little squares; Five onions next prures the little minx (The biggest are the best, her Samiwel thinks), And Epping butter nearly half a pound, And stews them in a pan until they’re brown’d. What’s next my dexterous little girl will do? She pops the meat into the savoury stew, With curry-powder table-spoonfuls three, And milk a pint (the richest that may be), And, when the dish has stewed for half an hour, A lemon’s ready juice she’ll o’er it pour. Then, bless her! Then she gives the luscious pot A very gentle boil – and serves quite hot. PS – Beef, mutton, rabbit, if you wish, Lobsters, or prawns, or any kind fish,Are fit to make a CURRY. ‘Tis, when done, A dish for Emperors to feed upon.