Anna Tambour presents 


The virtuous medlar circle
thoroughly bletted
a classic to enjoy rather than think you should have read
Garlic and Honey
a story
Tales of Nasr-ed-din Khoja
translated from the Turkish text
by Henry D. Barnham


A governor came to Akshehir who was rather eccentric.
     "If anyone knows a good dish," said he, 'I wish he would write out the recipe and we will make a Cookery Book."
     He made the suggestion to one of the principle men of the town, who passed it on to the Khoja.
     Next day the Khoja met this man and said, "Do you know I was thinking all night about what you told me.  I have invented a rare dish— one that no one has ever heard of—quite delicious!"
     When the man asked what it was, he said, "You must make a batter of garlic and honey."
     The man, who was a bit of a fool, went off at once, and happening to meet the Governor, said to him, "We have a Khoja in the town, a man of much experience and quite an original character." He then proceeded to give him the Khoja's recipe.
     Now, the Governor was by no means as intelligent as he was supposed to be.  He answered, "How extraordinary! You don't say so!" and at once hurried home and gave orders to the cook that he was to try it for supper.
     Of course it was disgusting.
     The Governor was very angry and told the man who had mentioned the Khoja to him, to bring him to Government House.
     "So you are the man who invented a dish of garlic and honey?" he asked.
     "Your humble servant," replied the Khoja, "unworthy though I be to have done such a thing."
     "Very well," said the Governor, and gave orders that he should be made to eat some on an empty stomach the next morning.
     As he turned it over in his mouth he made horrible grimaces at the nasty taste, and the Governor said, "What are you making those faces for?"   Enjoy yourself.  Take your fill of this dish you invented.  Perhaps it tastes differently to the man who made it."
     "Your Excellency!" said the Khoja,  "this invention of mine was only a theory.   I had never tasted the thing before.  Now I have, and I see that theory and practice are quite different things.  I don't like it, either."

The virtuous medlar circle

is part of
Anna Tambour and Others

"Garlic and Honey" is a story from Tales of Nasr-ed-din Khoja translated from the Turkish text by Henry D. Barnham, Nisbet & Co., London, 1923
The Khoja is my favourite guru, who first enlightened me thanks to Claudia Roden's masterpiece (and my all-time favourite cookbook), A New Book of Middle Eastern Food (1985 edition), which she generously larded with these very tales of the Khoja. Her classic has now been updated and enharged yet again.
"Garlic and Honey" is part of my "classic to enjoy, rather than think you should have read" series.
The Virtuous Medlar Circle contains pieces by people I find deliciously inspiring, always a hoot, and who write like a bletted medlar tastes. A.T.
The Virtuous Medlar Circle © 2004 - 2007