Murri is a condiment that plays a role in period Islamic
cooking similar to the role of soy sauce in modern Chinese and
Japanese cooking. It is made by an elaborate process that takes
several months, used, usually in small quantities, in many
different dishes. There is a period recipe for "Byzantine Murri,"
a substitute for real murri that can be made in a few hours—and a
period warning against using it. Despite the warning, that is what
Elizabeth and I have always used in period recipes that call for
I recently discovered that a lady in another kingdom (THL Adrianna
Stothard, mka T.J. Vestal) had been experimenting with making the
real thing from period recipes. So far as I know, she is the
second person in recent centuries to have done so, the first being
Charles Perry, translator of several period Arabic cookbooks and
one of my main sources of information on the subject. She sent me
an article to web. Also two jars, one of the Iraqi version of
murri, one of the Maghrebi version, currently sitting in my
refrigerator while we decide which period recipes to try them in.
And as soon as my fig trees finish leafing out ... .
Here is the article.