Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2004]
In a cookbook called International Cuisine, presented by California Home Economics Teachers, 1983 (ISBN 0-89626-051-8), you will find:
1 whole camel, medium size
1 whole lamb, large size
20 whole chickens, medium size
12 kilos rice
2 kilos pine nuts
2 kilos almonds
1 kilo pistachio nuts
110 gallons water
5 pounds black pepper
Salt to taste
Skin, trim and clean camel (once you get over the hump), lamb and chicken. Boil until tender. Cook rice until fluffy. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice. Hard boil eggs and peel. Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice. Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice. Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice. Broil over large charcoal pit until brown. Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts. Serves friendly crowd of
Shararazod Eboli Home Economist, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Origins: We're sorry our correspondent lost a friendly wager on our account, but her message was the first time we'd come across this item. We're happy for any excuse to spend a day browsing used bookstores, though!
A slight stumbling block was created by the fact that the ISBN provided was apparently assigned to more than one book, leaving Barbara quite puzzled about why I was so earnestly searching for a copy of Recipe Treasury:
Okay, so the recipe appears in a cookbook, but is it real or a joke?
Even for a dish as exotic as stuffed camel, this recipe looks like something designed for the purpose of pulling legs rather than creating meals. Consider the poor cooks who have to skin, trim, and clean a whole camel
Inside jokes abound in this recipe. The preparer is instructed to clean the camel "once you get over the hump." The list of ingredients helpfully includes
On the other hand, the Guinness Book of World Records has included a similar dish in their listings; however, they merely cite the recipe without documenting any instance of someone's actually having used it:
"You won't believe it," he said.
"Try me," I said, feeling a tug of intuition about the tale he was going to relate.
"I was working in Saudi Arabia," he continued. "There was a wedding of some sheik or other. And you won't believe what they wanted me to cook."
I knew in my gut, in my gastronomic soul, that what I had long hoped was true. That it wasn't just some wild traveler's tale designed to stir the imagination and not the pot. The ultimate cookout was a reality. The only thing that could possibly be greater would be to spit-roast a giant squid. My wildest culinary dream could come true. Sven, Allah bless him and may his tribe increase, had done it.
"I tell you no lie," he went on, sipping a cold one. "They wanted camel. I roasted a whole camel on a spit."
"Yes!" I cried. "Tell me everything." And he did. He told me how he stuffed the camel with six sheep, stuffed the sheep with chickens, and the chickens with fish. He told me how it took
We'll close by noting the similarity between the stuffed camel recipe and a joke about how to make elephant stew:
100 kilograms tomatoes
1000 kilograms potatoes
2 bags onions
100 kilograms salt
1 wheelbarrow onions (heaped)
10 liters vinegar
20 liters chutney
Hunt the elephant, warthog and guineafowl. Hang guineafowl to ripen. Cut elephant into edible chunks (will take about a month). Boil the warthog with other ingredients (except guineafowl) till nice and juicy. Now boil elephant chunks over high flames till tender (will take about
Produces about 3,500 helpings.
Note: If the above isn't enough, add the guineafowl as well.
Sterling, Richard. The Fearless Diner: Travel Tips and Wisdom for Eating Around the World. Travelers' Tales Inc., 1998. ISBN 1-885-21122-8 (pp. 7-8, 73). Young, Mark C. [editor] The Guinness Book of World Records 1997. Stamford, CT: Guinness Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-9652383-0-X (p. 200). International Cuisine. Orange, CA: California Management Services, 1983. ISBN 0-89626-051-8 (p. 106).