Recreating Ancient Recipes With VAWAA - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Gastro Obscura

Recreating Ancient Recipes With VAWAA

$235 per person Online Experience
3 sessions
Up to 25 people
See Dates
$235 per person
$235 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this 3-part seminar, become a culinary archaeologist as we recreate dishes from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Rome, and the Mediterranean Middle Ages.

Course Description

Join Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) along with archaeologist and culinary historian Ursula Janssen and learn the art of recreating ancient dishes.

Together, we’ll turn our kitchens into vessels for gastronomic time travel, using historical recipes and modern ingredients to create dishes from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Rome, and the Mediterranean Middle Ages. We’ll focus on the Middle East, Southern Europe, and the Mediterranean region, tracing ancient foodways and trade routes along the Mediterranean Sea and the lasting legacy they had on several regional cuisines. From Babylonian fowl pie to Mustacei, we’ll treat each recipe we cover as a portal to the past, looking at the traditions, culinary innovations, and societal values it was steeped in. We’ll explore how various foods, cooking methods, and notions of “healthy eating” were viewed across time, and what a profession in the food industry of yore may have entailed. By the end of the course, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of ancient Babylonian, Roman, and Mediterranean cuisines, but also the knowledge and skills to weave elements of them into your own cooking practice.

Gastro Obscura Courses: delving deep into the world’s culinary curiosities with expert instructors.

Syllabus At A Glance

There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 2 hours.

Section A: Meets on Saturdays beginning September 25, skipping October 2 and October 9.

Session 1 (Saturday, 9/25, 12–2 PM ET): Babylonian: Fowl pie and Mersu

-two weeks off-

Session 2 (Saturday, 10/16, 12–2 PM ET): Ancient Rome: Mustacei and Alexandrian gourds

Session 3 (Saturday, 10/23, 12–2 PM ET): Mediterranean Middle Ages: Itriyya and hummus

Section B: Meets on Saturdays beginning November 6.

Session 1 (Saturday, 11/6, 12–2 PM ET): Babylonian: Fowl pie and Mersu

Session 2 (Saturday, 11/13, 12–2 PM ET): Ancient Rome: Mustacei and Alexandrian gourds

Session 3 (Saturday, 11/20, 12–2 PM ET): Mediterranean Middle Ages: Itriyya and hummus

Between Sections

Students will be given suggested readings to do outside of class. 

Course Materials

 A detailed ingredients and materials list will be sent to students closer to the start of this course.

Pricing Options

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
VAWAA & Ursula Janssen
VAWAA & Ursula Janssen

Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA) is a platform to discover and book mini-apprenticeships with remarkable artists and makers around the world – from pottery in Joshua Tree, weaving and textile dyeing in Oaxaca to culinary food preservation in Newfoundland.

Ursula is an archaeologist, cook and author, passionate about sustainability. For years, Ursula worked on excavation projects in Syria, Turkey and Egypt, where she often lived in small, traditional villages and picked up a variety of recipes and traditional food preparation techniques. Historic methods of producing and cooking food inspire Ursula academically, but also motivate her lifestyle. She believes that looking back to traditional cooking techniques also encourages getting back to a more sustainable way of living. She lives in Southern Italy where she grows most of her own food, eats fresh ingredients seasonally, raises chickens, makes wine and olive oil, and in her spare time, practices archery!

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at experiences@atlasobscura.com if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.

Group Size

There are 25 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
  • Sat, Nov 6, 2021
    12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
    $235
    Get Tickets