By Andrew Jotischky
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Extra info for A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages
Locusts and various kinds of grasshoppers are found throughout the world. Although they can be pests for agricultural communities, they have also been harvested as food by native Americans, Africans, Indians and Persians. Herodotus describes the Parthians crushing the locusts into a kind of powder and baking them into small cakes. In Asia they are most commonly eaten today deep fried, sometimes ﬁrst marinated in soy sauce. Besides, it would have made good sense from a dietary point of view for John the Baptist, or other eremitical monks, to have eaten locusts.
Above all, the abbot was to be – as indeed the name abba suggests – the father of the monks, his relationship with them mirroring that of God to his people. Beginnings – who were the ﬁrst monks? 23 SOURCES OF EVIDENCE: HOW DO WE KNOW? Most of what we know about early monasticism comes from a smallish group of texts initially written in Greek, some of which were then translated into other languages in use in different regions of the Near East, or on which different versions in other languages were subsequently based.
Everyone knows, or used to know, that John the Baptist lived on locusts and wild honey. Such a diet is not implausible, for both are readily available in the Jordan Valley where he preached. Locusts, along with grasshoppers, crickets, ants and beetles are eaten across the world and relished in many cultures, especially in North America and Asia. 22) permitted the eating of locusts, bald locusts, beetles and grasshoppers. Locusts and various kinds of grasshoppers are found throughout the world. Although they can be pests for agricultural communities, they have also been harvested as food by native Americans, Africans, Indians and Persians.
A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages by Andrew Jotischky