The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered a world classic. Some would designate it the first novel written and others an example of how basic human concerns haven’t changed for thousands of years. The ancient scribes and story-tellers, I suspect, anticipated none of this for their tale. It was a religious story, perhaps taken as literally as some now take the Bible. However you understand it, the Epic is part of the foundation of civilization itself. I have to admit my Akkadian is rusty—I never had the opportunity to teach anywhere that I could regularly exercise it. Still, I’m pretty certain that no one involved in one of the many versions of the tale that have survived would’ve expected it might end up on a rolling pin.
Back in December I wrote about Farrell Monaco’s Gilgamesh Epic column 5 rolling pin. Her blog, Tavola Mediterranea features culinary archaeology—a good fit for these foodie times. Having somehow found my blog, she kindly sent me a Gilgamesh rolling pin. It was, in fact, one of the packages I wrote about a few days ago that was tracked as delivered but never arrived. There’s no telling how long it will take to sort the Post Office out after Trump tried to destroy it so he could start the steal. I was told it had been delivered in early January—not in time for Christmas itself, but still in the gingerbread season. I called our local PO with the tracking number and was told it had been delivered. If sent to the wrong house I’d have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Last week, after I’d completely given up hope, it arrived. Since, like many overfed Americans, I’m trying to wean myself off holiday excess back to my usual austere diet, it may be the next Christmas season before I get a chance to use it. Still, the thoughtfulness of the gesture is deeply appreciated. Anything that connects us so palpably to our ancient forebears is truly a gift. If my career (if that’s what you call it) had gone a slightly different way, I might’ve ended up spending it with Gilgamesh. As it is, I still turn to the Epic for inspiration now and again. I wrote a couple of articles in the last couple of years where Gilgamesh makes part of the argument. Now I’ve got something tangible to prove it! Take a trip over to Tavola Mediterranea and see what wonders edible history holds.