Food culture in Ibn Battuta's travelogue

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Yilmaz A., ÖNÇEL S., Yolal M.

Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites, vol.22, no.2, pp.470-479, 2018 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.30892/gtg.22216-303
  • Journal Name: Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.470-479
  • Keywords: Food culture, Ibn Battuta, Travelogue
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Travelogues are valuable information sources about the period they were written. Ibn Battuta of Tangiers, Morocco, is a famous traveler of the 14th century. In his travelogue, Ibn Battuta exhibits a rich variety of information on the people, social life, beliefs and traditions of the period in the lands he travelled. The purpose of this study was to make an account of food culture in the medieval ages on the basis of Ibn Battuta's travelogue. The reason for choosing Ibn Battuta's travelogue as the basis of this study was his extensive travels starting from Africa to Middle East, Asia Minor, Europe and Asia in the 14th century. For the purpose of the study, a content analysis was conducted to determine the words about food, beverages, kitchenware used for cooking, ingredients of recipes, names of the dishes, cooking types, serving and materials for keeping food, jobs related to cooking, and places of eating mentioned in Ibn Battuta's travelogue. The lexicon was grouped on the basis of themes. A total of 13 themes were identified which were labeled as grains, flour and baked products, legumes, meat, seafood, milk and dairy products, aromatic herbs, spices and sweeteners, oily fruits and oils, fruits and vegetables, desserts, beverages, kitchenware and others. Findings revealed that factors such as geographical features, peoples' habits, economic conditions and religion influenced the food culture greatly. Conclusions were drawn on the basis of findings.