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Our Special Tonight Is Chien à la Gath

According to this Haaretz article, archeologist Aren Maeier has determined that the Philistines used different cooking methods—and ingredients—than their Israelite and Canaanite neighbors:

They prepared meals in a characteristic sealed pottery vessel suited to long cooking times at low heat, while most inhabitants of Canaan at the time used open pots and faster cooking methods. The bones found at the Philistine cities showed that their diet was also different from those of their neighbors. While the Canaanites and Israelites ate mainly beef and lamb, the Philistines ate mainly pork, with an occasional meal of dog meat. The Philistines’ wine culture was also very well-developed.

What’s more, even some of the neighboring peoples developed a taste for Philistine jambalaya:

In addition, the Philistine pots spread to other areas of Canaan. And, Maeir recalls, even the biblical stories of constant conflict between the Israelites and the Philistines has another side. “It’s true that Samson comes into conflict with the Philistines repeatedly,” Maeir said, “but on the other hand he also chooses Philistine wives – not once, but twice.

Dog meat aside, I wouldn’t mind checking out a good Philistine restaurant if there were one in my neighborhood. Since they came from the Aegean, the food might might be in some ways similar to the Greek cuisine I know and love.

(H/T: Claude Mariottini)

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