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Food is vital to human existence, but perspectives about food have altered from food as an intrinsic exigency to food as a pleasurable luxury. This change runs in tandem with the birth and flourish of recipe writing. This paper looks at recipe writing in Arabic, an aspect that has been overlooked despite the ubiquitous nature of food and food preparation in the Arab world. It brings to light the verbal resources employed in Arabic culinary writing, such as the use of a type of modern standard Arabic which tolerates certain features not allowed in the “high” (or literary) variety of Arabic; the various tenses and voice, such as the present, the imperative in feminine form, and the passive; and the existence, rather than lack, of direct objects in the structure of sentences. The paper goes on to relate these linguistic features to cultural aspects of food preparation in Arab society.

Keywords: gastronomic register, recipe writing, linguistic analysis, Arabic recipe, Arabic language, Moroccan Arabic.

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