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Period Sicily. References.

 

NOTE: See also the files: Normans-msg, Italy-msg, pirates-msg, Middle-East-msg, Moors-msg, fd-Italy-msg, blacks-msg, fish-msg, fd-Sicily-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 15:38:00 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Rice in period?

 

> I love that great Muslim/Sicilian connection! And the rulers of that

> kingdom were ostensibly Norman, weren't they? What a wonderful

> concatenation of cultures! Can anyone recommend a resource (books are fine)

> with info on this period? It would be fun to have a bunch of Italian,

> Norman, Muslim, etc. personae (such as some people i know in real life)

> who can relate to each other in one period.

>

> Anahita

 

The Normans took the island from the Arabs in 1091 and lost it to the French

in 1194.  The French lost it to Aragon in a rebellion that began with the

Sicilian Vespers on the evening of March 31, 1282.

 

I would recommend reading Pomp and Sustenance, a cookbook of Sicilian

cooking.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 20:13:22 -0400

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd  at gate.net>

Subject: SC - Re: Was Rice in period? Now Norman is that You?

 

Was Written:

>I love that great Muslim/Sicilian connection! And the rulers of that

>kingdom were ostensibly Norman, weren't they? What a wonderful

>concatenation of cultures! Can anyone recommend a resource (books are fine)

>with info on this period?

 

Try "The Norman Fate, 1100-1154" David C. Douglas, U of California Press,

1976, ISBN: 0-520-03027-3, Library of Congress Cat. Card 75-13155 and his

follow on volume "The Normal Achievment".

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 01:48:42 EDT

From: DianaFiona  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Rice in period?

 

TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<<

I would recommend reading Pomp and Sustenance, a cookbook of Sicilian

cooking.

 

Bear >>

    Ah, *that's* the name! I was blanking entirely. Lovely book, with lots of

interesting info--but no really well documented period recipes. Closest I

remember is an eggplant dish purported to be from the 1500s (?), with the

eggplant sliced in half, removed from the skin, cooked and mashed, seasoned,

and replaced in the (Sautˇed) shells, and drizzled with honey before serving.

Made the dish a time or two, but it's been a while, so I may have forgotten a

lot of details........... ;-)

 

                Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 06:45:46 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Rice in period?

 

>   Ah, *that's* the name! I was blanking entirely. Lovely book, with lots of

> interesting info--but no really well documented period recipes. Closest I

> remember is an eggplant dish purported to be from the 1500s (?), with the

> eggplant sliced in half, removed from the skin, cooked and mashed, seasoned,

> and replaced in the (Sautˇed) shells, and drizzled with honey before serving.

> Made the dish a time or two, but it's been a while, so I may have

> forgotten a lot of details........... ;-)

>

>                 Ldy Diana

 

There are a few historical recipes among the quotes and the author is

completely honest about her modern sources.  She's definitely not trying to

recreate medieval cooking.  I happened to find the historical commentary and

the quotations more interesting than the recipes.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 12:46:31 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: SC - OOP - Sicilian eggplant dishes (long)

 

> TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US writes:

> <<

>  I would recommend reading Pomp and Sustenance, a cookbook of Sicilian

>  cooking.

>

>  Bear >>

>     Ah, *that's* the name! I was blanking entirely. Lovely book, with lots of

> interesting info--but no really well documented period recipes. Closest I

> remember is an eggplant dish purported to be from the 1500s (?), with the

> eggplant sliced in half, removed from the skin, cooked and mashed, seasoned,

> and replaced in the (Sautˇed) shells, and drizzled with honey before serving.

> Made the dish a time or two, but it's been a while, so I may have

> forgotten a lot of details........... ;-)

>

>                 Ldy Diana

 

Actually, I think you are mixing two dishes, caponata and tabacchiere di

melanzane.  Neither has any date attached to them, however, they are

preceded by some recipes originally attributed Mohammed ibn Itmnah, Emir of

Catania with notes on the derivation of her more modern versions.

 

I'm not overly fond of eggplant, but these look tasty.

 

Bear

 

Caponata (Sweet and Sour Eggplant) serves 6

 

2 medium large eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds)

salt

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1 medium onion sliced

6 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch lengths and blanced for 1 minute in boiling

water

1 cup pitted green olives

1/2 cup capers

1 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional)

3/4 cup toasted almonds

 

Wash the eggplants, cut off the stems, and cut the eggplants into 3/4 inch

cubes.  Sprinkle with abundant salt and allow to drain for an hour.  Rinse

well, dry, and fry in 1 cup olive oil until golden brown on all sides.

Drain on absorbent paper.

 

Saute the onion in 1/2 cup olive oil until it begins to color.  Add the

blanched celery and cook a minute longer, then add the olives, capers,

tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, and the cocoa if you like. Simmer for 5

minutes.

 

Stir in the eggplant and simmer for 10 minutes.  Correct the salt, the

refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

Serve the caponata, sprinkled with toasted alomonds, either cold or at room

teperature.

 

Note:  The addition of cocoa, a very baroque, Spanish touch, renders the

caponata richer in color and in consistency.  Since my own personal

preferences run to things simple, I usually leave it out.

 

According to one book the chefs of the aristocracy would also serve caponata

"sprinklled with bottarga, tuna roe, hard-boiled egg yolk, all reduced to a

powder; crumbled hard-boiled egg whites, tiny octupus boiled and chopped,

small shrimps, boned sardines in oil, and all the shellfish you wish."  I

find the idea appalling and recommend confining oneself to a liberal

sprinkling of toasted almond slivers.

 

Tabacchiere di Melanzane (Eggplant snuffboxes)  Serves 6

 

3 smallish eggplants

salt

1 medium onion

1/2 cup olive oil

10 anchovy fillets

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup parsley

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup capers

1 cup toasted breadcrumbs

1/3 cup finely dice salami (optional)

2 or 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy

2 cups dried bread crumbs

vegetable oil for frying

 

Wash the eggplants, remove the stems, cut in half vertically, and hollow out

each half, leaving 1/2 inch shells.  Put both the shells and the pulp to

soak in salted water for 2 hours.  Rinse and drain. Blanch the shells in

boiling water for about 5 minutes and drain.

 

Mince or grate the onion, then saute it in 1/2 cup olive oil until soft.

Roughly chop the pulp of the eggplant and add it to the onion.  Saute for

about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

 

Cook the anchovies in 1 teaspoon oil over steam until creamy.*  Mince the

parsley, the garlic and the capers, then add along with the anchovies to the

eggplant-and-onion mixture.  Stir in the toasted breadcrumbs and salami, if

using it.  Blend thoroughly, adding a little oil if necessary to make a

fairly compact filling.

 

Fill the eggplant shells with the pulp-an-crumb mixture, pressing down to

make it as compact as possible.  Bind the stuffed shells by dipping both

sides in the beaten egg whites and then in the dried bread crumbs.  Make

sure they are well coated.

 

Fry the eggplant in 1/4 inch hot oil until well browned on each side.  Be

sure to begin frying with the filling side down, even though this takes

careful handling; otherwise escaping air bubbles will crack the crust.  Turn

and fry the skin side.  Drain on absorbent paper and serve at room

temperature.

 

*In a seperate pan or double boiler (I always use a small double-handled

frying pan that will sit on top of my spaghetti pot), cook the anchovies

together with one teaspoon of olive oil, stirring them until they dissolve

into a ceam.  This must be done over steam and not over the direct flame,

lest the anchovies turn bitter.

 

Recipes are taken from:  Simeti, Mary Taylor, Pomp an Sustenance,

Twenty-five Centuries of Sicilian Food; Knopf, New York, 1989.  Currently

available from The Ecco Press as a trade paperback, $19.95.  ISBN

0-88001-610-8

 

 

From: David Friedman <ddfr  at best.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Dress in Fatimid Sicily-10th century

Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 04:51:02 GMT

 

maridonna  at worldnet.att.net wrote:

> I am searching for male and female dress in Fatimid Sicily in the 10th

> century. I cannot find anything on the net, and have searched the major

> costume sites. If you know of any book sources, please let me know. The

> costume books I have ignore that part of the world and concentrate on

> Byzantine dress.

 

There is a cathedral ceiling in Palermo that shows male dress and can be

found in a fair number of books. I'm not sure of the date.

--

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Medieval.html

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 11:04:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue  at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mediterranean food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

 

-----Original Message-----

From: "Phil Troy/ G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius  at verizon.net>

Didn't the Normans also hold Sicily, or part of it, for a while,

before then? That might well have been a factor, as well, if the

cuisine of modern Normandy is any indication.

 

Adamantius

 

Yes, indeed, the Normans did hold Sicily for awhile. In researching my

own family's history, I found out that Corleone had originally been an

Arab village called Qr'lani. When the Arabs were finally expelled from

power (although many chose to remain on the island), William II, one of

the Sicilian Norman kings and perhaps the best well known, had Corleone

resettled with Lombards. I kept wondering why so many damn red heads

with hazel blue or green eyes kept popping up in my grandmother's line.

 

Gianotta

 

 

From: SNSpies  at aol.com

Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004  4:30:31 PM US/Central

To: SCALibrarians  at topica.com

Subject: [SCALibrarians] looking for another book

 

I have need of your expertise once again in finding a location for a book that my local librarians have not be able to find.  That, and a journal article, both of which I am in great need of for my research.  If you can help, you have my undying gratitude.

 

Abbas, Ihsan, ed.  "A Biographical Dictionary of Sicilian Learned Men and Poets."  Beirut, 1994.

 

Stern, Samuel M.  "A Twelfth-Century Circle of Hebrew Poets in Sicily". In 'Journal of Jewish Studies' 5 (1954).

  

Nancy

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nancy Spies

Arelate Studio

www.weavershand.com/ArelateStudio.html

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 11:41:21 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-Cooks] Wikipedia article on Medieval Cuisine

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

> "various European cultures during the Middle Ages, a period roughly  

> dating from the 5th to the 16th century."

> Where was it still the "Middle Ages" in the 1500s?

> De

 

The latifondi (feudal estates) of Sicily. Feudal perquisites were not  

abolished in Sicily until the Napeleonic occupation of Naples and the  

Bourbon crown's residency in Palermo. Although the workers of the  

land were technically free tenants, the taxes and rents set by the  

local barons were so high, they were pretty much bound to their land  

by default. And their cuisine, such as it was, was decidedly  

medieval ? the famous dish of maccu was the Sicilian peasant's pease  

porridge, possibly eaten since Roman times.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 18:46:35 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Scapece,       samak musakbaj ... just something I

        came across

To: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>,

        Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Adamantius had said:

> There's this interesting transposition of consonants we sometimes run

> across in foods when translated between different languages, or

> sometimes perhaps by scribal error, but for example, you've got cloves

> gilofre, cloves girofle, and cloves gillyflower, which sometimes are,

> and sometimes are not, the same thing (but they're generally either

> the spice clove or the clove pink flower, and usually the former). I

> believe I've seen a similar transposition between ascipium and aspic,

> although at the moment I couldn't swear to it.

 

Actually, there was free-flowing transposition of words in Norman and  

Hohenstaufen Sicily in Southern Italy between Arabic, Greek, and  

Latin. The diwan documents analyzed by Jeremy Johns shows this. For  

example, there was a special tax imposed by the Muslim conquerors on  

non-Muslims (dhmimmi) called the jizya. In Norman Sicily, it was the  

Muslims who became the dhimmi, so to speak, and they had to pay the  

jizya ? which was transformed into "gesia" in Latin.

 

Another small example: one document refers to a Greek and his vendor  

wife Setelchousoun (at least that's how the Latin translated her  

name). In Arabic, it was, "Sitt al Husn," (Mistress of Beauty). She  

must have been a looker. Other names got transliterated too:  

Abderrachmen instead of Abd' al Achmen, for example.

 

The scribes did the best that they could do. Frederick's  

administrators mostly used Latin, but there were some documents still  

coming out in Arabic.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 12:46:24 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pasta sauce (was Re: A couple of

        questions)

 

On Dec 13, 2009, at 1:21 PM, I wrote:

<<< The "fresh cheeses dripping with butter and milk on all sides," what kind of cheese do you think he was referring to? It certainly doesn't sound like Parmesan. Taking a look at the Florilegium and the cheese entries there, could Landi have been referring to a mascarpone? >>>

 

Adamantius replied:

<<< I would think it's something in a cohesive mass, but barely. Buffalo-milk mozzarella? >>>

 

You know, I think you have something there. Reading about the history of water buffalo in Italy, there are theories that the animal was introduced to the mainland by the Norman Sicilians, where they had been introduced to the island by the Arabs.

 

More about that at http://www.mozzarelladop.it/

 

Adelisa

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org