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feasts-fish-msg – 3/7/09

 

Serving fish at SCA feasts. Menu suggestions.

 

NOTE: See also these files: fish-msg, seafood-msg, meat-smoked-msg, soup-msg, fried-foods-msg, feasts-msg, stockfish-msg, sausages-msg, sauces-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: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 17:16:22 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Fish recipes

 

Kerri Canepa wrote:

> As I was browsing through the menus in Menagier, I couldn't help notice the

> preponderance of fish dishes. And that was on the meat day menus.

 

Le Menagier seems to be somewhat unique in containing a couple of dishes

calling for both meat and fish together; the meat tile, made of veal or

poultry sauced with a crayfish-flavored almond sauce, and garnished with

the tails, is one example, but there are others, I believe.

 

> I'm curious. Has anyone used fish dishes in the feasts they prepare? Even here

> in Alaska, salmon and halibut capital of the north, fish does not hit the

> feast menu very often.

>

> If you have included fish recipes in feasts, how many did you prepare? How did

> the feast attendees respond to them?

 

Generally rather well. Favorites include the aforementioned meat tile

(but I made it with shrimp), the cuminee de poissons from Le Menagier de

Paris, roast salmon with cameline sauce, and saumon gentil from one of

the early Forme of Cury proto-manuscripts somewhere in Curye on

Inglyshe. The last one is a sort of quenelle, we served it with a green

sauce. I've also had great success with mussels in a vinegar/butter

broth, found, IIRC, in Gervase Markham's "The English Huswife".

 

I serve enough for everyone to have around 3 ounces sans shell, skin,

bones, etc., on the assumption there are a few who won't eat any at all,

and those who like the stuff will pig out, more or less.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 15:39:55 -0600

From: "Karen O" <kareno at lewistown.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Fish recipes

 

>I'm curious. Has anyone used fish dishes in the feasts they prepare? Even

here in Alaska, salmon and halibut capital of the north, fish does not hit

the feast menu very often.

>If you have included fish recipes in feasts, how many did you prepare? How

did the feast attendees respond to them?

 

    My Dearest Cedrin,

 

    The one memorable fish course I had was at a Loch Salann Solstice  -- we

had whole salmons cooked in a steamer/commercial pressure cooker thingy.

DEE LICIOUS!!!

 

The event was at a National Guard Armoury, so we had a very

large/commercial kitchen and the salmon were rock hard frozen solid just

hours prior to feast,  and perfectly cooked when served. I know,  *I*

couldn't get enough, and there was plenty to be had  ** served with a

delicate dill cream sauce**   Unfortunately I wasn't involved with that

part of the feast prep, and don't know how/what was done.

 

    Caointiarn

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 23:39:02 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Fish recipes

 

kerric at pobox.alaska.net writes:

<< Has anyone used fish dishes in the feasts they prepare? >>

 

Yes, Both myself and HTL Thorstein has prepared and included fish dishes in

at least one course of every feast for the past few years. The dishes have

ranged from simple fried fish to eel pies. They dishes were over-all well

received.

 

<< If you have included fish recipes in feasts, how many did you prepare? >>

 

How many dishes? Fish? Assuming you mean dishes here, the usual practice here

is to include only one fish dish in the menu.

 

<<How did the feast attendees respond to them?>>

 

The response is variable with those liking fish raving and those not liking

fish showing little emotion or comment.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 09:30:54 -0400

From: Mary_HallSheahan at ademco.com

Subject: Re: SC - Fish recipes

 

Ostgardr regularly includes smoked whiting at late-winter feasts (partly

that's because we have access to the Brooklyn Terminal Market where many

miraculous things can be had at reasonable prices).

 

At the first (and so far only) feast I cooked, we served fish with an

egredouce sauce.  Frozen filets for convenience, whatever they had in bulk

at the Price Club.  We'd intended to fry them but due to kitchen

limitations we baked them instead.  I aimed at one small filet per person,

because this was as part of a 9-dish feast and portions of each individual

dish were kept small.  Egredouce is a godly sauce--it can be made ahead of

time, canned if necessary, goes well with a variety of meats, and reheats

like a dream.)

 

I've also seen mussels in a spiced broth served at an event, unfortunately

one mussel had a baby crab INSIDE the mussel...one of the scary-looking

crabs not a typically eaten crab--and a scientifically-fascinated server

wandered around showing it to everyone.  Her presentation kind of killed my

appetite for the dish that day...

 

Emme

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 17:57:12 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Is Medieval Food Yucky?

 

THLRenata at aol.com wrote:

> I will be teaching a class at Great Western War III entitled "Is Medieval

> Food Yucky?", based in part on some discussions from this list about a year

> ago.

>

> The class is a discussion of some of the myths about medieval and

> Current-Middle-Ages food and the de-bunking thereof.

>

> I was hoping that some of the feast-mavens here would share some of their

> adventures in this area, like how they got 200 people to eat _______ and like

> it.

 

I had great success a few years ago with the cominee de poissons from Le

Menagier de Paris. This was at an EK Twelfth Night, and you haven't

lived until you've tried to get 400 Easterners (except perhaps for the

Carolingians and the Ostgardrians, in whose territories reside the two

big wholesale fish markets of the East Coast) to eat fish.

 

The cominee sauce ended up tasting a bit like a Singapore-style curry,

with ginger, saffron, pepper, almond milk, and, of course, copious

amounts of cumin. We then garnished the sauced fish (cod), pretty much

as a joke, with those awful canned fried onion rings which we happened

to have in our feast stores. I think one person complained, and the rest

pretty much inhaled the stuff with a sort of whooshing noise.

 

Of course the one who complained ended up as Queen a short time later;

it made things a bit interesting for me for a year or so...

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 09:02:23 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Can medieval food be heart-smart?

 

ChannonM at aol.com writes:

<< However, unsauced, non breaded or [non]-deep fried

fish is not what I have seen as being welcomed at feasts and I guess that's

what I was alluding to. I >>

 

The first time I served fish at a feast it was plain whiting fillets deep

fried. There was none left at any of the tables although a rounded platter of

it was served at each table. King Ruslan came back to the kitchen to ask it

there was any he could take home with him. The 'no fish' at a feast thing is

simply no more than a myth.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 08:44:06 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Let them eat fish! was Re: SC - Can medieval food be heart-smart?

 

hi all from Anne-Marie

 

You know, I was always told that "SCA people wont eat fish". And we have

two avowed piscatorially challenged individuals in our Culinary Guild. THis

not withstanding, every time we've served fish it got gobbled up. Now,

granted, we are VERY careful about the type (salmon and prawns vastly

preferred over cod and mussles, apparently), and did it in a very non

threatening way, but folks seemed to enjoy it.

 

For the perioide feast at Council of Crowns we had a few years back, we

served salmon and steamed mussels to great applause, and these were the

Kigns and Queens of the Known World (ie fighters and their gals). We also

served asparagus and notorious fortune cookies, but that's another story :).

 

But then, we get requests for seconds on salat, for gawds sake :).

 

So I would say that SCA people will eat fish, but I would suggest that it

not be the only meat, so those true carnivores out there can skip it and

still have a nice meal.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 09:27:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: Jeanne Stapleton <apiskp at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: Let them eat fish! was Re: SC - Can medieval food be  heart-smart?

 

> For the perioide feast at Council of Crowns we had a few years back, we

> served salmon and steamed mussels to great applause, and these were the

> Kings and Queens of the Known World (ie fighters and their gals). We also

> served asparagus and notorious fortune cookies, but that's another story :).

 

...and it was *excellent*, as this satisfied consumer

can state.  The poached salmon made into a dragon

with cucumber scales was particularly fetching.

 

> But then, we get requests for seconds on salat, for gawds sake :).

 

Rorik did say, "Why are their flowers in my salad?"

but I ate all of mine and all of his.  Again, excellent.

 

> So I would say that SCA people will eat fish, but I would suggest that it

> not be the only meat, so those true carnivores out there can skip it and

> still have a nice meal.

 

Most people I personally know will relish well-

prepared salmon.  I know a few who won't touch any

kind of fish, even canned tuna, but they tend to

also be the ones who don't like any but the very

blandest of food.

 

Berengaria

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 14:04:21 -0700

From: "Kathleen A. Roberts" <karobert at unm.edu>

Subject: Re: Christianity in SCA cookery. was Re: [Sca-cooks]

      pre-Columbian     foods

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

 

--On Wednesday, November 05, 2003 2:51 PM -0600 "Pixel, Goddess and Queen"

<pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com> wrote:

> Anybody who's actually served fish at a feast care to comment?

 

i have done salmon a number of times (when i could find it on sale for 2.99

lb... yes, it happens... or if it was a small feast) with good results.

used master huen's recipe 'to seeth fresh salmon' and it was a big hit.

 

once i cheated (period-wise) and used salmon pate from a local tiny bistro

as 'a little dad will do ya' on an appetizer plate.   they rough chopped

the ingredients on request, i had hubby pick it up that a.m., and it cost

me less than if i would have tried to make it myself!  of course, folks

were licking the plate on that one.

 

confession?  never been brave enuf to try a white fish... tho pickled

herring might find a place on an 'appetizer' course one day.

 

cailte

now new mexican born in maryland

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 16:11:30 EST

From: BaronessaIlaria at aol.com

Subject: Re: Christianity in SCA cookery. was Re: [Sca-cooks]

      pre-Columbian     foods

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

In a message dated 11/5/2003 4:05:56 PM Eastern Standard Time,

karobert at unm.edu writes:

> Anybody who's actually served fish at a feast care to comment?

Not long ago I served the Cazuela de Salmon from de Nola that was posted on

this list and it was extremely well received. We even had a couple of folks

rumaging in the fridge during the night looking for leftovers.

 

I know that fish has been served here in Trimaris at other events as  

well, but I don't recall any specific comments about it.

 

Ilaria

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 21:18:06 +0000

From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: Christianity in SCA cookery. was Re: [Sca-cooks]

      pre-Columbianfoods

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> On Wed, 5 Nov 2003, Susan Fox-Davis wrote:

>> OK, steering this all back on topic:  what about Christian dietary laws

>> and why don't we ever seem to bother with them in the SCA?  I keep

>> trying to serve fish during Lent and all I get are complaints.  O

>> Tempura, O Morays! <grin, duck, run really fast!>

>>

>> Selene Colfox

>

> Hmmm. Well, around here we've had a Princess who was deathly allergic to

> fish, thus, no fish served at feasts during her reigns. Other than that, I

> think part of the reason is that for most people, fish=tuna salad,

> fish=tuna hotdish, fish=fish sticks, or fish=hyper-expensive swordfish

> steak. Also, fish is quite expensive here in the heartland. When I  

> bought

> for this last 12th night, I got pork butt for $.99/lb, but the cheapest

> fish I could get was salmon at $4.99/lb.

>

> Anybody who's actually served fish at a feast care to comment?

>

> Margaret

 

We made a star gazey pie for high table a while back.  Not only did none of

it come back, they came to the kitchen and asked for more.  When told we

only had made the one, they asked for the recipe!  For this occasion I made

it with fillets of fish instead of whole fish.  I wrapped the bacon to cover

the whole fillet and added a whole clove to not only act as the "eye" but to

hold that end of bacon in place.

 

We occasionally serve fillets of salmon and they are well recieved with

little returning to the kitchen.

 

I have been toying with some variations on making individual star gazey

pocket pies for buffets.

 

I will say that if anyone on this list is ever going to make something for

Mary Grace of Gatlain to eat, just make a star gazey pie and stand back!

 

Olwen

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 15:19:23 -0600

From: dailleurs at liripipe.com

Subject: Re: Christianity in SCA cookery. was Re: [Sca-cooks]

      pre-Columbian     foods

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

      the SCA"    <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

hey all from Anne-Marie

 

we frequently serve fish in camp, especially on Fridays (Fast day and

all that ;)) but I've found in the SCA, fish tends to be snubbed,  

except salmon for some reason. FOlks will inhale salmon but say "they  

dont like fish".

 

problem is we have two of our active cooks who have such a strong  

dislike for anything piscatorially inclined ;) that they cant stand to

have it cooked while they're in the kitchen.

 

Also, we've found it can be tricky to prepare fish well in bulk (ie for  

100+ diners). you dont want to over cook it, and unlike a roast that  

can sit and cool a bit and still be nice, tepid fish can be rather  

unhappy.

 

We had good results though by placing large salmon fillets (we can get

the stuff megacheap here in seattle, year round) in shallow pans with

poaching liquid, etc, cover them in foil and bake. As long as the pan

is covered they didnt tend to dry out, and gentle poaching seems to  

keep them from getting rubbery. We left the covered pans on a warm  

griddle to keep them warm until they were ready to serve, and they were  

dished up in preheated heavy ceramic plates (we ran them through the  

commercial dishwasher just before serving)

 

We've also done shrimp things for feasts, but that was really touchy  

(over cook them and they turn VERY rubbery). We planned on a small  

serving per person (like 3 large prawns) as only one small tidbit in a

much larger meal, and figured about 1/3 of our diners wouldnt eat them

(which made those of us who like seafood that much happier ;))

 

Its also interesting to note that when we cooked a feast for the Known

World Crowns some years ago, everyone specifically said they liked fish  

and seafood EXCEPT the local royalty ;).

 

so yes, we can do fish for feasts but must take into account the strong  

aversions of a few (especially those few who are also useful ;)), and

the sometimes touchy nature of bulk production.

 

--Anne-Marie

PS the ercipes we used were the stuffed salmon and buttered shrimps in

the Elizabethan Feudal Gourmet pamphlets.

http://www.liripipe.com/mcg/

 

hows that for a slick transition to a crass commercial plug? ;)

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 16:24:10 -0500

From: "Barbara Benson" <vox8 at mindspring.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fish in Feast (was alot of things)

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

 

> When I bought for this last 12th night, I got pork butt for $.99/lb,  

> but the cheapest fish I could get was salmon at $4.99/lb.

>

> Margaret

> Anybody who's actually served fish at a feast care to comment?

 

Greetings,

 

I have served salmon at 2 feasts, the same recipie both times. It is the

Salmon Casserole recipie from de Nola. I know it has been posted numerous

times to this list. The first time I served it was at a 3 day event where

there were 2 feasts. The main (Sat) night was cooked by Maestro Niccolo and

he also served a fish dish. I believe it was a trout in pastry. There were

several comments afterward about fish being served successfully two  

nights in a row.

 

I managed the salmon by serving it as a small portion in the third course

along with another meat. I believe Niccolo found a really great price on

frozen trout. I think expense is a major concern, but I also think a lot of

people are afraid of the additional sanitary concerns that accompany  

fish.

 

The perception is that fish, more so than the other meats, is sensitive to

temperature and if a person does not know what they are doing then people

could get really sick. This, I believe, can be gotten around by establishing

yourself as a good cook and getting people to trust that you will not put a

food in front of them that is going to get them sick. Of course, all of this

good-will can be set back by the next cook who sends out chicken that is

bloody at the bone. Because if you cannot even cook chicken right then there

is no way that I am gonna eat your fish (speaking as the hypothetical

feast goer).

 

  There is a fish dish out of Geuter Spise that I really want to try:

19. This is a good salmon dish.

Take a salmon, scale it, split and cut the two halves in pieces. Chop

parsley, sage, take ground ginger, pepper, anise, and salt to taste. Make a

coarse dough according to the size of the pieces, sprinkle the pieces with

the spices, and cover them completely with the dough. If you can fit them

into a mould, then do so. In this way you can prepare pike, trout, bream,

and bake each one in its own dough. If it is a meat-day, however, you can

prepare chickens, partridges, pigeons, and pheasants, provided that you have

the noulds, and fry them in lard or cook them in their moulds. Take chicken

breast or other good meat, THis will improve your art of cooking even more,

and don't oversalt.

 

Glad Tidings,

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 18:29:36 -0500

From: Morgana Abbey <morgana.abbey at juno.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

To: Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I've noticed that the biggest problem (at least in these parts) is that,

too often, the cooks try to serve a delicate hot fish in the first

course.  Now if, as is usual, things run late and feast gets pushed back,

you have fish-flavored shingles.  I got around this by serving a cold

dish 2 years ago when I cooked Twelfth Night.  [Trout in Orange

Marinade--adapted from Marcella Hazan.]

 

So I advise people to serve fish cold in the first course and save the

hot dishes for later courses when you know you have control over the

serving time.

 

Morgana

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 19:00:48 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: Christianity in SCA cookery. was Re: [Sca-cooks]

      pre-Columbianfoods

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

 

In Oklahoma, frozen whiting is about the cheapest, $1.50-2/poundin bulk.

I've served it pickled and as floured and fried fillets with an apple/wine

sauce.  In all cases, the fish has disappeared.

 

I've steered clear of the pickled fish in recent years because I don't have

a period recipe.  I did the fried fillets as a mixed fish and chicken course

to handle some of the dietary problems of the local baron and baroness. He

is allergic to chicken, she detests fish.  The chicken was served with an

orange sauce, which led to people experimenting with the sauces on various

things all through the feast.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 19:10:02 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fish was  Christianity in SCA cookery.

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

 

> confession?  never been brave enuf to try a white fish... tho pickled

> herring might find a place on an 'appetizer' course one day.

>

> cailte

 

Years ago, I did a Scandinavian feast (back before I was seriously working

with period recipes) and sent the pickled whiting out with the first course.

The Queen had three helpings of it before the Baroness leaned over and

suggested that she might want to save room for the next two courses.

 

  The Queen, having had as much food presented as most feasts of the day,

hadn't realized just how extensive the meal was.

 

Do try white fish some day.  The whiting fillets with the apple wine sauce

beats pickled fish hands down, if you have a grill surface big enough to

push the batches through quickly and serve straight from the grill to

the platter to the table.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 12:18:11 -0800 (PST)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feast

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

 

From: Ruth Tannahill <rtanhil at fast.net>

> Lady Brighid ni Chiarran (spelling--I'msorry)

 

That's okay -- I can't spell your patronymic, either.  :-)

 

> served a fish in bitter orange sauce that was out of this world.

 

::blush:; Thank you.  That was the Cazuela de Salmon (Casserole of  

Salmon) from de Nola.

My redaction and several others are in the Florilegium:

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MEATS/salmon-msg.text

 

> Berelinde

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2003 09:49:46 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Whole Fish was Christianity

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

 

>   oh, and the reproving looks

> they have gotten from a baked fish with its head still on.

 

The problem that I encountered with whole fish as a diner is that

very few people know what to do when presented with a large whole

bone in fish that is supposed to serve the entire table.

 

The fish arrives and sits there on the platter because few people

know how to debone and then serve pieces from a whole fish. Also

few diners have the proper sort of knife at hand to handle a whole

fish.

 

I went up and down a row of tables one evening at a feast, deboning

several platters worth, so that people could or would eat the fish

course.

 

My feeling was that it would have gone back to the kitchen untouched had

someone not done it.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 05:22:25 -0700 (PDT)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 27, Issue 25

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Benedicte,

Abot Johann from the middle of the Middle here,

 

There is a good rule of thumb, according to a number

of period sources, to have three 'meats' Fish, Fowl,

Field. If a guest can't eat from one, they can from

another. Granted the Fish might be preserved as salted

or kippered (Herring seems to be the favorite

here...long story inserted, long ago I was doing my

second?? Feast, and was determined to serve some sort

of fish, indeed kippered herring. I was warned that no

one would eat it and that the barony would not pay for

it! Okay says I, it'll be served as on table with the

crudites and I'll pay for it from my own pocket!

So it happened, the feeding frenzy and piracy that

occurred is still talked about, those tables that

liked it (and there were three that were really hooked

on it) stole from those that either didn't like it,

which is fine, and from those that were just a little

to slow to recognize what they had in front of them!!

LOL, Then they tried to bribe head table out of their

fish too!! Since then no one ever really complains

about me serving kippered herring (or any other fish)

at my feasts.

 

Johann von Metten

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 17:08:58 +1200

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] fish at SCA feasts

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

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> I keep hearing this phrase about not eating fish, but I've heard many

> other comments to the contrary. Me? I'd love to see a lot more, well-

> prepared fish at SCA feasts.

 

I served escabeche (fish poached in wine and vinegar and allowed to cool

and jelly in it's cooking liquid-- delicious) at a feast once.  A third

of the dishes (I serve in messes) were essentially untouched (from the

tables with the youngest and least adventurous eaters, I guess).  The

other two-thirds were scraped (and in one or two cases licked, I

suspect) clean.  I'd certainly serve it again.  I've also had salmon,

trout, mussels, and plain fried fish at feasts and I don't remember

anyone complaining.  I'd go so far as to say that fish is quite popular.

 

> So, has anyone served eel? How well did it go over? So far, I've only

> had eel out of a can.

 

I don't think I have, but it would probably go down just fine-- smoked

freshwater eel tends to be seen as a treat here (New Zealand).  I don't

think I've seen unsmoked eel for sale, but you can fish them out of any

stream anyway.

--  

Adele de Maisieres

 

 

Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 20:48:49 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] fish at SCA feasts

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

 

On Aug 12, 2005, at 12:50 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>> I was warned that no

>> one would eat it and that the barony would not pay for it!

>

> I keep hearing this phrase about not eating fish, but I've heard

> many other comments to the contrary. Me? I'd love to see a lot

> more, well-prepared fish at SCA feasts.

 

We serve fish pretty frequently at our feasts, but we live near the

ocean, which makes seafood readily available and also probably helps

provide a receptive crowd. Favorite period fish dishes include

cuminade de poissons from Taillevent and/or Le menagier, any of

several egredouce recipes, saumon gentil from, IIRC, The Forme of

Cury, and a 17th-century English mussel recipe whose source I forget

(but can probably locate) whose product is virtually

indistinguishable from modern moules mariniere.

 

> So, has anyone served eel? How well did it go over? So far, I've

> only had eel out of a can.

 

Smoked eel is exceptional. I've never served eel at an event, but I

vaguely recall that al-Sayyid Ras al Zib served some kind of

crustades for a fish day that involved salmon and eels, on at least

one occasion.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 18:50:19 -0700 (PDT)

From: Alexa <mysticgypsy1008 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] fish at SCA feasts

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

 

I helped with a feast over in Caid that served Mussels

and also had a smoked salmon dish that had a mustard

sauce on it.  I am not one for most seafood.

(occasionally shrimp, scallops and very picky about

regular fish).  I did not try the mussels, but many

people enjoyed them.  The salmon, I tried that, and

for fish, it was pretty yummy.  I donŐt think we had

much left over.

 

Alexa

Now in VA

 

 

Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 20:54:27 -0700

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] fish at SCA feasts

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

 

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

<<<<Smoked eel is exceptional. I've never served eel at an event, but I

vaguely recall that al-Sayyid Ras al Zib served some kind of

crustades for a fish day that involved salmon and eels, on at least

one occasion.

Adamantius>>>>

 

Did grilled, stuffed eels at my last feast in Meridies a couple of years

ago, as a sort of taster dish.  Those who tried it were pleased and calling

for more.  Some adventurous folks who never tried it, gave it a go.  It was a

pleasant way to introduce the dish, and have me interact with my guests

while my expert kitchen hands kept the feast moving.

 

Weird food as a 'try if you'd like' can be inviting and less pressure  

For the curious.

 

Then there was the roasted orange salmon Serena de Riva foisted off to huge

success  at the 'feast of the twice-cooked dishes' :o)

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 00:22:06 GMT

From: "morgana.abbey at juno.com" <morgana.abbey at juno.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Subject: Re:  kitchen tips

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

The best way to put fish in the first course is to serve it cold.  When I planned my first feast, I got a lot of static about the fish course.  Mostly it was that 1) no one would eat fish and  2) it will be dried out.

 

Well, if you try to put a hot dish in the first course and something (royalty) delays the start of feast, yes it will be fish-flavored shingles hitting the tables.  A cold dish went over so well that one half of one portion was all that came back to the kitchen.

 

Save the hot dish for the second course.  You just need to time it so that you're firing the fish as the first course is going out.

 

Morgana

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 09:09:22 -0600

From: "Kathleen A Roberts" <karobert at unm.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Subject: Re:  kitchen tips

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

 

On Thu, 21 Aug 2008 00:22:06 GMT

  "morgana.abbey at juno.com" <morgana.abbey at juno.com> wrote:

<<< The best way to put fish in the first course is to serve

it cold.  When I planned my first feast, I got a lot of

static about the fish course.  Mostly it was that 1)

noone would eat fish and  2) it will be dried out. >>>

 

i make little salmon tartlets (piggy-pie shaped) that can

be served hot or cold, usually cold, on the appetizer

tray.   many go out, none come back.

 

cailte

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 14:41:05 -0500

From: "otsisto" <otsisto at socket.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Subject: Re:  kitchen tips

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

 

Take the "no one will eat fish" or "fighters only want meat" with a cup of

salt.

 

One year I autocrated, I also assisted the Head Cook. We serve fish (pickled

herring - appetizers, broiled salmon- 2nd coarse). People ate it all, even

the fighters. The only leftovers we had was the bashed neeps, fattigmann

cookies and strawberry pudding. The latter two went to the post revel.

 

De

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 15:44:00 -0400

From: euriol <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Subject: Re:  kitchen tips

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

 

I have served both Shrimp & Salmon successfully in the second course of a

feast. The shrimp have been served both cold and hot. The salmon was

actually baked whole and displayed whole in front of high table and served

from there to the tables.

 

Euriol

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 08:59:16 -0400

From: "Kerri Martinsen" <kerrimart at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Subject: Re: kitchen tips

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

but at what point to you try to hold to period menus?

Most that I have seen (well, Italian) start with lighter food  - fish - and

end with the "big heavy food"

 

I did sea bass first (well, after soup) in my last feast mainly BECAUSE I

wanted to be sure it would all be eaten.  I didn't care so much if chicken

got thrown away, but the sea bass?  Not that there was any of it left

anyway..even the plates came back clean.

 

I sent the fish to the table in parchment envelopes. There is some

documentation for cooking food in paper packs (albeiet not much) but I ran

with it.  The idea of having HOT fish at the table was a much desired on.

 

Vitha

 

On 8/22/08, Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com> wrote:

<<< I never put expensive foods on the first course because that is when your

diners will be their hungriest.  I always put chicken and other fowl dishes

in the first course.  Beef and other meats in the second course and fish in

the third course because I can buy a lot less because by then the diners

will be very full and will only want a bite or two of anything.

 

Huette >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 06:23:06 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] fish at feasts

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

 

I've served pickled whiting, baked whiting and fried whiting and been

pleasantly surprised when they disappeared.  I've also served salmon, smoked

and poached, without problem, although there was one feast where some of the

tables failed to realize there were two sides to a salmon. I'm fairly

sparing with fish because it can be a budget buster in Oklahoma, but it is

well received when I do serve it.

 

For several years, we had a Baron who couldn't eat chicken and a Baroness

who detested fish, so I would divide a course between chicken and fish to

meet their requirements.  At one feast I served chicken with orange sauce

and fried whiting with an apple and wine sauce.  I later found out that the

sauces were very popular, that people were playing mix and match with the

sauces on other food and that some people tried them on the roast beef in

the next course.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 12:56:48 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] fish at feasts

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

I have served salmon at several of my banquets here in Angels and it always has been received very well.  I have had several people tell me that they usually hate fish, but they loved how I made it.  I.e. Poached in beer with parsley, rosemary and thyme.  For those of you who want the recipe, check the Florilegium, as I have already posted it here two or three times.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:38:56 -0500

From: "Euriol of Lothian" <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

<<< Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? How was it received?

 

Madhavi

An Crosaire, Trimaris >>>

 

I have served whole roasted salmon at feast. The salmon was then brought out whole to high table where it was cut and served out onto plates to be served at each table. I served it with Cameline Sauce on the side. Carving the fish in front of high table was, at least I thought, a nice way to present it. The bones are big enough that it was easy to eliminate most of them before it got served to a table. I have also served shrimp (dressed in vinegar) and red snapper (served with red wine sauce) successfully at feasts. I would recommend that you portion no more than 2oz of fish/seafood per person. I'll add that there was no leftovers of any of these dishes. I also did a butter fried shrimp recipe where it was dressed in seasoned flour before it was fried, then fresh ginger was grated right over the top.

 

Euriol

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:40:19 -0500

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

--On Thursday, November 20, 2008 2:29 PM -0500 jimandandi at cox.net wrote:

 

<<< I am dallying with the idea of serving fish at a feast I'm doing in

February, based on Chiqart and Menagier of Paris. What I would love to do

is a whole roast fish "swimming" on a bed of decorated rice, with green

sorrel verjuice on top and sprinkled with small whole shrimp. I have been

warned away from doing this dish because "people don't eat fish at

feasts" and "what about the bones?". So.

 

Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? How was it received?

 

If you have not, would you like to? >>>

 

We're in a landlocked area where fish is not a normal part of the everyday

diet (except for the ubiquitous fried fish sandwich), so we heard something

of the same thing.

 

That said, I've served a couple of fish dishes at feasts -- with

considerable success. There were some people who didn't eat it, and some

who didn't like it, but most people both ate and liked. I'll always regret

the day I didn't save some of the calamari side dish (served after the

manner described in Platina). "I'll get plenty back, people only sample

wierd food". Not a bite, not a drip, not a drab came back to the kitchen.

Another big success was a filet (essentiall a 1/2 of the fish slab,

deskinned and deboned -- as you buy it at the warehouse club) of salmon

roasted on a grill then poached in wine served with a long pepper sauce.  I

think your plan sounds lovely.

 

The trick is to make sure that fish isn't the only thing for people to eat,

and that there are things to eat that the fish hasn't touched.  Another

trick is, if it's supposed to be served hot, make sure it hits the table

piping hot. Lukewarm and mostly cold fish that is supposed to be hot is

just, well, yuck... Put out little plates for the bones -- people are

smart, they'll figure out what to do with them (after all, they do it with

chicken on a regular basis).

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:50:30 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

<<< Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? How was it received? >>>

 

I wasn't the head cook, but a few years ago, one of our local feasts served a whole salmon to each table.  Salmon has rather big bones, and the meat is easily separated.  Some tables picked the bones clean, a couple didn't seem to notice that the fish had two sides, one table hardly touched it. Most were in between.  Overall, they ate about 75% what was served. During cleanup, I picked apart the carcasses and took the leftovers home. :)

 

Fish won't stand reheating or even being kept hot for long, when its ready you have to serve it quickly.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 15:04:08 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

<<< I wasn't the head cook, but a few years ago, one of our local feasts served a whole salmon to each table. >>>

 

Also she got them at $0.99 a pound,  each fish was probably 4 pounds, well over the suggested 2 oz per person.  With current fish prices 2 oz would seem enough to serve.  Allowing for the bones, for a table of 8, maybe 20 oz for a whole fish.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:10:19 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

I have served poached salmon, pickled whiting, and, most recently, lightly

floured, fried whiting filets with an apple and wine sauce on the side.  All

were well received and I had no leftovers.  That being said, all of these

were prepared in ways that were not unfamiliar to the people at the feast,

not everyone was enamored of the dishes, and I would have had half the

salmon come back except that someone realized that a whole salmon has two

sides.

 

The whiting filets with the wine sauce were served with a chicken in orange

sauce, because the Baron could eat fish, but not chicken, and the Baroness

just the opposite.  Having two meats and two sauces together in the same

course made for some interesting experimentation at table.

 

There are always people who will eat fish at feasts, so "people don't eat

fish at feasts" is in error.  What people don't want is badly prepared fish.

As for the bones, select your fish and manner of preparation to minimize the

problem.  I do try to keep from being too outre in the preparation.  And I

make sure the fish is one dish in many, so it can be bypassed by anyone who

doesn't want it.

 

The question I would ask myself is, "is the idea of presenting my audience

with a whole fish with the head on going to upset them?"

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 15:20:25 -0500

From: "Euriol of Lothian" <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

The salmon I got for my feasts were probably closer to 20 pounds each. It

was hard to get them whole into the oven.

 

Euriol

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 15:27:01 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

On Nov 20, 2008, at 2:31 PM, <jimandandi at cox.net> wrote:

<<< Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? >>>

 

Lobster in blankmanger, mussels in butter and vinegar, oysters in  

gravy, smoked whiting with mustard sauce, fresh whiting fried and  

served with a "sober" [dark] raisin sauce and any of several variants:  

aigre douce, rappee, etc. Salmon many ways, from tarts, to poached, to  

poached dumplings in a sauce, shrimp with aged vinegar, shrimp  

sausages, scallop crepinettes, escabeche of cod and cominee / cuminade  

de poissons, also made with cod. The last is a favorite of mine,  

served in a thick, cumin-flavored almond-milk sauce.

 

And Lobster Thermidor aux Crevettes with a Mornay sauce served in the  

Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle  

pate, brandy, and a fried egg on top and Spam.

 

<<< How was it received? >>>

 

Generally pretty well. I live in a group that has one of the larger  

seafood wholesale markets on the Eastern Seaboard in its backyard, so  

mostly it's a way of life. I'm pretty careful with portion control,  

allowing two to three ounces per portion cooked, buying about three  

times that raw and untrimmed to allow for head, bone, skin and fin  

waste, and shrinkage in cooking. Some will eat more than three ounces,  

some none, most will enjoy it and there may be two or three extremely  

vocal and rude people voicing their objections. If I run out I at  

least know some went out to every table and there's other food, and  

that's better than wasting it.

 

Adamantius (who don't got much Spam in him)

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 15:43:52 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

<<< The salmon I got for my feasts were probably closer to 20 pounds each. It

was hard to get them whole into the oven. >>>

 

That was four pounds (or more) of salmon on each table, maybe 10 or 12 fish altogether.  Not one fish carved for the whole hall.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 09:44:21 +1300

From: Antonia Calvo <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

The best-received single dish I've ever cooked was seared tuna dressed

with oil and honey.  I've also served salmon, monkfish and shrimp, and

I've seen others serve white sea fish, trout and mussels. All those

things have gone down fine.  (What about the bones, exactly?)

 

My feeling is that, in general, you should have a good variety of stuff

on offer.  If some people don't eat something, that's their hard luck

and there's more for everyone else.

--

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 10:05:51 +1300

From: Antonia Calvo <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

Ah, that's another thing I've had at feasts-- smoked mackerel.  That

goes down well, too.  And scallops.

--

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 16:16:03 -0500

From: "Euriol of Lothian" <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

I think I had two for the whole hall, but I think that was for about 100

people, one of the salmon was a little smaller than the other. But buying it

whole like that, I got a good deal price wise.

 

Euriol

 

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

<<< The salmon I got for my feasts were probably closer to 20 pounds each. It

was hard to get them whole into the oven. >>>

 

That was four pounds (or more) of salmon on each table, maybe 10 or 12 fish

altogether.  Not one fish carved for the whole hall.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 16:47:56 -0500

From: "Ginny Beatty" <ginbeatty at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

For a Russian-themed feast a long time ago, I served a whitefish soup (Ukha)

and it went over well. About 1 quart/table was about the right amount to

serve. Not bad for the meat and 'tater crowd I usually feed. :)

 

Gwyneth

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 16:59:57 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

You don't indicate how many people you are serving or how many

tables. Can you provide those tables with hot fish all at the same time?

I personally would take and test this dish out on a group first just to see

how it goes over locally. Are people prepared to debone a whole fish at

table?

 

That takes a certain skillset. Many people can't do it without destroying

the fish and scattering the bones about and in a dimly lit hall that's even

more problematic. Do you have someone or a couple of people that could serve

the fish and debone them at table?

 

Johnnae

 

jimandandi at cox.net wrote:

<<< I am dallying with the idea of serving fish at a feast I'm doing in February, based on Chiqart and Menagier of Paris. What I would love to do is a whole roast fish "swimming" on a bed of decorated rice, with green sorrel verjuice on top and sprinkled with small whole shrimp. I have been warned away from doing this dish because "people don't eat fish at feasts" and "what about the bones?". So.

Have you ever served fish at a feast? How? How was it received?

If you have not, would you like to?

Curious,Madhavi  An Crosaire, Trimaris >>>

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 16:04:55 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fish at feasts

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

 

I served poached salmon at a feast for 300+.  It was a period recipe, poached in beer.  Everyone loved it.  A few people later told me that they normally hated fish, but loved what I served.

 

I have also done pickled herring, which went over very well.

 

I also considered doing lutefisk, but turned it into a subtlety/joke dish and served almond jello instead, molded like a fish.  Only two people complained about the substitution.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2009 08:34:40 -0500

From: "Jim and Andi Houston" <jimandandi at cox.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fish success! Thank you all and recipe

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

 

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who shared their success stories

serving fish at feasts. I may never do a feast without fish again!

 

I wanted to do the "whole fish swimming on a bed of decorated rice" thing.

It worked! People ate it! It was relatively easy, not too expensive, and

really impressive.

 

Whole Poached Fish Swimming on a Bed of Decorated Rice with Sorrel Verjus

Fed 75 people as part of a large feast

 

7 lb whole fish, cleaned and gutted, smile and tail intact (I found whole

fresh Mahi-mahi for $2.99/lb)

Stems of parsley, tops of celery, whole peppercorns

1/2 bottle of verjus or white wine

 

5 lb basmati rice

1/4 lb butter

1/2 cup oil

3 tbl salt

20 c water

1/2 lb butter

Teaspoon of saffron threads

1 lb slivered almonds

 

1/2 bottle of verjus

2 bunches fresh sorrel

1 bunch parsley

Salt and sugar

 

In a very large pot, melt butter and oil together. Add rice and toss

continuously until at least half of the rice is opaque. Add water and salt

and bring to a full rolling boil. Immediately cover tightly and pile cans on

top of the lid to that no steam escapes. Put in a warm place like on top of

the convection oven. Leave it alone for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes check

the rice for done-ness, it should be perfectly steamed and separate. Melt

butter, crush saffron thread with a mortar and pestle, add to hot butter,

add slivered almonds. Pour butter over rice and stir through, carefully so

as not to break up the rice grains too much. Put cover back on rice.

 

Coarsely chop sorrel and parsley. Throw in food processor. Process slowly

while pouring in enough verjuice to make a thin sauce. Taste and add salt

and sugar until sharpness is just barely blunted. (This sauce was AMAZING)

 

Find a shallow pan large enough for fish. Put any herbs or stock veggies on

the bottom, then lay fish on top, then pour on wine or verjus, then pour

water on just to barely cover fish. Bring fish up to a simmer and simmer

until cooked through.

 

To assemble: Find tray long enough for fish. Pile with rice and make a ditch

in the middle. Using 4 people with 2 spatulas each, lift fish out of

poaching liquid. Lay on rice. Using plates as stabilizers, turn fish so it's

on its belly in the "ditch" of the rice. Fluff the rice. Take IMMEDIATELY

out to the hall, parade around, bring it back to the kitchen. Quickly take

the fish off the rice using plates. Do NOT break the fish! Using forks,

start lifting the flesh off one side of the fish. If you move fast and the

fish is still hot, it will lift right off the bones. Once most of the flesh

is taken off, lift out the tail, spine and head in one piece. Don't forget

the eat the cheeks! That's the best part of the fish! Then the rest of the

flesh is left. Split fish and rice into platters for service, and serve.

This must happen very fast as the fish cools quickly, I think we did it in

less than 5 minutes using 4 people.

 

<the end>



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