Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

grains-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

grains-msg – 4/15/10

 

Medieval grains. Recipes.

 

NOTE: See also these files: rice-msg, frumenty-msg, Ancent-Grains-art, beans-msg, bread-msg, broths-msg, breakfast-msg, flour-msg, beer-msg, nuts-msg, pasta-msg, soup-msg, polenta-msg, bev-distilled-msg.

 

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

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

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

 

Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 21:49:05 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: A couple questions . . .

 

Jessica Tiffin wrote:

> Recognition!  I concocted something very like this for a feast about a year

> ago, basing it on a chicken-barley dish  (purportedly Saxon) I found on the

> Net.  The flavour was wonderful (mushroom, onion, fresh herbs, dash of

> vinegar) but the barley went very glutinous, and the dish was not well

> received.  (Sigh).  What am I doing wrong?  Is that gluey consistency the

> result of overcooking, or the wrong kind of barley?  If it's all cooked

> together in broth, you can't wash it to get rid of excess starch, which is a

> reasonable rice-fixer.

>

> grateful for imput,

>

> Melesine

 

Barley does tend to get sticky unless it is cooked as a pilaf. Period

people probably would have eaten barley dishes more in the form of

thick, chowdery soups, so a certain gumminess wouldn't have been much of

a problem.

 

A typical pilaf of any grain consists of bringing a certain premeasured

amount of liquid to a boil in a saucepan, sauteeing various vegetables

(onion is a classic) in butter and/or oil, and adding the grain to the

hot fat, sauteeing it until it is lightly toasted and the grains are

separate. Then you add your boiling stock or water to that pan, bring

all back to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer/steam, covered,

until the grain is done and the liquid absorbed. Offhand I don't know

what the proportion of barley to liquid is by volume. For rice it is

generally 2:1, but barley needs more like 3 or 4 :1, and takes about 45

minutes to cook.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 23:32:01 -0600

From: "Morgan" <morgan at mt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Recipe shared

 

BARLEY MUSHROOM RISOTTO

 

      1 cup pearl barley            1/2 lb. Portobello mushrooms chopped

      4 cups vegtable broth         1 onion coarsely chopped

      1 cup water             1/2 tsp. mace

      1/2 cup currants        salt & pepper to taste

 

Rinse barley and place in two cups liquid to soak overnite.

In large heavy pot over medium flame bring small amount of broth ( 1/4 cup)

to boil and add mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.  Remove

'shrooms from pan and set aside.  Add onion (and possibly another 1/4 cup

of broth) to pot, cook stirring often until onion is softened.  Add 1 cup

broth and bring to simmer. Drain barley from soaking liquid, and rinse.

Add barley to pot, as well as macecooking 5 minutes, stirring until liquid

is nearly absorbed.  Add remaining broth/water to barley mixture 1/2 cup at

a time, stirring frequently, not adding more until liquid has ben absorbed.

When the barley is tender and nearly all broth has been absorbed (45

minutes) stir in reserved mushrooms and currants.  Cook a few minutes

longer -- until risotto reaches desired consistency.  Season with salt and

pepper to taste.

 

      BTW: I have used golden raisins instead of currants with good results,

and in a pinch I also used a small canned of "shrooms for the portobellos.

I know, cheap and tacky,  but it got the dish made, and no one the wiser

that they were cheated.

 

      Caointiarn

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:47:02 -0900 (AKST)

From: "Anne M. Young" <ftamy at aurora.alaska.edu>

Subject: SC - Buckwheat-sca-cooks V1 #645

 

Greetings, List, from one of your lurkers-

I had to comment on the buckwheat topic. Having worked with unroasted

buckwheat for russian kasha (which is generic for grain) but is made as a

porrige of pilaf style grain dish, I did find an article about it in

Waverley Root's  FOOD. While he is a popular source, rather than a truly

scholarly one, I find I agree with most of his research. Anyway, buckwheat

is a grain native to Central Asia. Variously, the saracens, the Moors of

Spain, the Crusaders and the Turks are credited with spreading buckwheat

to Europe. Buckwheat is generally found in places where other grains won't

grow well and where the people eat "robustly".  Brittany, Finland,

Northern China, Styria in Austria, central France and the Tyrolian Alps.

 

Annora of Shadowood/Anne Young (Anthropologist and cook)

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 13:53:54 -0500From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>Subject: RE: SC - Oats (was Is Medieval Food yucky?)Rolled oats are a cracked and flattened oat kernal produced by rollermilling, a modern process.  In period, oats would most likely be used asoatmeal (a coarse oat flour) or as whole oats.  Oats were one of thefoodstuffs of the poor, as it was commonly used as animal fodder. Generaluse was more common in Northern Europe, where oats grew well and wheatdidn't.English Bread and Yeast Cookery is one of the finest volumes on breadmakingever assembled.  The historical information is quite accurate.Bear>      Duke Sir Cariadoc,>>      You said in your last post that rolled oats were a modern invention.>      Does that mean that, when redacting medieval recipies which contain>      oats, we should use only whole oats? Or are cracked oats accurate? I>      believe Elizabeth David's book discusses cracked wheat, and I've>      always assumed that other grains were crushed similarly on the>      miller's wheel. (I know that Ms. David's English Cookery is a modern>      book, but I'm under the impression that it is a credible source on> the>      history of English bread making. Am I correct?)>>      Katja

 

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 17:22:44 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Oats

 

The following is an excerpt from an article from "Early Period" Magazine,

published by David and Rebecca Wendelken in 1987.

 

"Early Period Grains and Their Uses"  by Mistress Fuilteguerna

 

"...Oats:

        The oldest oat grains that have been found date to the 12th

dynasty in Egypt.  It was grown in northern Europe from about 2000 BC on.

Greeks and Romans considered oats a weed and used it in medicine,

although it was widely used as a food by the Germanic tribes.  It is

believed tohave been introduced into England during the Anglo-Saxon

invasions.  We are most familiar with oats as "oatmeal" which was first

packaged for sale in 1854. Originally, the grains were simply rolled

flat, but they took a long time to cook.  Now grain for this cereal is

toasted, hulled, steamed, cut, and rolled -- quite a lot of processing.

This is something to keep in mind when attempting to reconstruct early

oat breads.

        Oatcakes

This oatcake recipie includes bacon fat which makes the cakes tastier.

They are best eaten either warm, or toasted.  We stuck them on the grill

and melted cheese over them. They were great.

Mix four cups of uncooked oatmeal with two cups of buttermilk.  Allow to

stand for several hours.  Stir occasionally.  Add a teaspoon of salt, 1/4

to 1/2 half cup of bacon grease and enough whole wheat flour to make a

stiff dough.  Form into cakes and allow to sit covered on a floured

baking sheet for thirty minutes.  Bake in a moderate (350 degree) oven

until they begin to brown and feel hard to the touch.  These cakes will

keep for a long time in the freezer.  "

 

Mistress Christianna MacGrain, OP, Meridies

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 23:32:53 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: RE: SC - s medieval food yucky?

 

At 1:30 PM -0400 5/4/98, Tamara Crehan wrote:

>I have found Irish Oatmeal, sold in tins in Stop & Shop and Shaws

>supermarkets. Mc Cann's Irish Oatmeal from the tins is whole oats.

>Makes a delicious porridge and amazing cookies!

 

Works for a plausible reconstruction of the oat cakes that Froissart

mentions, too.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 08:46:51 -0400

From: "Knott, Deanna" <Deanna.Knott at GSC.GTE.Com>

Subject: SC - Polenta

 

Someone mentioned polenta. Platina has a recipe for polenta in his book

that I experimented with.  In the original recipe, there is actually very

little barley meal compared to the amount of cheese and egg that he calls

for.  The results came out more like a cheese cake.  My experiement with his

recipe can be seen at:

http://www.geocities.com/athens/academy/9523/chzcake.html

 

If anyone only has e-mail, please contact me privately and I will send it to

you.

 

Avelina Keyes

Barony of the Bridge

East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 12:55:43 +0200 (MET DST)

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at algonet.se>

Subject: SC - pea bread/porrige

 

[Adamatius wrote regarding the fact that most grains/peas were consumed

boiled, not baked, in Roman eras.]

 

This was most likely true for many other regions and times. I have been

told by archaeologists who study early food that it varied from region

to region during the Viking age. The avaiable grains probably played a

large part in this; not everything can be sucessfully baked into bread.

 

One example of the boiled pea and grain dishes is the porrige that has

been reconstructed based on gravefinds in Groetlingbo (the "oe" is

<o-with-umlaut>) on Gotland (10th c, I think). Peas and barley porrige.

Good stuff too, even if I've never tried it with the sheeps milk that

the original calls for.

 

/UlfR

 

P.S. You want a recipie? Why on earth for? Probably want me to give it

in English as well...

 

The Groetlingbo Porrige

(Based on a porrige from a Viking age womans grave on Gotland)

 

Makes 10 servings.

 

3,5 dl barley, preferably whole grain

0,5 dl peas (dried)

0.8 l water

1.3 l milk (sheeps milk in the original)

 

[NB one dl is one tenth of a liter, i.e. 3.4 fl.oz.]

 

* Soak the peas overnight. Throw away the water.

 

* Mix peas, barley and water. Perhaps some salt as well.

 

* Boil in a covered pot for 10 minutes.

 

* Add the milk, stir and bring to a boil.

 

* Allow to swell at a suitable temperature (45-60 min).

 

* Serve with milk, honey and dried or fresh apples or berries.

 

I have no idea if the archaeological record indicated the honey, berries

and apples, or if they were added by the archaeologist that

reconstructed it.

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                            parlei(at)algonet.se

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 08:27:56 -0700

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

Subject: Re: SC - cous cous

 

Hi from Anne-Marie

we are asked about cous cous in period. The following is a recipe from the

Andalusian collection in Cariadoc and Elizabeths collection of medieval

cookbooks (13th century? cant remember). By "moistened" I'm assuming they

mean the standard method of cooking, but there may be cous cous experts out

there who disagree :). The point is that the grain product was most

definately consumed at least by al Andalus within the proscribed time

period.

 

I've also included my reconstruction (such that it is! :)). Served with

pomegranite chicken, yum yum! We used veggie broth instead of the

proscribed mutton stew juice because we needed a vegetarian friendly dish

on this particular menu.

 

enjoy...

- --AM

PS...standard request applies...if you want to reprint/use this recipe,

please just ask for permission. I'm sure to give it, but I like to know

where my reserarch is being used. Thanks!

 

Soldier's Couscous (Kuskusu Fityani) (A55)

The usual moistened couscous is known by the whole world. The Fityani  is

the one where the meat is cooked with its vegetables, as is usual, and when

it is done, take out the meat and the vegetables from the pot and put them

to one side; strain the bones and rest from the broth and return the pot to

the fire; when it has boiled, put in the couscous cooked and rubbed with

fat and leave it for a little on a reduced fire or the hearthstone until it

takes in the proper amount of the sauce; then throw it on a platter and

level it, put on top if it the cooked meat and vegetables, sprinkle it with

cinnamon and serve it. This is called Fityani  in Marrakesh.

 

Soldier's Cous cous

2 c. cous cous

1 can veggie broth + 1 canful water

4 T. butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 t. salt

 

In a large pot with a good lid, bring the broth and water to a boil. Stir

in the cous cous, and clap on the lid. Let sit off the heat until all the

water is absorbed. Stir in the butter and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon.

Fluff with a fork to keep from being gloppy. Serves 6-8 generously.

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 18:58:10 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Re:Breakfast at WAR

 

Mordonna22 at aol.com writes:

<< I'm still not sure about the triticale). >>

 

No. Triticale is not period. It is actually a modern contrivance.

 

trit*i*ca*le (noun)

 

[New Latin, blend of Triticum, genus of wheat, and Secale, genus of rye]

 

First appeared 1952

 

: an amphidiploid hybrid between wheat and rye that has a high yield and

rich protein content

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 20:56:30 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Steam in the Bread Oven

 

donna at Kwantlen.BC.CA writes:

<< I found millet meal at a local organic food store. Anybody tried baking

with millet? >>

 

Traditionally, especially during the Middle Ages millet was consumed as a

cereal grain rather than a flour/baking grain.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 02:09:05 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: SC - barley

 

Gwyneth asked:

> Although this is OT for our current religious discussion, I was wondering

> if you could help me answer a question for a lady here.

> She is wanting to know if Barley is period.  She has a recipe for chicken

> and barley stew.

 

According to Waverly Root in "Food", most definitely. Among some of what

he says:

 

"Barley was the chief grain from which the Hebrews made bread".

 

"Barley was the chief grain of the Greeks in the most distant times of

which we have knowledge, and was apparently endowed with a religious

significance."

 

"Barley was the chief bread grain of continental Europe until the

sixteenth century, as important in the European economy as is rice

in many Asian countries today. It was first brought to America in

1543 by the second Spanish governor of Colombia."

 

"Barley lost much of its importance for breadmaking when leavened

bread became common, for its low gluten content makes it refractory

to the action of yeast."

 

"Though it is true that more than half the world's barley today goes

to feed cattle (and a large part of the rest to make beer), there

are still many parts of the world where barley remains an important

human food, especially in regions where wheat is not easy to grow."

 

Although if I take quotes three and four above at face value,

it seems to be saying that leavened bread did not become common

until just before the sixteenth century. Does this mean that much

of the bread in period was not leavened? Or does this mean most

of the grain was eaten as gruel and porridges rather than as bread?

 

Stefan li Rous

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 08:58:28 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - barley

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> According to Waverly Root in "Food",

<snip>

> "Barley was the chief bread grain of continental Europe until the

> sixteenth century, as important in the European economy as is rice

> in many Asian countries today. It was first brought to America in

> 1543 by the second Spanish governor of Colombia."

> "Barley lost much of its importance for breadmaking when leavened

> bread became common, for its low gluten content makes it refractory

> to the action of yeast."

<snip>

> Although if I take quotes three and four above at face value,

> it seems to be saying that leavened bread did not become common

> until just before the sixteenth century. Does this mean that much

> of the bread in period was not leavened? Or does this mean most

> of the grain was eaten as gruel and porridges rather than as bread?

 

The conundrum is as follows:

 

Aristos prior to the sixteenth century generally ate a semi-white,

leavened bread of rather fine quality (finely-ground flour). They

probably ate far more bread per capita per annum than most of us do (and

supplemented it with another notable grain product, beer).

 

It's been said by people like Reay Tannahill and C. Anne Wilson that

grain was probably more often eaten as a porridge by the less wealthy

classes. Reasons for this might include that you get more servings of

porridge from a pound of grain than you do bread, there being less water

in bread. (Raw dough is roughly something like 1.5 parts water to one

part grain meal, before cooking dries it out somewhat, whereas a typical

porridge starts out at around 4 parts water to one part grain.)

 

Another reason might be that many country people often had little or no

easy access to either commercially baked bread or to an oven, which

also, BTW, requires more fuel to cook the same amount of grain, so

porridge-y foods might appear to be the way to go.

 

On the other hand, as we keep having to remember, a lot of the recorded

medieval foodways we have are recipes for the wealthy/noble/royal. We

know a fair amount less about what villein or peasant Joseph of Average

ate. He may have lived almost exclusively (except maybe on holidays,

etc.) on boiled grain, and counted himself lucky, or he may also have

made flatbreads, which can be made on flat stones or in pans, without an

oven. Flatbreads also have the advantage of a longer shelf life than

most leavened breads.

 

I'd conclude from all this that:

 

A) Leavened bread was quite common, at least for certain social strata,

long before the sixteenth century.

 

B) Unleavened breads were as common, probably more common, _among_ the

common[ers], prior to the sixteenth century.

 

C) An unknown but undoubtedly significant portion of all grain eaten in

Europe was eaten boiled as gruels and porridges.

 

It's tempting to say, just to illustrate the idea that not everyone ate

manchets all the time, that among Europeans in general, a third of the

grain eaten by humans was eaten as leavened bread, a third as unleavened

bread, and a third as porridge. This probably isn't accurate, but then

it's probably adequate for rough usage, and even more probably good

enough to illustrate a point made by Waverly Root, most of whose

research seems to require a grain of salt anyway, relying, as he does,

on secondary, tertiary, and quadr...qua...fourth-hand sources.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 10:15:57 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - barley

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<< nother reason might be that many country people often had little or no

easy access to either commercially baked bread or to an oven, which

also, BTW, requires more fuel to cook the same amount of grain, so

porridge-y foods might appear to be the way to go. >>

 

I would like to point out that the overwhelming factor in the use of gruels

and porridges over baked bread, if such was the case, would also probably have

been due to the fact that, at least in the villages and cities of the MA, you

did not bake your bread at home. By law you, took your dough to the community

oven for baking and more often than not bought the dough you took to the

oven from a person who made dough.

 

Given that cash money was scarce in the MA, it would have been wiser to cook

up a dish of gruel than to pay the baker.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 11:46:35 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - barley

 

The first thing to remember is there are a lot of unleavened flat breads

still being baked today.  Our primary heritage is European, where wheat and

yeast leavened bread came into common use, so we are most familiar with

leavened bread.  To answer Stefan's question about the uncommonness of

leavened bread, I would say that in Europe for the period we study leavened

bread was not uncommon, but that unleavened bread and porridges were more

common than today.

 

The earliest known bread recipe is for an unleavened barley flat bread which

is still baked in the Middle East.  This recipe was set down about the same

time the Egyptians discovered yeast leavening.  In Egypt, leavened bread

became the choice of the rich and powerful.  The Biblical definition of

leavening most likely originates during the time in Egypt, refers to yeast,

and has expanded to include other methods of leavening.

 

Leavening came to Rome from Egypt.  Pliny comments on the Vandals (IIRC)

using ale barm to leaven their breads and it's superiority to the Roman

method of leavening.  So leavening has a long and ancient history.

 

Wheat and rye are the two grains commonly used in leavened bread.  They

contain enough gluten to produce a proper rise.  Unfortunately, they are not

as efficient as barley and other non-gluten cereals and produce fewer

bushels per acre.  They also require better soil than barley, which is why

barley does better in the Mediterranean countries.

 

During the Medieval period an increase in real wealth (one of the effects of

the Plague), an increase in the efficiency of wheat farming, the opening of

disputed land suitable for growing wheat and rye, and a growing social

demand for white bread did much to change the way Europeans grew and used

grains.  Braudel in his Structures of Everyday Life provides a clear picture

of some of the economic reasons for the change.

 

Looking at that rambling response, I think I need some more coffee.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 22:19:12 EST

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Buckwheat Groats

 

> What are Buckwheat Groats (kashar)?

 

(Finially a question I can answer :-)   )

Kasha, or buckwheat Groats is the whole grain of buckwheat. It's pretty cheap

stuff!  Neither wheat bran nor cracked wheat come close to the taste of kasha,

but kasha is easy to find. Look for Wolfe's (brand name) kasha in the Kosher

foods section of the supermarket or go to the health food store and get kasha.

It is a staple feature of Eastern European ( & Jewish) cooking.

 

Phillipa Seton

 

 

Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 08:17:45 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Buckwheat Groats

 

Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

> > What are Buckwheat Groats (kashar)?

 

> Kasha, or buckwheat Groats is the whole grain of buckwheat. It's pretty cheap

> stuff!  Neither wheat bran nor cracked wheat come close to the taste of kasha,

> but kasha is easy to find. Look for Wolfe's (brand name) kasha in the Kosher

> foods section of the supermarket or go to the health food store and get kasha.

>  It is a staple feature of Eastern European ( & Jewish) cooking.

 

> Phillipa Seton

 

For practical purposes I'm in total agreement.

 

I'd just like to add one or two little things:

 

I gather, from reading the Domestroi, that "kasha" is simply a Russian

term meaning "grain", but agree that in most cases today it seems to

refer to buckwheat.

 

You may also find whole buckwheat or groats in markets that sell

Japanese foods, under the name "soba", which seems to refer to buckwheat

in general, buckwheat flour, and buckwheat noodles. But I agree also

that Wolfe's Kasha is probably as good an introduction as you can get to

buckwheat (especially with mushrooms and/or egg bows!) There's a

somewhat involved recipe on the box for turning the kasha into a pilaf;

my recommendation is that you go ahead and follow it!

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 20:09:06 -0600

From: "Jennifer D. Miller" <jdmiller2 at students.wisc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Buckwheat Groats

 

>I gather, from reading the Domestroi, that "kasha" is simply a Russian

>term meaning "grain", but agree that in most cases today it seems to

>refer to buckwheat.

 

More precisely, it means "dish of cooked grains or groats".  This could

refer to a porridge or a pilaf (is that the same as a frumenty?).  Today,

it can also refer to cooked rice or semolina.  The Russian word for grain

is  "zerno", "zernishko" or "krupinka".

 

True, here in the West it does refer to buckwheat.  However, in Russia

kasha is the generic term for cooked cereal.  Some types of kasha (from

"The Russian's World" by Gerhart) are:

 

"mannaia kasha" -- cream of wheat

"grechnevaia kasha" -- buckwheat cereal

"pshennaia kasha " or "pshenka" -- a main dish of millet

"iachnevaia kasha" -- fine-grind barley kasha

"perlovaia kasha" -- whole-grain barley kasha

"gerkulesovaia kasha" -- name-brand cereal similar to oatmeal ("Hercules's

Kasha")

 

My husband has told me that several different types of kasha were offered

each morning at the Russian dormitory he lived in.  They were eaten topped

with oil (not butter) and as far as he saw, nothing else.  Sugar was not

available, no honey or preserves were in evidence.  Salt was on the tables,

though.  Unfortunately (the kasha was included in his meal plan), he hates

cooked cereal and ate bread and fruit, although he could have bought

Western-type ($10 a box) cereal .

 

Another grain dish, kut'ia, is made of steamed grain (usually wheat or

rice), raisins, honey and nuts. It was, and still is in many places, a

required item served at post-funeral meals.  It is a period dish, but I

don't have the references handy at the moment.

 

From the Domostroi (Pouncy:149):

"They [good housewives] stuff the entrails with kasha cooked with suet and

simmered (the kasha can be made from oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, or

whatever is available).  If these [sausages] are not eaten up in the

autumn, they make a pleasant Christmas feast."

 

The _Domostroi_ also mentions "thin kasha with ham" and "thick kasha with

lard", saying, "this is what most people give their servants for dinner,

although they vary the menu according to which meat is available.

(Pouncy:161).  Cooking directions for kasha are on page 163; "steam it well

with lard, oil, or herring in a broth."  Several other fish are mentioned

as alternative accompaniments. Pouncy has a footnote saying that the lard

(or possibly, butter) was probably for meat days and the oil for fast days.

 

To close, here is a popular Russian saying:

"Shchi da kasha--pishcha nasha" (Cabbage soup and kasha is our food)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ilyana Barsova (Yana)  ***mka Jennifer D. Miller

jdmiller2 at students.wisc.edu *** http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~jdmiller2

Slavic Interest Group http://vms.www.uwplatt.edu/~goldschp/slavic.html

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 13:40:47 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Frumenty - ANOTHER question!

 

> except for the philosophical

> debate that arose over whether wheat berries, cracked wheat or bulgur

> would have been a closer texture match to what period diners would have

> gotten/expected.

> That is, chewey whole grain kernels in sauce, or flavored mush.

 

I've used whole berry, cracked wheat and fine flour to produce various

cooked grain dishes.  I would expect the cook to choose the form of the

grain to produce the intended taste and texture.

 

> We prepared 4 versions, 3 with wheat berries, and one with cracked wheat,

> which may have turned out mushier than if we'd used "bulgur" -- cracked

> wheat and bulgur -are- two different things, yes?  We're assuming bulgur

> is to cracked wheat sort of like steel-cut oats oatmeal is to rolled oats

> oatmeal, and are going to check by doing a set for next meeting.

 

Not exactly.  Cracked wheat is made from wheat berries which have been dried

and ground.  For bulgur wheat, the berries are parboiled, dried and ground.

In both cases, whole berries, including the germ, are used and the meal is

sieved into 3 or 4 grades, #1-Fine, #2-Medium, #3-Coarse and #4-Extra

Coarse.

 

The chief difference is the bulgur wheat, having been pre-cooked, softens

and cooks up quickly, while whole grain and cracked wheat reallny need to

soak overnight and cook for a long time.

 

#1 and #2 bulgur are commonly used in tabouleh, while #3 and #4 are used to

replace rice in pilafs.

 

> And someone raised the side issue that the common commercial wheat

> berries that we used were probably a hard wheat, where most of the period

> European stuff was a soft variety.  Whether this is a distinction we can

> expect to impose on hotel cooks (Double Tree) may make this a moot point,

> but it was raised. Although in -this- town, we probably have a

> reasonably good chance of their finding it if they look for it, at least.

 

Hard and soft should have no bearing on cooked grain (except that soft may

be a little sweeter).  I tend to use hard red winter wheat berries for whole

grain wheat, because they are inexpensive and easy to obtain.

 

The common wheat in medieval Europe was emmer (Triticum dicoccum) which was

a soft wheat.  Spelt (Triticum spelta) was less common and is a hard wheat.

So either may have been available, although spelt was more common in Central

Europe.

 

> So, there's another couple of questions!  Who woulda thunk it!

> Thanks, & looking forward to erudition, enlightenment, etc., 8-),

> Chimene & Gerek

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 09:44:24 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - feast help

 

<Karin.Oughton at geis.ge.com> writes:

>my thought is that if it is a pearl barley casserole , you will find

>that after freezing it will serve as a giant lump rather than as a semi

>liquid casserole. Alot of pulses and grains seem to 'absorb' the liquids

>surrounding them during freezing ( I'm sure that's not scientifically

>right, but that's the effect ) and so you may have to dilute it down, with

>the resultant effect that it is quite stodgy and the flavour balance

>changes.

>Karin

 

So, consider using something better than pearled barley.  Hulled barley

is closer to its original state.  It has not been run through a process

to remove the bran and germ from the grain, and cooks up with more

texture.  It would not stick together quite as much.  Even if you want to

use the pearled barley, go to a natural foods market to buy it.  The

pearled barley you get there is not as polished as the stuff in boxes at

the grocery store, and some of the bran remains.

 

Christianna

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 11:28:41 -0400

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

Subject: AAARRGGHH!!! was: SC - Oatmeal and Oats

 

Oats are oats, a grain which has been eaten since prehistoric times,

cultivated somewhat, but not a lot, later.

 

Oatmeal is ground oats, oats that have been turned into meal, as with

wheat meal, corn/maize meal, barley meal, etc. Meal can be of various

grades of coarseness/fineness, and coarser varieties of oatmeal are

usually eaten by Americans in the form of oatmeal porridge, hence the

confusion between oatmeal and porridge. This is not unprecedented, BTW:

other cereal dishes named for the grain itself, either specifically or

generically, include farina, grits, and polenta.

 

Steel cut oats are oats (usually, but not always whole, with germ)

chopped into small bits in a special mill. This is the standard European

"oatmeal", which comes in several grades or sizes, depending on the

intended use. The classic British Isles porridge is usually made,

nowadays, from steel cut oats, with, for example, Scottish-style

porridge oats being somewhat finer-cut than, say, Irish oats. Because

oat germ contains a fair amount of fat for a grain, and the bran

contains fat-degenerating enzymes (source of the now debunked oat bran

myth), they tend to become rancid quickly unless stored under very

controlled conditions, such as the vacuum-sealed tins you find real

(i.e. steel-cut) porridge oats sold in.

 

Rolled oats are degerminated oats that have been steamed, rolled in a

mill into flat flakes, and parched or toasted to more or less complete

dehydration. I'd rather eat the papier-mache they resemble. However,

since they're degerminated, they have a long shelf life, which was a

major incentive in developing the process, which was, as has been said,

a 19th-century invention.

 

Adamantius (off to the Frick Museum to check out the 15th-century German

Household Book)

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 12:44:39 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Tatar herbs from Poland

 

> "Tartarian buckwheat [(Fagopyrum tataricum)] came to

> Poland from central Asia during the thirteenth

> century, along with sweet flag (Acorus calamus) and

> Tartar bread plant (Crambe tatarica), a potherb often

> used in porridges prepared with buckwheat grits.

<snip>

 

> Huette

 

Buckwheat grits or groats? Buckwheat, which is actually not a grain at

all, but a member of the rhubarb family, produces grain-like groats that

I suppose could be further steel-cut to produce grit-like particles, but

I have never seen them like that.

Interesting info, though.

 

Chrisitanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 01:22:18 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Millet (was Re: SC - Couple of OOP questions)

 

And it came to pass on 14 Nov 99,, that DianaFiona at aol.com wrote:

> Hummmmm, despite being

> thoroughly period, I don't recall offhand any recipes for millet.........

> Obviously, it was more of a peasant food than a noble one, but can anyone

> else think of a recipe or two containing it, or at least some mention of

> it's uses?

 

It is mentioned in Platina as being used in porridge and bread.

Taillevent recommends washing it, cooking it in cow's milk, and later

editions suggest adding saffron.  According to _Food and Drink in

Medieval Poland_, millet was one of the staple of pre-potato Polish

cuisine.  There is a recipe in Granado for a sort of millet-cheese polenta,

which is then sliced and fried. I'll post the recipe later.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 09:28:57 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: SC - Millet recipe

 

Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of

millet, or of chopped panic-grass

 

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any

other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of

earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook

with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig’s neck, to give it

flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and

beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron.  (You can also cook the

said grains with the milk of goats or cows.)  And after they shall be

cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from

the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood,

or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices,

and shall be fried with cow’s butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot

with sugar and cinnamon on top.

 

notes:

 

At least half of the 16th century Spanish recipes end with the instruction

to sprinkle the finished dish with cinnamon and sugar.  De Nola

comments (at the end of his noodle recipe) that it is not necessary to

sprinkle sugar on various pasta and grain dishes, but that sugar never

harms a dish.

 

"panizo" panic-grass (Latin name "panicum") is a plant of Asian origin

whose seeds were sometimes used as food for humans and poultry.

This is the first time I've heard of it.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 14:26:13 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Millet recipe

 

> "panizo" panic-grass (Latin name "panicum") is a plant of Asian origin

> whose seeds were sometimes used as food for humans and poultry.   This is

> the first time I've heard of it.

> Lady Brighid ni Chiarain Settmour Swamp, East (NJ) mka Robin Carroll-Mann

> harper at idt.net

 

IIRC, millets are members of the genus Panicum and panic is a large seeded

form of millet.  Panic is specifically mentioned in Charlemagne's villa

inventory.

 

The most common millets today are foxtail, pearl, barnyard, and proso.

Foxtail is the most common in the US.  Proso is the most common in Asia,

according to my sources.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 22:04:58 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Grits

 

phelpsd at gate.net writes:

<< can you tell me is grits singular or are grits plural? >>

 

According to Miriam-Webster:

 

grits (noun plural but singular or plural in construction)

 

[perhaps partly from grit [1], partly from dialect grit coarse meal, from

Old English grytt; akin to Old English greot]

 

First appeared 1579

 

: coarsely ground hulled grain; especially: ground hominy with the germ

removed

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 16:49:11 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - oats

 

> Does anyone know the difference between scotch oats and the instant oats

> that are so common?

> If I were to use instant oats instead of scotch oats can anyone predict

> the results.

>       Angeline

 

Instant oats have been pre-cooked and dried, so they will cook quickly.

Scotch oats are probably oats grown and packaged in Scotland.  The instant

oats will soften faster than the regular oats.  Results may or may not be

predictable depending on the recipe requirements.

 

I would recommend checking the packages against the recipe.  If the recipe

calls for oats, you want oats. If it calls for oatmeal you want oatmeal.

For baking I prefer regular oats and oatmeal over the instant.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 02:29:49 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - RE: Help with 1650s + info: potatoes

 

ear [2] (noun)

 

[Middle English er, from Old English ear; akin to Old High German ahir ear,

Old English ecg edge -- more at EDGE]

 

First appeared before 12th Century

 

: the fruiting spike of a cereal (as wheat or Indian corn) including both

the seeds and protective structures

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 14:17:51 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Re: couscous?

 

> _I_ thought "Cous Cous" was made of semi-dry noodle dough, formed into

> very fine pellets by some mechanical action, cooked in water or broth

> rather like cooking (broth based) frumenty...

> Was I incorrect?

>

> brandu

 

I've seen two methods described for making couscous.  The first is to crush

semolina to the desired fineness, then steam it to pre-cook the grains.  The

second is to take a finer semolina meal, mix it with some flour and salty

water, then work the dough into finer and finer pellets by hand.

 

Most of the couscous in the US is made by the second method in an automated

process.  Most of the product is in the 1 to 2 mm range and is classed as

being of medium fineness.  So I would say you are correct.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 21:57:42 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: couscous?

 

>It hadn't occured to me that there was any other sort of couscous.

>Semolina is made from wheat, isn't it? (I seem to remember avoiding

>couscous when cooking for a wheat-allergic before).

>What am I missing this time?

 

According to the Oxford Companion to Food, couscous can also be made of

barley, maize, ground acorn meal, millet, and various local North African

wild or domesticated grain types, like fonio and goosefood (black couscous)

or unripe wheat and barley (green couscous).

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 06:37:04 +0100

From: "Melanie Wilson" <MelanieWilson at bigfoot.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Eikorn & Emmer

 

Archaeological evidence for the appearance of diploid Einkorn(2n=14) and

tetraploid emmer(2n=28) comes from carbonised material, impressions mud daub

and pottery shards, and silica skeletons and carbon detritus. From this

evidence a carbon date can be extrapolated and the genetic form compared

with the wild ancestor. It is seen that although the ranchis of the domestic

forms is still brittle, it is not as prone to breakage as its wild

counterparts, this has the advantage of spikes staying intact until

threshing allowing for easier harvest. It also confers on the plant a

lessening of ability to self propagate as that which holds it together,

lessens the effect of self propagation following disarticulation upon

ripening.. Thus suggesting that for these forms to have spread from their

native growth area, in preference to the wild versions another factor of

conveyance must have occurred, that is cultivation and spreading of that

cultivation outwards. Domesticated forms also exhibit plumper

characteristics. Einkorn can be seen as the most primitive form as genomes

(genome A) of it can be traced in Emmer wheat (a possible einkorn /wild

grass hybrid, probably Aegilops speltoides, genome B) which gradually

replaced it , later to be replaced by further hybridizations.

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 07:47:51 EDT

From: Etain1263 at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Glaedenfeld Centre Doins

 

BalthazarBlack at aol.com writes:

<< Pearled Barley certainly cooks faster, which may be why it seems

to have won out over whole barley in the culinary game.  Plus, some folks

don't like the fiberous bran (or husk) surrounding whole barley. >>

 

Has pearled barley been steamed a bit (sort of pre-cooked)?   And...have you

tried grinding the whole barley just a tad in the food processor...just to

break it up a bit?  It should cook faster. (It works for wheat groats)

 

Etain

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 12:53:33 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: SC - pearled barley

 

No, pearled barley has not been steamed or cooked first, unless you buy

something labeled as "quick" cooking.  Pearled barley is polished very

much like the process used to polish rocks, in a tumbler.  If it comes in

the quick-cooking variety, it has been steamed or pre-cooked, and maybe

even flattened similar to rolled oats.  

 

Christianna

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 00:22:31 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - RE:SC Barley

 

And it came to pass on 25 Jul 00,, that RANDALL DIAMOND wrote:

> I adore barley.  Has anyone got  a good recipe for a

> barley soup sort of like Cambell's "Scotch Broth"?  Its

> very tasty, but way too frugal on the mutton bits, carrots

> and barley to be really satisfying. Maybe that's the Scotch

> part.  It is doubtful that it's Scottish or period, but I would

> love to have someone make up a big pot with lots of the

> good stuff at Pennsic for lunch one day.

 

De Nola says that one should cook barley in chicken broth.  He

suggests adding almond milk and sugar, but goes on to say that these

are optional, especially is the broth is nice and fatty.  Saffron is another

optional ingredient.  It's not Scotch broth, but it is period, and you could

make the consistency soupy or porridgy, as you preferred.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 08:26:20 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - spelt

 

Donna Ford wrote:

> Does anyone know where I can buy the ancient grain spelt, about how much

> it costs and where I can find period recipes for it?

 

GoldMine Natural Foods, they are on the web. You can buy it whole grain or

ground to order. They also have Kamut [the grain resurrected from a batch found

in an egyptian tomb.] Also many healthfod stores or food co-ops carry it.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 08:59:07 -0400

From: "Nicholas Sasso" <NJSasso at msplaw.com>

Subject: SC - re: spelt

 

<<<From: Donna Ford <evfemia at mail.com>

Does anyone know where I can buy the ancient grain spelt, about how much

it costs and where I can find period recipes for it?

I'd love to include it in a feast menu someday. >>>

 

Spelt is still a quite common product in several of today's cuisines, especially for wheat intolerant diners. I find it in Atlanta at a co-op called Sevenanda, and I suspect you'll find it at any whole food or health food stores.  Look with grains and cereals or ask the proprietor.  

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 12:44:05 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Trenchers Oh my!

 

> > This 50/50 maslin mix produces a common rye.  For trenchers, I would have

> > expected something closer to 75/25 rye to wheat.  The fact the mix was very

> > sticky suggests that there was too much liquor to the volume of wheat, as

> > does the fact that you made it kneadable by adding more flour.

>

> Hm. Well, actually, I'm confused again. Wouldn't maslin be regular wheat

> mixed with rye, rather than spelt? (Also, I thought maslin specifically

> referred to greain harvested from fields where wheat and rye were planted

> intermixed-- was it also used to refer to mixing the grain together

> afterward, or are you just using the term generically?)

 

Maslin is any mixed grain, but especially a mix of wheat and rye, the two

most commonly used grains in Europe.  While maslin is produced by mixing

grain in the fields (by carelessness or by design), brown bakers commonly

produced maslin flour by mixing wheat and rye flours.  Mixing the flours

allows better control of the end product and better control of the costs,

important considerations considering the regulations controlling the

commercial baking of bread.

 

Bear

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Frumenty.

Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 23:20:38 -0500

 

Soft wheats were more common in Europe until the modern period.  Triticum

spelta (spelt) and Triticum durum (durum) were among the hardest available

wheats.

 

Einkorn (Triticum monococcum) was the common wheat in the British Isles

until the 1st Century BCE when the Romans introduced emmer (Triticum

dicoccum) to Southeast England.

 

Emmer was slowly replaced by club wheat (Triticum compactum) between 600 and

900 CE.  Most of the wheat grown today are variants of Triticum compactum,

Triticum vulgare (common wheat) and Triticum durum.

 

The basic hybridization of wheat was accomplished before recorded history,

so the differences between period and modern wheat are mostly in disease

resistance, greater yield and higher gluten content.  An exception is

triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye.

 

A flour with between 6 and 9 per cent protein (such as various cake flours

and some of the southern all purpose flours like White Lily) will probably

be closest to Medieval fine, white flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 14:18:27 -0400

From: margali <1margali at 99main.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Frumenty.

 

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-156.html

 

More than anybody really wants to know about early and period

forms of wheat ;-)

margali

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Frumenty.

Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 16:10:48 -0500

 

>     I did happen to be skimming a little book of Medieval

> verse snippets last night, and saw a reference to "red" wheat,

> but that still tells very little about the variety and its

> qualities.

>           -- Ruth

 

Wheats are often divided into red and white and hard and soft.  Reds and

whites (including yellows) come in both soft and hard varieties.  Hard

wheats are high in protein. Soft wheats are low in protein.  The hard and

soft descriptions derive from the feel of the flour when compressed in the

fist.  The harder it feels, the higher the protein, the better for bread.

 

Hard reds and whites are used for bread.  Soft red is used in cakes and

pastries where the whiteness of the flour doesn't matter.  Soft whites are

commonly used in crackers, biscuits and very light colored pastries.  The

planting of soft red varieties is declining.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Vincent Cuenca" <bootkiller at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 14:37:12

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks digest, Vol 1 #107 - 14 msgs

 

> > maslin

 

I've also seen this term used by Massimo Montanari and Toussaint-Samat to

describe the mixed grains themselves, as compared to the bread.  Apparently

there was a practice of sowing several grain types in the same field to

guarantee some sort of production.  If one grain (say, oats) failed, then

the other grains (barley, rye or whatever) couls still be harvested and sold

or used.

 

Vicente

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Which is which?

Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 08:42:27 -0500

 

> Is Semolina and Polenta the same thing or byproducts of

> something? And if I

> have a recipe calling for semolina, can I use polenta? Thanks!

> Misha

 

Semolina is the "middlings" from milling durum wheat.  It is a high gluten,

coarse wheat flour used in making pasta.

 

Polenta is an Italian dish of cooked grain flour molded into some shape

(barley and wheat were used in Antiquity, maize is used today).  If you have

"polenta meal" or "polenta flour," it is a fancy way of saying corn (maize)

meal.  Sometimes, you can get polenta that comes wrapped like a sausage or

cookie dough.  This is already cooked grain molded into a tube to be sliced,

heated and eaten.

 

If I had to replace semolina in a recipe, I would consider spelt flour, a

50/50 mix of whole wheat and white flour, whole wheat flour and white flour

in that order to approximate the gluten and texture of semolina.  In my

opinion, only the spelt would be a good trade for the semolina.

 

Locally, semolina runs about $1/pound where whole wheat and white flour run

$.20/pound, so I only keep 3 to 5 pounds on hand for specialized baking

projects.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Dana Tweedy" <tweedyd at cvn.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pennsic feast ideas.

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 22:46:27 -0400

 

Here is some information about couscous being period:

http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/6454/History_cookbooks.html

 

Bartolomeo Scappi (1540-1570) was a cook to various cardinals, and perhaps

Pope Pius IV. Many classical cooking techniques are presented by Scappi:

marinating, braising and poaching. He explores the Arab art of pastry making

and the likes of succussu all moresca (Moorish couscous). His book published

in 1570 contains over 1,000 recipes. It is extremely well illustrated and

demonstrates the high point renaissance cookery at its best. By the 1650s it

was out of print and the culinary initiative had passed to Paris.

 

 

From: David Friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pennsic feast ideas.

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 23:18:11 -0700

 

"Dana Tweedy" <tweedyd at cvn.net> wrote:

> Here is some information about couscous being period:

> http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/6454/History_cookbooks.html

>

> Bartolomeo Scappi (1540-1570)...

 

The 13th c. Andalusian cookbook sometimes known as Manuscrito Anonimo

(the translation is on my web site) has a few references to couscous. I

think the question is whether that particular recipe was period.

 

For example:

 

Soldiers' Couscous (Kuskusž Fity‰ni)

 

The usual moistened couscous is known by the whole world. The fity‰ni is

the one where the meat is cooked with its vegetables, as is usual, and

when it is done, take out the meat and the vegetables from the pot and

put them to one side; strain the bones and the rest from the broth and

return the pot to the fire; when it has boiled, put in the couscous

cooked and rubbed with fat and leave it for a little [p. 57, verso -- HM

actually says p. 57, recto here] on a reduced fire or the hearthstone

until it takes in the proper amount of the sauce; then throw it on a

platter and level it, put on top of it the cooked meat and vegetables,

sprinkle it with cinnamon and serve it. This is called Fity‰ni in

Marrakesh.

--

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 19:58:25 -0400

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] scottish foodstuffs

 

"Laura C. Minnick" wrote:snipped

> Hmm. Who was it (Ben Jonson?) that made the remark about oats, that in

> England they fed the horses, and in Scotland they supported the people?

> 'Lainie

 

Wrong Johnson.. 'Lanie.

Actually  that remark was something

that Boswell attributed to the great Dr. Johnson.

Johnson gives it in his dictionary as:

OATS. n.s. [a_en, Saxon.] A grain, which

in England is generally given to horses,

but in Scotland supports the people.

see: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/johnson/entries.html

for more on Johnson.

 

Actually if you want to read about oats,

take a look at The Scots and Their Oats

by G. W. Lockhart which is still in print

in the U.K. It's a small rather charming study.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis Johnna Holloway

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 13:30:53 -0500 (EST)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Latkes was Probably OOP but just wondering.

 

> << buckwheat groats." >>

> What is this? Is this another form of oats of some sort?

 

Buckwheat is a distinct grain, different from wheat, oats, rye, etc.

 

Groats are grain that has been crushed but not ground. Oat, barley,

buckwheat, rye and other types of groats are the predecessors of what

americans call oat-meal, but you can buy groats in the grocery store.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 17:45:49 -0500

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Latkes// buckwheat groats

 

See http://www.foodsubs.com/GrainBuckwheat.html

for photos and descriptions. It may better explain

what they are...

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

XvLoverCrimvX at aol.com wrote:

> johnna writes:

> << buckwheat groats." >>>

> What is this? Is this another form of oats of some sort?

>  Misha

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 16:59:12 -0600

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Buckwheat was (Latkes was Probably OOP but just

wondering.)

 

> johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu writes:

> << buckwheat groats." >>

> What is this? Is this another form of oats of some sort?

> Misha

 

It is a seed-like fruit of Fagopyrum esculentum (or possibly related plants)

which can be used whole (groats) or ground (flour).  Use was more common in

Eastern Europe.  In Russia, it appears as kasha.

 

Bear

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 09:06:24 -0500 (EST)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Buckwheat was (Latkes was Probably OOP but just

wondering.)

 

> <<  In Russia, it appears as kasha.

>  Bear

>   >>

> Ah, I get it. All ya'll had to do was say its kasha :)

 

Well, not exactly. Buckwheat groats IS buckwheat kasha. But kasha is a

generic term for groats, and buckwheat doesn't appear in Eastern Europe

until the 13th or 14th century.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Buckwheat was (Latkes was Probably OOP but justwondering.)

Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 21:23:59 -0600

 

>Well, not exactly. Buckwheat groats IS buckwheat kasha. But kasha is a

>generic term for groats, and buckwheat doesn't appear in Eastern Europe

>until the 13th or 14th century.

>-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

I'm curious as to your source for the introduction of buckwheat to Eastern

Europe.  There is some archeological evidence that buckwheat was used prior

to the Middle Ages, although K.A.W.H. Leenders suggests that this is

infiltration from higher strata in his paper on buckwheat at

http://kuhttp.cc.ukans.edu/kansas/orb/essays/text06.htm .

 

Leenders can be considered questionable because he mistakenly places the

origin of buckwheat in the Near East or North Africa, although it is

possible that it may have been spread during the Islamic expansion.

Buckwheat is of Asiatic origin.

 

The Rus Primary Chronicle doesn't mention buckwheat, but food references in

it tend to be very general and there are few mentions of specific grains.

 

Dembinska provides the fact that two types of buckwheat were known in Poland

during the Middle Ages, Fagopyrum esculentum and F. tartaricum (Tartarian

buckwheat).  Tartarian buckwheat appears to have been introduced during the

Mongol Invasions of the early 13th Century.

 

I did try to check a paper on analyses of Medieval dung which I remember as

having references to buckwheat, but the URL failed.

 

Bear

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 09:51:37 -0500 (EST)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Buckwheat was (Latkes was Probably OOP but

justwondering.)

 

> Dembinska provides the fact that two types of buckwheat were known in Poland

> during the Middle Ages, Fagopyrum esculentum and F. tartaricum (Tartarian

> buckwheat).  Tartarian buckwheat appears to have been introduced during the

> Mongol Invasions of the early 13th Century.

 

Hm.. I was relying on my notes from Dembinska and from Smith & Christian

(_Bread and Salt_). I may have missed references to an earlier use of a

separate strain of buckwheat in the Woyes Weaver-Dembinska text. I'll go

back and check it tonight and post what I find whenever I get back online.

 

Buckwheat is not mentioned in: "Archaeobotanical Evidence for Food Plants

in the Poland of the Piasts (10th-13th Centuries AD)", M.

Polcyn. Biological Journal of Scotland, vol 46, no 4, p 533-537.

 

But that's at best negative evidence.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

From: Marilyn Traber <marilyn.traber.jsfm at statefarm.com>To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 12:53:52 -0500Subject: [Sca-cooks] Wheats >For that matter, does anybody have any sources for soft wheat in grain>form, i.e., not ground into flour yet (short of actually raising the>stuff)?>>Margaret

Gold Mine Natural Foods sells emmer, einkorn, spelt, kamut and both winterand summer soft and hard wheats ground and unground. As well as 4 kinds ofbarley [including hato mugo or jacob's tears] 2 kinds of teff [brown andwhite] black [longevity] rice, whole oats, millet, spelt bulgar, garbanzoand fava flour, chestnut flour, 3 kinds of garbanzos [regular, brown andblack]they are online, or at 1-800-475-3663.margali

 

Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 09:19:12 -0700

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cracked Barley

 

On Mon, 5 Aug 2002 08:59:12 -0700 lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> I would like to make either a couscous or a

> polenta of cracked wheat for my Mediterranean Feast.

> Now, i can't recall ever seeing cracked barley

> for sale in any of the myriad stores i frequent.

 

Serendipitously, I bought a package yesterday at a health food store.  It was

with the packaged grains and cereals, not the bulk products, and was labelled

"barley grits".  The particular brand was Shiloh Farms, but I'm sure they're

not the only producer.

 

> Has anyone ever seen any? Any suggestions on

> how to make my own?

 

I gave it a quick try with my food processor and blender.  Result: a mixture

of whole barley and barley flour.  Morter and pestle worked quite well, though

I wouldn't want to do it that way in feast quantities.  If you don't want to

invest in a grain mill, perhaps a coffee grinder -- the kind that deposits the

grounds in a separate chamber, not the kind that is a mini food processor.

 

> Anahita

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2002 17:53:28 +1100

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Mark Calderwood <mark-c at acay.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ozzies: What is freekeh

 

>Anyway, this was all a pretty big hit (first course). I just got in a

>little while ago, and have done a web search for this green wheat

>product which seems mostly to be known as freekeh, and may in fact be

>a product of Australia.

 

Freekeh (also known as ferique and farika) is a grain harvested from green,

immature durum wheat. It's a traditional food of the Middle East and

northern Africa, especially Egypt. In the recipes I have it seems to have

been used mainly as a stuffing or accompaniment to chicken and poultry

dishes, but I've also seen it used instead of burgul in kibbeh. It's

currently being grown and marketed by a South Australian company whose

major markets include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain.

Their website is www.greenwheatfreekeh.com.au .

 

Giles

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Millet question (was What Crusaders ate in the Levant)

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:26:40 -0500

 

From the Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti, trans: Judith Spencer:

 

Italian Millet

This is one of the best known cereals in Italy, and is almost exactly the same as millet except that the heads are tightly packed with racemes and full of vast numbers of little, round, hairy grains. There is a wild variety which is eaten only by the birds. The domestic kind is cold and dry by nature and not very nutritious. In the opinion of Galen, its benefits and disadvantages are the same as those as millet.

 

Millet

Owing to its nourishing qualities, millet thickens the blood, is good for the stomach, and quenches thirst, particularly if it is boiled in water. It is harmful to weak intestines and for this reason it should be well cooked and served with almond oil and sugar. Some believe it is less harmful if cooked with milk or with honey, or cooked in broth and served with good spices. But millet should be reserved for those with strong stomachs. Discordes mentions it only briefly, but manages to include this most useful cure: roast the millet and while still hot put it into a bag and apply to the body to relieve pain.

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Millet question

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:11:47 -0600

 

> Specifically, was millet considered animal fodder and famine food, or an

> acceptable part of the diet?  The references already mentioned seem to

> indicate that millet was acceptable, although not necessarily popular.

> Vicente

 

Millet is a fairly common grain originally grown in China and Ethiopia from

about 2000 BCE on.  There are about 60 species of panic grasses I am aware

of and there may be more.  The two most commonly mentioned are panic

(Panicum capillare or Panicum italicum) and millet (probably Proso millet,

Panicum miliaceum).  They were eaten by both man and beast.  While wheat and

barley are common for bread, millet makes decent polenta and porridge.

 

Sesame, millet, panic, wheat and barley are mentioned together in Xenophon's

Anabasis, Charlemagne directs the planting of both millet and panic in the

Capitulare de villis and Columbus refers to maize as a form of millet in his

Diario.  Considering those three sources, you are looking at a span of 1900

years where the grain was known and used.

 

Jose de Acosta in his Historia natural y moral de las Indias of 1590 states,

"...for they have no kind of wheat, barley, millet, panic grass, or any

grain such as is used in Europe to make bread. Instead they have other kinds

of grains and roots, among which maize, called Indian wheat in Castile and

Turkey grain in Italy, holds the first place."

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:31:06 -0500

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Millet question

 

Actually the Slovenians still have a traditional porridge

that is made from millet. According to the one Balkan cookbook

put out by Prospect Books, they are the last ethnic group in

Europe that still eats millet and doesn't think of it as birdseed.

I bought some earlier this week in case my son needed another

Slovenian dish to make for a school project. Arrowhead Mills has it

small bags. Food and Drink in Medieval Poland by Dembinska also talks

about it so I would search Eastern European and Central European

sources.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

 

 

Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 08:54:43 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Siege Cookery at Talonvale: The Premise

      and   Ingredients

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

 

>>>>> 

>> What is "saracen corn"?

> Buckwheat.

> <<<<

> Ah! Okay. I'd never heard this term before. Come to think of it, I don't

remember that much discussion of buckwheat here, either. How does buckwheat

differ from wheat? And what period recipes do we have that use it? Is it

more of an East European grain than west? Or, from the name, was it really

not available in Europe during the Middle Ages? Of course, white wheat being

the preferred grain, perhaps "saracen" refers to lower quality rather than a

place of origin?

> Stefan

 

Buckwheat originates in Central Asia and was cultivated from China to

Russian and the Middle East. Presumably the Crusaders encountered it and

named it Saracen corn.  It was not particularly prized or desired by the

Europeans.  IIRC, general cultivation of buckwheat in Western Europe begins

in the 16th or 17th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 23:28:23 -0500

From: "Lonnie D. Harvel" <ldh at ece.gatech.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

Tonight I made a practice run on the beef soup with kasha that I will be

making for a Traveller's Fare on 11/19. This is my first use of kasha

and I had some surprises.

 

First, I put in what I thought to be a small amount, a scant 1 cup, into

a soup that had about 2 1/2 quarts of liquid. Poof, instant porridge, or

something close to it. There was about 2 cups of free liquid after a 20

minute simmer. I expect the leftovers in the fridge will absorb it all

by morning.

 

Second, the kasha has a distinct flavor, stonger than the barley, rice,

and oats I have cooked with previously. The soup was good, but there was

something that was not quite right in the flavor. My guess is that it

was the small amount of cinnamon that I put into the beef when I cooked

it earlier.  (soup recipe, from previous post)

 

So, what would be a good combination of spices/herbs for a soup of beef,

onion, carrot, and kasha?

 

Thanks,

Aoghann.

 

(For the Beef Soup, I am slow cooking the beef in advance with salt,

black pepper, a touch of garlic, and a touch of cinnamon. (15 pounds so

far). I then freeze it with its juice. The complete soup is made with

onions, carrots, beef stock and kasha.)

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 10:43:04 -0500

From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: grain in milk dishes

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

 

> I don't know.  Every time I've tried to cook something milk, be it  grains

> or pears or whatever, the milk separated into curds & whey.  I have a

> speculation that raw milk may react differently, but I don't have a

> source for it.

 

If you're cooking in milk, never let it boil- most you want it to do is

simmer. Otherwise, particularly with foods with any acid in them, it will

seperate.

 

Saint Phlip,

CoD

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 11:17:48 -0500

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: grain in milk dishes

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

 

Magdalena scripsit:

> I don't know.  Every time I've tried to cook something milk, be it grains

> or pears or whatever, the milk separated into curds & whey.  I have a

> speculation that raw milk may react differently, but I don't have a

> source for it.

 

If you are getting the milk very hot -- above 170º or so -- and adding any

sort of acid or coagulant (and there are lots of substances that will

coagulate milk protein) you are basically making cheese. Hence the

curds-and-whey. Raw milk will behave the same way as pasteurized.

 

If you cook the milk at a much lower temperature it shouldn't be as

much of a problem.

 

Cynara

 

 

Date: Fri,  5 Nov 2004 11:28:48 -0500

From: "Jeff Gedney" <gedney1 at iconn.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: grain in milk dishes

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

 

> If you're cooking in milk, never let it boil- most you want it to

> do is simmer. Otherwise, particularly with foods with any acid in

> them, it will seperate.

 

I've found that putting the grains into a steam tray or other dish, and

adding milk and baking in a slow oven works pretty well. (I set it to 250)

You want to cover it with foil or use a lid, and you pretty much want

to stir/fluff every 10 mins or so.

 

Capt Elias

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 11:41:09 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

> Tonight I made a practice run on the beef soup with kasha that I will be

> making for a Traveller's Fare on 11/19. This is my first use of kasha

> and I had some surprises.

 

Ok, sounds like you are using buckwheat kasha. I'm wondering if you

absolutely need to use buckwheat kasha, or would kasha (groats) made

from some other grain, such as barley, rye, millet or wheat do more of

what you had in mind?

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 14:14:15 EST

From: BLorenz753 at aol.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] cooking with kasha

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Snipped . . . . . First, I put in what I thought to be a small amount, a

scant 1 cup, into

a soup that had about 2 1/2 quarts of liquid. Poof, instant porridge, or

something close to it. There was about 2 cups of free liquid after a 20

minute simmer. I expect the leftovers in the fridge will absorb it all

by morning.

 

I have found that toasting the kasha in butter or some other fat is a good

preparation for combining with soups and stews.  The "not quite right" flavor

may have been from "old" kasha.  Like other whole grain products it can

sometimes "go over" as my grandmother used to say . . . Good luck.

Bruce . .

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 11:23:38 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: : [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Aoghann wrote:

> Second, the kasha has a distinct flavor, stonger than the barley, rice,

> and oats I have cooked with previously. The soup was good, but there was

> something that was not quite right in the flavor. My guess is that it

> was the small amount of cinnamon that I put into the beef when I cooked

> it earlier.  (soup recipe, from previous post)

> So, what would be a good combination of spices/herbs for a soup of  

> beef, onion, carrot, and kasha?

 

I assume you were using buckwheat groats, which is often marketed in

the US as "kasha". As an aside, buckwheat is actually not technically

a grain, but the seed from a plant related to rhubarb. It has no

gluten. Buckwheat kasha in the US is already hulled and lightly

toasted. But you can also buy non-kasha buckwheat (not toasted or

cracked)

 

Kasha is a somewhat general Slavic word for hulled and cracked grains

- there's more to this that my Russian boyfriend told me, but i can't

recall his details. A Bulgarian website translated kasha as gruel and

a Russian one said kasha was porridge. Kasha can be made of almost

any grain (or non-grain like buckwheat :-)

 

I like buckwheat, but it has a very strong and distinct flavor, which

may alter a dish that was intended for milder flavored wheat or

barley. It also has a tendency to be a little bitter.

 

One way to "improve" the flavor of buckwheat groats is to toast them

in the oven or pan roast them in oil. Another option is to saute the

onion in oil and before it is done add the buckwheat and cook

stirring until it is browned. Don't burn, or it will be even more

bitter.

 

Then stir in the liquid.

 

Buckwheat groats are good with any allia (garlic, onions, leeks,

shallots, scallions, etc.), mushrooms, celery, carrots, parsnips...

 

I think buckwheat also goes well with toasted sunflower seeds, pine

nuts, hazelnuts, pecans (not SCA period), or another mild not bitter

nut or seed. Walnuts wouldn't be as good, because they are often a

little bitter.

 

I've seasoned buckwheat with salt, and various savory green herbs,

including celery leaves, but never used spices like cinnamon or

ginger. However, it can be served as a cooked "cereal" for breakfast

when it is eaten with jam or sugar.

 

Buckwheat also is tasty augmented with butter, but chicken fat

(schmaltz), goose fat, a flavorful sunflower oil, or a good fruity

olive oil are also good.

 

I suspect it wasn't common in Medieval and Renaissance Western

Europe, but it was eaten in Eastern Europe. I'm sure Bear or someone

else will correct me if i'm mistaken. I can't find my Oxford

Companion to Food at the moment to verify or contradict my comment.

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 15:05:50 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

> Kasha is Buckwheat groats.  Other grains go by other names. I have  

> never seen a 'wheat kasha' or 'rice kasha', etc...  only buckwehat kasha.

 

'kasha' is just Russian for 'groats'. :)

The most common modern type of kasha in the Ukraine is buckwheat, but

buckwheat doesn't come into Russia/Ukraine until partway through our

period.

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 15:44:03 -0800 (PST)

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

Subject: Re: : [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

--- lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> I suspect it wasn't common in Medieval and Renaissance Western

> Europe, but it was eaten in Eastern Europe. I'm sure Bear or someone

> else will correct me if i'm mistaken. I can't find my Oxford

> Companion to Food at the moment to verify or contradict my comment.

> Anahita

 

Here is a portion of what the Oxford Companion to

Food says about buckwheat:

 

Although buckwheat has certainly been gathered

from the wild for a long time in its native

region [East Asia], deliberate cultivation may

not be very ancient.  The first written records

of the plant are in Chinese documents of the

5th and 6th centuries AD. It appears to have

reached Japan from Korea in antiquity and an

official chronicle (Shoku-Nihongi) completed

in 722, contained the earliest known mention

of buckwheat in Japanese literature.

 

Buckwheat reached Eastern Europe from Russia in

the Middle Ages, entering Germany in the 15th

century. Later it came to France and Italy where

it was known as 'Saracen corn', a name that

survives in both languages; and Spain, where a

name derived from Arabic was used.  For several

centuries it was grown as a crop of minor

importance in most of Europe, including Britain,

but it has now lost popularity in Western Europe.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2004 13:03:56 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

William de Grandfort wrote:

>>> Kasha is Buckwheat groats.  Other grains go by other names. I have never

>>> seen a 'wheat kasha' or 'rice kasha', etc...  only buckwehat kasha.

 

   Jadwiga Zajaczkowa wrote:

>> 'kasha' is just Russian for 'groats'. :)

> I misspoke (mistyped?). In the U.S., the only 'Kasha' I have seen

> is buckwheat.

> Cracked wheat is generally termed 'bulgur', and so forth.  There may

> be rice kashas somewhere out there, but I have never seen them. :)

> William de Grandfort

 

Kasha is a Slavic term that is *generic*. It means, according to what

i found, "gruel" or "porridge", in other words, softly cooked grains,

or what we in the US tend to call "hot cereal".

 

You won't find any other grain commonly sold in the US as "kasha".

Because if you want other grain porridge, you buy "cream of wheat" or

"oatmeal", for example. But if you spoke Slavic, your end product of

either of those would still be kasha.

 

The use of the term "kasha" for buckwheat came to the US with

immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia, especially with Jews. For

most of my life, the only kasha i ever saw in packages was not only

buckwheat, but packaged by specifically Jewish companies. I assume

that was because where this specific ethno-cultural group had come,

buckwheat was their common cooked grain.

 

I believe it extremely unlikely that you will find any other grain

packaged as kasha, except, perhaps, in a market which is oriented to

Slavs and sells imported foodstuffs. But now that i think twice, why

would they sell kasha? Kasha is what you end up with after cooking

grains a certain way. The uncooked grains are just whatever they are,

wheat, barley, buckwheat (ok, not really a grain), spelt, etc.

 

Thinking that buckwheat = kasha is erroneous. It doesn't. But because

of packaging, many in the US believe it to be true. When i talked to

my Russian boyfriend about "kasha", he wasn't certain what i meant,

because kasha doesn't mean a specific grain.

 

What you are getting in that yellow box is buckwheat that has been

hulled and roasted. For clarity and linguistic correctness, you're

better off calling it buckwheat.

 

Anahita

a fan of soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) and crepes from Brittany

(made with "Saracen wheat", French for "buckwheat"), neither of which

is kasha nor is it made from kasha

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2004 15:29:35 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

> I misspoke (mistyped?). In the U.S., the only 'Kasha' I have seen is

> buckwheat.  Cracked wheat is

> generally termed 'bulgur', and so forth.  There may be rice kashas

> somewhere out there, but I have never seen them. :)

> William de Grandfort

 

Actually, that is the other way around, bulgur is termed cracked wheat.

Cracked wheat is the broken wheatberry.  For bulgur, the wheatberry is

steamed and dried before cracking.  Since bulgur is cracked, it can be

considered cracked wheat (and generally appears on packages of bulgur), but

not all cracked wheat can be considered bulgur as it is not all steam

cooked.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 22:29:07 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Different flours, was Cookie Exchange

To: "Bill Fisher" <liamfisher at gmail.com>,    "Cooks within the SCA"

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and other grains, rice is a grass.

> The protein forms strands that swell and form bubbles when the

> leavening occurs.  It is also what makes bread stretchy.

> Cadoc

 

Rice is a grain.  Grains are cereal grasses.  Not all grains contain

gluten.

 

Gluten consists of two classes of insoluable proteins, gliadin and glutenin.

Gliaden forms short, weak gluten strands.  Glutenin forms long, strong

gluten strands.  Wheat has both gliaden and glutenin.  Rye primarily has

gliaden.  Rice has neither.

 

In breadmaking, the gluten forms strands of molecules which trap (rather

than form) the carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the leavening.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 09:20:36 -0500

From: Bill Fisher <liamfisher at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cooking with Kasha

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

 

On Tue, 9 Nov 2004 14:30:25 -0500, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius

<adamantius.magister at verizon.net> wrote:

> One might try to draw the

> line and argue that a grain like quinoa (I'm clutching at straws,

> now), not having been recognizable to somebody's 19th-century Russian

> Jewish grandma, is ineligible as a source grain for kasha, and there

> might be some substance to that argument, but that still doesn't

> support an argument that kasha must be buckwheat.

> <phew>

> Adamantius

 

Quinoa, by its structure wouldn't make a porridge.  You could make

polenta from it because it can be ground.  But boiled, whole or cracked,

it just doesn't change enough. (aside from making little spirals in  

your food.

 

Plus I think it is in the same family Lamb's Quarters is in if I remember right

from some recent reading. More of a weed than a grass..

 

Cadoc

 

 

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:40:41 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Barely Barley, or True Grits

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Jadwiga's description of her feast, and her mention of "barley

groats" reminded me...

 

In 2002 for the Mediterranean Tour Feast i made Pulentium using

purchased barley grits - i'm pretty sure it was Bob's Red Mill brand.

 

In 2003 for the Greco-Roman feast i made Pulentium... but i couldn't

find barley grits anywhere, and i checked several specialty shops.

The buyer at my local Whole Foods even brought out the order books

with lists of products from suppliers and barley grits wasn't listed.

We cooks ended up putting whole hulled barley in a grinder of some

sort, which broke some of them up a bit, but they weren't as fine as

the grits. It was ok, but not as good as when made with "true grits".

 

I've searched the web for barley grits for sale. I went through many

pages of Google and only found a couple commercial brands, among them

Bob's Red Mill Barley Grits/Meal and Arrowhead Mills Bits O Barley

Cereal.

 

But in checking with my local Whole Foods today, it appears the Bob's

Red Mill doesn't have it anymore. Arrowhead Mills seems to have it in

their catalog, but Whole Foods NoCal region doesn't have it in their

system. That means the buyer could order it for me, but they can't

sell it on their shelves, so i'd have to buy the whole case of 12

24-oz pkgs for $58.50. He finally found "Mother's Quick Cooking

Barley" (11-oz pkg for $1.19). They haven't carried it since 2000,

but since it's in their system, he can sell it. We don't know if it's

actually barley grits, but he ordered a case and i'll buy a bag when

it comes in on Tuesday. (in a web-check it appears to be pearl

barley, groan)

 

Barley grits show up as an ingredient in a number of cooked cereal

blends intended for people who want or need to avoid gluten and in

multi-grain breads, so it's being produced. I guess it wasn't selling

enough by itself, but with so many more people eschewing wheat for

various reasons, i thought it would still be in demand. Sigh.

 

Urtatim / formerly Anahita

 

 

Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 08:21:30 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cereals (was food safety/food preservation

      question)

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

 

> Rice is also a grass. Collectively, the grain

> producing grasses (wheat, oats, corn, rice, etc.) are

> referred to as cereal grasses.  When you include

> plants like buckwheat and amaranth, the collective

> term is cereals.

> Bear

> My OLD, classroom definition of cereal was the edible

> seeds of cultivated grasses so there were 5 cereal

> grains (oat, wheat, barley, rice, corn/maize)  and

> getting students to differentiate between cereals and

> cereal products (even though you tell them in class

> that lucky charms are a cereal product...)

> Arianwen ferch Arthur

 

Ah, but which class?

 

What your textbook definition is giving you are the five "primary"

commercial grains.  Since rye, sorghum and millet are cultivated grasses,

produce edible seeds and are eaten by humans as grain and flour, then the

limitation of five cereals is incorrect and makes the work you quote  

suspect academically.

 

I tend to use the dictionary definition which says cereal can mean a food

prepared from cereals.  To avoid confusion, using the labels cereal grain

and cereal product are a good idea.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 21:06:35 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT - bologne

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

 

Cook it somewhat akin to rice- roughly 1 c bulgar to 1 3/4 c water.

Other than that, anything you do with rice will work with bulgar. Can

start by sauteeing it in butter, then adding favorite veggies and

preferred stock, or make it sweet, like oatmeal. You basically want an

even texture with bits of good stuff in it.

 

One way to use it is as a salad type thing- cook it up, cool it, and

add yogurt, chopped cukes and mint. It's very versatile like most

starches.

 

On 10/19/06, Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at videotron.ca> wrote:

> Some time ago, in a mad rush of optimism, I actually bought bulgur, figuring

> I'd give it a shot and broaden the kids' culinary horizons while there's

> still time (they say that eating habits are, on average, fixed  

> before they reach 6 years of age.

> Problem is, I don't have the faintest idea what to do with it. I  

> probably have a few recipes in cookbooks here and there, but I haven't  

> managed to get up and actually cook one. Any suggestions?

> Petru

--

Saint Phlip

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 18:01:05 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Polenta

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

 

Couscous is not pasta in the normal sense that it is a mix of flour, water,

eggs, etc.  It is processed grain meal.  A coarse grain meal is dampened and

rolled into pellets, said pellets being sieved and returned to the process

until they don't pass through the sieve.  Finished pellets are dusted with

dry semolina to keep them from clumping.  In most countries it is treated as

a grain.  The term couscous (I have been informed) is also used to describe

similar dishes of other grains than semolina.

 

The "weak proteins" are the adhesive proteins found on the surface of the

grain and not the gluten that is common with pasta.

 

Polenta is a gruel of grain meal, that has been boiled and may have a

consistence from porridge to bread.  These days it is usually served in

slices, but in some cases it may be broken apart (I understand this to be a

Sicilian custom) and used as a base for other dishes as is couscous.  Gachas

appear to be an evolution of polenta.

 

Grits are any coarsely ground grain meal, so both polenta and couscous are

commonly made from grits.

 

According to one source, couscous probably entered the Arab world from West

Africa around the 10th Century. Islam became a major force in the region

between the 11th and 13th Centuries, so this ties quite nicely with the

widespread use of couscous starting in the 13th Century (and possibly

earlier).  I would speculate that before they used couscous the Moslems used

grain meal and that the couscous replaced the plain meal in their dishes.

This would give Medieval writers a reason to equate polenta and couscous.

 

Bear

 

>    Originally this message started out with the fact that I was

> confused between polenta and grits and I wanted to know if they are

> different or the same dishes. I think I have figured this out by going

> back to Flower's translation of Apicuis (1 AD) in which she translates

> /alicam/ as grits which consist of crushed barley or spelt that have

> been soaked over night. This seems to concur with the modern version

> using hominy or hulled corn kernels.

>    Now I became hung up of gachas, the forerunners on couscous which

> Antonio Gazquez Ortiz says are the same as polenta. Gachas in Arabic is

> /sawiq/, dried barley. Actually it is a bread soup boiled with lard. The

> basic ingredient is flour, breadcrumbs or slices of bread. Semolina

> could be used. Gachas is a typical dish in the Mancha where it is a

> wheat porridge consisting of wheat boiled in salted water to which milk,

> honey or another liquid could be added. There in medieval times the

> principle food of the lower classes consisted of bread but when wheat

> was scarce gachas was consumed as a substitute.

>    Sent Sovi recipe CXI and Nola's xxii are for gachas which Gazquez

> calls polenta. I guess I can accept his word.

>    Now this leads to confusion with couscous which prior to the 13th C

> was referred to as harira (the Jewish version of gachas) or gachas (with

> couscous grains), which is confusing as harira today is a well spiced

> soup consisting of finely mashed wheat. In the Middle Ages it was boiled

> wheat or breadcrumbs to which meat and mutton grease were added.

>    Now we have the problem of couscous being referred to as polenta in

> the Middle Ages. This fact is that if it is not properly dried before

> added to soup the couscous melts and becomes a sort of  polenta. Until

> the 14th and 15th centuries couscous did not evolve into what the dish

> is today. This may make it sound like couscous was not steamed prior to

> that time. I do not know.

>    Marie stated on 27 November that, "Couscous is a particular form of

> pasta and not a grain at all...."An odd note here is that Charles Perry says  

> couscous is not like pasta as it is held together by 'weaker proteins' as in  

> grains not gluten. He goes on to underline Mark's statement that couscous can

> be made with any grain and mentions bran, barley, maize, ground acorns

> and millet.

> Susan

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 08:16:20 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] treating food with lye

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

 

Hominy is hulled, dried corn. The hulls are removed through boiling.  Lye

hominy is produced when lye is used to soften the hulls before boiling.  In

the U.S. hominy is commonly used to refer to lye hominy.  Hominy and lye

hominy were developed in the pre-columbian Americas and are cultural

transfers, so you probably won't find any references to lye soaked  

grain in Europe.

 

Polenta is the Italian variant of cooked grain meal, which is probably of

Neolithic or older origin and is found in most human cultures.  Maize

polenta is eaten all over Italy, but it is most associated with northern

Italy because that is the major maize growing region of the country.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 23:00:20 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] barley meal

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

 

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

>>>> The recipe called for 1 1/2 pounds of barley meal. Unfortunately my

> grocery had lots of flours and meals including oats, but no barley

> meal. They did have Quaker Medium Pearled Barley and I figured I

> could grind that to a meal using my Kitchenaid food processor.

> However, after much grinding, spinning noises and the barley heating

> up, all I've gotten is a faction of a cup of fine barley flour and a

> cup and a half of dusty barley kernels. <<SNIP>>< < < < <

 

You'll find it best using either a whirling blade or knurled rollers to make

your barley meal.  The coffe mill is one style, and a grist mill like a

Corona corn mill or the honking big coffee grinders at the grocery store in

the coffee isle that will grind 2 or 3 lbs at a time.  I have one of those,

and it drives through the grains without so much as a groan, even on

'espresso' setting.  Takes about 35 seconds to do a whole pound of rice or

wheat.

 

The grocery would probably not even mind your using theirs, but put about 2

lbs of rice through first (and send it through twice . . . once on coarsest,

once on finest) it tends to absorb the coffee oils and clean out the

grinding works.  Then send your barley through.  I've asked before, and the

employee on the aisle had no problem.  Though they probably had no real

clue what I was talking about :o)  Now I own my own used one.

 

niccolo difrancesco

(mows through 2 lbs of cassia in NO time)

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 21:33:09 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Flour Query

 

Almost all of the types of flour available today were available somewhere

during the SCA period.  The one exception I can think of offhand is

triticale which is a modern hybrid combining two genera of cereals.  Barley,

rye, wheat, and oats are probably the most common milled grasses, but

millet, sorghum and other grasses were milled to flour, as were nuts,

pulses, vetches and just about anything that could be dried and crushed.

 

Barley, rye, wheat and oats were used in the Neolithic.  Wheat follows a

progression of einkorn to emmer with emmer giving way to club wheat between

500 and 800 CE.  Spelt and durum wheat were definitely used in Antiquity and

were used all through the period specified.  Although einkorn and emmer were

marginalized, they were still used.

 

All of the grains mentioned were being grown over most of Europe, but the

commonest was probably barley as it is used for baking and brewing.  Barley

and wheat are grown in good soil.  Rye can be grown in poorer soil and

harsher conditions.  Oats were usually reserved for poor land and bad

weather.

 

An example of the kind of mix one might find on a European farm in the early

9th Century shows up in the inventory of Charlemagne's estate at  

Asnapium:

 

"Of farm produce: old spelt (1) from last year, 90 baskets of which can be

made into 450 weight (2) of flour; and 100 measures (3) of barley.  From the

present year, 110 baskets of spelt, of which 60 baskets had been planted,

but the rest we found; 100 measures of wheat, 60 sown, the rest we  found; 98

measures of rye all sown; 1,800 measures of barley, 1,100 sown, the rest we

found; 430 measures of oats;"

 

Notes:

 

(1) A kind of grain still widely cultivated for food in Germany and

Switzerland; sometimes known as German wheat.

 

(2) The unit of weight was the pound. Charlemange replaced the old Gallic

pound by the Roman, which was a tenth less.

 

(3) The unit of measure was the muid. Charlemange had a standard measure

(modius publicus) constructed and in a number of his capitularies enjoined

that it be taken as a model by all his subjects. It contained probably a

little less than six pecks. A smaller measure was the setier,  

containing about five and two-thirds pints.

 

Excerpted from Ogg, Frederic A.; Source Book of Mediaeval History: American

Book Co., New York, 1907.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 06:40:17 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Flour Query and shortbread

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

 

> I'm not sure that wheat was grown in Scotland in period, much less

> rice. Yes, it could have been imported, but I don't remember that

> much grain/flour trade going on over long distances in medieval times

> or even the 16th century. Certainly not on the level that was

> apparently being done in Classical times. However, I'm willing to

> listen to contrary info. Wool out and wheat in?

> Stefan

 

The Hanse traded anything and everything from Baltic to London and all along

the Atlantic coast and as the Hanse expired, the English and Dutch merchant

companies were rising.  It may not have been as much as was imported into

Rome, but the traffic was profitable.  IIRC, Elizabeth David comments on

English bakers buying foreign grain because the bushels were larger and thus

produced greater profit for the cost.

 

Wheat, rye and oats were all grown in Scotland in period, but one needs to

consider that until the 17th Century "meal" almost exclusively meant

oatmeal.  The extent of the grain trade into Scotland doesn't appear to have

had a lot of study.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:29:51 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grains

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

 

For England the set that probably answers your questions is titled

The Agrarian History of England and Wales.

Cambridge University Press is the publisher.

It's an expensive multi-volumed set. Volume 3 covers 1348-1500 in 1000 pages.

1. Introduction: land and people; 2. The occupation of the land; 3.

Farming practice and techniques; 4. Marketing the produce of the

countryside, 1200?1500; 5. Prices and Wages, 1350?1500; 6. Landlords; 7.

Tenant farming and tenant farmers; 8. Peasant rebellion and peasant

discontents; 9. Rural building in England and Wales; Select bibliography; Index.

 

You'll just have to hope that a university or college in your area has the set.

For information on grains in general look under agriculture, not

breads. You'll have better luck finding what you want.

 

Johnna

 

>  I am looking for good documentation for various grains during our period.

> My A&S paper is  going to be about bread, the  fermentation process and the

> grains used. What I am really hoping to find  is something along the lines of

> bread from x was made with x flour.   Because x grain grew there.

>  The books I have about bread do not shed any light on it.

>  World Sourdoughs by Ed Wood, English Bread and Yeast Cookery  by Elizabeth

> David, The History of Bread by Berbard Dupaigne and A Treatise on  

> Baking by Wihlfart (Fleischmann Company).Aldyth

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:04:55 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grains

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

 

Pardon me, but your view is too simplistic.  If you are talking about

leavened bread, you are talking wheat and rye.  They are the only grains

with enough gluten to work with a leaven.  Both grains were ubiquitous

across much of Europe well before period.

 

They can be mixed with other grains and each other to produce various

maslins (mixed grain).  Rye and the maslins are generally considered brown

breads.  Wheat is white bread. These are the province of brown bakers and

white bakers respectively (at least in late Medieval London).  The five or

six period bread recipes available are for wheat breads.  IIRC, there is a

brown bread recipe in Markham from just out of period.

 

If you are going to write about the full selection of breads and grains, you

will need to broaden your thinking and look into such things as the Hymn to

Ninkasi (description of barley flat bread uwsed to make beer), Abu Harrara

(sic?) and the earliest evidence of rye cultivation, Egyptian wheat bread

(3500-3000 BCE), wheat cakes from the Tain, horizontal turbine mills in 7th

Century Ireland, Pliny's description of leavened bread ala Vandal, etc.

 

Bear

 

> I am looking for good documentation for various grains during our period.

> My A&S paper is  going to be about bread, the  fermentation process and the

> grains used. What I am really hoping to find  is something along the lines

> of bread from x was made with x flour.   Because x grain grew there.

> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 12:27:48 EDT

From: Stanza693 at wmconnect.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grains

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

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

Quoting from SCA-Cooks digest v.11 #84.  Message from Aldyth at aol.com....

 

I am looking for good documentation for various grains during our period.

My A&S paper is  going to be about bread, the  fermentation process and the

grains used. What I am really hoping to find  is something along the lines of

bread from x was made with x flour.   Because x grain grew there.

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

 

Some of the info that I used in a current A&S Redaction project (Bunuelos from

the Manual de Mugeres, so this is more Spanish oriented)...

 

"Spanish Society: 1400 - 1600" by Teofilo F. Ruiz has a section on foods that

quotes a woman's will where she leaves funds to serve white (wheat) bread to

the poor each year.  He states this is a luxury since the poor generally ate

coarser, less refined breads. Wheat being eaten by the upper classes.

 

"Ancient Agriculture: Roots and Applications of Sustainable Farming" by

Gabriel Alonso de Herrera is the first English translation (2006) of his

1539edition of Obra de Agricultura.  It is mainly a treatise on farming, but it has loads of good info that can be extracted.  It even has a whole chapter on

vineyards and vintning. Translator was Rosa Lopez-Gaston.  Compiler was Juan Estevan Arellano.  (He's on the Medieval Gardening list, btw.)

 

Not a primary source, but Barbara Santich's "The Original Mediterranean

Cuisine" discusses how wheat bread is a staple in the Mediterranean  

kitchen.

 

There was also a webbed book (that I don't have on hand right now, but I

think it was on LIBRO) that talks about the women of the Castillian  

towns going daily to have the wheat ground at the mill.

 

Constanza Marina de Huelva

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 10:13:08 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ancient grains

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

 

Came across this site this am.

http://www.ancientgrains.org/index.html

 

*Delwen Samuel*?s interests include bread and beer in ancient Egypt,

cereals and nutrition in the Old World, and food microscopy and other

techniques of residue analysis. She is based in the

<http://www.kcl.ac.uk/kis/schools/life_sciences/life_sci/top.html>; at

Kings College London. *Mark Nesbitt*?s interests are in the prehistory

and history of plant use in the Near East, especially Turkey, in all

aspects of wheat and other Old World cereals, and in the beginnings of

farming. Although still publishing in these areas, his day job is on

current-day aspects of botany at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.

 

People might check it out.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 19:06:50 -0700 (PDT)

From: Helen Schultz <meisterin02 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Modern Bulgur

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

 

This isn't Medieval, but it doessound like an interesting recipe.  

This was the lead-in for it:

 

   A staple grain of Lebanese cooking, bulgur is made by parboiling,  

drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don't confuse  

bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that, cracked wheat. Since  

the parboiling step is skipped, cracked wheat must be cooked for up  

to an hour whereas bulgur simply needs a quick soak in hot water for  

most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large  

supermarkets, near other grains, or online at kalustyans.com,  

lebaneseproducts.com.

 

   http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bulgur_ginger_orange.html?

utm_source=EWTWNL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   Meisterin Katarina Helene von Sch?nborn, OL

   Shire of Narrental (Peru, Indiana) http://narrental.home.comcast.net

   Middle Kingdom

   http://meisterin.katarina.home.comcast.net

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 19:00:01 -0800 (PST)

From: "Dragon" <dragon at crimson-dragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

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

 

On Mon, January 28, 2008 18:26, S CLEMENGER wrote:

> I'm guilty, 100%, of making whole-grain mustard, but it's purely  

> because I prefer it that way.  It's also less work.

> I'm interested, though, in trying frumenty with some different types of

> wheat.  This part of Artemisia is largely hard winter wheat country, but

> there are all kinds of wheat berries available at my local "granola" store

> (Good Food Store...local equivalent of Whole Foods).  Of the common wheats

> available today, which is closest to that found, say, in 14th century

> Northern Europe?

 

Northern Europe was actually rye country. Wheat does not grow well up in

the northernmost latitudes.

 

Having said that, the wheat in Medieval Europe would most likely have  

been similar to the soft wheat varieties grown today with some areas

(particularly in Italy) also growing hard wheat and durum wheat.

 

I'd suggest finding some spring wheat, a health food store may be a good

place but you should also check out brewing supply stores for unmalted

wheat.

 

Red wheat varieties tend to have more flavor than white varieties.

 

Here's a page that has a good quick reference to the different types:

http://www.smallgrains.org/whfacts/6CLASSWH.HTM

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 21:22:45 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

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

 

Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) was the general use wheat from somewhere around

7000 BCE until between 500 and 800 CE, when it was replaced by club wheat

(Triticum compactum) for greater yields and easier threshing and milling.

What you will find in the health food stores will some variant of Triticum

aestivum, of which compactum is a subspecies with some 1500 varieties.  If

you want to try something close to Medieval, look for yellow or white

berries, unless they are one of the new hybrids, these will have more starch

and less protein.

 

You might also try spelt (Triticum spelta), which is higher in protein and

mills coarser than T. aestivum.

 

Bear

 

> I'm guilty, 100%, of making whole-grain mustard, but it's purely because I

> prefer it that way.  It's also less work.

> I'm interested, though, in trying frumenty with some different types of

> wheat.  This part of Artemisia is largely hard winter wheat country, but

> there are all kinds of wheat berries available at my local "granola" store

> (Good Food Store...local equivalent of Whole Foods).  Of the common wheats

> available today, which is closest to that found, say, in 14th century

> Northern Europe?

> --Maire

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 21:33:02 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

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

 

> I knew that about rye, Dragon...sorry I wasn't specific enough, but I

> didn't mean *that* far North...talking Ireland and southern Britain.

> Thanks for the link and the info....

> --Maire

 

Barley was the primary grain in the Isles.  The Romans probably introduced

large scale emmer cultivation into England, but wheat was available  

earlier than that.  The Tain makes a reference to wheaten honey cakes.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 08:06:30 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wheat was Chickpea and Barley Flour

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

 

Try http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/wheatpage/varieties.htm

for the Wheat Page.

Contrast that with:

Living under a medieval field John Letts reports on the remarkable

     evidence for medieval cereal crops and weeds that survives in the

     thatched roofs of southern England

http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba58/feat1.shtml

   and

Medieval fields in their many forms

There is far more to ridge and furrow than meets the eye. by David

Hall explains http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba33/ba33feat.html

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 18:32:08 -0800 (PST)

From: Euriol of Lothian <euriol at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Bojal" wheat

 

In the "Penguin Companion to Food" by Alan Davidson it has a rather lengthy article on wheat, including a listing several species of wheat: Noted amongst these are club wheat, emmer, einkorn, Ploish wheat, spelt, shot wheat, and cone wheat. Einkorn is said to be grown in the poor soils in Spain. Polish wheat is also noted as being cultivated mainly in Spain. Perhaps one of these is the variety you are looking for.

 

Good luck,

 

Euriol

Euriol of Lothian, OP

Clerk, Order of the Pelican, Kingdom of AEthelmearc

Chronicler, Barony of Endless Hills

 

----- Original Message ----

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

<<< According to the Wikipedia article "Historia de la gastronomia de Espana," from the 7th C BC Carthaginians cultivated common wheat, barley, germinated spelt and "bojal" wheat. "Boj" means boxwood in English but this word "bojal" does not seem to appear anywhere in google except in this article. The word is not found in the Royal Academy of Spain's dictionary. Any ideas as to what the English equivalent could be?

My hunch is that it could be red wheat but we have hard and soft, winter and spring???

Suey >>>

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 23:35:07 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Bojal" wheat

 

< Given the location and the time frame, I might suggest durum, which is a

very hard wheat.

 

Bear >

 

<< Durum wheat did not come to Spain until the Berber brought it but the 10th C

AD. "Bojal" wheat is dated from the 7th C BC. and seems to have been brought

by the Carthaginians. >>

 

<<< Is it possible that this is just wrong? We're talking about a

Wikipedia article; what's their reference for this?

 

- Jaume >>>

 

It would be more correct to say the Wikipedia article is limited, in fact

most general discussions of wheat have limitations.  For example, I would

question the use of the term "common wheat."  Modernly, common wheat is

Triticum aestivum, but in the 7th Century BCE, it would have been emmer,

Triticum dicoccum.  I, too, would like to know the references.

 

The Berbers did make extensive use of durum and it is fair to say that they

brought the extensive cultivation of durum to some areas of Europe.  It is

also possible (and probable) that durum was being grown is some places long

before the Berbers arrived. There is archeological evidence that durum was

being grown in North Africa as early as the 1st Century BCE and was very

likely around before that. Whether or not we can credit the Carthaginians

is open to question, but durum would definitely have been encountered by the

Romans who controlled the North African granary after burying the

Carthaginians in the Punic Wars, the Vandals, who siezed the North African

granary and made Carthage their capitol, and the Byzantines, who put the

Vandals out of business in the 5th Century and retained control of the North

African grain trade until they were overrun by the Berbers in 697 CE.

Initial cultivation of durum in Spain could have occurred centuries before

the Berbers arrived.

 

As a small aside, there are a number of sources which credit the Romans with

introducing wheat into Britain. However, the Greek explorer Pytheas,

reported large quantities of wheat being grown in Britain around 330 BCE,

almost three hundred years before Julius Caesar started the incorporation of

Britain into the Roman Empire. Even good sources can be wrong.

 

My reasoning for suggesting Triticum turgidum durum as "bojal" wheat is that

durum is believed to be of African origin, that it was grown in the region

around Carthage, and that it is a very hard wheat, in fact the grains are

physically harder than those most other varieties of wheat.  Antonia's

casual linguistic research appears to support my opinion.  I don't know

whether I am right or wrong in my opinion, but it is enough for me to

question what is common knowledge of the foodstuffs of the Islamic

expansion.

 

The problem with red wheat is most of those strains are T. aestivum, which

would not likely have been available to the Carthaginians.  Einkorn, emmer

and spelt are the most common wheats of the period (~10,000 BCE - ~700 CE,

if you agree with generally accepted sources).  Einkorn was largely

displaced by emmer, which in turn was displaced by T. compactum and T

aestivum, but that displacement is considerably later than 7th Century BCE.

 

Two other possibilities come to mind, T. turgidum conicum and T. polonicum,

but the limited information I have on those two species doesn't seem to

match the limited specifics for "bojal" wheat.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 05 Jan 2010 14:11:35 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sorghum

 

I looked earlier under sorghum in Doc's handy search scheme at  

medievalcookery.com.

but came up empty.

 

John Gerard in the 1633 Herbal (which is up on EEBO-TCP) starts out  

by saying "Sorghum. Turky Millet."

 

The Names.

The Millanois and other people of Lombardy call it Melegua, and  

Melega: in Latine, Melica: in Hetruria, Saggina: in other places of  

Italy, Sorgho: in Portugal, Milium Saburrum: in English, Turky Mill,  

or Turky Hirsse.

 

This seemes to be the Milium which was brought into Italy out of  

India, in the reigne of the Emperour Nero: the which is described by  

Pliny, lib. 18. cap. 7.

 

And Turky millet is also spelled Turkie Millet, so I suspect the  

recipes may in fact be under millet.

 

Gerard didn't think much of it. He wrote "The seed of Turky Mill is  

like vnto Panicke-In taste and temperature. The country People  

sometimes make bread hereof, but it is brittle, and of little  

nourishment, and for the most part it ser|ueth to fatten hens and  

pigeons with."

 

Sorghum is also mentioned in the entry on Panicke.

"The wilde Panicke groweth vp with long reeden stalkes, full of  

ioynts, set with long leaues like those of Sorghum, or Indian  

Panicke: the tuft or feather-like top is like vnto the common reed,  

or the eare of the grasse called Ischaemon, orManna grasse. The root  

is small and threddy."

 

John Ray includes a mention in his volume Observations  

topographical, moral, & physiological made in a journey through part  

of the low-countries, Germany, Italy, and France with a catalogue of  

plants not native of England, found spontaneously growing in those  

parts, and their virtues from 1673.

(Now isn't that a great title?)

 

All the way we travelled in Italy hitherto we had little other bread  

than what was made of Sorghum, a grain the blade whereof arises to  

seven or eight foot highth and is as great as ones finger, bearing a  

large panicle on the top, the berry or seed being bigger than that  

of wheat, and of a dusky colour. page 147

 

Under sorghum,  OED starts out with

"The cereal plant known as Indian millet, Guinea-corn, durra, etc.  

(Andropogon sorghum, also called Holcus sorghum and Sorghum vulgare)."

 

1597 Gerarde Herbal i. v. 7 At the top..groweth a tuft or eare..like  

Sorghum.

 

1673 Ray Journ. Low C. 147 We had little other bread than what was  

made of Sorghum.

so it reproduces what I found in EEBO-TCP before OED moves onto the  

18th century.

 

Looking at entries in the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, it looks  

as though African cookery might be

a rich source of recipes. It's considered a staple with a  thick red  

porridge of sorghum being made into bread by the

Masa in Cameroon. In the article on West Africa, it's noted:

 

"Sorghum, another indigenous food crop, also provides a red dye that  

is rubbed into animal skins to make red leather, and its stems yield  

large amounts of sugar. Sorghum is probably one of the world's most  

versatile

food crops with undeveloped genetic potential. In Nigeria, young  

children eat the yellow varieties of sorghum to prevent blindness  

because their diets are deficient in vitamin A. The most common food  

prepared in Nigeria is tuwo, made by stirring sorghum flour into hot  

water and allowing the thick paste to cool and gel. Once cooled,  

tuwo is cut or broken up and eaten with soup. In West Africa it is  

generally known as guinea corn, and the grains of certain varieties  

are popped like popcorn. Sorghum grain is made into flour for a  

thick pancake batter fried in groundnut oil; sorghumbeer is a  

favorite beverage consumed at wrestling matches as burkutu, an  

alcoholic gruel, or as pito, with the sediment removed. Dawaki are  

flat fried cakes made with a mixture of sorghum and bean flours, and  

sometimes accompany soups. A flour and water batter, akamu, is used  

to flavor and thicken porridges and cereals."

 

Johnnae

 

<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