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beaver-meat-msg - 1/15/11

 

Eating beaver and beaver tail in period.

 

NOTE: See also the files: exotic-meats-msg, duck-goose-msg, frogs-msg, furs-msg, whale-meat-msg, rabbits-msg, headgear-msg, fasts-msg, Lent-msg, fish-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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

 

From: "Daniel Myers" <dmyers at medievalcookery.com>

To: "Christiane" <christianetrue at earthlink.net>, "Cooks within the

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

<<< Elinor Strangewayes on the East Kingdom list was asking about any

existing medieval or Renaissance recipes for beaver meat or beaver

tail. She's been having to trap them (nuisance on her property) and

she's got lots of them in her freezer now.

 

I figured I'd ask here on the list, also out of my own curiousity;

the Florilegium doesn't seem to have anything in the meats section. >>>

 

I didn't find any recipes in a quick search.  The closest thing I know

of are the recipes below for sea otter (probably the European otter,

/Lutra lutra/).

 

Source [La Varenne's Cookery, T. Scully (trans.)]:

Sea-Otter in a Court-Bouillon. Dress a sea-otter and prepare it for

putting into court-bouillon, which you make up in the same way as for

the brill. When it has cooked, serve it dry, with parsley in a napkin on

top.

 

Source [La Varenne's Cookery, T. Scully (trans.)]:

Sea-Otter on the Grill. Dress the sea-otter and roast it. When it is

done, make whatever sauce you like for it, provided it tastes strong

and, because those large chunks don't readily take on a flavoring, split

it or slice it on top. Simmer it in its sauce until it has soaked up

almost all of it. Then serve it, garnished with whatever you have on

hand.

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:32:21 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

They are mentioned as fish day delicacies.

One of those items that could be eaten in lent.

A quick search indicates there's a recipe for beaver tail in the  

Kuchenmeysterey.

We didn't index any recipes for beaver in the Concordance, so there  

might not be any recipes in English.

There's a mention "astoreum: reddish glands found in the groin of the  

beaver and widely used in medieval medicine..." so the information may  

be in the medical texts.

I'll try and search EEBO tomorrow.

 

Johnnae

 

On Nov 22, 2010, at 3:14 PM, Christiane wrote:

<<< Elinor Strangewayes on the East Kingdom list was asking about any  

existing medieval or Renaissance recipes for beaver meat or beaver  

tail. snipped >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:49:27 -0500

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

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

        <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

It's just out of period (attached to a mention from period). A note in

Furnivall's edition of Russell's The Boke of Nurture:

 

Under Kerving of Fish: "To peason or frumenty take the tayle of the bevere,

 

and the footnote says:

 

Topsell in his Fourfooted Beasts, ed. Rowland, 1658, p 36, says of Beavers,

"There hath been taken of them whose tails have weighted four pound weight,

and they are accounted a very delicate dish, for being dressed they eat

like Barbles: they are used by the Lotharingians and Savoyans [says

Bellonius] for meat allowed to be eaten on fish-dayes, although the body

that eareth them be flesh and unclean for food. ***[emphasis mine] The

manner of their dressing is, first roasting, and afterward seething in an

open pot; that so the evill vapour may go away, and some in pottage made

with Saffron; other with Ginger, and many with Brine; it is certain that

the tail and forefeet taste very sweet, from whence came the Proverbe, The

sweet is that fish, which is not fish at all"

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:09:24 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

Russell's Book of Nurture dates from the 15th century. Circa 1460.

A copy can be found here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24790/24790-h/nurture.html

 

Topsell dates from 1607.

 

Johnnae

 

On Nov 22, 2010, at 3:49 PM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

<<< It's just out of period (attached to a mention from period). A note  

in Furnivall's edition of Russell's The Boke of Nurture: Under  

Kerving of Fish: "To peason or frumenty take the tayle of the bevere,

and the footnote says:

Topsell in his Fourfooted Beasts, ed. Rowland, 1658, p 36, says of  

Beavers, >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:59:10 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

On Nov 22, 2010, at 4:09 PM, Johnna Holloway wrote:

<<< Russell's Book of Nurture dates from the 15th century. Circa 1460.

A copy can be found here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24790/24790-h/nurture.html >>>

 

Ok under beaver in Russell

Kervyng of fische.134

 

is this passage

 

Now, good so?, of kervynge of fysche y wot y must ?e leere:

To peso?135 or frume?ty take ?e tayle of ?e bevere,136

or ?iff ye haue salt purpose137 / ?ele138 / torrentille139,  

deynteithus fulle dere,

ye must do afture ?e forme of frumenty, as y said while ere.

 

Or With pea soup or furmity serve a Beaver's tail

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:14:05 -0500

From: "Sarah O'Connor" <strangewayes at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

Thanks! The Middle English Dictionary by Robert E. Lewis gives "torrentille"

as a kind of fish, probably tuna, but any idea what "deynteithus" is?

 

~Elinor

 

On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM, Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com> wrote:

<<< Ok under beaver in Russell

Kervyng of fische.134

 

is this passage

 

Now, good so?, of kervynge of fysche y wot y must ?e leere:

To peso?135 or frume?ty take ?e tayle of ?e bevere,136

or ?iff ye haue salt purpose137 / ?ele138 / torrentille139, deynteithus

fulle dere, ye must do afture ?e forme of frumenty, as y said while ere.

 

Or With pea soup or furmity serve a Beaver's tail

 

Johnnae >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:19:46 +0000 (GMT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

<< There's a mention "astoreum: reddish glands found in the groin of the beaver

and widely used in medieval medicine..." >>

 

Johnnae, did you mean "Castoreum"?

 

Rumpolt has this beaver recipe (Von einem Biber):

http://diglib.hab.de/drucke/2-3-oec-2f/start.htm?image=00220

 

E.

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 23:28:38 +0000 (GMT)

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

To: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

Interesting. I'm just working my way through Maister Hannsen, and recipe #268 says (rough translation): "Scald a beaver tail and skin it and roast it till it becomes dry as sand. Then strew it with spices. If you want a pepper sauce (with it), you can make it as described above, that way you can make it (taste) good."

 

Unhelpfully, there are several recipes for pepper sauces. The most typical one seems to be wine or vinegar, soaked bread, and spices cooked together, passed through a cloth or sieve, and heated with the meat.

 

Neat, but not very informative, I'm afraid.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:34:31 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat

 

I have had beaver as stew and has meatloaf and chili, its flavor is much like groundhog/marmot but also very much like beef or venison!

 

If the lady is looking to empty or share her bounty...well, send her this way!!

The drought out here in Indiana has taken a toll on our groundhog AND beaver...at least in my area of Eastern Indiana...

 

Meister Johann von Metten, OL

Animal Husbandry

Sternfeld

Middle Kingdom

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 21:49:03 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

This is copied straight over from text as found in Google Books.

I don't own the book, so I can't say. Could be it dropped the initial  

"a."

Good to know that Rumpolt has a recipe too.

 

Johnnae

 

On Nov 22, 2010, at 5:19 PM, emilio szabo wrote:

<< There's a mention "astoreum: reddish glands found in the groin of  

the beaver and widely used in medieval medicine..." >>

 

Johnnae, did you mean "Castoreum"?

Rumpolt has this beaver recipe (Von einem Biber):

http://diglib.hab.de/drucke/2-3-oec-2f/start.htm?image=00220

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:08:15 -0500

From: "Sarah O'Connor" <strangewayes at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

I found another beaver tail recipe over on the Cooking_Rumpolt Yahoo group:

 

Fisch Pasteten 19. Nimm ein Biberschwanz/ mach jn

sauber/ und schnedit jn zu st?cken/ quell jn im

Wasser und Essig/ leg jn in ein Pasteten/ die von

weissem Teig ist aufgetrieben/ str?w dar?ber

Pfeffer/ Ingwer und Muscatenbl?t/ thu gesalzene

Limonien/ die fein breit geschnitten/ und frische

ungesalzene Butter/ dar?ber/ mach die Pasteten

zu/ und la? backen/ schneidt sie auf/ und geu?

ein saure Br?he/ die mit Eierdotter und

Erbe?br?he angemacht/ und gesotten ist/ dar?ber/

und gibs warm auf ein Tisch/ so wirt es gut und

wohl geschmack.

 

19. Take a beaver tail/ make it clean/ and cut

it into pieces/ parboil it in water and vinegar/

lay it in a pie/ that is driven out from white

dough/ sprinkle over it pepper/ ginger and mace/

put salted lemon/ that is sliced nicely wide/ and

fresh unsalted butter/ over it/ close the pie/

and let bake/ cut it open/ and pour a sour broth/

that is made with egg yolks and pea broth/ and is

cooked/ over it/ and give warm on a table/ like

this it becomes good and well tasting.

 

(Translated by Sharon Palmer / Rannveig)

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:28:01 -0500

From: <ranvaig at columbus.rr.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

Rumpolt has this beaver recipe (Von einem Biber):

 

She asked on the Rumpolt list too.  Here is the translation.

 

Von einem Biber

(Beaver)

 

Nim~ den Biberschwantz/ vn~ br?h jn au? dem heissen Wasser/

Take the beaver tail/ and boil out (scald) in hot water/

 

so gehet die Haut herab/ schab jn au?/ so wirdt er fein sauber vnd wei?/

like this goes the skin off/ scrape it/ so it becomes nicely clean and white/

 

oder wirff jn auff heisse Kolen/ vnd kehr jn offt vmb auff beyden seiten/

or throw it on hot coals/ and turn over often on both sides/

 

so l?ufft die Haut auff vo~ dem Schwantz/ zeuch die Haut ab vn~ schabs au? lautichtem Wasser/ so wirt er schon vnd wei?/

like this the skin rises?/ from the tail/ remove the skin and scrap in clean water/ like this it becomes beautiful and white/

 

haw jn zu st?cken/ vnnd setz jn zu mit Wasser vnnd Essig/ saltz in wol/ vnd la? jn an die statt sieden/ thu jn aufff ein Bret/

hew it to pieces/ and set it to (the fire) with water and vinegar/ salt it well/ and let it simmer until done/ put it on a board/

 

vnd la? jn ein wenig erkalten/ thu jn in ein Pfeffer/ der fein zugericht ist/ la? ein Sudt auffthun/ so wirt er gut vn~ wolgeschmack/

and let it cool a little/ put in a pepper (sauce)/ that is nicely prepared/ let come to a boil/ like this it becomes good and well tasting/

 

Oder thu jn in ein Mandelgescharb/ mach jn wei? vnd saur eyn mit Limonien.

Or put it in an almond gescharb sauce/ make it white and sour it with lemon

 

Du kanst auch von einem Biber die F?? in Pfeffer oder Mandelgescharb zurichten.

You can also prepare the feet of a beaver in Pepper (sauce) or almond gescharb sauce.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:54:38 -0500

From: <ranvaig at columbus.rr.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

<<< Why so many beaver TAIL recipes, but nothing mentioning the rest of

the beaver?

 

The tail is an unusual piece to eat, which would necessitate special

instructions, but it still seems odd to me. >>>

 

I think it is because they considered the beaver tail to be a fish, suitable for fast day menus.  Perhaps the rest of the beaver is too clearly a mammal.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 15:56:55 -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] Beaver meat recipes

 

Beaver tail was classed as a delicacy by trappers in the late 18th and early

19th Centuries.  Modern re-enactors tend to disagree, but the historical

record says they are mistaken.  The number of Renaissance recipes that exist

suggest that it was considered a delicacy in Europe until the European

population was nearly made extinct by the beaver hat.

 

Bear

 

<<< Why so many beaver TAIL recipes, but nothing mentioning the rest of

the beaver?

 

The tail is an unusual piece to eat, which would necessitate special

instructions, but it still seems odd to me.

 

Eyrny >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 17:51:16 -0500

From: "Sarah O'Connor" <strangewayes at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

I'm the person who's been asking all over the place. I've actually never

eaten the tail, just the meat itself. It's a red meat, kinda like beef, but

it can be pretty strongly flavored depending on what the beaver's been

eating. Fortunately, the ones I'm trapping now are adjoining a farmer's

cornfield, so these are perfect.

 

I think the answer to the preference for tail is (as stated above) that it

was a highly caloric red meat that was ecclesiastically legal for Lent.

 

~Elinor

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:47:32 +0100

From: Ana Vald?s <agora158 at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

 

I found a Russian recipe for beaver, the animal is skinned and cut in

pieces, they marinate the meat for one day with beer and onions and they

make a stew with it, with onions, selleri, carrots and turnips.

They call it a delicacy.

 

Ana

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 07:00:20 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Description of the Beaver

 

This never posted so I will send it again. I hope it comes through ok  

this time.

 

I came across Harrison's description today which described the rest of  

the beast as akin to a large rat.

 

Here's the description from the online version of Harrison from  

Fordham.edu.

 

 "I might here intreat largely of other vermin, as the polecat, the  

miniver, the weasel, stote, fulmart, squirrel, fitchew, and such like,  

which Cardan includeth under the word Mustela: also of the otter, and  

likewise of the beaver, whose hinder feet and tail only are supposed  

to be fish.

 

Certes the tail of this beast is like unto a thin whetstone, as the  

body unto a monstrous rat: as the beast also itself is of such force  

in the teeth that it will gnaw a hole through a thick plank, or shere  

through a double billet in a night; it loveth also the stillest  

rivers, and it is given to them by nature to go by flocks unto the  

woods at hand, where they gather sticks wherewith to build their  

nests, wherein their bodies lie dry above the water, although they so  

provide most commonly that their tails may hang within the same.

 

 It is also reported that their said tails are delicate dish, and  

their stones of such medicinal force that (as Vertomannus saith) four  

men smelling unto them each after other did bleed at the nose through  

their attractive force, proceeding from a vehement savour wherewith  

they are endued.

 

 There is greatest plenty of them in Persia, chiefly about Balascham,  

from whence they and their dried cods are brought into all quarters of  

the world, though not without some forgery by such as provide them.

 

 And of all these here remembered, as the first sorts are plentiful  

in every wood and hedgerow, so these latter, especially the otter  

(for, to say the truth, we have not many beavers, but only in the  

Teisie in Wales) is not wanting or to seek in many, but most, streams  

and rivers of this isle; but it shall suffice in this sort to have  

named them, as I do finally the martern, a beast of the chase,  

although for number I worthily doubt whether that of our beavers or  

marterns may be thought to be the less."

 

 from Modern History Sourcebook: William Harrison (1534-1593):  

Description Of England, 1577 (from Holinshed's Chronicles)

 

Of Savage Beasts And Vermin

 

[1577, Book III., Chapters 7 and 12; 1587, Book III., Chapters 4 and 6.]

 

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1577harrison-england.html

 

Johnnae

 

 

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Description of the Beaver

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

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

Date: Wed Nov 24 19:20:29 PST 2010

 

<<< Is the in period beaver of Europe and the British Isles the same as those found in North America?  I know that their squirrels and deer were different from those of the eastern seaboard  as were, I think, the wolves.

 

Daniel >>>

 

They are two genetically separate species which cannot inter-breed (based on

actual breeding tests).  Castor fiber is the European beaver (48 chromosomes).

Castor canadensis is the North American beaver (40 chromosomes).  That being

said, they are equals in the cookpot.

 

Bear

 

 

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes

From: Ana Vald├ęs <agora158 at gmail.com>

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

Date: Thu Nov 25 04:14:40 PST 2010

 

Period, 1400, reproduced in Finnish and Swedish modern books

 

On Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 5:42 AM, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

Ana said:

<<< I found a Russian recipe for beaver, the animal is skinned and cut in

pieces, they marinate the meat for one day with beer and onions and they

make a stew with it, with onions, selleri, carrots and turnips.

They call it a delicacy. >>>

 

Are you talking about a period or modern recipe?

 

Stefan

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 13:10:58 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Description of the Beaver

 

On Wed, 24 Nov 2010, Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps wrote:

<<< Is the in period beaver of Europe and the British Isles the same as those

found in North America?  I know that their squirrels and deer were different

from those of the eastern seaboard  as were, I think, the wolves.

 

Daniel >>>

 

The European beaver is Castor fiber, the American beaver is Castor

canadensis. Apparently the European beaver has a slimmer tail and narrower

skull than its American cousin. Beavers are order Rodentia.

 

As for deer, Cervus elaphus is the European red deer, Cervus canadensis is

the American elk--it used to be Cervus elaphus canadensis. Alces alces is

the American moose and the Eurasian elk. Moose, elk, white-tails, mule

deer, roe deer, fallow deer, (and also caribou and reindeer) are all

family Cervidae.

 

The grey squirrels imported from Norway in the MA were not the grey

squirrel we have here, but both grey wolves and red foxes are the same

here and there. Squirrels are family Sciuirdae, foxes and wolves are

family Canidae.

 

I've been doing a lot of research on the appropriate uses and types of

fur in medieval times--I could bore you to tears with an extensive list of

medievally important critters and how they differ from the US versions if

you really want. ;-)

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 19:00:26 +0100

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Beaver meat recipes, modern

 

As it would make the post much to long, I do not repeat all the beaver meat

messages here.

 

Today at the International Christmas Bazaar in Vienna I found a real (albeit

modern) treasure:

 

a 1970ies game cookbook: Wild Game Cookbook (a Remington Sporttsmen's

Library Book). And there are a couple of beaver recipes in it:

 

Basically it says to remove all surface fat from the beaver then give some

variations on pot roasted beaver:

 

Roast beaver Michigan:

cover meat with 1 teaspoon soda in 1 quart water. Parboil 10 min, drain,

place in roaster sprinkle with salt cover with sliced onion strips and

bacon. Roast in 350?F oven. Beaver is done when meat falls off. serves 4-6.

 

If you want the rest posted please ask.

All recipes either marinate the beaver overnight or marinate for a couple

of hours and then cook the meat befor roasting.

 

It also cantains two recipes for tail, a soup and a roast:

Skin and ramove all fat from 2 taisl, cut up in small pieces. soak over

night in water with 2 cups vinegar and 2 tablesp. of salt for each quart.

Place meat in kettle with 4 quarts boiling water. add a quarter teaspoon

pepper, 1 and a half tsp salt, 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves of garlic-minced,3

carrots-sliced,3 stals celery, 2 small onions. when meat is almost tender

add 2 cups of egg noodles and a small can of peas-drained, serves also 4-6.

 

So the basic preperations in a modern cookbook do not differ realy from the

ones in Rumpold: remove fat, and cook or marinate in vinegar/water before

roasting.

 

regards Katharina

 

<the end>



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