Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

carrots-msg



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

carrots-msg - 6/12/10

 

Medieval and period carrots.

 

NOTE: See also the files: root-veg-msg, turnips-msg, vegetables-msg, potatoes-msg, beets-msg, raw-fruit-vg-msg, salads-msg, pickled-foods-msg, soup-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

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

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 11:54:02 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Carrots

 

<< I was taught that Queen Anne's Lace was poisonous.  Of course, I never

checked it out -- not being a cat ;-> >>

 

The one you want is> Daucus carota (The cultivated carrot is D. carota var.

sativa). The Field Book of Natural History, pg. 268 says: Native of Asia, but

naturalized from Europe. Now commonly established as a weed in fields,

pastures, and waste places. Found from coast to coast in N. America but may

be commoner in the East.  25 species in genus. FROM THIS SPECIES HAS BEEN

DEVELOPED THE VALUABLE CULTIVATED CARROT.

 

There is reference to the remote possibility that handling the leaves MAY

cause dermititis in some people. This warning is also included in the

reference to cultivated carrots. No mention is made of it being poisonous but

like any other wild plant you should be familiar with it before you eat it.

:-) After all there is an extremely remote possibility that you may confuse

it with Poison Hemlock. However, since the growing environment are very

dissimilar the odds are you would not mistake it. Also they are very

different in appearance so far as root structure, flowers, and leaves are

concerned.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu (Nancy Wederstrandt)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 11:37:12 -0600

Subject: Re: SC - Carrots

 

Concerning wild carrots:  I think caution is somewhat advised.  Many of the

the wild relatives of the carrot are edible, but bear a very close look to

the more poisonous kin.  Lord Ras is correct in that be sure before you

eat. Most of the poisonous relatives of the wild carrot are nasty

smelling, and usually have purplish blotches on the stalks.  Here in

Ansteorra, wild carrot, wild parsley and hemlock can grow near enough to

each other to be confusing.  Also here are vast quantities of wild onion,

which have a companion plant called crow bane that looks very similar.  The

key is the smell.  I was fortunate enough to mundanely worked with a man

who wild plant foraged and learned a great deal about them.(He used to be

Society Master of Sciences early one)  He often ate things that I

personally wouldn't but were edible.  We rapidly had three lists of

plants... inedible, edible and gwilym edible.  His name in the SCA was

Master Gwilym the Smith.

 

Clare RSJ

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 15:24:33 -0400 (EDT)

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - help-Queen Ann's Lace

 

Brid wrote:

> > << I thought Queen Ann's Lace was poisonous?

 

Ras replied:

> > Say what? Queen's Anne Lace is the wild carrot. If you take the seed palnt

> > it, grow it, dig it up and pick put the biggest roots, replant it, plant the

> > next years seed  and repeat the process for at least 3-5 years you will have

> > in your garden a 'period' white or red carrot. :-)

 

Ciorstan continued:

> This, Lord Ras, is true-- however it is very easy for the new scavenger

> to mistake hemlock for Queen Anne's Lace out in the wild, with very

> unhappy results.

>

> If memory serves, there's also a water parsnip variety (remember the

> thread on skirrets a while back?) that is highly toxic as well.

 

From my old, scorched, stained copy of _Peterson's Field Guide

to Edible Wild Plants_:

 

Wild carrot, Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

A widespread _hairy-stemmed_ biennial.  Flower clusters flat-topped,

lacy; often with a singule _purple_ flower in center.  Old clusters

resemble _birds' nests_.  Bracts _stiff, 3-forked_.  Root white, smells

of carrot.  2-3 ft.... Prepare the first-year roots like garden

carrots. CAUTION:  Early leaves resemble Poison Hemlock (below) but

stalks _hairy_.

 

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)

A tall, much-branched biennial.  Stems stout, hollow, grooved, _spotted

with purple_.  Ill-scented when bruised, unpleasant to taste.  Root

white, carrotlike.  2-6 ft.... WARNING: small amounts may cause

paralysis and death.  Similar to Wild Carrot (above) but leafstalks

_hairless_.

 

Water-hemlock, Spotted Cowbane (Cicuta maculata)

Tall, branching, with numerous flower clusters.  Stem smooth, _streaked

with purple_, chambered.  Leaves twice- or thrice-compound, often

reddish-tinged. Root with fat tuberlike branches, white.  3-6 ft....

WARNING: Our deadliest species.  A single mouthful can kill.

 

Water parsnip (Sium sauve)

Similar to Water-hemlock (above), but stems _strongly ridged_ and leaves

_once-compound_ with 3-7 pairs of lance-shaped leaflets.  Basal leaves

very finely cut, often submerged.  Roots slender.  2-6 ft.... USE: roots

as cooked vegetable.  Boil until tender.  CAUTION: Because of its close

similarity to Water-hemlock (above), Water-parsnip is best ignored as a

possible food plant.

 

Does that make everything crystal clear?

 

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                Stephen Bloch

                                          sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 17:57:39 -0500

From: dangilsp at intrepid.net (Dan Gillespie)

Subject: Re: SC - Period veges

 

Elizabeth wrote: " But Menagier de Paris (late 14th c.) describes

               carrots as "red roots that you buy in the market".

 

When I travelled in India a year ago, the carrots in the market were almost

a true red color, or at least a rather dark very reddish orangey color.

Perhaps Europe in our period might have had a similarly colored variety.

 

<snip of comments and recipe on eggplant>

 

                               Take care,

                                       Antoine de Bayonne

 

Dan Gillespie

dangilsp at intrepid.net

Dan_Gillespie at usgs.gov

Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 02:36:29 EST

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - pasternakes

 

<< 

You mean Dr Zhivago was written by somebody who wasn't sure if he was a

white or a red?

> In a message dated 97-12-16 20:46:13 EST, you (Cariadoc I think) write:

>

> << pasternakes being a general term for carrots or parsnips, >>

>>

      (Grin) This reminds me of something I was meaning to mention. While

prowling in one of our bookstores the other day, I ran across a book whose

title was something like "The Kitchen Garden". It was a fairly small and

slender book--the type with a few recipes and some nice artwork. In this case

most of the art was 1700-1800 c., but there were two paintings that were late

1500s. Both of them were by painter's with Dutch sounding names. Anyway, there

were carrots in with the many other foodstuffs in both paintings. *Orange*

carrots! And, no, it wasn't just the reproduction, since in one of the

paintings there were other carrots that were very definitely red. So evidently

orange carrots *were* around, at least in the late 1500's. The info on the

artwork was unfortunately confined to the name of the paintings, and the

artist's name and born/died dates, so where the paintings were done isn't

available. :-(

       I may have to go back and get that book later, after the Christmas

buying is over, just for those paintings!

 

       Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 15:58:12 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Fw: carrot pie

 

And it came to pass on 6 Feb 99,, that Tim & Dee wrote:

> My name is lachlan and I am from Sunderoak in Aethelmarc

> I was wounderin if some good and wise gentle could tell me if carrot pie

> would be period or not?  It is prepared similar to pumpkin pie any info or

> leads where to look or document would be greatly appreciated.

 

M'lord Lachlan,

 

The only carrot pie recipe that I know is late period Spanish.

However, it does not greatly resemble a modern pumpkin pie.  Here

is a translation of the recipe; perhaps it will be useful to you.

 

Torta of Carrot

From: "Libro del Arte de Cozina", 1599

 

Wash and scrape the carrots, and remove them from the water and

cook them in good meat broth, and being cooked remove them and

chop them small with the knife, adding to them mint and marjoram,

and for each two pounds of chopped carrots [use] a pound of

Trochon cheese and a pound and a half of buttery Pinto cheese,

and six ounces of fresh cheese, and one ounce of ground pepper,

one ounce of cinnamon, two ounces of candied orange peel cut

small, one pound of sugar, eight eggs, three ounces of cow's

butter, and from this composition make a torta with puff pastry*

above and below, and the tortillon [pie pan?] with puff pastry all

around, and make it cook in the oven, making the crust of sugar,

cinnamon, and rosewater.  In this manner you can make tortas of

all sorts of roots, such as that of parsley, having taken the core out

of them.

 

*The word used here for pastry, "ojaldre" ("hojaladre" in the modern

spelling) means puff pastry according to my modern Spanish

dictionary, and the etymology of the word (from hoja, "leaf") would

seem to indicate that it is the period meaning as well.  There is a

recipe for a veal torta in the same cookbook which calls for the

same kind of pastry, and gives instructions for making it:

 

To Make Puff Pastry Pies of Veal Neck

 

Take wheat flour and knead it with egg yolks, tepid water, salt, and

a little bit of pork lard, and make it in such a manner that the dough

is more soft than hard, and pummel it very well on a table, and

make a thin torta, but swiftly, longer than wide and anoint all of it

with melted lard which is not very hot and begin to roll up the

narrow part, and make a roll the thickness of an arm which will

come to be solid, in such a manner that it can be cut, then cut a

round slice two fingers in thickness, and have separately another

firm dough well kneaded, made from wheat flour, egg yolks, water,

and salt without lard, and make of it a pie bottom which is of the

bigness of the pastry, and put in it a mixture made as in the

preceeding chapter [ie., the veal filling from the previous recipe],

keeping the same order to make the mixture high and pyramid-

shaped, because the cover that you make is of the same paste, in

cooking it can better become puffed [literally, "leafed"], and before

you put it in the oven anoint the pie with melted lard, which is cold

and not hot, because it clings better to the paste, and then put it in

the oven, which must be well swept, and clean, and level, and

moderately hot, and especially the upper part, so that the said puff

pastry can better puff, and as it begins to puff, anoint it with lard

with a feather fastened to a small cane without removing it from the

oven, which you will do two or three times, and being cooked you

must serve it hot dusted on top with sugar, and if you wish you can

put the broth which we have said in the previous chapter.  And be

aware that if the ceiling of the oven is low, that will be better,

because all the puff pastries want the fire hotter above than below.

Which you must beware of in the other pies with puff pastry.

 

The recipe then goes on to discuss an alternate (and inferior)

dough which is used in Rome, and other fillings that can be used

with this pastry.

 

Note that while the veal pie has puff pastry only on the top crust,

the carrot torta calls for puff pastry in the top *and* bottom crusts.

The "crust" of sugar, cinnamon, and rosewater I would interpret as

a sweet topping for the upper crust.  I haven't tried this myself, but

it sounds tasty, and with the quantities given, it shouldn't be too

hard to redact.  Remember that medieval eggs would be smaller.  If

you're not a pastry-baker, ready-made puff pastry can be found in

the frozen foods section of your local grocer.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 01:32:57 -0500

From: LYN M PARKINSON <allilyn at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Questions about Archives and Carrots

 

>>. The orange carrot is a relatively modern invention.<<

 

There are late period paintings of big, fat, orange carrots.  I've never

seen a maroon one, though.  Check the beautiful paintings reproduced in

Castelvetro for a look at 16th and 17th C fruits and veggies.

 

Allison

allilyn at juno.com, Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands, Pittsburgh, PA

Kingdom of Aethelmearc

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 21:45:27 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Last Unanswered Buffet

 

And it came to pass on 17 Nov 99,, that Michael F. Gunter wrote:

 

> Cariota

> Roasted Carrots

> Roast carrots in the coals, then peel them, cleaning off the ashes, and

> cut them up.

[snip]

> The recipe listed in the book:

[snip]

> Scrub and scrape carrots, and brush lightly with oil. Either

> roast ine a 400 degree oven or arrange in one layer in a

> suitable dish for microwaving and microwave at full power,

> uncovered, 15 minutes. Slice into a serving dish and dress with

> minced herbs, oil, vinegar, wine, and salt and pepper to taste.

 

For what it's worth... De Villena, in _Arte de Cortar_ (1423 carving

manual) gives instructions for cutting various fruits and root vegetables,

as well as meats.  He says that roasted carrots should be cut into

quarters. If they are particularly long, then each quarter may be cut into

two or three pieces.  Of course, Italian practice may have been different

than the Spanish.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 08:58:09 -0600

From: dhumberson at imailbox.com

Subject: RE:sca-cooks V1 #1808 - Re: SC - Late Fall/Early Winter Vegetables

 

Anahita al-shazhiya wrote:

>thought i'd ask experienced feast planners what late fall/early

>winter vegetables you've served and people have actually eaten :-)

 

The top 'seller' for Rowan and I has always been a glazed baby carrot dish known here as 'Rowan's Carrots'.  It is very rich, using a pound of butter per pound of brown sugar per eight pounds of soft-steamed baby carrots, and is also a complete pain to make.

 

To glaze properly, boil equal parts butter and sugar in a flat pan with about a teaspoon of water.

Add whatever hot spices your guests will tolerate( we started with ginger, are now using a ginger/galingale mix with a hint of white pepper).

The boiling mix will foam, up to three inches or so, which indicates the mix is ready for the carrots.

Add 1/4 of the total carrots for this batch, stir until the mix foams again, then transfer those carrots to a holding pan and repeat for the other 3 lots.  Be careful to fully heat the glaze mix between lots, if it's not foaming vigorously the carrots will sog.

After the 4th lot, mix all carrots in holding pan( we use steam table pans), bring the remaining glaze to a boil one more time, and coat the carrots with the mix. Cover the holding pan, maintain at 160 degrees, and hold until served.

Garnish with a mint sprig and slice of the ginger used to make the syrup( if the cooks have left any).

We serve 16-24 oz per table of 8, and rarely get any back.

 

Ragnar

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 10:47:57 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Carrots and Turnips-Period?

 

> Carrots are referred to rather infrequently in the known medieval

> European recipe corpus, but they did exist, if a bit closer

> to a parsnip than a modern carrot.

>

> Adamantius

 

The first reference to the orange carrot appears in the 12th Century and the

carrots I've found in 16th Century paintings are orange.  Orange carrots

were very likely the norm by the late Middle Ages.

 

In Antiquity, European carrots appear to have been white like parsnips and

indeed the Latin word for carrots and parsnips is the same.  Later authors,

writing in Latin add to the confusion by not differentiating.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000 16:04:33 -0500

From: harper at idt.net

Subject: Re: SC - Confession is good for the soul

 

And it came to pass on 3 Nov 00, , that Jenne Heise wrote:

> Raw veggies: turnips, celery, and carrots. (Raw carrot eating appears to

> be unperiod, but I have references which may be to eating celery and

> turnips raw as snacks)

> --

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise            jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

Permit me to offer a period reference to raw carrot eating:

 

Enrique de Villena, _Arte Cisoria_ (The Art of Carving)

Spanish, 1423

(my translation)

 

The carrots, when eaten raw, are to be well cleaned of the dirt and

the thin hairs that they have, scraped with the knife that cuts them;

then remove their leaves with all of the green and cut it them into

four parts, removing the core from each part, if they are thick and

will allow it; [do] that upon serving them; and if they are long, divide

each quarter in two or three parts; and if they are thin, there is very

little core in them and know that you can eat everything together.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: RE [Sca-cooks] Royal Buffet post-mortem

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 15:31:43 -0500

 

>It all sounds delicious!

>Where was the roasted carrot salad from again?

>Lucrezia

 

Most of the dishes were from Pleyn Delit.

The carrot salad is called "Carrots Roste".

The carrots were roasted and dressed with

herbs (parsley, dill, thyme) and wine vinegar.

Salt and pepper and a bit of ginger (I believe)

and some olive oil.

 

The carrots were roasted al dente and tasted

very fresh and summery.

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 14:11:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ruth Frey <ruthf at uidaho.edu>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] "Carrots Roste"

 

        Gunthar wrote:

> Most of the dishes were from Pleyn Delit.

> The carrot salad is called "Carrots Roste".

> The carrots were roasted and dressed with

> herbs (parsley, dill, thyme) and wine vinegar.

> Salt and pepper and a bit of ginger (I believe)

> and some olive oil.

> The carrots were roasted al dente and tasted

> very fresh and summery.

 

        We used this recipe as a feast dish for

Northrealms Banner War, and it worked quite well.

We originally used 1/2 parsley and 1/2 tarragon

for the herbs (not specified in the original),

which made a tasty test batch; however, the

weekend of the War, there was no fresh tarragon

to be had anywhere in town!  We went with 1/2

parsley and 1/2 thyme, and that worked, too.

To save time at a large event, we used pre-

packaged "baby carrots", which worked beautifully,

though I recall that the book tells you *not*

to use them, for some reason (we decided to live

dangerously and give 'em a try anyway).

 

        As has been noted by others, carrots

seem unpopular at feasts -- we had lots of this

dish left over at the end.  However, since it was

a 3-day event, we recycled them in a "leftover

stew" for dinner the next night, where they

provided extra flavor, and nobody had any

objections to them at all (they didn't even

need to be cut into smaller pieces!  I love

modern conveniences sometimes . . . .

 

        FWIW, I really like this method of

preparing carrots. If they're cooked to just

a crisp-tender consistency, they're much nicer

than the average run of cooked root veggies.

 

        -- Ruth

 

 

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] Period food myths

Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 09:54:18 -0500

 

Unfortunately, reality is quite a bit more complex than that.  There are six

colors of carrot known to precede the orange, white, yellow, purple, red,

green and black.

 

White carrots are the original carrot of Europe.  Purple (or possibly black)

carrots are from Asia.  Yellow carrots are a hybrid, possibly natural, which

are first noted in Asia Minor (Byzantine Turkey) in the 10th Century.  There

is some speculation that white, yellow and purple carrots have been eaten in

Asia Minor since prehistory.

 

The Asiatic carrots are introduced into Europe through Spain.  A manuscript

by a 12th Century Moor describes two types of carrots, red (which may have

been purple) and a green shading into yellow.  The red was the better

eating, according to the correspondent.  The first European reference to

carrots as other than white is in the late 11th Century.

 

The orange carrot is a hybrid obtained by crossing yellow and red carrots.

Most of this hybridization was done by the Dutch and the Flemish.  Orange

carrots appear in at least one late 16th Century Dutch painting (placing the

orange carrot arguably within period), but a formal written description of

the orange varietals does not appear until the 17th Century.  The Dutch

hybrids are where most of our modern carrots come from, as the Dutch were

hybridizing for better taste and texture.

 

Interestingly, you may find purple carrots at the grocery.  If you do, the

are probably not the purple carrot of Antiquity, but hybrids from a breeding

project by Leonard Pike of Texas A&M.

 

Bear

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Carrots was [Sca-cooks] Period squash

Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 20:51:12 -0600

 

>I was especially interested in the orange carrots.

>Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

 

Red and purple carrots which are believed to originate in Afghanistan were

brought into the Mediterranean basin from Central Asia by the Islamic

expansion.

 

Yellow carrots are first noticed in Asia Minor during the 10th Century.

Yellow carrots are a mutation of the red and purple carrots and lack the

anthocyanins which produce the red and purple colors.  Red and yellow

carrots are recorded in 12th Century Andalusia.

 

The Asiatic carrots probably entered Christian Europe between the 10th and

11th Centuries and had largely replaced white carrots in northwestern Europe

by the 13th Century. They are known to have been introduced into England by

the Flemings in the 14th Century.

 

In the 16th Century, Flemish hybridizers while trying to produce larger,

firmer, better tasting carrots bred yellow and red carrots together

modifying the anthcyanins to produce an orange color.  Our modern carrots

come from about five breeding lines of Flemish orange carrot.  These were

formally described in the 17th Century.

 

Because Buecklaer is a Flemish artist, you get orange carrots in his

late-16th Century paintings.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 19:08:35 +0000

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: sca-cooks at treaclemine.cix.co.uk (Amanda Baker)

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Period carrots

 

        Because I am fascinated by all purple foods, I've been doing some

research into period carrots.  So my eyebrows shot up when I saw the SCA

Cooks digest from Monday with the following message:

 

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

>Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period squash

>> > If you go to

>> > http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/b/beuckela/

>> > and look at the vegetable market, you can see some period Flemish

>> > squash.

>> >            Jeffrey Heilveil M.S.

>There are other paintings of food interest on the same site.  Among

>them:

>Pieter Aertsen, "Market Woman with Vegetable Stall"

>Joachim Beuckelar, "Vegetable Seller", "Market Scene", "Market

>Woman with Fruit, Vegetables, and Poultry", :Woman Selling

>Vegetables"

>Caravaggio, "Boy with a Basket of Fruit"

>I was especially interested in the orange carrots.

 

        I immediately pulled down the books, fired up my Web browser and

went hunting.  Now, Alan Davidson in his 'Oxford Companion to Food' states

in the entry on carrots (a) "The first sign of truly orange carrots is

in Dutch paintings of the C17th"; (b) "They [orange carrots] were first

described, also in the Netherlands*, in the C18th; (c) "From contemporary

botanists' descriptions, and in particular from a a paiting ('Christ and the

adulteress', Pieter Aertsen, 1559) it is clear that all these carrots were

pale yellow or purple".  So, I looked at the reproduction of that particular

painting on the Website cited above ... and the carrots looked orange to me.

 

        My preliminary conclusion is, therefore, that the apparent orange

colour of the carrots illustrated on this Website is only an artifact of the image reproduction technology, since the expert - Alan Davidson - and his sources, who have presumably seen the originals, describe the carrots in 'Christ and the adulteress' as 'pale yellow'.  Colours are notoriously difficult to

judge from reproductions, I believe.

 

       http://www.cals.wisc.edu/media/news/02_00/carrot_pigment.html

implies that Davidson's analysis is based upon reasonably old research

'About 40 years ago, a Dutch researcher used paintings depicting vegetables to gather historical information about carrots.'  So, has anyone on SCA Cooks seen the _originals_ of any of these paintings, or any more recent further discussion

of whether they depict orange, or pale yellow, roots?

 

        All the best from Wales,

 

        Amanda

 

* BTW, 'Holland' is a district of the country called in English, 'The

Netherlands', a bit like a UK county, a Canadian province or USA state.

Bit like calling the UK, 'England', or Canada, 'Alberta' or the USA,

'Maine', really :-)

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 19:47:38 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Yellow carrots?

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

 

> I just found a bunch of yellow carrots in the market. Anyone know how

> they are related to the medieval "white" ones?

> UlfR

 

The white ones are the European carrot although it probably originated in

Central Asia.  The reds and purples came out of Central Asia probably about

the time of the Islamic expansion.  The first reference to yellow carrots is

10th or 11th Century from Asia Minor.  The yellow carrot is related to the

red, but with only minimal amounts of the chemical that causes the red

pigmentation.  At least one Andalusian writer considered the yellow

carrots inferior to the red.

 

The colored carrots entered Christian Europe from Spain around the 13th

Century.  They are believed to have been introduced into England in the

15th Century by Dutch refugees.

 

The orange carrots we eat today are a Dutch hybrid developed in the 16th

Century.  All of our modern orange carrots come from about five strains

Of Dutch carrots first cataloged in the 17th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 13:22:53 -0400

From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse at one.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Siege Cooking Competition: Carrots and

        Competitions

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

 

Stefan asked:

>>> 

I wondered about that, too. But if you use the leaves/stems as well as

the roots is it a root vegetable? Are carrot tops even edible? Are

there period recipes which call for these? Perhaps salads?

<<< 

 

***Carrot tops are edible.  They taste somewhat like parsley but stronger.

Some carrot tops are sweet but strong.  Others have a more bitter taste like

they may have been grown in a hot dry area. I have used small amounts of the

sweeter ones in soups. For people to be able to eat any large amounts of

them, I think some breeders will need to work on getting the flavor milder

and sweeter such as has been done for beet or turnip greens.   At the moment

I can't think of a period recipe for carrot tops.  Here's a modern summary

of info on carrot uses and medical info:

 

http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Daucus+carota+sativus

 

<snip>

 

Sharon

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 15:01:40 -0800

From: "Rikke D. Giles" <rgiles at centurytel.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The Purple Carrot Returns and then Some

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

 

William de Grandfort wrote:

> After my original inquiry, I did a little bit of research on the

> history of the carrot...

<snip>

>  A few botanical references indicate that what we know as the modern

> carrot today is a cultivated form of the

> common weed known as Queen Anne's Lace.

 

Yes, they are the same species as Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carrota, I

think it is.  I've grown some of the new white, purple, yellow and red

varieties.  White is bitter, pithy and not sweet.  Purple is not very

easy to grow to any large size and not very tasty.  Yellow wasn't too

bad, but not as sweet as orange.  Red was pretty good, very carrot

flavor, best for juicing.  I'm not sure if every variety I've grown

corresponds to those in the picture, so I can't tell if they've made

advances or not.  The above is only my experience; perhaps in other

regions the colorful carrots taste better.

 

Queen Anne's Lace roots, btw, are white and purple around here.  They

are generally spindly, tough and not very flavorful.

 

Aelianora de Wintringham

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 13:12:25 -0600

From: "margaret" <m.p.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The Purple Carrot Returns and then Some

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

 

> Weren't the 'original' carrots dark red?  I seem to recall reading that

> somewhere on this list.

> Or not.

> William de Grandfort

 

Carrots come in a number of colors.  White originates in Europe, dark red

originates in Central Asia.  The purple is an Asiatic carrot probably

hybridized in China. The modern purple carrot was created by a project in

Texas to breed back to the original form.

 

Yellow carrots show up in Asia Minor around the 10th Century.  They and red

carrots show up in Andalusia around the 12th Century.  The modern orange

carrot is believed to be hybridized from the red and the yellow in the 16th

Century.  Scientific literature in the 17th Century identifies five orange

strains which are the strains our orange carrots derive from.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 22:40:33 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The Purple Carrot Returns and then Some

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

 

Queen Anne's Lace is the wild variety of Daucus carota.  It's root is white

and is difficult to differentiate from parsnips, so that it was not formally

identified as a separate plant until the 1st or 2nd Century.  Genus Daucus

is of Eurasian origin. While the white Queen Anne's Lace became the

standard European carrot (probably in prehistoric times) while colored

carrots developed in various parts of Asia and the Near East.

 

The Romans probably ate white carrots, but at least one fresco suggests they

may have known about some of the Asiatic carrots.  Unfortunately, I haven't

seen much evidence beyond that.  The first reference to yellow carrots is

from an 10th Century Arab text locating them in Asia Minor.  An Andalusian

text comments on a taste test between yellow and red carrots (probably

brought from Central Asia during the Islamic Expansion).  In taste and

texture, the red was favored.

 

The Asiatic carrots apparently crossed into Christian Europe from Moorish

Spain in the 13th Century.

 

The orange carrot is most definitely Dutch.  The orange color is probably an

offshoot of trying to developed a sweeter carrot rather than a deliberate

attempt to make an orange carrot.  Orange carrots appear in late 16th

Century Flemish paintings and the orange varietals being bred in Holland

were recorded in the 17th Century.

 

BTW, The Dutch introduced the cultivation of colored carrots to England in

the 14th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 07:13:56 -0800 (PST)

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Carrots in Dutch paintings

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

 

I posted a URL on another list of a painting that had a food scene in it. Someone commented about the orange carrots, so I looked at more paintings done by Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer and found 14 painting that had carrots of various colors in them.  Some of the white carrots might be turnips.  It is hard for me to tell.

 

Huette

 

These have white carrots or perhaps turnips...

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=16236

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21319

 

These are hard to decide if they are white or orange...

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21617

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21611

 

These look more orange to me

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21613

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21614

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21618

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21619

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21327

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21318

 

These have purple, white and orange carrots

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21326

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21325

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21323

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21330

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 12:50:29 -0500

From: "Denise Wolff" <scadian at hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Carrots in Dutch paintings

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history.html

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history2.html

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 10:49:29 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Carrots in Dutch paintings

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

 

> I posted a URL on another list of a painting that had a food scene

> in it.  Someone commented

> about the orange carrots, so I looked at more paintings done by

> Pieter Aertsen and Joachim

> Beuckelaer and found 14 painting that had carrots of various colors

> in them.  Some of the

> white carrots might be turnips.  It is hard for me to tell.

> Huette

> These have white carrots or perhaps turnips...

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=16236

 

If you mean the two carrots center bottom, lying on the edge of the

basket, I would have described them as orange--just about the color

of modern carrots. Are you seeing something else?

----------

 

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21319

 

To me these are clearly white, and might be parsnips.

 

> These are hard to decide if they are white or orange...

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21617

 

bottom right corner? Look pretty orange to me.

 

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21611

 

Bottom center. Hard to decide white or orange, and not entirely clear

that they are carrots, since you can't see much of them.

 

> These look more orange to me

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21613

 

Yes. But no more so than the first ones (16236).

 

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21614

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21618

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21619

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21327

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21318

> These have purple, white and orange carrots

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21326

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21325

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21323

> http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=21330

 

Neat.

 

So I assume your project is:

 

1. Determine from paintings the nature of all vegetables in Europe in

the 16th century.

 

2. Repeat for 15th, 14th, ....

 

3. Produce a vegetable time line, showing when carrots became about

the color of modern  carrots, when cardoons turned into artichokes,

...

 

Along the way producing an egg time line, showing just what modern

egg size is appropriate for each century, and a weight of chickens of

various sorts, ...  .

 

Go to it.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 06:50:34 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Carrots in Dutch paintings

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

 

There are records from 17th Century Flanders that show several different

strains of orange carrot from which all of our modern orange carrots appear

to descend.  The paintings show orange carrots in the 16th Century, so we

know they were in Flanders before the written record.  Flemish immigrants

introduced red and yellow carrots into England in the late 14th Century, but

there is no record of orange carrots.  This suggests that the hybridization

of the orange carrot took place in Flanders during the 15th or early 16th

Century and use was probably geographically limited until the 17th  

Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 10:50:43 -0700

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Carrots, again

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

As the topic of carrots and their colors comes up from time to time,

i thought i'd add what Nasrallah has to say in the glossary section

of "Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens":

(p. 786)

jazar - carrots. Of the cultivated varieties:

1. Red-orange carrot (jazar ahmar) literally, 'red', described as

juicy, tender, and delicious. Poets compare it to carnelian, rubies,

flames of fire, and coral reeds.

2. Yellow carrot (jazar asfar), thicker and denser in texture than

the red (Ibn al-Baytar 164).

3. White carrot (jazar abyad) similar to parsnips, aromatic, and

deliciously sharp in taste. It is also described as having a pleasant

crunch.

 

Ibn al-Baytar wrote medical manuals in the first half of the 13th  

century.

 

So maybe the Dutch did not develop orange carrots after all. Perhaps

the cultivar made its way to Western Europe through other methods.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 10:50:43 -0700

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Carrots, again

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

As the topic of carrots and their colors comes up from time to time,

i thought i'd add what Nasrallah has to say in the glossary section

of "Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens":

(p. 786)

jazar - carrots. Of the cultivated varieties:

1. Red-orange carrot (jazar ahmar) literally, 'red', described as

juicy, tender, and delicious. Poets compare it to carnelian, rubies,

flames of fire, and coral reeds.

2. Yellow carrot (jazar asfar), thicker and denser in texture than

the red (Ibn al-Baytar 164).

3. White carrot (jazar abyad) similar to parsnips, aromatic, and

deliciously sharp in taste. It is also described as having a pleasant

crunch.

 

Ibn al-Baytar wrote medical manuals in the first half of the 13th  

century.

 

So maybe the Dutch did not develop orange carrots after all. Perhaps

the cultivar made its way to Western Europe through other methods.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:00:56 -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] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

 <<<  According to the _National Geographic_, modern bright-orange sweet

carrots occurred as a true mutation discovered in an English field in the

mid 1700s. Because they were so startlingly sweet, they spread like

wildfire and caused the extinction of hundreds of other carrot varieties,

including the earlier 'rusty' orange carrots, which-- like most carrots in

the middle ages-- weren't at all sweet.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict >>>

 

Without an attribution or source, I consider the statement that orange

carrots originating in an English field in the mid-1700s doubtful.  All

modern orange carrots appear to stem from hybrids created in the

Netherlands, the earliest of which is first described in 1721.  However, the

orange carrots in the Netherlands appear to pre-date their description by at

least 100 years.  Evidence of orange carrots written in English can be found

in James Sutherland's Hortus Medicus Edinburgensis of 1683 about fifty years

prior to the mutation referenced by National Geographic.

 

And just to make things more fun, John Stolcyzk has located a reference in

the Bodelian Library, MS Ashmole 1431, folios 21v-22r (Bodley Herbal and

Bestiary:  MS Bodley 130) written around 1100, which pictures orange

carrots.  The drawings might be an artifact of faded red, but it is

interesting.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 08:40:06 -0600

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

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

Cc: John Stolarczyk <john.stolarczyk at lineone.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Le Menegier on carrots,    Does anyone have

        documentation on Egyptian carrots

 

While carrots are grown in modern Egypt, historical references are few and

far between and likely to be very questionable.  John has probably covered

that far more thoroughly than I.  What I'm looking for now are references to

carrot seeds from archeobotanical reports, but there isn't much readily

available.  I haven't had time yet to peruse the current research of The

Oriental Institute in Chicago.  I've been chasing references to various

foodstuffs in Hakluyt.

 

It also occurs to me that cultivated carrots may not have come to Egypt

until the Islamic expansion and that the limited rainfall might not support

wild carrots.  If the latter is true, then it might be possible to determine

the southernmost extent of the wild carrot by examining the paleobotany of

Neolithic sites in the Levant.  Not a task I plan to tackle anytime soon.

 

Bear

 

<<< I forwarded Adamantius' reply about carrots in Menagier to John at the

Carrot Museum and here is his reply. He's also wanting to know if anyone

has documentation on carrots in ancient Egypt. Bear?

 

Again, his site has a lot of info on carrots. A lot that I haven't seen

discussed here on this list.

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/

 

I'm pretty sure he'd appreciate any comments about the site or additional

info on carrots.

 

Stefan >>>

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 19:12:14 -0500

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

Just throwing in another reference.  The 1551 edition of the "Libro de

Agricultura" by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera has this to say about

carrots.

 

Delas zanahorias y chirivias.  Estas dos maneras de rayzes pone el

Platina en un mismo capi. aun que ellas son differentes en sus

colores: que las chirivias son blancas como los nabos salvo que son

mas delgadas y largas.  Las zanahorias son de la hechura de los nabos

ni mas ni menos: salvo ser unas de color de naranjas: otras muy

coloradas tanto que tornan en prietas.

 

Of carrots and parsnips.  Platina puts these two kinds of roots in the

same chapter even though they are different in their colors, because parsnips are white like turnips, except that they are thinner and longer.  Carrots

have the appearance of turnips, neither more nor less, except that

some are the color of oranges; others are so red that they turn dark.

[translation mine]

 

http://alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro.asp?ref=X533701960

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 16:38:55 -0800 (PST)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

--- On Sun, 2/28/10, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net> wrote:

<<< (quoting me)

According to the _National Geographic_,

modern bright-orange sweet carrots occurred as a true

mutation discovered in an English field in the mid 1700s.

Because they were so startlingly sweet, they spread like

wildfire and caused the extinction of hundreds of other

carrot varieties, including the earlier 'rusty' orange

carrots, which-- like most carrots in the middle ages--

weren't at all sweet.

 

Without an attribution or source, I consider the statement

that orange carrots originating in an English field in the

mid-1700s doubtful.? All modern orange carrots appear

to stem from hybrids created in the Netherlands, the

earliest of which is first described in 1721.? However,

the orange carrots in the Netherlands appear to pre-date

their description by at least 100 years.? Evidence of

orange carrots written in English can be found in James

Sutherland's Hortus Medicus Edinburgensis of 1683 about

fifty years prior to the mutation referenced by National

Geographic.

 

And just to make things more fun, John Stolcyzk has located

a reference in the Bodelian Library, MS Ashmole 1431, folios

21v-22r (Bodley Herbal and Bestiary:? MS Bodley 130)

written around 1100, which pictures orange carrots.?

The drawings might be an artifact of faded red, but it is

interesting.

 

Bear >>>

 

    Please note that I differentiated between the Netherlands'  orange carrots, which I know quite well existed, and the modern sweet orange carrot. There are an immense variety of shades of orange. Witness this quote from Shakespeare: "The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well, but civil count, civil (Seville) as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion." We now speak of someone being green with envy, but they spoke of yellow- and thought it perfectly reasonable to use an orange as an example of something yellow.

 

    The shade commonly called orange in dyer's records in the early modern era we would call brick or rust. Many pictures from that era of food and kitchens show rust-colored carrots.

 

    However, the primary problem with modern bright-orange carrots is their intense sweetness. That's why some of the period recipes using carrots come out so very, very strange when our sweet carrots are substituted.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

If you're doing your best, and your best isn't very good, that's life. If you aren't doing your best, _that's cheating_.

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 17:33:36 -0800 (PST)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

--- On Sun, 2/28/10, Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com> wrote:

<<< Honour

 

Could you please tell us the source for this National

Geographic statement? Which book or issue/year does it

appear?

 

National Geographic is not perfect in food history by any

means. I am sure we'd be interested in knowing what they are

using.

 

Johnnae >>>

 

    Unfortunately, the original died in my friend's house fire.

IIRC, it was a summer issue in the mid-seventies. Most larger libraries have National Geographic collections on disk nowadays; a search of that era's disk might prove fruitful.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 11:29:06 -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] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

Was it valid when it was written?  Or is it an apocryphal story that makes

for interesting reading but bad history.

 

I've been through a number of research papers and references and have yet to

find any reference to sweet or orange carrots originating as a mutation in

England.  The general consensus is that all modern orange carrots (those

extremely sweet carrots we get at the supermarket) derive from five to seven

hybrid strains developed in the Netherlands between the 15th and 18th

Centuries.  There is disagreement as to what extent the hybridization was

between cultivated and wild carrots.

 

There is a possible connection between the Netherlands and England in that

Flemish refugees settled in England and introduced carrot cultivation to the

country.

 

Bear

-------

On Feb 28, 2010, at 8:33 PM, Honour Horne-Jaruk wrote:

<<   Unfortunately, the original died in my friend's house fire.

IIRC, it was a summer issue in the mid-seventies. Most larger  libraries

have National Geographic collections on disk nowadays; a  search of that

era's disk might prove fruitful. >>

 

<<< But is an article from 30 years ago in this case still valid, given

all the new research?

 

Johnnae >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 15:00:37 -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] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

<<< Additional references towards carrots. I too thought the orange carrot was

recent invention and that carrots were originally a dark color. As I

understand they originated from Afghanistan?

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcakes.html#carrots

This link also has the National Geographic article and a link to the

carrot museum in the UK...

 

Aelina >>>

 

Daucus carota ssp. carota is the wild carrot.  It has had a tremendous

natural range since prehistoric times and the point of origin is unknown.

In Europe, it was commonly white and usually not differentiated from parsnip

root.

 

Daucus carota ssp sativa is the cultivated carrot.  The oldest cultivated

group of this subspecies are the anthocyan carrots, believed to have

originated in the area of Afghanistan where the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush

meet, with pigmentation produced by anthocyanins and anthochlors.

Predominence of anthocyanins produce the darker colors, purples, violets,

blacks and blues.  Predominence of anthochlors produces the yellow

varietals.  As the cultivated carrot spread out from Afghanistan, it went

through some adaptations creating several regional groupings that may be

considered subspecies.  The cultivated carrot that found its way into Europe

may be a cross between D. sativa and D. maximus (a wild varietal found in

the Mediterranean basin), producing a carrot without anthocyans, but having

anthochlors and carotene.  One of the varietals produced is a red carotene

carrot.  It is worth noting that a number of Medieval authors considered the

taste and texture of the red carrot superior, and it is my opinion they were

referring to the carotene carrot.

 

The original orange carrots are probably pigmentation variants of the

carotene carrot (and we have evidence of orange carrots from around 1100).

These were possibly hybridized with anthoclor carrots and wild white

European carrots to produce the orange carrots that became predominent in

the Netherlands and were described by J. H. Knoop in the 18th Century.

Among what Knoop described are the "Horn" cultivars that are the base stock

for today's commercial carrots.  These particular orange carrot varietals

probably didn't exist much before the 17th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 13:40:15 -0800 (PST)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

--- On Mon, 3/1/10, Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com> wrote:

On Feb 28, 2010, at 8:33 PM, Honour Horne-Jaruk wrote:

<<<   Unfortunately, the original died in my friend's house fire.

IIRC, it was a summer issue in the mid-seventies. Most larger

libraries have National Geographic collections on

disk nowadays; a search of that era's disk might prove

fruitful. >>>

 

But is an article from 30 years ago in this case still valid, given

all the new research?

 

Johnnae

==============

 

    I wouldn't have thought much of it even then, if it didn't happen to match carrot variety extinction patterns so closely. It was in the late 1700s that thousands of carrot types suddenly disappear from seed stocks and planting records-- always replaced by carrots listed as either "new" or "sweet."

 

   Corollary evidence is provided by the exact same extinction pattern following the supersweet  green pea mutation. (The greatest medieval pea, the Grey Field, had the same protein level as steak. It is now almost certainly extinct, shouldered out by the modern green sweet pea)

 

    Come to think of it, a century earlier New World beans did the exact same thing to Europe's huge range of broad beans, leaving only the Fava out of thousands of local cultivars. However, I feel morally obliged to point out that if the others tasted like Favas, the change was comprehensible, even if not good in botanical terms.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 14:56:24 -0600

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

To: <yaini0625 at yahoo.com>,    "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

<<< Now, I found "purple" carrots from an "Heirloom" company with the

intention of growing "period" carrots. My Dad told me that the variety I have is actually modern and that the original purple carrots are extinct.

Aelina >>>

 

Not exactly true.  Purple carrots show up in local markets in Asia.

However, the commercially available purple carrots are the product of

Leonard Pike at Texas A&M who took some Brazilian carrots with purple

blotches on the skins and  bred them back to purple carrots.  He has

produced hybrids with the modern orange commercial carrot for better purple

carrots with better taste and texture and he, at last report, was trying to

hybridize his purple carrots with Chinese red carrots to increase the

lycopene in his hybrids.

 

Now, a small technicality, extinction in its most precise usage is an event

that happens to a species.  Since D. carota still exists, extinction has not

occurred.  Purple carrots still appear naturally (in fact, all colors of

carrots still appear), but they have been marginalized from general use by

cultivated hybrids.

 

If you were able to find a natural purple carrot, there is no guarantee

that, other than being a carrot, it is the same as a purple carrot of 500

years ago.  Carrots are subject to natural hybridization, which made them

excellent subjects for controlled hybridizaztion.  I wouldn't be too

concerned about Pike's purple carrots not being truly Medieval.  Use them

for verisimilitude and enjoy the add health benefits that have been grown

in.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 16:01:31 -0800 (PST)

From: wheezul at canby.com

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for references to orange carrots

 

Interestingly I have been combing through the Munich State Digital

Collection since the kind soul posted those German cookbook links and

would like to point folks in turn towards an author search for Walther

Hermann Ryff, who wrote medical treatises, health manuals, cookbooks,

childbirth manuals, botanical, apothocary confections and much more.

(Also search for more cool stuff on google books).

 

I am buzzing about the following book because it pictures animals and

plants, gives uses and care instructions, and further medical uses as well

as culinary ones for all items concerning general health.  Really, I mean

buzzing!  (Ok, I know I'm new and enthusiastic...)

 

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/ausgaben/uni_ausgabe.html?projekt=1174066449

 

search for

Ryff, Walther Hermann:

Lustgarten der Gesundtheit. - Frankfurt, 1546

Signatur: Res/2 Oecon. 89

[2008-10-08]

URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00029507-1

 

The file is huge, but worth the wait.

 

The carrot is featured on page 247 of the pdf, with a notation that

acreage is grown of the 'gelb' carrot near Cologne, but a 'roter' is grown

near Strassburg. Since the descriptions both use the word r?be, which can

be translated as beet, I don't know if the discussion about the two types

means a yellow and a more reddish carrot or a yellow carrot and a red beet

or not.  It does seem that the illustration and attribution as daucia

signifies a carrot, and there is the notation that the gelb one is found

wild.  On page 217 is the description of the Mangolt with the note that

the large red ones from Meissen are known as rote R?ben.  However, Meissen

is not anywhere near Strassburg in the Alsace.   All I know at this point

is that there is so much to learn.

 

The woodcuts alone are worth the download wait.

 

Katrine who now has several more thousand pages of period books to read!

An Tir

 

<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