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gourds-msg – 7/15/09

 

gourds, pumpkins, squash. Which varieties were period. Recipes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: root-veg-msg, peppers-msg, vegetarian-msg, turnips-msg,  rec-leeks-msg, peas-msg, beans-msg, vegetables-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 21:00:22 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Watermelon

 

In a message dated 97-05-02 03:46:37 EDT, Linneah writes:

<<One more thing, I keep hearing about/reading about gourds.  What are they? I

had been taught that the winter squash we eat are also New World.>>

 

The Luffa gourd (sponge) is an Old World plant and is extremely edible when

it is very young (less than 6 inches). I have used (and continue to use) this

gourd when when gourds are called for in a period recipe.

 

Both winter and summer squashes are New World according to all the references

I have read..

Lord Ras

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 20:02:31 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Watermelon

 

>I have been told and read that all the squash we commonly eat is New

>World.  I, too, would like to know what the 'guord' referred to in

>various recipes is.

>

>Clarissa

 

From the Miscellany:

 

Pumpkin, Squash, Gourd

 

It seems to be well established that at least three of the four cultivated

species of Cucurbita (C. pepo, C. moschata and C. maxima) existed in the

New World long before Columbus; the fourth (C. ficifolia) is "ordinarily

not thought of as a cultivated plant" (Whittaker), but apparently has been

cultivated in the past. Whitaker argues, on the evidence of the absence of

these species in the fifteenth century European herbals and their presence

in the sixteenth century ones, that they were introduced into Europe from

the New World. A variety of C. pepo similar to the squash now known as

"Small Sugar" is illustrated in an herbal of 1542. What appears to be a

field pumpkin is illustrated in 1560, with other varieties appearing in

later herbals during the century. Whitaker concludes that "none of the

cultivated species of Cucurbita were known to the botanists of the Western

world before 1492." If so, all varieties of pumpkins, squash, and vegetable

marrows are inappropriate before 1492; some were known in the sixteenth

century, but may or may not have been sufficiently common to be used in

feasts.

 

There is, however, a plant translated as "gourd" in both Italian and

Islamic cookbooks before 1492. The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti,

which is 14th century, shows a "Cucurbite" that looks exactly like a green

butternut squash-a fact of which Whitaker seems unaware when asserting the

absence of all varieties of Cucurbita from pre-sixteenth century sources.

It seems likely, however, that his conclusion was correct, and that what is

shown in the picture and used in the recipes is not C. pepo but Lagenaria

sicereia.

 

"The white-flowered gourd, Lagenaria sicereia," seems to "have been common

to both Old and New Worlds" (Whitaker). I am told that the Italian Edible

Gourd is a species of Lagenaria and available from, among others, J.L.

Hudson, Seedman (P.O.Box 1058, Redwood City, CA 94064). Simoons describes a

Lagenaria still used in modern Chinese cooking. We have obtained what we

think is the right gourd from a Chinese grocery store and used it in period

recipes with satisfactory results. The taste and texture are somewhat

similar to zucchini but less bitter.  The Chinese, or perhaps Vietnamese,

name for one variety, which the grower assured us had white flowers, is

"opo."

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

From: Lasairina at aol.com

Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 23:43:48 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Watermelon

 

> I have been told and read that all the squash we commonly eat is New

>  World.  I, too, would like to know what the 'guord' referred to in

>  various recipes is.

>  

>  Clarissa

 

I found a recipe in the book "How to Cook Forsoothly," by Mistress Katrine de

Baillie du Chat called -Gourdes in Potage- which recommends either zuchinni

or cucumbers as the "gourd."  I have made it several times at wars with the

cucumbers, and there is never any leftovers...

 

Lassar Fhina

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 17:38:03 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Lagenaria

 

<< the Italian Edible

Gourd is a species of Lagenaria and available from, among others, J.L.

Hudson, Seedman (P.O.Box 1058, Redwood City, CA 94064). >>

 

This is the species that I referred to as the Luffa Gourd (sponge). J.L.

Hudson is an excellent source for exotic seeds from all over the world!

Highly recommended! Their catalog is a reference source that is invaluable to

any serious horticulturist/gardener. Luffa seeds are also carried by local

sores and all major seed companys including Burpee.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 00:15:32 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Watermelon

 

>I found a recipe in the book "How to Cook Forsoothly," by Mistress Katrine de

>Baillie du Chat called -Gourdes in Potage- which recommends either zuchinni

>or cucumbers as the "gourd."  I have made it several times at wars with the

>cucumbers, and there is never any leftovers...

>

>Lassar Fhina

 

The Chinese gourds we found, which we think are Lagenaria sicereia (sp?),

which we think is the most likely candidate for the old world gourd, taste

not unlike zucchini. Zucchini, of course, is Cucurbita pepo, and New World.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 11:26:52 -0500 (CDT)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Columbus menu II

 

From what I understand from the book and from what other people have

posted, the squash family... (zucchini, pumpkins, winter squash are new

world.  The type that is old world is the gourd family which included

luffa, chinese squash (obo) and gourds.  I've eaten young luffas and gourds

( before they harden).  zucchini it seems (as well as some of the others)

were quickly accepted once they were introduced.  They are within period

but are not from the Old World.  It appears that the old world gourds fell

into disuse (maybe they do not taste as well, who can say) I don't you

would be inaccurate to substitute zucchini for any gourd in a recipe since

they started doing it within period.

 

Clare St. John

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 00:47:17 -0400 (EDT)

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Squash

 

<<

Can anyone tell me if 1) Squash is period

                         2) If so any recipes for them

Lord Ragnar MacHardy of Clan MacHardy

  >>

     Well, technically, no. Squash as we think of them (Zucchini and yellow

squash, and winter types) are New World critters. But there are Old World

gourds that were eaten in the Middle East and Mediteranean in period and

zucchini makes a reasonable substitute for those. Look for recipes in Roman

food, Middle Eastern cookbooks like those in Cariadoc's collection, and later

period Italian recipes. The gourds have a firmer, less watery texture than

zucchini, so keep that in mind and adapt any recipes as needed. I've done

"gourds" at least a couple of times for feasts, but I don't think any of the

recipes can be imported to e-mail easily right now or I'd send them........

 

Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 09:30:49 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Squash

 

<< Can anyone tell me if 1) Squash is period

                                    2) If so any recipes for them

Lord Ragnar MacHardy of Clan MacHardy >>

 

No squash is not European period. It is a New World introduction. "Gourds"

were used in period . The most probable candidate is the Luffa gourd which is

very tasty when eaten young. Another candidate might be cucumbers that have

been allowed to mature. This is also very edible when cooked properly.

 

Because of the fuzzy nature of gourd and squash references and lack of

documentation some cooks do use zucchini or winter squashes in place of

guourds in the period recipes that call for such ingredients. This practice

is at best questionable, IMHO.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 14:04:44 -0400 (EDT)

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Squash

 

<<

Because of the fuzzy nature of gourd and squash references and lack of

documentation some cooks do use zucchini or winter squashes in place of

guourds in the period recipes that call for such ingredients. This practice

is at best questionable, IMHO.

Lord Ras

  >>

      I don't know---I've grown a variety of the edible Italian gourds and

they and zucchini are pretty interchangable for cooking puposes. Yes, the

texture of the gourds is firmer, and the flavor is stronger, but recipes for

one seem to generally work for the other. And since you can't, to my

knowledge, easily buy any of the edible gourds in sufficient quantities to

serve at a large feast, I think it's a reasonable substitute. I like it

better than just tossing all the recipes for gourds out the window because we

can't get the real item. Rather like using modern carrots for period

ones..........

 

Ldy Diana, who would love to be able to grow the food for her feasts, if she

just had enough space!

 

 

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 13:05:46 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

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

Subject: Pumpkins?

 

Yes, I know this isn't strictly arts & sciences, but I'm _afraid_ to get

on the Cooks' list-- too much traffic.

 

In research a presentation on medieval use of herbs, I came across about

four mentions of 'pompions' or 'pumpkins' supposedly in period. Rosetta

Clarkson quotes 7th century monk Walafrid Strabo, on the uses of pumpkins,

including being emptied, dried and used as a "bushel". Sophie Knab says

they were on the menu at the wedding of Jadwiga of Poland and Jagiello of

Lithuania in 1390-ish. Culpeper also mentions them.

 

Aren't pumpkins a new world veggie? If so, what was Strabo talking about

and what were Jadwiga and Jagiello eating? It would have to be a fairly

LARGE gourd, to be used as a bushel basket or measure... I can't think of

any that would qualify offhand.

 

Help! This is driving me nuts!

 

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, aka Aunt Bunny, mka Jennifer Heise    

jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 14:18:52 -0500 (EST)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

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

Subject: Re: Pumpkins?

 

  In research a presentation on medieval use of herbs, I came across about

  four mentions of 'pompions' or 'pumpkins' supposedly in period. Rosetta

  Clarkson quotes 7th century monk Walafrid Strabo, on the uses of pumpkins,

  including being emptied, dried and used as a "bushel". Sophie Knab says

  they were on the menu at the wedding of Jadwiga of Poland and Jagiello of

  Lithuania in 1390-ish. Culpeper also mentions them.

 

Check out the page from Cariadoc's Miscellany:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/cooking_from_primary_sources.html

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 19:33:18 -0500 (EST)

From: ALBAN at delphi.com

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

Subject: Re: Pumpkins?

 

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa asked

>>n research a presentation on medieval use of herbs, I came across about

four mentions of 'pompions' or 'pumpkins' supposedly in period. Rosetta

Clarkson quotes 7th century monk Walafrid Strabo, on the uses of pumpkins,

including being emptied, dried and used as a "bushel". Sophie Knab says

they were on the menu at the wedding of Jadwiga of Poland and Jagiello of

Lithuania in 1390-ish. Culpeper also mentions them.

 

Aren't pumpkins a new world veggie? If so, what was Strabo talking about

and what were Jadwiga and Jagiello eating? It would have to be a fairly

LARGE gourd, to be used as a bushel basket or measure... I can't think of

any that would qualify offhand.

<<

 

I just checked the Oxford English Dictionary; the earliest use of either

"pumpkin" or "pompion" (both referring to the same type of plant/

squash) was in the mid 1500's. Now, whether or not they referred

to a New World or an Old World plant I have no idea - but the plant is,

at the very least, a period beastie.

 

Alban

 

 

From: John or Fraya Davis <gameroom at infowest.com>

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

Subject: Re: Pumpkins?

 

Pumpkins are strictly New World.  The only references I've found to them are

as follows from "Food" by Waverly Root:

 

"In 1540 or thereabouts, Hernando de Alvarado, acting as a scout for

Coronado's penetration of the American Southwest, reported to his chief that

the territory he had explored grew melons.   They could not have been

melons, Old World fruits which did not exist in American until the Europeans

brought them there."

 

"In 1584 Jacques Cartier reported from the St. Lawrence region that he had

found there 'gros melons', translated into English not as 'big melons' but

as 'pompions', pumpkins.  As early as 1586, English botanists began writing

about 'melons' and 'millions' as meaning pumpkins.  They had picked the word

up, perhaps, from Thomas Hariot, who in the same year had reported the

presence in Virginia of vegetables 'called by us pompions, melons, and

gourds, because they are of the like forms of those kinds in England'.

 

'The Europeans who encountered squashes and pumpkins in America had to

compare them to melons or some other European vegetable or fruit because

they had never seen anything quite like them before and had no word for

them...we may make bold to assert that squashes and pumpkins are uniquely

American and were completely unknown to the Old World before the time of

Columbus."

 

"I have one translation of [Charlemagne's recipe for squash soup] in French

and another in English.  The French translation of the word Charlemagne used

is courge, 'squash'; but the English translation is 'gourd'."

 

"Despite their speedy entry into botanical literature in the sixteenth and

seventeenth centuries, squashes did not reach European tables in any numbers

until the nineteenth.  There is one reference (in a French source) to the

introduction of the vegetable marrow into Enland about 1700, but the English

themselves did not seem to be aware of it."

 

Hope that helps.  This books is invaluable to me when deciding what foods

were eaten in period.  I never realized potatoes were not eaten in England

until the 1700s.

 

Gillian

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 22:20:11 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - pumpkins

 

The word "pumpkin" predates the introduction of the New World vegetable

that now goes by that name. My guess is that it referred to some other

edible gourd, probably Lageneria Sicereia (sp?), the white flowered gourd,

which is our (my and Betty's) best guess at what the early cookbooks mean

by terms such as "gourd" and "pumpkin."

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 20:30:49 -0400

From: llewmike at iwaynet.net

Subject: Re: SC - Pumpkins (was: Needing help with a class....)

 

Castelvetro published his work in England in 1614 after years of

research.  I have read several other sources on what he meant by

pumpkins and have concluded that he may have meant the "white pumpkin"

of the cucurbitas family. The full title is Brieve racconto di tutte le

radici, di tuttte l'herbe et di tutti i frutti, che crudi o cotti in

Italia si mangiano.  LLEW

 

 

Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 11:28:23 -0400

From: llewmike at iwaynet.net

Subject: Re: SC - Pumpkins (was: Needing help with a class....)

 

The "white pumpkin" was a large gourd of the Lagnaria family (not

cucurbitas as I previously mentioned). It is a large white gourd

introduced into Europe during Roman times according to Jane Grigson.

After a little more research, I have come to the conclusion that what he

meant were the old world variety because he describes not only making

pies out of them but also cutting them into strips for eating.  LLEW

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 11:05:53 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - gingered butternut squash soup (Was: Italian Ren Feast)

 

> Seannach asked...

> >I just found a modern recipe for gingered butternut squash soup that has

> sweet potatoes in it, and am making it tonight to test out.....is there

> any way this could be period?<

>

> Prolly not. It has sweet potatoes in it. But then, I have gotten somewhat

> confused as to the legitimacy of yellow potatoes in late period Italy.

> Some of us are saying that they were there, and others are saying nay.

>

> Since I was the original poster for the question of butternut squash being

> period (can't find it in Culpeppers or other sources) I too would be

> interested in this.

>

> Micaylah

 

The references I have available suggest that the sweet potato (Ipomoea

batatas) entered Italy about 1528 with haricot beans as part of a

presentation to Pope Clement VII from Cortez's expedition into Mexico.

 

The butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) is much more of a problem.

Cucurbita moschata is found in Africa, Asia, and both Americas.  The genus

contains winter squash, some pumpkins, and some gourds. Of particular

interest are bottle gourds, which have been found in Egyptian and

Mesoamerican tombs.  While I have not been able to confirm it, I suspect

butternuts are modern variants and bottle gourds or Japanese pumpkin would

have been more likely to be used in period.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 21:31:26 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - gingered butternut squash soup (Was: Italian Ren Feast)

 

> 1. I'm pretty sure C. Moschata is New World.

>

> 2. Isn't bottle gourd Lageneria sicereia (sp?).

>

> David/Cariadoc

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

 

The Langenaria used to be the Old World gourds and the Cucurbita were

primarily New World squashes, so you are probably correct. There have been

some changes in taxonomy, but I haven't been able to tell if they are

commonly accepted or under debate.  Several sources commented on differences

in taxonomy, but provided little specific information. The source I was

quoting places C. moschata in Africa, Asia, and both North and South America

and places the bottle gourd in C. moschata.  It appears to be thorough,

authoritative and accurate, however it may represent a particular academic

heresy or I may have misread the information.

 

I'm interested in determining a chronology for the variants of the species

of Cucurbita, so I will be looking at this further.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 22:38:28 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - gingered butternut squash soup (Was: Italian Ren Feast)

 

ddfr at best.com writes:

 

<< 2. Isn't bottle gourd Lageneria sicereia (sp?).

 

David/Cariadoc >>

 

Bottle gourds, bird's nest gourds, snake gourds and luffa gourds are all

legenaria, SFAIK. They are all also very edible when picked young. In fact, I

passed out several snake gourds at Pennsic to interested parties but have

recieved no input about their experiments so far. My own experiments from those

grown in my garden show luffa, bottle and snake gourds to be very tasty and

they produced good results when used in all the period gourd/squash/pumpkin

(e.g. pompion) recipes that I tried.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 16:41:35 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Pumpkins/gourds (Was: gingered butternut squash soup)

 

Cariadoc said:

>> 1. I'm pretty sure C. Moschata is New World.

>>

>> 2. Isn't bottle gourd Lageneria sicereia (sp?).

>>

and Bear replied:

 

>The Langenaria used to be the Old World gourds and the Cucurbita were

>primarily New World squashes, so you are probably correct.  There have been

>some changes in taxonomy, but I haven't been able to tell if they are

>commonly accepted or under debate.  Several sources commented on

differences

>in taxonomy, but provided little specific information. The source I was

>quoting places C. moschata in Africa, Asia, and both North and South

America

>and places the bottle gourd in C. moschata.  It appears to be thorough,

>authoritative and accurate, however it may represent a particular academic

>heresy or I may have misread the information.

>

>I'm interested in determining a chronology for the variants of the species

>of Cucurbita, so I will be looking at this further.

>

>Bear

 

About ten years ago I dug into the botanical literature looking for what

gourds, squash, pumpkin, etc would have been used in period.  I had a

picture from a pre-Columbus _Taciunum Sanitatas_ of

some that are green-skinned and shaped somewhere between butternut and

zucchini (i.e. long with some swelling toward the bottom end), and the

plants have white flowers.  I found, among others, the following article:

Whitaker, Thomas W., "American Origin of the Cultivated Cucurbits," Annals

of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1947.

 

His conclusion, on a variety of evidence ranging from what seeds and rinds

have been found in what ancient garbage dumps to what the 15th and 16th

century herbals show, is that all or almost all squash you find in the

grocery belong to one of three New World species of the genus Cucurbita

(there is one Old World species of that genus, but it isn't cultivated).

Cucurbita pepo includes zucchini, the standard orange pumpkin, yellow

summer squash, (I think) acorn squash, and various others. Cucurbita

moschata includes butternut and some others I don't remember.  Cucurbita

maxima includes Hubbard squash and some others that get really big.  He

didn't really go into the question of what Europeans ate before the New

World squashes come in, but he did mention the White-Flowered Gourd,

Lagenaria sicereia, as something that people have eaten. (At least some,

and maybe all, of the New World species have yellow flowers.)

 

A few years later we came across the book _Food in China_ by Frederick J.

Simoons, CRC Press, Boca Raton 1991. He listed Lagenaria sicereia (calling

it the bottle gourd) as still eaten in China, and had a line drawing

consistant with the _Taciunum Sanitatas_ picture mentioned above.  So armed

with his book, we visited Chinatown.  We had a Latin name and an English

name and a picture and the people in the store had a Chinese name and a

Vietnamese name, so I won't swear we got the right thing, but we took it

home and tried it in some of Platina's recipes.  The taste was probably

closer to zucchini than any other common squash I know, but not as bitter.

We have found the same thing since sold by Chinese or Vietnamese merchants;

the name at least one of them gave it is "opo" and he told us it had white

flowers.  I have also seen white-flowered gourd grown in a Farm Park near

Cleveland, though I didn't get to taste those.

 

One of the neat things about the SCA is the chance to do research on

thoroughly off-the-wall topics.

 

Elizabeth of Dendermonde/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:50:57 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Period squashes

 

SMaynard at qtrndss1.telstra.com.au writes:

<< Is there a period alternative?

           Willianm=-) >>

 

Well, that's a tough question.  Elizabeth has just about covered it in a

previous post.

 

There is also the small matter of whether the 'pompion' recipes from period

are referring to a squash that resembles our winter squashes.  Most people

erroneously assume that this is the case because of circumstantial evidence or

modern observations.  I tend to think that the white flowered edible gourds

are the squash/pumpkins being referred to.  I also feel that the name for our

pumpkins was not applied because the fruits resembled those grown in Europe

but rather because the plant resembled that which was grown in Europe.

 

Edible gourds can be used in all the period recipes calling for 'pumpkins' or

gourds.  Most call for the vegetable to be 'sliced' or 'chopped' unlike modern

pumpkin recipes which call for mashing.  When the bird's nest, bottle, snake

or loofa gourds are used in period recipes, the end result is very good. The

fact that most modern recipes use winter squash is irrelevant because there

are modern recipes that use zucchini and patty pans, which are summer

squashes that have a flavor very similar to the edible gourds.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 08:54:00 EST

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - my medieval dinner party - long

 

Last night I had some mundane friends over and served them a medieval feast.

They really enjoyed it and were interested in the background of the recipes.

The evening went off well so I thought I'd post the recipes I used.

Phillipa

 

***Winter Squash or Pumpkin Soup***

The Medieval Kitchen

Redon, Sabban, Serventi

University of Chicago Press

1998

 

SQUASH.    For squash, Peel them and cut them into slices. Remove the seeds

if there are any and cook them in water in a pan.  Then drain them and rinse

them in cold water.  Squeeze them and chop them finely. Mix with some beef

and other meat broth and add cow's milk and mix half a dozen egg yolks. Put

through a seive into the broth and milk.  On fast days use the cooking water

from dried peas or almond milk and butter.

 

5 1/2 lbs winter squash or pumpkin

4 C almond milk - made with a little more than 4 cups of water and 2/3 C

almonds

4 Tbsp butter

salt to taste

Peel the squash and remove the seeds.

Cut into 1" chunks and cook on boiling salted water for 10 minutes.

The squash must remain firm and must not fall apart.

Drain and press gently through a seive to remove excess water.

Chop to a coarse puree with a knife or food processor.

Place the puree in a sauce pan, add the almond milk and butter and bring to a

boil.

Check for salt before serving

 

This was the Lenten recipe. It was OK, but it didn't "send" me.  My guests,

however, had 2 helpings!  The texture of the finished product was like eating

pumpkin straight out of the can.  I just found another pumpkin soup recipe in

this book that I like better.  I'll try that next time.

 

<snip of ***Chicken Ambrogino With Dried Fruit*** recipe>

 

<snip of ***Green Poree for Days of Abstainence*** recipe>

 

<snip of ***Mashed turnips and parsnips*** recipe>

 

<snip of ***Gingerbread*** recipe>

 

Anyway, this was  my menu...oh yes, I also made fried potatoes, no recipe.

Everyone liked everything, includeing my picky son!

 

Phillipa

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 17:21:03 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - where do you get these gourds , Please?

 

Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

> I did not know, until after I made the meal, My Lord, and all I had was canned

> pumpkin anyway...BUT.....I wanted to try the soup again using a different

> squash so thank you for pointing me in the right direction!  But where do you

> get these gourds?  I've never heard of them.  Do they go by another name?

> Thank you,

> Phillipa

 

I believe they're known as long squashes, and I _think_ they're the same

as what the Chinese call the fuzzy or hairy melon; while they're shiny

on the surface, they do have a faint layer of peach fuzz. You can often

find them at Asian markets.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 18:35:33 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - where do you get these gourds , Please?

 

Seton1355 at aol.com writes:

<< But where do you

get these gourds?  I've never heard of them.  Do they go by another name?

Phillipa >>

 

You can get these gourds from my garden in season or you can go to Agway or

any other garden center and buy the seeds of 'Italian Edible Gourds' or the

seeds of  'Luffa sponge' gourds. As you know  from personal experience, our

local makets are not noted for supplying anything that smacks of food that the

majority of the world's population eats except on rare occasions so the

closest thing you will probably find at our local markets is zucchini (also

new world) which has a texture and taste similar to white flowered gourds.

This year I plan on putting some of these up in the freezer so Guild members

will have them to 'play' with in the off season.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 23:09:44 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - where do you get these gourds , Please?

 

At 3:03 PM -0500 3/14/99, Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

>I did not know, until after I made the meal, My Lord, and all I had was canned

>pumpkin anyway...BUT.....I wanted to try the soup again using a different

>squash so thank you for pointing me in the right direction!  But where do you

>get these gourds?  I've never heard of them.  Do they go by another name?

>Thank you,

 

The old world gourds are still used in Chinese cooking, and we have gotten

what we think are Lagenaria from chinese grocery stores. I say "think"

because we had a book on the history of Chinese cooking with an English

name and a latin name and a picture, and the people in the grocery store

had gourds and a Vietnamese name (and maybe a Chinese name--it was a while

ago), so we aren't sure we got the right thing.

 

One possibility, if you can talk to someone familiar with growing the

gourds, is to ask what color the flowers are. I think the "Italian edible

gourds" that one sometimes sees in seed catalogs are lagenereia too. What

you are looking for are edible gourds with white flours and  scientific

name Lagenaria sicereia. We have been told that one source for the seeds is

J.L. Hudson, Seedman (P.O.Box 1058, Redwood City, CA 94064).

 

The ones we found tasted more like zucchini than any of the other squashes,

so that might be a good substitution. On the other hand, most of the

familiar pumpkin/squash things are one species (Cucurbita pepo), which

demonstrates how wide a variation you can get with a single species; for

all I know there are Lagenaria equivalents of pumpkins etc.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 09:43:29 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Gourds

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<< Most obvious thing that comes to mind is the hairy/fuzzy melon, a.k.a.

white-flowered gourd, a.k.a. long squash, which is apparently the

medieval European cucurbit gourd.

 

Adamantius >>

 

In this we must disagree. Medieval illuminations which show pictures of

'guords' most often illustrate them as long and skinny or bottle shaped or

cucumber shaped. The Italian ediblre gourd, the luffa gourd and the bottle

(or bird's house) gourd are all edible when young . These are the most likely

candidates.

 

On what evidence do your base your belief that fuzzy gourds from the Orient

would have been  used? Cariadoc also mentions fuzzy. I suspect that the

relative ease of finding that type in US markets is the major criteria for

your suggestion. Please correct me if I am wrong and provide greater details

supporting your position.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 11:39:35 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Gourds

 

LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> << hairy/fuzzy melon, a.k.a.

>  white-flowered gourd, a.k.a. long squash, which is apparently the

>  medieval European cucurbit gourd.

>

>  Adamantius >>

>

> In this we must disagree. Medieval illuminations which show pictures of

> 'guords' most often illustrate them as long and skinny or bottle shaped or

> cucumber shaped. The Italian ediblre gourd, the luffa gourd and the bottle

> (or bird's house) gourd are all edible when young . These are the most likely

> candidates.

>

> On what evidence do your base your belief that fuzzy gourds from the Orient

> would have been used?

 

Same evidence as you, probably. Do you mean Orient, by any chance?

White-flowered gourds, fuzzy or hairy melons, are more or less

indigenous to the Eurasian landmass, and appear, and did appear, in the

cuisines of the Far East, India, Persia, etc. The illustrations (we're

probably talking about the same ones) show pale green oblong fruits,

somewhat fatter at the flower end than at the stem, sometimes slightly

curved. Also small white blossoms. Up close, the melons have a slight

down on them, more akin to the fuzzy stuff you can rub off the skin of a

quince than to peachfuzz, hence the appellation, fuzzy.

 

> Cariadoc also mentions fuzzy. I suspect that the

> relative ease of finding that type in US markets is the major criteria for

> your suggestion. Please correct me if I am wrong and provide greater details

> supporting your position.

 

Consider yourself offically corrected: if that were the case, I would

suggest the period European gourd was in fact frozen peas ;  )  My

position is based on the fact that the melon/gourd could easily, from a

scientific standpoint, have been grown in period Europe, and looks quite

a lot like the illustrations in several different versions of Tacuinum

Sanitatis. While this doesn't prove that they _were_ the period European

gourd, it allows for a possibility equally viable to that of the various

Italian gourds, which are possibly of the same species anyway. I should

point out, though, that bottleneck gourds (which a man down the street

from me grows) really don't look too much like the period illustrations

I've seen. There may have been a bit of intervarietal hybridization to

enhance that bottle shape in the intervening years.

 

Some confusion may be caused by the fact that Tacuinum Sanitatis

occasionally depicts items with which the illustrator was not personally

familiar, so we can't always rely 100% on the illustrations (the bananas

are cute, though). The similarities between the gourds as illustrated

and fuzzy melons are pretty uncanny, however.

 

But yes, it's true that fuzzy melons may be more available in the

commercial ethnic markets than Italian gourds, which is probably why I

often see people looking as if they might be Italian buying fuzzy melons

in the Indian and Chinese markets near me. Of course they could be

sauteeing them with beef in oyster sauce... ; ) . One never knows, do one?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 15:01:12 -0400

From: Angie Malone <alm4 at cornell.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - cordials + Borage

 

If you have a local farm and garden store try there.  In NY we have places

called Agway, where they have borage seeds. I ordered mine from Shumway

seed company a few years ago, but haven't planted more since.

 

I also like Pinetree Seeds.  http://www.superseeds.com

You can order smaller seed packets from them to try different things and

the seed packets are about half the price of the larger ones.  They also

have some interesting possibly period seeds.  They have the edible gourd

seeds.  They are in the italian vegetable seed section and here's the blurb:

 

IT66. CUCUZZI (55 days)

 

Italian edible gourd. You can tell that these are truly gourds from the

leaf shape and the white flowers, but when harvested young, the uses are identical to zucchini. The flavor is stronger, however--difficult to describe. Vines are long and spreading. As with the zucchetta tromboncino, if you don't harvest them young, these will grow to a remarkable length, close to 4 feet.

20 seeds .55

 

        Angeline

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 09:34:29 +1000

From: "HICKS, MELISSA" <HICKS_M at casa.gov.au>

Subject: SC - Gourds: Live and growing

 

Greetings all,

 

This is from Rowan who is unfortunately unsubscribed at the moment.  She is

growing langanaria sicaria (sic).  Mel.

 

> Adamantius wrote:

> >> << Most obvious thing that comes to mind is the hairy/fuzzy melon, a.k.a.

> >>  white-flowered gourd, a.k.a. long squash, which is apparently the

> >>  medieval European cucurbit gourd.

>

> Ras said:

> >> In this we must disagree. Medieval illuminations which show pictures of

> >> 'guords' most often illustrate them as long and skinny or bottle shaped or

> >> cucumber shaped. The Italian ediblre gourd, the luffa gourd and the bottle

> ...

>

> Well, I've just grown one from seed (thanks Drake) and you are both right!

> The vine had white flowers, about half the size of zucchhini flowers, but

> otherwise grew rather like a pumpkin - it was a climber. The resulting gourd

> is long and skinny, rather like a lebanese cucumber. I picked the sole

> result when it was 18" long. It has a bright mid green shiny skin, covered

> in little hairs - it is definitely fuzzy, but in a delicate way. It's

> sitting on my bench at home right now, waiting for me to decide how I'll

> cook it...

>

> I will try to take a photo and post it, if it works out...

>

> Rowan

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 22:06:07 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Gourds

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<<....<snip>......The illustrations (we're probably talking about the same

ones)>>

 

I don't think so. The illustration in the herbal clearly shows a bottle shape

that is globular at the stem end  thinning in the middle and widening to a

fatter globe on the  flower end. In the background are long skinny  objects

which could be interpreted as very long cucumbers or Italian edible gourds.

Interspersed throughout are rather samller objects that could be cucumbers

but the pointing ends suggest luffas to me rather than the former. Both

Italian edible gourds and bottle gourds have a dense fuzz covering them when

they are young. I haven't grown luffas in a while so I can't say if they have

fuzz when young or not.

 

One other point that might be taken into consideration is that although the

growing season for all 3 types of gourds mentioned above is rather long, the

fuzzy melon takes a considerably longer season to mature.

 

Apparantly this is an area that needs more study. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 22:48:01 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Gourds: Live and growing

 

"HICKS, MELISSA" wrote:

> This is from Rowan who is unfortunately unsubscribed at the moment.  She is

> growing langanaria sicaria (sic).  Mel.

> >

> > Well, I've just grown one from seed (thanks Drake) and you are both right!

> > The vine had white flowers, about half the size of zucchhini flowers, but

> > otherwise grew rather like a pumpkin - it was a climber. The resulting

> > gourd

> > is long and skinny, rather like a lebanese cucumber. I picked the sole

> > result when it was 18" long. It has a bright mid green shiny skin, covered

> > in little hairs - it is definitely fuzzy, but in a delicate way. It's

> > sitting on my bench at home right now, waiting for me to decide how I'll

> > cook it...

> >

> > I will try to take a photo and post it, if it works out...

 

And in the mean time, check this out:

http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/trade/asiaveg/thes-34.htm

 

for a photo of fuzzy melons.

 

One possible source of confusion might be that simply knowing the

supposed botanical/taxonomical name of something living doesn't

necessary enable you to distinguish it from something else, since

frequently a species will have more than one genus name on record, and

sometimes even more than one entire species designation. So, for

example, knowing that the fuzzy melon is benincasa hispada isn't

especially helpful when others know it as cucurbita hispada, and other

sources refer to the winter melon (an entirely different squash and

looking nothing at all like the fuzzy melon, being more or less

spherical) as both the fuzzy or hairy melon _and_ as cucurbita hispada.

 

Seems as if even some of the botanists are somewhat confused on this

point, but the lagenaria and benincasa genera seem to have nearly

identical specimens of cucurbit gourds.

 

As Ras says, more research is indicated, but at the end of the research

trail one may find that it makes little difference in the end, and there

may actually be no "one, true Gourd", provided that one understands the

basic concept that neither zucchini nor bumpy New World ornamental

pumpin-type gourds are what the medieval European recipes are talking about.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 16:33:41 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - New World Foods-list

 

> I have a question regarding Pumpkin.  In Apicius, there are many recipes that

> specify pumpkin.  (Book III)  The latin word they use is cucurbitas. Granted,  

> whatever "pumpkin" they are referring to in those recipes is not what we

> have today. There are references to green string beans, and "marrow" as

> zucchini squash.  This may be where the problem lies in determining what is

> and is not "period".  How do we tell the difference between what the original

> recipe said, and the language the translaters use?

>

> Aldyth

> Aldyth at aol.com

 

The curcubitas referred to in Apicius are almost certainly members of the

genus Lagenaria, which contains calabashes, dipper and bottle gourds. The

Lagenaria are believed to be of African origin and spread to Asia and Europe

in prehistoric times.  They are found in New World archeological sites

beginning around 7000 BC.  The dispersion to the New World is believed to

have been by current drift from Africa or Asia, although the Diffusionist

claim it as evidence of commerce between the New and Old Worlds in

prehistoric times.

 

The Lagenaria and the genus Cucurbita are both members of the family

Cucurbitaceae.  The Cucurbita are the squashes and pumpkins from the New

World.  While there is a botanical theory that some of the Cucurbita have an

Asian origin, none are found in Europe and there is no evidence that any

reached Europe prior to Columbus.  I tend to believe they were transported

as seed from the New World and quickly adopted to replace the Old World

gourds in cooking.  Vincenzo Campi's The Fruit Seller (circa 1580) shows a

green pumpkin-shaped squash (which was identified as a "marrow" in

accompanying text) and what is probably a pumpkin (stem hidden, making

actual identification impossible.  

 

While the marrow squash is a large, watery version of the zucchini, the

identification on the above squash as a marrow makes me think the Brits may

use the term very loosely.

 

BTW, your string bean is probably a yard long bean, which is of Old World

origin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 10:52:01 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pumpkin Recipes?

 

lilinah at earthlink.net writes:

<< Are there any authentic (obviously late) "period"recipes for pumpkin?  >>

 

This depends on what you mean by 'pumpkin.' The word was used for old world

varieties of several gourd species some of which looked little liked the New

World food which also received the old world name of 'pumpkin.' Many period

recipes exist for squash or pumpkin. If you have Scully's The Medieval

Kitchen, there is a nice one for a broth-squash based pottage that you might

find useful for your purposes. I have tried it using several species of old

world 'pumpkin' including immature bushel basket, birdhouse, Italian Edible

and loofa gourds with excellent results. The translated and original recipes

from Libro de arte coquinaria by Maestro Martinoas as they appear in Scully

follows:

 

Mondale como vogliono essene, et poi cocile con brodo di carne, overo con

acqua et mettevi un pocha de cipolla secundo la quantita che tu vorrai fare.

Et quando pareca cotta cacciala fore, et passa ogni cosa per la cocchiara

straforata, overo pistale molto bene, et metteli accocere in una pignatta con

brodo grasso, et con un pocho d'gresto. Et siano un pocho gialle di zafrano;

et quando sono cotte toglile dal focho et lasciale un pocho refredare. Dapoi

togli di rossi d'ova secundo la quantita et sbattili con un pocho di caso

vecchio et gitaggli in le ditte zucche menando continuamente col cocchiaro

accio che non si prendano: et fa le menestre et mectevi sopra spetie dolci.

 

To cook squashes, peel them as they should be, and then cook them with meat

broth or water; add a little onion according to the quantity you want to

make. And when they seem cooked, take them out and put them through a

strainer or pound them very well; and cook them in a pot with rich broth and

a little verjuice. And they should be slightly yellow with saffron, and when

they are cooked, remove them from the fire and leave them a while to cool.

Then take egg yolks according to the quantity and beat them with a little

aged cheese, and add them to the squash, stirring constantly with the spoon

so that they do not stick; dress your bowls, and top with sweet spices.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 13:11:51 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pumpkin Recipes?

 

Someone wrote (I'm picking this one up second hand)

>  >Even if it isn't New World pumpkin, are there any European cookbooks

>  >that actually refer to pumpkin or pompon or pompion?

 

The OED entry under pompion quotes Tusser, 1570 or so,  as saying (I

think) that it is boiled or cooked in butter in May. But that doesn't

sound like pumpkin, given the date, and the West Kingdom contest is

fall, not spring.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 14:04:50 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period pumpkin recipes

 

At 10:34 AM -0500 3/1/00, Robin Carroll-Mann wrote:

>I've been checking through the Spanish sources, since they seem likely

>to contain late-period pumpkin recipes.  the trouble is that the Spanish

>word for pumpkin "calabaza" also refers to various gourds and

>squashes.  I did find one recipe that looks promising. It's various ways

>of stuffing calabazas.  The first variation calls for scooping out the

>insides of the calabaza, and filling it with a mixture that includes ground

>veal or pork, bacon, cheese, eggs, raisins, spices, small chickens, and

>stuffed pigeons.  Is there anything in the cucurbita family that's large

>enough to accomodate this assortment, other than a pumpkin?

 

Why are you limiting yourself to the cucurbita family--all of whose

members are, I think, New World. _The Four Seasons of the House of

Cerruti_, which predates the discovery of the New World, shows large

edible gourds, presumably Lageneria Sicereia (sp?). Given how wide

the range of size is in C. Pepo, I wouldn't be surprised if there

were lageneria big enough for what you describe, but I don't know.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 01:46:03 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - Period Pumpkin Recipes?

 

<< but so far nothing with a name even vaguely like pumpkin. ... are

there any European cookbooks that actually refer to pumpkin or pompon or

pompion? >>

 

The OED (1933 vol. X 117a) quotation s.v. "sugared" might lead to a

recipe:

 

1600 Surflet Countrie Farme 252 To make cucumbers or pompions sugred,

you must steepe the seed in water that is well sweetned with sugar or

honie, .. and so sowe them.

 

The quotations s.v. "pumpkin" are beginning only 1647. The entry

"pompion" has quotations from 1545 onwards, e.g.

 

1587 Harrison ... An acre of ground .. whereon to set cabbages ..

pompons, or such like stuffe.

 

1573 Tusser ... Herbes and rootes to boile or to butter. .. Pompions in

May. (OED1 Vol. VII 1104b).

 

Alas, there are not recipes, but the latter quotation at least seems to

mention a kind of preparation (depends on what was left out in the

quotation).

 

The German "Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch" (c. 1445) has a recipe for

"K?rbes musz", and there are several recipes for "zuche" in the 15th (or

14th?) century Anonimo Veneziano published by Faccioli and Frati... But

I assume these are not the species you are looking for.

 

The variety of species and names in this family is really impressing. Is

there an inventory of the different species and of the European

expressions for these species somewhere?

 

Best,

Thomas

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 18:29:48 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: SC - period pumpkin recipes?

 

In response to Thomas Gloning, i'm forwarding a message that

Christine A Seelye-King was kind enough to send me. It has been

slightly edited for layout, but i have not changed the content.

 

>--------- Forwarded message ----------

>From: khkeeler <kkeeler at unlinfo.unl.edu>

>To: herbalist at Ansteorra.ORG

>Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 08:09:30 -0500

>Subject: Re: HERB - the period pumpkin

>

>RAISYA wrote:

>>  I've been working on figuring out what the period pumpkin is, and I'd like

>>  to hear from other people.

>>  There's an illumination of the period pumpkin in the 14th century TACUINUM

>>  SANITATIS.  Both the leaves and fruit of the plant look like a butternut

>>  squash.  The modern pumpkin and most squash belong to Cucurbita pepo and

>>  Cucurbita maxima which originated in N. and S. America, while the butternut

>  > squash belongs to Cucurbita moschata.

><snip>

>  > I think the butternut squash makes the most sense, but maybe there's something

>>  I haven't come across.  Has anyone else looked into this?

>>  Raisya Khorivovna

>

>My sources are

>NW Simmonds, Evolution of crop plants (Longman 1976)

>JF Hancock, Plant evolution and the origin of crop species (Prentice Hall 1992)

>BB Simpson and MC Ogorzaly Economic botany: plants in our world

>(McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed. 1995).

>

>As you say, New World plants are

>Cucurbita pepo (summer squash, marrow, pumpkin, zuccini, acorn squash,

>crookneck, spaghetti, ornamental squashes)

>but also

>C. moschata (winter squash, butternut squash, pumpkin)

>C. maxima (winter squash, pumpkin, winter marrow)

>C. mixta (winter squash, hubbard squash, turban squash, pumpkin)

>C. ficifolia (fig-leaf gourd).

>Simpson and Ogorzaly suggest ways to distinguish the above (p. 126).

>

>Totally separate and much more complicated are Old World members of this

>family (Cucurbitaceae).

>Cucumis sativus (cucumber) originally from India,

>Cucumis melo (muskmelon, cantalope) Africa, India,

>Citrullus lanatus (watermelon) South Africa ,

>Languinaria siceraria (white-flowered gourd) Africa, the Americas

>Luffa acutangula, L. cylindrica (luffa) Asia.

>Watermelons are very old:  appear in Dioscorides, were being grown in

>China by 1200 AD

>Cucumis melo doesn't occur in Egyptian or Greek writing, does in texts

>from the end of the Roman empire--current varieties include cantaloupe,

>Perisan, musk, Cranshaw and honeydew melons

>Cucumbers are known from ancient Egypt, were widely dispersed across the OW

>white-flowered gourd - known from Ecuador and Peru 7,000 yrs ago, Egypt

>3,000 yrs ago- currently thought to be a natural disjunction with the

>plant naturally occurring both places.

>Simpson and Ogorzaly call the Old World cucurbits "dessert foods", the

>New World "staple foods" which fits the distribution given above.  But

>is a problem for interpretting Period pumpkins.

>On the other hand, the Simmonds book makes a casual reference to a firm,

>hard greenish watermelon called citron, used for feeding livestock (but,

>likely in S. Africa)- so there may be more varieties of these fruits

>than my sources deal with.

>   Good question, I'll see what less direct references suggest.  

>Agnes deLanvallei, Mag Mor, Calontir

>--

>mka Kathy Keeler

>kkeeler1 at unl.edu

 

Some other messages in the thread indicate that "family" is used

where "genus" should have been used.

Also as there has been some botanical reorganization, some plants

appear in more than one species, because they were so listed in

different books.

 

If i am understanding correctly, the long, pale green Italian gourd

is a Languinaria. Please, anyone, correct me if i have confused

things. The plant that Pinetree Seeds is selling under Italian

Vegetables - Gourds-Edible

- --- from on-line catalog ---

IT66. CUCUZZI (55 days)

Italian edible gourd. You can tell that these are truly gourds from

the leaf shape and the white flowers, but when harvested young, the

uses are identical to zucchini. The flavor is stronger, however--difficult to

describe. Vines are long and spreading. As with the zucchetta

tromboncino, if you don't harvest them young, these will grow to a

remarkable length, close to 4 feet. 20 seeds .55

- --- end quote from catalog ---

 

I could find no gourds on-line at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

 

Anahita al-shazhiyya

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 23:52:35 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Period pumpkin recipes

 

And it came to pass on 1 Mar 00,, that david friedman wrote:

 

> At 10:34 AM -0500 3/1/00, Robin Carroll-Mann wrote:

> >I've been checking through the Spanish sources, since they seem likely to

> >contain late-period pumpkin recipes.  the trouble is that the Spanish

> >word for pumpkin "calabaza" also refers to various gourds and squashes.

[snip]

> >Is there anything in the cucurbita family

> >that's large enough to accomodate this assortment, other than a pumpkin?

>

> Why are you limiting yourself to the cucurbita family--all of whose

> members are, I think, New World.

 

::sigh::  That's what comes of relying on my memory, especially when

I'm feeling fuzzy-headed.  I was mistakenly thinking that all the Old

World and New World gourds/squashes were different

varieties of cucurbita.  Thank you for the correction.

 

> _The Four Seasons of the House of

> Cerruti_, which predates the discovery of the New World, shows large

> edible gourds, presumably Lageneria Sicereia (sp?). Given how wide the

> range of size is in C. Pepo, I wouldn't be surprised if there were

> lageneria big enough for what you describe, but I don't know.

 

In looking at the other recipes that I have access to, it's become even

clearer that the term calabaza is used generically to refer to that

category of vegetable.  Some of the recipes do specify that the

calabaza should be large or small or tender, according to the

requirements of that particular dish.  The recipe for Torta de Calabazas

says that one can cook all varieties of calabaza in this manner.  So I

reluctantly conclude that there is no way for me to know which (if any)

of the calabaza recipes refer to pumpkin, or a pumpkin-like gourd.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 21:12:35 ESTFrom: LrdRas at aol.comSubject: Re: SC - Re: period pumpkin seed sourcesalm4 at cornell.edu writes:<< I'll let people know because I plan on ordering the seeds from Baker's and trying to grow them. >>Great. We can compare notes. :-) Regarding the time  from seed to harvest. This time is until the first gourds bearing 'hard' shells are ready. The time until harvest would be considerably shorter for use as food. All gourds should be used when young as they are inedible when they reach a mature hard shelled size. Also the skins are tender and thin until they start to mature. Basically, if you cannot puncture the skin easily with a fingernail the gourd is too large to use for food purposes.Ras

 

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 22:45:29 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - period pumpkin recipes?

 

TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< Pardon Ras, but you have a terminology error. Gourds are members of the

family Cucurbitaceae.  They are not part of the genus Cucurbita.

  >>

 

Yes, that is what I meant.

 

Also, loofas are very edible when young. Very good in fact.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 22:00:12 -0500

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

Subject: SC - Stuffed gourds

 

Here's the maybe-pumpkin recipe from Granado.

 

Source: Diego Granado, _Libro del Arte de Cozina_ (Spanish, 1599)

Translation: Lady Brighid ni Chiarain (Robin Carroll-Mann)

 

PARA RELLENAR DE DIVERSAS MANERAS LAS CALABAZAS -- To

stuff gourds in various ways

 

If you wish to cook the gourds, diligently clean them of their rinds,

taking care not to break them.  Make a round opening at the part where

the flower is, and the stem, and with a knife remove all that is inside.  

And stuff it with a mixture made from lean meat of veal, or of pork

chopped with an equal amount of lean and fatty bacon, and adding

cheese, eggs, raisins, common spices, and saffron.  And have small

chickens and pigeons, stuffed, and put them in the gourd with the said

mixture, and when it is full cover it with some round slices of the same

gourd.  And put it in a proportionate vessel, in such a way that it cannot

move, with enough broth to come up to more than halfway, covered with

streaky bacon cut into slices, or with salted pig's belly. This is done so

that the gourd should take on flavor and should not be insipid.  And in

the broth put pepper, cinnamon, and saffron.  And cause it to cook over

the coals, keeping the vessel covered so that it cannot breathe, and

when it has boiled a little while, just until the mixture has compressed,

add more broth and let it finish cooking.  And when it is cooked, strain

the broth from the same vessel, and put the gourd on a plate and serve

it hot with the bacon all around.

 

You can also fill the gourd with milk, beaten eggs, sugar, and streaky

bacon cut into bits.

 

You can also make it in another manner.  And that will be, having made

an opening without taking off the rind, remove the interior and with

dexterity arrange slices of lean bacon inside, on the bottom as well as

on the sides, and have ready uncooked yellow stuffings cut up, or truly

just the mixture, and make a layer of it on the bottom. And take

pigeons, chickens, and quail, and other small birds cut up, the entrails

and the bones removed, and sprinkled with pepper, cinnamon and

cloves and nutmeg.  And put them one by one in the gourd, fitting them

with the same mixture of stuffing for intestines.  And at the end, upon

these birds put a slice of veal sprinkled with the said spices, which

should cover all the mixture.  Then cover the opening with the same part

of the gourd that you took out, and wrap the gourd in a fold of paper and

tie it with a thread, and put it in the oven which is somewhat less hot

than if you were going to cook bread in it.  After two hours take it out

and untie the paper and serve it hot.

 

 

Note: stuffings (rellenos) are mentioned in many other recipes.  They

seem to be a mixture of chopped meats and seasonings, sometimes

formed into various shapes and sizes, sometimes used to fill intestines

in the manner of a sausage.  Fennel is a seasoning in many of these

stuffing recipes, so Italian sausage mixture might work for redacting this

recipe.  I believe that a yellow stuffing would have saffron in it, but that's

only a guess on my part.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 15:47:03 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

Subject: SC - gourds and pompions

 

Oh HELP! I've been trailing this question for years, and I'm still no

closer to a coherent explanation.

 

What _is_ the period European 'pompion', aka 'pumpkin'? It appears before

Columbus, and Walafrid of Strabo (10th century) notes that the big ones

are suitable for making 'bushels' -- bushel baskets-- out of. Which means

that they were somewhat globular and also big enough to carry stuff in

when hollowed out. They were also eaten; they appear on the account books

for the reign of Jadwiga and Jagiello in Poland (1386-1399).

 

Does anyone have any kind of lead on this?

 

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

 

 

Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 15:25:51 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - gourds and pompions

 

Prior to Columbus, the gourds and pompions are probably members of the genus

Lagenaria (including calabashes, dippers, and bottle gourds).  The Lagenaria

are believed to originate in Africa and are found in both the New and Old

Worlds.  The New World Lagenaria are believed to have been brought to the

Americas from Africa by accidental dispersion via ocean currents.  In

general, gourds are members of the family Cucurbitaceae having hard, durable

shells.

 

The squashes and pumpkins of the New World are members of the genus

Cucurbita.  The common names of similar members of the Lagenaria were

applied to them when the Europeans found them.  The similarity probably led

to the rapid adaption of the Cucurbita in Europe, as evidenced in a number

of 16th Century paintings dealing with food stuffs.

 

There is a scientific debate as to the possible Asian origin of some members

of the Cucurbita, but it is a fairly safe bet that the ones in Europe

arrived from the New World after 1492.

 

Other genera of the Cucurbitaceae are Cucumis, containing the cucumbers and

the melons (except the watermelon), Citrullis, the watermelons, and Luffa,

loofahs.  All of these are of Old World origin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2000 00:54:14 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: Re: SC - gourds and pompions

 

<< What _is_ the period European 'pompion', aka 'pumpkin'? It appears

before Columbus, and Walafrid of Strabo (10th century) notes that the

big ones are suitable for making 'bushels' -- bushel baskets-- out of.

Which means that they were somewhat globular and also big enough to

carry stuff in when hollowed out. They were also eaten; they appear on

the account books for the reign of Jadwiga and Jagiello in Poland

(1386-1399). >>

 

AHH! Walahfrid Strabo! I was rowing around his island, the Reichenau in

the Bodensee, in 1989, thinking: "Here is where Walahfrid lived more

than 1100 years ago". A fine author. He died in 849; he once was abbot

at the Reichenau. _Strabo_ means 'the cross-eyed, the squinting'.

 

The "cucurbita" described in his 'Hortulus' is a bottle-gourd, according

to Stoffler, the editor of the Hortulus, and according to Marzell, who

compiled a multi-volume dictionary on German plant names and who wrote a

short article about "Die Pflanzen des 'Hortulus'" (The plants of the

'Hortulus').

 

Only in case both of us talk about the cucurbita-chapter, I wonder if

the _vasum_ in the passage "... in assiduos formarier usus // Vasorum

poterit ..." could be rendered as "'bushels' -- bushel baskets"; the

rest of the passage speaks about how to make a vessel/ bottle from the

gourds, to preserve wine for some time.

 

Cucurbita is also mentioned in the plant list of the 9th century

Capitulare de Villis; GŸnther Franz translates "FlaschenkŸrbis" (bottle

gourd), thereby relying on older authors on the question, too. In

addition, at the beginning of the capitulare there is sort of an

anti-corruption passage, and in this passage "buticulas" are mentioned

as a kind of gift to officers that is allowed. Now, there is some

dispute, what "buticulas" are, but _one_ interpretation is 'bottles made

of bottle gourds (together with some content)'.

 

Later on, the picture versions of the Tacuin sanitatis have a chapter on

"cucurbite". E.g. the socalled "Hausbuch der Cerruti" in the National

library of Austria shows bottle gourds under the heading "cucurbite".

[BTW, this source also says something about soft and hard cheese in

winter/summer, etc.]

 

Then there are all the herbals. The Hortus sanitatis 1485 e.g. has a

picture together with references to ancient authorities. Leonhard Fuchs

1543 in chapter 138 ("Von KŸrbs" 'Of pumkin/gourd') distinguishes

several kinds & gives pictures. About the biggest ones, he says: "Vnd

wŸrt zwar dise frucht zuo zeiten so gro§/ als ein zimlicher kŸbel" (and,

truely, this plant grows at times as big as a quite big tub/pail).  ...

 

Then there are the dietetic texts ...

 

<< I've been trailing this question for years >>

 

This comes as no surprise. Go ahead.

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 22:51:14 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

At 8:02 PM -0700 9/19/00, I wrote:

>The word "pompon," according to the OED, has nothing to do with

>pumpkins or gourds.

 

But glancing through Thomas Dawson (1597), I find him using "pompon"

for some kind of vegetable (an alternative to melon or cucumber), so

it looks as though Lady Eileen is probably right that one of its

meanings  is an alternate form of "pumpkin."

 

The recipe, incidentally, does not give me confidence in Dawson. He

is soaking seeds in sugar water mixed with rose water, then drying

the seeds and planting them, in order to produce such melons, the

like of which have never been seen. And if you mix musk into the

sugar water ...  .

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 00:41:20 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

At 11:16 PM -0700 9/19/00, Susan Browning wrote:

>Does anybody know of any recipes for pumkin (old world) in period?

 

There are several recipes in the Miscellany that use gourds, and are

from before Columbus. I don't remember any of them using gourds

called "pumpkins" or any variant.

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 08:22:58 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

> I recall seeing pumpkins in pictures of paintings included in

> the Art and Recipe cookbook that was recently discussed here.

> olwen

 

New World squashes and pumpkins appear in very late 16th Century paintings.

Campi's The Fruit Seller (about 1580) displays two or three varieties which

suggests that they were being marketed, at least in Italy. A number of

Italian painters included them in still lifes dating from about 1570 to

1620.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 08:45:00 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

> True. But as far as can be determined, I believe this list came to

> conclusion that all gourds in period were varietals of the same plant,

> only in different shapes and sizes...

>

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          

 

I think it might be more correct to say most are members of the genus

Lagenaria and many are varieties of Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourds).

 

The bitter gourd or balsam pear (Momordica charantia) was known and eaten in

period and I don't believe it is a member of the family Cucurbitacaea.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 10:58:59 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

lilinah at earthlink.net writes:

<< We had a good discussion of this back when I first learned of the

cooking competition. >>

 

Also remember that while bushel basket gourds do resemble the fruit of the

American pumpkin, the basis for calling the New world fruit a pumpkin was not

necessarily based on the appearance of the fruit. It most probably was based

on the appearance of the plant which is similar to several plants of the

gourd family. The 2 I have seen pictured in manuscripts are clearly NOT

bushel basket gourds but are Italian edible gourds and birdhouse gourds

respectively. while bushel basket gourds are a good candidate, I think it

would be a shame to restrict the definition to that particular plant alone

based on similar fruit appearance.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 09:50:31 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

At 8:22 AM -0500 9/20/00, Decker, Terry D. wrote:

>New World squashes and pumpkins appear in very late 16th Century paintings.

>Campi's The Fruit Seller (about 1580) displays two or three varieties which

>suggests that they were being marketed, at least in Italy.  A number of

>Italian painters included them in still lifes dating from about 1570 to

>1620.

 

According to Whittaker (I think), what appears to be a field pumpkin

is illustrated in 1560.

 

Whitaker, Thomas W., "American Origin of the Cultivated Cucurbits,"

Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1947.

 

I don't know where the illustration is, however, and don't have a

copy of the article at hand.

- --

David Friedman

ddfr at best.com

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 16:47:29 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins in Period?

 

> In any case, we don't know, or at least I don't, whether the early

> variants of "pumpkin" referred to a gourd. It might have been

> something else whose size and shape was sufficiently similar to what

> we call a pumpkin for the name to have been transferred, such as some

> kind of melon.

 

I think it is a mix. The one Strabo talks about isn't a melon, as it dries

with a hard rind and could be used as a bushel basket. The References to

pompions at the wedding of Jadwiga and Jagiello, however, may well be a

mistranlations of the word for melon, as Knab mentions it and Dembinska

mentions melons...

 

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 22:48:22 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Pumpkins and such...

 

There are many varieties of period pumpkins (i.e., gourds) still available

today:

 

Italian Edible Gourds, Loofa Sponges, Bushel Basket Gourds and Birdhouse Gourds

immediately come to mind. Of these, the bushel basket gourd comes the closest

to looking like what we know as a 'pumpkin' today. Most period recipes using

gourds are savory rather than sweet. So far as size is concerned, manuscript

pictures showing bird house gourds appear to show them no different from

today.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 14:16:15 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Pumpkins and such...

 

> Everyone points ot htese tiny unripe green gourds as the period pompions,

> but I still wonder about Strabo's bushel-basket size pompions.

> --

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          

 

There is a picture from the Tacuinum Sanitatis (14th Century) showing some

large yellow-orange fruit (probably gourds) hanging from a lattice.

 

Here's an interesting site with pictures:

http://www.bloomingdaletel.com/~sandlady/

 

Here's some information on cultivation:

http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/hyg-fact/1000/1630.html

 

And here are some basket gourds, being used as art:

http://www.vdest.com/santafe/KivaFineArts/sf023712.html

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 15:50:41 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] squash recipes

 

>I am looking for some sort of recipe for squash for a feast in a

>couple of months.  I have tried to look up different recipes but I

>think I must lack the magic touch.

>

>Can any one out there give any ideas for a summer feast with

>squash?? There will be beef and turkey served as the main meat

>dishes.

 

 

1. Squash is a New World vegetable; while it is possible that there

are period recipes for it, I don't know of any. Turkey is a New World

animal; I believe there is good evidence that turkeys were being

eaten in Europe before 1600, but I don't know if there are surviving

recipes for them or not.

 

2. There are, however, old world gourds which are reasonably similar,

and for which there are period recipes. You may be able to find the

old world gourds (Lageneria sicereia (sp?)--the white flowered gourd)

in a chinese grocery store, since they are still used in Chinese

cooking. I think they are sometimes called "Opo" gourds.

Alternatively you can do a period gourd recipe with  out of period

gourds--the period ones we have found are not all that different in

taste from zucchini.

 

3. Here are some period gourd recipes, from the _Miscellany_. The

part at the beginning is the original recipe, the rest is how we do

it with comments.

 

Gourd in Juice

Platina p. 123 (Book 7)

 

Cook a gourd in juice or in water with a few little onions and after

it is cut up, pass it through a perforated spoon into a kettle in

which there is rich juice, a little verjuice and saffron. Take it

from the hearth when it has boiled a little. After it has been set

aside and cooled a little, put in a little aged cheese ground up and

softened with two egg yolks; or keep stirring it with a spoon so that

lumps do not spoil it. After you have put it into saucers, sprinkle

with spices.

 

2 3/4 lb zucchini squash=097 threads saffron

1/2-3/4 lb onions=095 oz cheddar cheese

1/2 c rich juice: canned beef or chicken broth=092 egg yolks

verjuice: 4 T verjuice or 2 T wine vinegar=09spices (cinnamon,

ginger or nutmeg)

 

Peel squash, remove seeds, slice; coarsely chop onions. Cook 10

minutes in water to cover. Drain and mash. Mix broth, vinegar, and

saffron and add mashed squash. Heat, then add egg yolks and cheese.

Sprinkle with one of the spices: cinnamon was considered best.

 

We have also made this using gourds from a Chinese grocery store

which we believe were bottle gourds (Lagenaria siceraria), our best

guess at the gourd used in period; see the discussion at p. 152-153

below. The recipe we worked out is: Double the quantity of onions and

beef broth, keeping the other proportions as in version with squash.

Peel the gourd, boil it with whole small onions for an hour, then

discard the onions (which seems to be what the original recipe

implies). Slice gourd, mash through strainer (or use a potato ricer).

Add beef broth and verjuice, heat 15 minutes on low, let cool 10

minutes, add grated cheese and egg yolks. Sprinkle with cinnamon and

serve.

 

Fried Gourd

Platina p. 119 (Book 7)

 

Scrape off the skin from the gourd and cut it sideways in thin

slices. When it is boiled once transfer it from the pot onto the

board and leave it there till it has dried out a little. Then roll it

in salt and good white flour and fry it in oil; when it is done and

put on a platter, pour a garlic sauce over it, with fennel blossoms

and breadcrumbs so dissolved in verjuice that it looks thin rather

than thick. It would not be amiss to pass this sauce through a

strainer. There are those, too, who use only verjuice and fennel

bloom. If you like saffron, add saffron.

 

1 1/8 lbs gourd (see p. 152-153)=091 c flour

1 t salt=09enough olive oil to fry: ~1/4" in pan

 

Peel gourd and slice very thin, boil in water 7 minutes, spread out

and let dry for 40 minutes. Mix flour and salt, dip gourd in it, and

fry for ~4 minutes per batch in hot olive oil. See under sauces for

Platina's garlic sauce.

 

Torta from Gourds

Platina p. 136 (book 8)

 

Grind up gourds that have been well cleaned as you are accustomed to

do with cheese. Then let them boil a little, either in rich juice or

in milk. When they are half-cooked and have been passed through a

strainer into a bowl, add as much cheese as I said before [a pound

and a half]. Take half a pound of belly or fat udder boiled and cut

up or, instead of this, if you wish, take the same amount of either

butter or liquamen, add half a pound of sugar, a little ginger, some

cinnamon, six eggs, two ladles of milk, a little saffron, and blend

thoroughly. Put this preparation in a greased pan or in a pastry

shell and cook it over a slow fire. There are those who add strips of

leaves, which they call lagana, instead of the upper crust. When it

is cooked and set on a plate, sprinkle it with sugar and rosewater.

 

1/2 lb gourd (after peeling) (see p. 152-153)=091/8 t ground ginger

=096 threads saffron

1/2 c milk to cook in=091/2 t cinnamon=09double 9" pastry shell

8 oz cheddar cheese=091 egg=092 T sugar sprinkled on top

2 oz butter=091/2 c milk=091 T rosewater

1/4 c sugar

 

Grind gourd finely with a grater and boil in milk for six minutes on

low heat while being stirred; drain in strainer and throw away

liquid, then force squash through strainer. Grate or cut up cheese;

mix with gourd, butter, sugar, egg, milk, ginger, and cinnamon. Put

in pie shell and cover with top crust. Bake in 350=B0 oven for 65

minutes; at this point it is bubbly and needs to set for a while.

Sprinkle top with sugar and rosewater. Makes one 9 inch pie.

--

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

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] squash recipes

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 09:08:49 -0500

 

> 1. Squash is a New World vegetable; while it is possible that there

> are period recipes for it, I don't know of any.

 

While I know of no recipes for squash, squash appears in Vincenzo Campi's

The Fruit Seller (1580) suggesting that squash was commonly for sale around

Milan in the late 16th Century.  It may be that no specific recipes for

squash exist, because they served as a replacement for gourds.

 

> 2. There are, however, old world gourds which are reasonably similar,

> and for which there are period recipes. You may be able to find the

> old world gourds (Lageneria sicereia (sp?)--the white flowered gourd)

> in a chinese grocery store, since they are still used in Chinese

> cooking. I think they are sometimes called "Opo" gourds.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

Lagenaria siceraria (I checked the quick ref to make sure, since I have a

propensity for mis-remembering taxonomic names).

 

They also appear as bottle or calabash gourds.  The latter occasionally get

confused with the fruit of the calabash tree.

 

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] squash recipes

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 17:13:54 -0500

 

Gourds have round stems and the stems in the picture are ribbed (a feature

found in the Cucurbita and a point used in determining species).  The squash

in the painting closely resemble the Japanese pumpkin. Other sources have

identified them as squash, so I'm comfortable with the identification.

 

There is a second rather large pumpkin shaped fruit in the picture, but the

stem is hidden under a plate placed upon it, so it may be either a pumpkin

or a basket gourd.

 

Still Life with Fruit, which I believe is a Carravagio from roughly the same

period has a more gourd-like fruit which can be identified as a squash.

 

Bear

 

> How do you know it is squash? The picture of an edible gourd in _The

> Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti_, which is from before Columbus,

> looks rather like a modern squash. Different varieties of C. Pepo

> vary a lot, and I presume the same would be true for the old world

> gourds.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

 

From: Devra at aol.com

Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 23:14:10 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks digest, Vol 1 #59 - Squash Recipe (finally)

 

>From Pleyn Delit, referenced to Forme of Curye

    Take young gowrds; pare hem and kerve hem on peeys; cast hem in gode

broth, and do ther-to a gode party of Oynons mynced.  Take Pork soden; grynd

it and alye it her-with and with zolkes of ayren. Do ther-to saffron and

salt, and messe it forth with powder douce.

     'Gourds' may mean gourds, squash, pumpkin, or even cucumbers. In this

case, squash seems an appropriate choice, but pumpkin is perfectly feasible.

 

    SQUASH IN BROTH

 

2 lb squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (I used yellow

squash, since I detest zuccini)

3-4 onions, minced

3 C meat broth (approx)

1/2--1 C ground, cooked pork

2 egg yolks (or 1 whole egg), beaten

pinch saffron or turmeric

salt to taste

1/8 t each: cinnamon & ginger

1 t sugar

 

Boil the squash in the broth with the onions.  Stir in ground pork &

seasonings when almost done.  Take off the fire and beat in egg or egg yolks

just before serving.

A variation offered is that you can sprinkle the saffron threads over the

squash as a decorative touch...she quotes the Menagier that this is called

"fringed with saffron".

 

I've cooked this for mundane friends.  It's a little different, but not

"weird".

Devra the Baker

 

Devra Langsam

www.poisonpenpress.com

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Marrow (Long)

Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 20:06:23 -0500

 

> Yes, the marrow in question should without doubt

> have been that of bone marrow for the recipes

> that were under discussion. Several people had

> responded on the list already that it was bone

> marrow, prior to my posting.

> In my posting, I was just answering the second

> part of the query regarding what a vegetable

> marrow is vis a vis a zuchini in the modern world.

> Yes, of course, modern zucchini or vegetable marrows

> post WWII are new world squashes of the same

> family as pumpkins.

>

> As to when they were first used in the UK, and their

> nomenclature in the OED, I did some further checking.

> Gillian Riley uses the terms "Marrows (zucchini)"

> in her translation of Giacomo Castelvetro's manuscript

> from the early 17th century. (He died in 1616, so the

> mss. dates from between 1614-1616.). Not knowing what

> terms were used in the original Italian text, it's hard to

> say whether Riley used the modern term "marrow" for zucchini

> or used "marrow and "zucchini" when the original term was

> say courgettes. If in fact, Castelvetro was talking about

> growing zucchini or marrow (cucurbita pepo) then this

> would put them into gardens and use shortly after the

> 1600 cutoff. Riley on page 160 indicates that Castelvetro

> meant the lagenaria family in the entry on "pumpkins."

> If this applies also to the entry on "marrows" on page

> 96, then why use the terms "marrows" and "zucchini" when

> the plant being discussed was an old world gourd?

> See The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy for this problem.

 

"Courgette" is used to describe both gourds and squashes.  The same problem

occurs in French.  Prior to 1492, it is almost certain that gourds are being

referenced and by 1700 the common usage is for squash, if I understand the

usage correctly.

New World squashes were being grown and sold in Italy by the latter half of

the 16th Century.  These are identifiable in various paintings from the

ribbed stalk.  Gourds and melons have unribbed stalks.

 

Gillian Riley could correctly use either gourds or squashes, but unless

there are other indicators in Castelvetro's work, it may not be possible to

determine precisely which he meant.  Squashes appear to have supplanted

gourds in the cooking with little change in the immediate recipes.

Renaissance Recipes is not particularly scholarly and does not provide

translation information suggesting that the translations were not done by a

classicist with an eye to the precision of the language.

 

>

> C. Anne Wilson in Food and Drink in Britain

> also says "Cucumbers, marrows, garden

> asparagus and cardoons (a form of globe artichoke) may have

> been grown in Britain's villa gardens, but they were too

> tender to survive the end of the Roman occupation. (326)

> On page 327, she says "Apicius has several recipes for

> vegetable marrows, boiled, fried or mashed..."

> This would indicate to me that the term "marrow" and

> in the case of Wilson "vegetable marrow " is also

> being used for the old world gourd used in Roman recipes.

> And indeed, the Flower and Rosenbaum edition of Apicius under

> the title The Roman Cookery Book (originally published

> in England in 1958) uses the term "Marrow" for the Latin

> "Cucurbitas" on pp.74-75. This leads one to conclude that

> the same words indicate not one but two, (possibly even three plants

> if one includes the Marrow kale as given below)

> totally different plants.

 

Below, the OED gives the definition of marrow as "A kind of gourd, the fruit

of Cucurbita ovifera, used as a table vegetable." The OED is saying gourd,

marrow, and squash are synonyms.  Scientifically, geographically (origin)

and temporally, they are not.  Wilson and Flower and Rosenbaum are being

imprecise by not translating to taxonomic terms.

 

"Cucurbita ovifera" is more correctly Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera.  It

refers specifically to a group of New World ornamentals which Apicius would

never have seen.

 

The Latin word "curcubita" means "gourd."  In Apicius' time it would have

referred to members of genus Langenaria or the bottle gourds.  IIRC, the

Tacuinum Sanitatis shows "cucurbita" which are specifically Langenaria.

 

The taxonomic Cucurbita does not equate to the Latin "cucurbita."  Basic

taxonomy was established between the 16th and 18th Centuries and while

taxonomy uses Greek and Latin names, they follow the conventions established

by the taxonomists rather than the conventions of the language.  In relation

to gourds, pumpkins, squashes, etc., the family is the gourd family or

Cucurbitaceae, while the genus for New World squashes and pumpkins is

Cucurbita.

 

>

> Even the OED 2nd online which I have access to gives an

> 2 odd entries as follows:

>

> "marrow-stemmed kale. 1598 Sylvester Du Bartas

> ii. i. i. Eden 537 Their *marrow-boyling loves."

 

Brassica oleracea var. medulla (IIRC).  This particular cabbage has a stalk

with a soft pith which is removed and cooked, I hear stir fry is nice.

Cabbage is easily modifiable and I haven't tried to chase down the age of

this varietal.  I don't recall any early references so it may be a variety

developed in the 16th Century.

 

>

> Under marrow one finds as Bear quoted the 1816 date & quote:

> " vegetable marrow:

> a. A kind of gourd, the fruit of Cucurbita ovifera,

> used as a table vegetable.

> 1816 J. Sabine in Trans. Hort. Soc. (1822) II. 255

> (title of paper) A Description and Account of the Cultivation of a

> Variety of Gourd called Vegetable Marrow."

>

> So is OED talking about a "gourd" or a "squash"?

> If it's just a squash, why the reference to gourd at all?

> Or does OED intermingle squash with gourd and gourd with squash?

 

Curcubitacea or gourd family.  All members can be referred to as gourds or

cucurbits, but the usage is confusing scientifically. Genus and species are

more precise.

 

Squash specifically refers to members of genus Cucurbita. The word derives

from the Narragansett "askutasquash."

 

>

> The Middle English Dictionary also

> gives this as one of the definitions for "marrow"

> (a) The kernel or meat of a nut, seed, grain, or fruit;

> the soft inner part of bread contained by the crust, crumb;

> ~ of whete, heart of wheat, fine flour; (b) the heart

> of a tree; also, tender growing shoots of a tree. The quotes

> refer mostly to marrow of wheat.

>

> (I did check the Florilegium entries on marrow and note that

> Bear brought up this nomenclature question back in 1998.)

 

Yes, and I've spent a lot of time looking at the issue

 

>

> Having not seen the original recipes being discussed,

> is it beyond the realm of possibility that the mention of

> "marrow" in pre-1600 recipes might have been "marrow kale",

> the old world gourd being called a marrow or more likely

> "bone marrow"?

> If it is a translated recipe and an English author ...?????

>

> Johnna Holloway Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

And just to throw a monkey wrench in the works about the Cucurbita, there is

a botanical argument that at least some of the Cucurbita may have originated

in Asia.  Since it appears to be tied in with some of the diffusionist

arguments I take it with a grain of salt.  As far as I can tell, there is

still no evidence that the Cucurbita were known in Europe before Columbus.

 

Bear

 

>

> Terry Decker wrote:>

> > The problem is genus Cucurbita is of New World origin. The

> Cucurbita

> > replaced the Langenaria, or bottle gourds, on European

> tables beginning in

> > the 16th Century.>

> > The OED places the first use of marrow as referring to a

> cucurbit in 1816.

> > Thus pre-17th Century cooking references to marrow are

> almost certainly

> > referring to bone marrow.> Bear

> >

> > >Yes, British vegetable marrows are part of the

> > >marrow/zuchini group of Summer squashes or

> > >cucurbita pepo. Alan Davidson notes that the

> > >British have for some time taken to growing them

> > >to extreme sizes and dimensions for contests and

> > >exhibitions.Johnnae llyn Lewis Johnna Holloway

> > >

> > >Linda Peterson wrote:

> > >> We're discussing marrow and it's use in puddings and

> rissoles. I think

> > >> it's refering to bone marrow, but someone suggests

> squash. Can anyone

> > >> expound on which is most likely and if the brittish

> vegetable marrow is

> > >> really what we think of here as an overgrown zuchinni? Mirhaxa

 

 

From: "Hrolf Douglasson" <Hrolf at btinternet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] your assistance needed/gourd drying

Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 23:54:31 -0000

 

From: CHERYL A ROBERTSON <bcecilia at srv.net>

> In our efforts to do a great garden we grew the best crop of gourds  I've

ever seen (several bushels full!!!)

>

> Now I would like to know if anyone knows how to dry these gourds  I've

tried the internet (no luck).  I've asked relatives that say,  "my

grandmother used to do that but don't know how she did it" (thanks much!!!!).

>

> Mst. Cecilia

 

Depending on type  try hanging them in a stocking in a warm dry airy type

place. Tie the stocking between each gourd to prevent them touching.

this works for the hard skin type

 

vara

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 20:35:07 -0800

From: Wolfe Evernham <wevernham at socal.rr.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks digest, Vol 1 #1132 - 15 msgs

 

> My newest apprentice, Wolfe von Pater, won honorable

> mention for her entry in the Best Use of Winter

> Vegetables contest also at Altavia Yule. She made

> pumpkin soup from King's Taste, which she served in a

> pumpkin shell soup tureen.

 

> Huette

 

The recipe for the "Squash in Potages"  modified to be purely vegitarian is as follows. ( I  did the modification because our Baroness doesn't do meat or even much dairy.)

 

Bake 2 smallish pumpkins, 1 delicata squash and 1 golden acorn squash until fairly tender.

Then peal and chunk all 3 types, reserving about a third.

Dump the chunks into your trusty crock pot, add about 2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger. Also add 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and course salt. Cover to the top of your

crock pot with bottled water.  Cook overnight or about 10 hours.

Finally puree the contents for your stock.  Add the remaining chunks about an hour or two before your ready to serve.

 

As for the pumpkin tureen, cut open the pumpkin and scoop out the guts, scraping the sides until smooth.  Now I poured boiling salt water into mine and put the top back on. I left it for about 30 minutes. I think I should have done a second set of boiling water as the fresh uncooked pumpkin flavor leached into my soup. Which I am told was appealing but unexpected.

 

Wolfe

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period squash

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 06:00:36 -0600

 

>How can you tell if they are squash or melons? And if not melons, is

>there a way of telling whether they are c. pepo or c. moschata, which

>most of what we call squash are, or c. lageneria (sp?), white

>flowered gourd, which is old world, hence more likely to be in use in

>Europe that early?

>--

>David/Cariadoc

 

Ribbed stems.  This is one of the taxonomic features of genus Cucurbita.

IIRC, the number of ribs (5 or 7) provides a major division in the genus.

Identifying the species from a painting is more difficult and may be

impossible, but I believe the Pre-Columbian distribution of the various

species makes C. pepo the probable choice.

 

Gourds, melons, cucumbers, etc. have round, unribbed stems.

 

Lagenaria is a genus rather than a species, so the gourds would be named L.

siceraria.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Mercy Neumark" <mneumark at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:34:35 -0800

Subject: [Sca-cooks] re: period squash

 

>I bought some "flying saucer" squash at the local farmers market last

>summer. They were about 6" - 8" across. This didn't seem too big, as the

>seeds had not matured inside. But they were bitter, bitter, bitter.

>Inedible. Nasty. Awful. I will try again this summer, and maybe save the

>seeds.

 

You're better off picking up the squash in the autumn (start in September,

depending on your area) when they are in season (I believe squashes are an

autumn harvest NOT a summer).  That's probably why it was bitter in taste

(and the seeds not fully mature).  Most squash are best at this time. I

know right now in Southern California the squash (many varieties) are all

very tasty now and plentiful!

 

Side note on naming veggies: I posted awhile back www.territorialseed.com

website...you can check out their online catalog (I believe it is up) and

look over the varieties they sell.  You might be able to find the exactname

of the veggies you are looking for...or at least one that might be close.

 

--Farmer Arte of the green thumb

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 15:57:06 -0600 (CST)

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] re: period squash

 

On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, Mercy Neumark wrote:

> You're better off picking up the squash in the autumn (start in September,

> depending on your area) when they are in season (I believe squashes are an

> autumn harvest NOT a summer).  That's probably whey it was bitter in taste

> (and the seeds not fully mature).  Most squash are best at this time.  I

> know right now in Southern California the squash (many varieties) are all

> very tasty now and plentiful!

 

Patty-pan squash is a summer squash, though, and if it's too green when

it's picked it can be bitter. IIRC, a ripe patty-pan is more of a very

pale green rather than white, although there might be white varieties that

I haven't met yet. When ripe you should be able to slice it and eat it raw

like a yellow summer squash, which it does vaguely taste like. I like it

gently fried with a touch of butter, myself.

 

Winter squashes, 'tis true, are ready much later in the season and last

longer after being picked.

 

Margaret, who has a black thumb but is very fond of squash

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 15:52:48 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] illustrations of lagenaria gourds

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Hm.. this looks very interesting:

http://www.americangourdsociety.org/FAQ/types/chart.html

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Mon 16 Feb 2004 19:53:33 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] new/old world gourd

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

 

Zucchini is also a New World squash.  The pumpkin Platina was referring

To is likely a basket gourd, Lagenaria siceraria.

 

New World squash came into use in the early 16th Century.  The ones I've

seen in 16th Century illustrations ar pumpkin-like or watermelon-like.

Acorn squash, Japanese squash or a small sugar pumpkin are closer to

what is shown than zucchini or butternut squash.

 

Bear

 

> I just had this horrible image. A pie cooked with something like avegetable

> marrow cooked with pumpkin pie spices. Or maybe not so horrible. I like

> zucchini bread.

>

> Berelinde

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 16:33:49 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Winter Squash

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

 

> We may have been through thisbefore--I'm not sure--but how can you

> tell they are New World (presumably C. Pepo) rather than Lagenaria?

> Do the paintings show the color of the blossoms?

 

The Curcubits (New World Squashes) have heavy ridged stems (five or seven

ribs, IIRC), while he gourds and the melons have smoother, almost round

stems.  The botanical drawings in various herbals and some of the highly

detailed Renaissance paintings show the difference.

 

It might also be possible to identify them by flower or leaf, but it's

Not my area of expertise and I tend to find them in paintings which don't  

show those.  I obviously need to spend more time digging through herbals.

 

> Also, while I agree that Lagenaria is a likely guess for the medieval

> "pumpkin," do we know that it ismore than a guess? _The Four Seasons

> of the House of Cerruti_ and related books do have pictures.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

I don't think there is any definitive proof.  Linguistic evidence and

artistic evidence suggest the transference, but I haven't encountered a  

full reasoned exposition.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 09:00:10 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Winter Squash

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

 

The green skinned pumpkins you are describing are often called Japanese

pumpkins (because several new varieties have been produced in Japan). They

are New World squashes related to the acorn squash.  Flesh color tends to be

yellow to orange, but some varietals have a light green flesh.  They appear

in some late period paintings, most notably Campi's "The Fruit Seller."

 

The painting is used as an illustration in a fairly recent edition of

Elizabeth David's work on Italian cooking and they are identified as marrows

in the caption of a detail illustration.  I suspect the term "marrow" is

being generalized in this case as the shape is wrong for Cucurbita  

ovifera.

 

If you can't find these big green squashes, I would suggest substituting

acorn squash.

 

Bear

 

> The orangy pumpkin squash is a new world squash, but in many parts of  the

> world they have a similar type squash with a greenish skin that is also

> called pumpkin.  Some types are a richer colour of orange inside and a  much

> richer flavor.  You can usually find these types of squashes in a latino

> store or international market, either whole or cut into pieces as they can

> get to be quite large.  There is one or two types with a slightly different

> skin colour that is more yellow inside and less flavorful than even our

> orange pumpkin.  Probably Bear will give a rundown on all the name and place

> facts.

> Olwen

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 12:30:00 -0500

From: Barbara Benson <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Period Gourds

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

We have in the past discussed what the actual period gourds that would

have been used in the recipes for gourds and their lack of

availability.

 

I am uncertain whether the conclusion was reached on this list or

elsewhere - but I believe that the gourd that would have been used is

commonly known as the Chinese Bottle Gourd.

 

Many have lamented it's lack of availability here in the US, so I

thought I would post my finding  here. Apparently it is relatively

easy to grow! I found a source for seeds in my garden planning and if

anyone else might desire to grow them here is the link:

 

http://www.evergreenseeds.com/evergreenseeds/calgouropo.html

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 20:52:15 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Gourds

To: "Barbara Benson" <voxeight at gmail.com>,        "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> We have in the past discussed what the actual period gourds that would

> have been used in the recipies for gourds and their lack of availablity.

>

> I am uncertain whether the conclusion was reached on this list or

> elsewhere - but I believe that the gourd that would have been used is

> commonly known as the Chinese Bottle Gourd.

 

> Serena da Riva

 

Rather than the Chinese Bottle Gourd, I would suggest the Cucuzzi or White

Flower Gourd.

http://onaleeseeds.scifstore.com/module/store/viewentry/8138/

 

The shapes of gourds I have seen pictured in period sources are dippers,

cylindricals, and basket (bushel).  The following site provides some

pictures (not as good as I would like, but useable).

http://www.gourdfarmer.com/

 

For a little artistic look at some of the gourds, try this site discussing

the botanical bounty of Caravagio.  The illustrations are not all by

Caravagio, but the painters are identified in the text.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/caravaggio/caravaggio_l.html

 

A little more help identifying gourds and squashes:

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B1180.htm

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 22:22:47 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Gourds

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

 

And there's this presentation too from the same site--

Erotic Use of Lagenaria in Renaissance Art

<http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/lagenaria_reprint.pdf>;

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/newCrops.html#projects

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 22:18:18 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pumpkin

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

 

If you are working from Apicius, the pumpkin will actually be a bottle

gourd, or possibly, a melon (pepo in Latin, now used as the genus name for

squashes) similar to a honeydew.  The New World squash we call pumpkin gets

to Europe about 1000 plus years after the recipes were first collected.

Modern cooks tend to use squash rather than trying to locate gourds.  If you

choose to use New World pumpkin a small variety around two pounds is

probably close to those common in the 16th  Century.

 

Bear

 

> I am working on a feast menu for January based mostly on Apicius.  

> There are several recipes calling for Pumpkin -

>

> Just what sort of pumpkin should I be looking for? Big Orange

> Jack-o-lantern just seems wrong.  IsnÕt it a new world thing?

>

> Vitha

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 11:12:47 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pumpkins

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

 

Speaking of pumpkins, Martha Stewart featured 300 varieties

of pumpkins and squash today on her show. They came from:

The Great Pumpkin Patch  

The Great Pumpkin Patch is located two miles south and 1/2 mile west of

the village of Arthur (pop. 2200). The 63-acre pumpkin patch is in the

middle of the largest Amish settlement in Illinois. The village of

Arthur and the neighboring towns offer a variety of shops, dining and

hotels.

Phone: 217-543-2394

For maps and directions, go to www.thegreatpumpkinpatch.biz

They are also the feature article beginning on page 128 in the October

2005 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

 

They say "If you are interested in ordering seeds, please visit

www.revolutionseeds.com."

 

This farm is located about 15 miles miles west of where I grew up

in central Illinois by the way.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 15:49:36 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pumpkin

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

 

>> I am working on a feast menu for January based mostly on Apicius.  

>> There are several recipes calling for Pumpkin -

>>

>> Just what sort of pumpkin should I be looking for?  Big Orange

>> Jack-o-lantern just seems wrong.  Isnt' it a new world thing?

>

> All of our standard pumpkins and squashes are New World. There are old

> world vegetables that look rather like some squashes. At least some of

> them are Lagenaria Siceria (sp?), the white flowered gourd, which is still

> used in modern Chinese cooking and I think perhaps in Italian.

>

> What translation of Apicius are you using? The fact that it translates the

> relevant word as "pumpkin" is at least some evidence that it may be an

> unreliable one. I gather that Vehling is about the least reliable  

> of the translations, Flowers and Rosenbaum the best.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

Vehling translates Apicius Book III (the Gardener) Chapter IV as being

"Pumpkins, Squashes."  Flower and Rosenbaum translate the same section as

"Marrow."  The Latin text is "Cucurbitas."  Vehling appears to be using the

Linnean taxonomy to translate the word, while Flower and Rosenbaum are using

a term in English usage specifically for some New World squashes.  Neither

of these is a correct translation given the history of the genera Curcubita

and Lagenaria.  I would suggest that the Mary Ella Milham translation might

be the best for precisely (as possible) determining the translation  

from the Latin.

 

According to my notes, in Latin "cucurbita" can be generally used to

describe gourds, cucumbers and melons, in the specific it tends to refer to

gourds,  "cucumis" to cucumbers, and "pepon" to melons.  The precise usage

may vary according to the source.

 

Looking at the recipes, they appear to be for some variety of Lagenaria

siceraria AKA bottle gourd, calabash, birdhouse gourd, white flowered gourd,

basket gourd, etc.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 21:17:13 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pumpkins?

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

 

Opo (also referred to a a long calabash) is definitely a bottle gourd.  It

may also appear in Italian markets as cucuzza.  Bottle gourds do vary  

widely in size, shape and color but are one species.

 

Bear

 

> Our (Betty and mine) current guess is the White Flowered Gourd, Laganaria

> Sicreia (sp?). There is a gourd called "Opo" available in Chinese grocery

> stores which we think is probably Laganaria, but we aren't sure.

>

> The opo we have cooked tasted rather like zuccini. But most of our

> familiar gourds and pumpkins are a single species--C. Pepo--so it may well

> be that different varieties of Laganaria differ just as they do.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:06:04 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The pumpkin/gourd debate (again) from

        theapothecary's     workshop

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

 

All members of genus Cucurbita are of North American origin, including those

found in Asia and Africa.  Gourds and melons are of Old World origin.  A

quick way to tell the difference is to look at the stem. Cucurbita have

deeply ribbed stems, the gourds and melons have round, relatively  

smooth, lightly veined stems.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 08:53:14 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The pumpkin/gourd debate (again) from

        theapothecary'sworkshop

To: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>, "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

>> All members of genus Cucurbita are of North American origin, including

>> those found in Asia and Africa.  Gourds and melons are of Old World origin.

>> A quick way to tell the difference is to look at the stem.  Cucurbita have

>> deeply ribbed stems, the gourds and melons have round, relatively  

>> smooth, lightly veined stems.

>

> Now, I'm confused. Cucumbers are genus Cucurbita, but their presence in

> Europe pre-dates any significant contact between Old and New Worlds. Do

> we have an explanation for that? I didn't find one anywhere.

> --

> -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

Cucumbers are genus Cucumis,  Squashes, gourds, melons, watermelons,

cucumbers and luffas are all members of the family Cucurbitaceae.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 15:19:47 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] something about Gourds

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

        MedievalGardening at yahoogroups.com

 

We talked about gourds at one point, and I think it was on one of these

lists I said that I would try to get the stuff about them from the 9th

century text. Here it is:

 

Gourds, from Walafrid Strabo's _Hortulus_

 

     The gourd too aspires to grow high from a humble beginning...

     ... Even so my gourd, rising on brittle stems,

     Welcomes the props that are put there for it, hugging the alder

     in the grip of its curly tentacles. It's so determined

     Not to be wrenched away by even the wildest storm

     That it thrusts out a cable at every joint and, each

     Extending two strands, siezes support on this side and that.

     It reminds me too of girls spinning, when they draw

     The soft heaps of wool to their spindles, and in great twists

     Measure off the endless thread into trim balls-- Just so

     The wandering thongs of my gourd twist and cling; quick

     To wrap their coils round the smooth sticks set as ladders for them

     They learn to use borrowed strength and, with a swimmer's thrust,

     Climb the steep rooms of the covered cloister. Oh, who now

     Can praise as he ought the fruits that hang from its branches

     Everywhere? They are as perfectly formed from every angle

     As a piece of wood that is turned and shaved on a lathe.

     They hang on a slender stalk and swell from a long, thin neck

     Into huge bodies, their great mass broadening at the flanks.

     They are all belly, all pauch. Inside

     That cavernous prison are nourished, each in its place, the many

     Seeds that promise another harvest as good as this one.

     At the approach of tardy autumn, while yet they are tender

     And before the hidden moisture that is sealed inside them dries

     To leave but the withered shells, we often see the fruit

     Handed round among the good things of the dinner-table

     and soaking up the rich fat in a piping-dish;

     For often these juicy slices, served as dessert,

     Delight the palate. But if you let the gourd stay

     Enjoying the summer sun on its parent tree and only

     Set your blade to it late in the year, then after scooping

     The flesh from its ponderous belly and shaving the sides

     On a nimble lathe, you can put it to practical use as a vessel.

     A pint this mighty paunch will sometimes hold, sometimes

     Half a gallon or more; and if you seal your jar

     With gummy pitch it will keep wine good for many a day.

 

Translated by Raef Payne. (Pittsurgh, PA: Hunt Botanical Library, 1966)

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:37:52 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butternut squash?

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

 

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise wrote:

 

>> Are butternut squash period?  When I see recipes for squash tart,  

>> are  we talking about summer squash or winter squash?

>

> Neither, actually, in most cases: the period 'squash' or 'gourd' is  

> the white-flowered lagenaria gourd... (bottle gourds) from africa

 

I have bought this variety of gourd from local Asian grocery stores.

The taste is rather like summer squash, though the texture is firmer.  I

think summer squash would be a reasonable substitute (peel skin and

remove seeds).

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 20:41:10 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butternut squash?

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

 

> Are butternut squash period?  When I see recipes for squash tart,  

> are  we talking about summer squash or winter squash?

>

> Grace

 

The modern butternut squash is a hybrid developed by Antoine-Auguste

Parmentier in the 18th Century, IIRC.  Parmentier is also the fellow who

gave you the modern commercial strawberry (a cross between Chilean and

Virginia strawberries) and got France into potatoes as a food crop.

 

A little postscript, prior to 1492, squash refers to bottle gourds. After

1492, squash can be interpreted as bottle gourds or New World squash.  Based

on Leonard Fuchs's Herbal of 1543, New World squash were fairly widely

spread around the Mediterranean by mid-century and they appear in a number

of Italian paintings before the end of the century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 14:28:41 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cookbook - need some help

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

 

New World squashes appear in Leonard Fuch's herbal of 1541.  They were

apparently in use in Europe for some time before that. There is no evidence

for genus Cucurbita being known in the Old World before Columbus.  Cucumis

and Citrullus (cucumbers and melons, which are a little mixed in taxonomy)

are both Old World.  The Langenaria, the Old World bottle gourds which are

the Medieval squashes and pumpkins, are found in both the New and Old

Worlds.

 

Bear

 

<<< That goes into more detail on the origins of the various species in the

Gourd family. Yet it does not get into when the New World Gourds were

introduced into Europe.

 

Euriol >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 14:49:00 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] squashes/pumpkins

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

 

They are a variety of bottle gourd (Langenaria siceraria). There are a wide

range of sizes, and colors in both the gourds and the squashes, so they

often resemble one another.  Since the New World squashes don't show up in

Europe until after Columbus, if the source predates 1500, you can safely

assume that it's a gourd.

 

After 1600, you can probably assume it's a squash.  The 16th Century is the

real headache, because there is no linguistic differentiation between the

gourds and the squashes.  Pictorally, look at the stem. Cucurbita have

deeply ribbed stellate stems.  Langenaria have relatively smooth round stems

(if you feel them they have a slightly rough texure with several very fine

and almost unoticeable ribs).

 

Bear

 

<<< I've wondered about the pumpkin/squash/gourd/marrow thing, too.

 

In the Viennese codex "Tacunium Sanitatis," a 13th?-14th? century health

manual, there is an illustration of people harvesting what the translator

calls "pumpkins."  The pumpkins look like hubbard squashes.  The particular

translation I have access to is called "The Four Seasons of the House of

Cerruti," and I believe does not include the entire codex.

 

Any nutritional anthropologists out there?

 

Talana >>>

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 21:35:04 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] squashes/pumpkins Fuchs

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

 

>> New World squashes appear in Leonard Fuch's herbal of 1541.Do you  

>> mean the chapter "Von K?rbs" in Fuchs's New Kre?terbuch 1543?

>

> http://imgbase-scd-ulp.u-strasbg.fr/displayimage.php?album=24&;pos=363

>

> The Latin herbal used to be online as well at Koblenz Library but  

> it seems to be no longer there.

>

> E.

 

I tend to work with a webbed version of the plates from the 1545  

edition at

http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/fuchs/

 

The first reference I have to publication lists 1541, but the 1542  

and 1543 editions seem to be more common.

 

Pages 209-211 list Cucurbita major, Cucurbita minor and Cucurbita  

oblonga.  These are all gourds.

 

Pages 401-406 list Cucumis sativus vulgaris, Cucumis turkicus, Cucumer

marinus, Cucumer citrullus, Pepones and Cucumer sylvestris.  Cucumis sativus

vulgaris is the common cucumber.  Cucumis turkicus and Cucumer marinus show

the deeper ribbing on some of the stems that suggest they are actually New

World squashes.  The naming conventions suggest that Cucumer citrullus and

Pepones are melons.  Cucumer sylvestris appears to be related to the

cucumber and I wonder if it may not be Ecuballium elaterium (squirting

cucumber).

 

Relating a New World squash to Turkey would be consistent with the

nomenclature relating maize to Turkey and capsicum peppers to India.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 13:06:14 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Preserving pumpkin

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

 

On 7/19/08, Jennifer Carlson <talana1 at hotmail.com> wrote:

<<< Stefan asked how to preserve pumpkin.

 

A traditional method is to cut the thing up, thread the pieces on string,

and hang to dry. >>>

 

A 16th c. Spanish agricultural manual by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera says that gourds can be preserved by slicing them and drying them in the sun.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

<the end>



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