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peppers-msg - 3/8/11

 

The introduction of various peppers to Europe. Sweet peppers, paprika,

bell peppers, chili peppers.

 

NOTE: See also the files: vegetables-msg, food-msg, chocolate-msg, 16C-Tomato-art, potatoes-msg, tomato-hist-art, tomatoes-msg, fd-New-World-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: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 19:20:49 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Gulyas Revisited

 

A few days ago there was a thread on paprika and gulyas if I remember

correctly. Although the following information is not from a period source, it

is from a writer that I admire and respect completely. So for what it's worth

this may provide a start on finally answering the paprika question.

 

From "Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book", pg.377:

 

"..........Even after the discovery of America it took time - the red dishes

of Hungarian cookery, paprikas and gulyas, date from the 17th and 18th

centuries only......."

 

Hope this helps somewhat.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 09:32:20 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Green peppers-history

 

<< When folks speak of 'green peppers' I think of bell peppers. According

to Organic Gardening, February 1997, the first bell pepper was the

California Wonder, introduced 1928 CE.  >>

 

From Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book:

 

"India andd Hungary, Italy and Spain had to await Columbus to develope what

are now their most typical dishes. Even after the discovery of America it

took time- the red dishes of Hungarian cookery, paprikas and gulyas, date

from the 17th and 18th centuries only. In this country (England) we have

waited longer still. Peppers semm only to have been on sale here (England)

for about 20 years (circa 1958 C.E.), first as an expensive exotic, more

recently as a commonplace.......

 

There we have it. Green peppers were introduced into England in the late

1950's C.E. Sweet red peppers were introduced into India and Hungary in the

mid to late 17th century.

 

Lord Ras ( when memory fails, look it up. :-))

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:31:30 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Paprika Dishes

 

At 12:30 PM -0500 11/4/97, Varju wrote:

><< Is there some bit of documentation that would indicate a post-period

>arrival date for paprika in the Hungary region?>>

>This is a long story.  From what I've read the Turks brought paprika to

>Hungary during their rule.

 

I believe the Hungarians thought capsicum peppers were connected with the

turks, as judged by the name for them; I don't know if they were right.

Consider the possibly analogous cases of "turkeys" and "Indian corn." I

have seen it seriously argued that the latter name was not from the

connection to Amerinds but a misidentification with an "Indian Corn"

mentioned by Pliny.

 

There is a modern book on peppers (Dewitt, Dave and Gerlach, Nancy, The

Whole Chile Pepper Book, Little, Brown Co., Boston 1990. ) that refers to

Capsicums in Hungary in 1569 in a noblewoman's garden, called "turkish red

pepper." I don't know if they were the particular variety used for paprika,

or how early we have recipes. I have been unable to find any period

Hungarian cookbooks.

 

David/Cariadoc

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 11:18:29 -0500 (EST)

From: Varju at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Paprika Dishes

 

<< I don't know if they were the particular variety used for paprika,

or how early we have recipes. I have been unable to find any period

Hungarian cookbooks. >>

 

The few recipes I have seen do not contain paprika.  Unfotunately, I have

them third hand, (translations in _The Cuisine of Hungary_) and only seven

recipes from a book published in 1601.   It has been a consideration to do

some research on this subject once I'm done with my other research. . .

 

Noemi

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 22:20:51 -0500 (EST)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Paprika-History of

 

In a message dated 97-11-06 07:38:09 EST, Cariadoc writes:

<< The

Whole Chile Pepper Book, Little, Brown Co., Boston 1990. ) that refers to

Capsicums in Hungary in 1569 in a noblewoman's garden, called "turkish red

pepper." I don't know if they were the particular variety used for paprika,

>> 

 

The variety of pepper used to make paprika is a considered to be a sweet

pepper.

 

According to  "Food in History", hot peppers became extremely populer  during

the 1500's.

 

They were also used by the Germans and English in beer making to give it

body.

 

However "sweet peppers" (of which paprika is one) were not introduced until

the 1700's and even then it was grown and used extensively by the peasants of

Provence as a "breakfast" food.

 

From there it spread to other parts of Europe, speciffically Poland from whom

the Hungarians adopted it as their national spice as well as and the Polish

name for paprika (pierprzyca) making it the definitive spice in Goulash.

 

Based on this information, IMO, the hot peppers (capsicums) became widely

used (e.g. "extremely popular" throughout the countries who spoke Romance

languages shortly after Columbus introduced them to Spain. The introduction

of sweet peppers in the 1700's would preclude it's use during any of the time

period covered by the SCA and the use of paprika as a spice in Hungarian

dishes most probably began at the earliest circa 1725 C.E. but more likely

between 1740 C.E. and 1750 C.E.before  gaining widespread popularity and

national recognition in the last half of the century.

 

al-Sayyid Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 22:55:26 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Paprika-History of

 

To quote James Trager's Foodbook:

 

<quote>

Chili and cayenne come from the Capsicum frutescens and the Capsicum

annuum (Guinea pepper), paprika from the Capsicum tetragonum.  The mild

puffy green, or bell, pepper is the immature Capsicum grossum which when

it is ripe, is the hot red or yellow pepper.  Capsicums vary in taste

somewhat according to where the grow, hence the distinctive flavor of

Hungarian paprika, the dried powder derived from the sweet red

tetragonum pepper grown in Hungary.

<end quote>

 

According to a source I can not remember or locate at the moment,

Capsicum peppers were introduced into Italy by the Spanish.  The

Venetians used them as trade goods in the Near East and they were traded

north into Central Europe from Turkey, hence their presumed Turkish

origin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 23:04:43 EST

From: Varju <Varju at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Paprika Dishes

 

<< Incidentally, it looks as though the seven recipes (which I seem to have

somehow missed when I first looked through the book long ago) are not all

from the 1601 source--some are from the earlier manuscript. But he doesn't

say which. >>

 

Your Grace, I must thank you for pointing that fact out.  in the numerous

times I had read the book I had never noticed that.  I think I just kept

skipping to the recipes.

 

In that same section, Lang does state that paprika is not mentioned in either

manuscript "since the Turks brought it in just about that time and it had not

become a part of the nobility's cooking."  (Lang, pg. 25)  Now I really do

want to do more research on this subject. . .now if only my Hungarian were up

to par. . .

 

Noemi

 

 

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 14:22:53 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Paprika-History of

 

><snip>The mildpuffy green, or bell, pepper is the immature Capsicum grossum

>which whenit is ripe, is the hot red or yellow pepper. <snip>

>um...while the bell peppers I have grown do change from green to red or

>yellow...they don't turn into hot peppers.  And the hot peppers I have grown

>are hot even when they are green.

>-brid

>(confused)

 

The "hot" in this case may not be referring to spicing, but color.  Red

bell peppers are definitely a hot red color, but they do not have a hot

taste.

 

Capsicums are not uniformly "hot".  Different varieties have different

flavors and the "fire" (determined by the capsaicin in the pepper) is

also altered by the growing conditions.

 

To give a little idea of the range of flavors, here's a quote from the

MS Encyclopedia:

 

The red peppers, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the

Americas, are various species of Capsicum (of the NIGHTSHADE family).

The hot varieties include cayenne pepper, whose dried, ground fruit is

sold as a spice, and chili pepper, sold similarly as a powder or in a

chili sauce. Paprika (the Hungarian word for red pepper) is a ground

spice from a less pungent variety. The pimiento, or Spanish pepper, is a

mild type; its small fruit is used as a condiment and for stuffing

olives. The common garden, or bell, pepper has larger, also mild fruits;

they are used as vegetables and in salads. Bell peppers are also known

as green peppers because they are most often marketed while still

unripe.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 22:13:54 -0500 (EST)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Paprika-History of

 

<< Out of curiousity, what makes it a "sweet pepper"?  Is it due to the

particular variety of plant it is or flavor?  >>

 

Actually both. Peppers in general are from the Nightshade family as are

potatos. tomatoes. eggplant, tobacco, Belladonna and Henbane . They are grown

for the thick-walled berries they produce.

 

Simplified, The group as a whole is classied as Capsicum frutescens with the

following varieties> var. fasciculatum (red cluster peppers<hot>); var.

longum (long peppers <semi-sweet>); var. conoides (come peppers <mild to

hot>; grossum (sweet pepper< mild>); var. cerasiforme (cherry peppers <hot).

 

v. fasciculatum includes most of the peppers we are familiar with as "hot"

peppers with the noteble exception of Habeneros which some place in the

conoides group (which IMO is in error).

 

v. cerasiforme is , of course the round globe shaped peppers we call cherry

peppers.

 

v. grossum is the Bell pepper which we are all familiar with  and it is very

mild to sweet in flavor and pimiento..

 

v. longum is semi-sweet and includes Italian frying peppers and paprika.

longum was originally classified as a grossum from the information I have at

hand.

 

As a side the majority of the hot peppers dry easily and those of the grossum

and longum varieties are more thickly fleshed  tending to rot if not

carefully monitored during the drying process. Bells and pimients rot most

readily of all the peppers.

 

al-Sayyid Ras al Zib

 

 

Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 13:27:34 -0500 (EST)

From: Varju at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Redaction class on-line

 

Well. . .I'm not Adamantius or Cariadoc, but I have an answer.  Now that I

went back and actually read _The Cuisine of Hungary_ carefully, I have found

much to my sorrow that paprika is not period.  George Lang states, but

doesn't give a source for, the fact that the Turks had not introduced paprika

to Hungary by the early 1600's.

 

So paprika is definitively NOT period.

 

Noemi

felling a bit crushed

 

 

Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 14:37:36 EST

From: "Chanda Shaffer" <leanche at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - hot pepper oil-remady

 

>Anybody have any good ideas for getting hot pepper oil off my hands? I was

>crushing some Thai peppers for lunch, and although I've washed with

>detergent and hot water twice, I'm still burning myself every time I forget

>and touch myself in the face.

>Phlip,

>Who believes that when you're hot, you're hot,

>But at the moment would rather not.

 

Try milk.  soak your hands and any other utensils that may have absorbed

the oils ( cutting board, counter, knife handle) in milk.  make sure to

get the milk under your fingernails as well.  It is the same principle

as eating spicy foods with sour cream on it.   I believe it is the

lactose in the dairy products which dissipates the capsaicin in the

peppers but don't quote me on it.

   You can also try latex gloves to keep the oils away from your skin

in the first place, but I prefer the milk method because  I am allergic

to latex and think it leaves a taste on foods.

   Good Luck

           Ivy~

 

 

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 02:49:32 EST

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - hot pepper oil-remady

 

<< >

>Anybody have any good ideas for getting hot pepper oil off my hands? I was

>crushing some Thai peppers for lunch, and although I've washed with

>detergent and hot water twice, I'm still burning myself every time I forget

>and touch myself in the face.

>>

 

      Ouch! Been there, right enough...... At the moment I've got some

habaneros that I was gifted with that I'm trying to work up the courage to

deal with! In additon to the milk listed by someone else you might try

vinegar. It's supposed to disolve the essential oils, I believe. Pour a good

dollop in your hands and scrub them well. Rinse and repeat if needed. Seems to

work pretty well for me--but I'm not sure it's equal to habaneros! ;-)

 

                       Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Monday, January 19, 1998 10:29:02

From: Christine a Seelye-king

To: Middlebridge

Subject: [Mid] Re: Your dinner is what?

 

>Ah, if only they'd had capsicums in the Middle Ages.

>Angelica Paganelli

 

      Rest assured my Lady, they did indeed!  My Lord is known to his

friends as 'Deadtongue' and has done quite a bit of research into the

firey fruit.  Columbus mentions them in the log from his first voyage.

He set out looking for spices from the Indies, and so when he landed, he

inquired as to any article that could be used as a spice or condiment.

From Haiti, he concluded he had found a new type of pepper, stating "From

this island alone, 50 caravels of this article could be loaded every

year."

("Columbus Menu -Italian Cuisine after the First Voyage of Christopher

Columbus" by Stafano Milioni)   His physician included the capsicum

pepper in his diary as a medicinal, and samples were brought back on the

first return trip.

     I suppose if you are sticking to the strict definition of the

Middle Ages your lament is well founded, but in our period,   tongues

were burnin'!

 

             Mistress Christianna MacGrain

             Lady to Lord Damon Fox, called Deadtongue

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 01:27:36 EST

From: korrin.daardain at juno.com (Korrin S DaArdain)

Subject: Re: SC - Scoville Units (Home of Pace Picante-OT)

 

Seeing as we are talking Peppers.

 

THE CHILE HEAT SCALE - Scoville Units

 

The substance in chiles that makes them spicy is called capsaicin. It is

concentrated in the veins of the fruit (not the seeds) and stimulates

the nerve endings in your mouth, fooling your brain into thinking you're

in pain. The brain responds by releasing substances called endorphins,

which are similiar in structure to morphine. A mild euphoria results,

and chiles can be mildly addictive because of this hot pepper "high".

 

Chile hotness is rated in Scoville units. The hottest pepper on record

is the habanero/Scotch bonnet which some claim are the same pepper and

others claim are slightly different varieties. Habaneros are rated at

100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. By contrast, the lowly serrano comes

in at about 5,000 to 15,000 Scoville units.

 

Scoville Units are the measurement of capsaicin level (the oil that

makes chiles hot). Although chiles can vary from pod to pod and plant to

plant, listed below is an approximate scale for several varieties of

chiles:

 

           16,000,000   PURE CAPSAICIN

 

10 100,000 - 350,000   HABANERO; SCOTCH BONNET

9   50,000 - 100,000   SANTAKA; CHILTEPIN; THAI

8   30,000 - 50,000    AJI; CAYENNE; TABASCO; PIQUIN

7   15,000 - 30,000    CHILE DE ARBOL

6    5,000 - 15,000    YELLOW WAX; SERRANO

5    2,500 - 5,000     JALAPENO; MIRASOL

4    1,500 - 2,500     SANDIA; CASCABEL

3    1,000 - 1,500     ANCHO; PASILLA; ESPANOLA

2      500 - 1,000     NEW MEXICO; ANAHEIM; BIG JIM

1      100 - 500       MEXI-BELLS; CHERRY

0                      MILD BELLS; SWEET BANANA; PIMENTO

 

Korrin S. DaArdain

Kitchen Steward of Household Port Karr

Kingdom of An Tir in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 00:06:24 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Period Chili

 

"maddie teller-kook" <meadhbh at io.com> writes:

>I'd love to see the documentation on this.  Sad that there aren't any

>documentable recipes... could it be the plants were grown for ornament

>instead of food?  curious.

>meadhbh

 

They were actually brought back first by Columbus' ship's doctor, and

were noted for medicinal qualities (increased blood circulation, raised

blood pressure, salivation, anti-parasitical, etc.).  There are entries

from Columbus' ships' logs regarding the amounts that could be shipped

back ("On this island alone [Haiti], 50 caravels of this article could be

loaded every year.")  After that, there are no entries regarding the

pepper in Italian manuscripts until 1781.  More about this comes from a

little volume called "Columbus Menu - Italian Cuisine after the Voyage of

Christopher Columbus" by Stefano Milioni,  put out by the Italian Trade

Commission in 1992, the 500th anniversary of the original voyage.

 

Mistress Christianna MacGrain

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 10:43:56 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Period Chili

 

> From:         LrdRas at aol.com[SMTP:LrdRas at aol.com]

> lainie at gladstone.uoregon.edu writes:

> <<  where does paprika come from? >>

> Paprika is a variety of sweet pepper (actually a mid-range variety between

> sweet and spicy).. Sweet peppers were introduced to the Old World in the

> 1700's by the route of Africa, Arabia and Naples for the most part.

 

Trager places the introduction of paprika into Hungary as 1529 when the

Turks first took Buda.  The date is open to question, but the Turks were

engaged in military activities there through the 16th Century and

intermittently during the 17th Century, so its introduction via the Turks is

very likely.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 13:05:10 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period Chili

 

TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< Trager places the introduction of paprika into Hungary as 1529 when the

Turks first took Buda.  The date is open to question, but the Turks were

engaged in military activities there through the 16th Century and

intermittently during the 17th Century, so its introduction via the Turks

is very likely.

 

Bear >>

 

Thanks for the update. After checking several other sources, it appears that

your date is most probably more accurate. I had assumed that because sweet

bell peppers were introduced so late that paprika pappers were included in the

term 'sweet peppers'. This is not the case. Paprika peppers are in reality a

third type of pepper intermediate in spiciness. Forgive me for not taking

more time with the question.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 13:41:32 EST

From: Varju at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period Chili

 

TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< Trager places the introduction of paprika into Hungary as 1529 when the

Turks first took Buda.  The date is open to question, but the Turks were

engaged in military activities there through the 16th Century and

intermittently during the 17th Century, so its introduction via the Turks

is very likely. >>

 

Sorry about my earlier tuncated reply to this. . .I was getting a little too

much feline help while typing :->

 

The Hungarians are pretty definite about the Turks introducing paprika, in

fact the joke is that it is the only good thing the Turks did.  The main

problem with knowing when paprika was introduced is that the Turks ruled most

of Hungary from the Battle of Mohacs in 1527 to 1711.  There are any number of

romantic stories about how it was introduced but no hard facts.  At some point

in the late 1600's paprika began to appear in the cookbooks of noble families.

There is some speculation that the peasants began using paprika as a seasoning

first, because it was easy to grow and readily availible, but again to hard

proof.

 

Everything else I know about paprika is less historical. . .there are seven

modern types of paprika from sweet to hot, the most prized being sweet rose

which is a notch hotter than the mid-range paprika.

 

Noemi

Windkeep, Outlands

Cheyenne, Wyoming

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 17:10:15 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Period Chili

 

Shari Burnham wrote:

> does anyone have a list of the other capsicum peppers?  or if it is in

> Stefan's files?  and which are period?

 

As far as I know, differences are varietal between relatively few

species. Basically there are sweet (i.e. Bell, and perhaps those long

Italian frying peppers) and hot peppers, and a few, like paprikas, that

could be classed somewhere in between. I recall reading somewhere that

while there are dozens of different chili pepper varieties, they're all

basically varieties of the same species. All are New World, and while

they may have taken hold in different places at different times, there

doesn't appear to have been any significant production or usage anywhere

on the Eurasian landmass prior to the late 16th century.

 

I don't think you'll find them in any French or English recipes until

the 18th century or so.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 00:21:28 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Period Chili

 

"The Spanish and Portuguese soon introduced the chilli to the Old World, but

while the sensitive palates of Europeans remained wary of so hot a flavour,

it was a revalation to the peoples of Africa, Arabia and Asia. They took to

using it lavishly, and were imitated by the island-dwellers of the Indian

and Pacific Oceans, to such an extent that in the sixteenth century, when

the spice had spread like wildfire its fierce flavour suggests, no one was

quite sure if "Calcutta pepper", a chili which quickly became naturalized in

India and was immediately added to the catalogues of traders in Oriental

spices, actually came from the East or the West Indies. The Bavarian

naturalist Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) descripes this siliquastrum in his

Historia Stirpium as originating in Calcutta in all its four forms: small,

large, pointed and broad. The Germans and northern French used it in small

quantities to give body to their beer and help it keep. The English put it

into pickles."

 

- - from History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:22:15 -0400

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

Subject: SC - Feast Enhancement Kit

 

A response from my lord, about his penchant for hot pepper sauces.  After

he sent this to me, he said last night that he would be interested in

trying to find period recipies for hot sauces, my first thought was the

powdre forte.  Any other thoughts?

Christianna

 

- --------- Forwarded message ----------

From: "dallas fox" <deadtongue at hotmail.com>

To: mermayde at juno.com

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 07:19:35 PDT

Subject: Re: Fw: Re: SC - Feast Enhancement Kit

 

<snip of modern pepper sauce descriptions?

 

You will note that all of these are based around capsicum 'peppers',

and while they are very late, they are in period.  Columbus went

looking for a shortcut to the spice trade, and when he got to the

West Indies, he found... chilies.  He said of one island that 3

caravels could be loaded each year.  The first crop of chilies grown

in Europe was in 1493.  In less than 100 years, they had become so

widespread that many people thought they were native to India.  Which

amuses me greatly, seeing as how that is where Columbus thought he

was.

 

Damon.

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 18:30:19 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - pepper history

 

stefan at texas.net writes:

<< I would be interested in seeing more about this growing of chilies in

Europe in 1493.  >>

 

This info would interest me also since  the Dept. of Agriculture Yearbook

where I originally started reading about capsicums states that they were a

'major' agricultural crop in the Meditteranean BASIN by 1523 from which i

assumed they meant the sea side areas of the Ottoman Empire and possibly

southern Italy and southern Spain, Egypt, Libya, etc. The use of hot peppers

in those cuisines in modern times lends some creedence to the theory. I had

also read that through Spanish/Islamic trade, it was introduced not only into

the parts of Europe settled by Islamic people (Hungary, Yugoslvia, etc) but

also on into India and farther East. From there it was reintroduced  back

into Europe into France , Germany and England. I may be wrong but this is the

basic timeline I see regarding the movement of capsicums from the New World

to Northern European countries.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 15:54:02 -0500

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

Subject: SC - Columbus' chilies

 

A translation of the Diario of Christopher Columbus came into my hands last

night at my favorite used book store.  The Diario is a manuscript copy by a

Spanish priest of the diary Columbus kept during his first voyage

(1492-1493). This particular translation is a scholarly work with the

complete text of the diary and the translation on opposing pages.  Footnotes

are copious and previous translations are referenced for additional clarity.

 

One of the comments which caught my eye was to the effect, the chili is the

pepper of these islands and Columbus believed he could ship 50 caravels of

chilies from Hispanola to Spain every year.

 

Did he carry out his plan?  Possibly.  He was govenor of Hispanola until

1500. Given the fantastic profits on the 200 to 300 tons of black pepper

imported into Europe each year, being able to deliver 10 times that amount

of the new chili pepper would be a serious temptation for a man of Columbus'

ambition.

 

There is pictorial evidence that peppers could be found in Spanish kitchens

during the 16th Century, but beyond that, evidence for the use of chilies in

Europe seems to be non-existent.  The Portuguese had introduced grains of

paradise no more than 70 years prior to Columbus' voyage and they were

accepted and widely used.  Why not chilies?

 

It is possible the Portuguese spice trade with the East Indies overwhelmed

the fledging spice trade with the West Indies, but the first Portuguese

spices didn't reach the market until 1500 and it was 1503 before they broke

the pepper monopoly by returning with 1300 tons of black pepper.  

 

Given the European taste for spices and Columbus' intent to export them to

Spain in quantity, chilies should have been a winner.  That there is limited

evidence for their use makes me curious as to why they apparently did not

come into common use.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 23:40:50 -0500

From: harper at idt.net

Subject: Salsa (was Re: SC - Lemonade in Sent Sovi??)

 

Okay, maybe a recipe for tomato-based salsa isn't too outrageously OOP

after all....

I was looking at a text in the Virtual Cervantes library, a history of the

exploration of New Spain by Francisco Cervantes de Salazar.  I don't

know when it was written, but Salazar died in 1575.

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/45201728150540421263

8516/index.htm

 

He says, in the chapter on plants of the New World:

 

"El agÌ sirve de especia en estas partes; es caliente, ayuda a la digestiÛn

y a la c·mara; es apetitoso, y de manera que los m·s guisados y salsas

se hacen con Èl; usan dÈl no menos los espaÒoles que los indios. Hay

unos agÌes colorados y otros amarillos; Èstos son los maduros, porque

los que no lo son, est·n verdes, hay unos que queman m·s que otros.

Los tomates son mayores que agraces; tienen su sabor, aunque no tan

agrio; hay unos del tamaÒo que dixe, y otros grandes, mayores que

limas, amarillos y colorados; Èchanse en las salsas y potajes para

templar el calor del agÌ."

 

"The chile serves as spice in these regions; it is hot, aids the digestion,

and the evacuation of stool; it is appetizing, and in such a manner that

most of the stews and sauces are made with it; the Spaniards use it no

less than the Indians.  There are some red chiles, and others which are

yellow; these are the mature ones, for those which are not [mature] are

green, there are some which burn more than the others.  The tomatoes

are bigger than unripe grapes, they have their [same] flavor, although not

as sour; there are some which are the size I said, and others that are big,

larger than limes, yellow ones and red ones; they cast them in the sauces

and pottages to temper the heat of the chile."

 

He also talks about how they make tortillas out of corn, so maybe chips

are too farfetched, either.

 

But it's still not from Sent Sovi, nor is this evidence that they were eating

such things on the other side of the Atlantic.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 23:43:19 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Steamed Pudding Recipes - 2nd installment

 

Kiri wrote.

>OK....so then where did the kind I mix in with cheddar and mayo to make my

>sandwich spread get their name...another kind of pepper?  Yes, I know it is of

>the capiscum family, most of which are referred to as peppers, but why, if the

>one I know as pimento is sweet, would they have called it by the male, or

>stronger name?

 

I'm not sure if this explains anything - I think the Spaniards originally

applied the term to all peppers but later, pimiento came to mean (in

Spanish) just the red, sweet peppers. This usage entered English in the

mid-19th century; at that time pimento was being used as an alternative name

for allspice, but it has gradually become a synonym for pimiento (note that

these are two different words who used to have different meanings, even

though both are derived from Spanish pimienta).

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 13:19:53 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Peppers?

 

> Did anyone ever come to a conclusions as to the possible periodness of

> peppers in Eastern Europe (between 1500 and 1600).

> --

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise           

 

There is not a lot readily available on the subject.  Most food histories

tend to date the arrival of capsicums in Eastern Europe to 1526, coinciding

with the Ottoman conquest of most of Hungary, however the actually date of

introduction could be anytime up to around 1621, when the Turks were pushed

out.

 

The earliest published reference from the area can be found in Leonhard

Fuchs' Primi de Stirpirum published in Basil in 1545.  Fuchs was a physician

and naturalist who was living in T¸bingen (south of Stuttgart on the Neckar

River). There are three plates on pages 425-427, 1) Capsicon rubeum &

nigrum - Roter und brauner Calcutischer Pfeffer, 2) Capsicum oblongius -

Langer Indianische Pfeffer, and 3) Capsicon latum - Breyter Indianische

Pfeffer. Fuchs appears to have been familiar with the plants, but confused

about their origins.

 

The fact that Fuchs very carefully and correctly pictures the capsicum

plants suggests that they were available to him and that the 1526 date for

the introduction of the plant into Eastern Europe may be correct.  

 

If you are interested, Fuchs' work has been webbed at:

http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/fuchs/

 

Capsicums were also reported as being grown in a monastary garden in Brno,

Moravia in 1566, but I haven't found the source of the report.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 13:27:32 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Peppers?

 

> > Capsicums were also reported as being grown in a

> > monastary garden in Brno,

> > Moravia in 1566, but I haven't found the source of

> > the report.

> >

> > Bear

>

> Ah, but were they grown as an ornamental, as a

> curiosity or as a food?  That I think it the prime

> question.

>

> Huette

 

If you start with the diary of Christopher Columbus and the comments of his

physician, peppers were initially viewed as a spice and a medicinal.

Columbus' intent was to introduce the spice to Europe.  Turkish red peppers

were almost certainly being eaten when the Ottomans introduced them into

Central Europe.

 

The 1633 edition of Gerard's Herball contains the following entry:

 

"Capsicum. Ginnie or Indian Pepper.

...Ginnie pepper hath the taste of pepper, but not the power or vertue,

notwithstanding in Spaine and sundrie parts of the Indies they do vse to

dresse their meate therewith, as we doe with Calecute pepper: but (saith my

Authour) it hath in it a malicious qualitie, whereby it is an enemy to the

liuer and other of the entrails... It is said to die or colour like Saffron;

and being receiued in such sort as Saffron is vsually taken, it warmeth the

stomacke, and helpeth greatly the digestion of meates."

(thanks to Cindy Renfrow for the quote)

 

So peppers were definitely being used as a condiment by 1633 and probably

had been used in that manner since their original importation.  I don't know

if this appeared in the 1597 edition of the Herball, but it is worth

checking, if a copy can be located.  I think the question of how they spread

from their initial arrival in Spain is more important than how they were

used.

 

It is interesting that Gerard differentiates Calcutta pepper from the

Capsicums while Fuchs identifies Calcutta pepper as a Capsicum.  Gerard

obviously knew the true origin of the Capsicums.  Fuchs identifies some of

them as Indianische peppers, which might denote a West Indian origin, but

could, in view of the Calcutta pepper identification, may mean Fuchs tied

their origin to India.  This raises some questions about the origin of Fuchs

plants. If they did originate on the Indian sub-continent, then they would

be descended from plants brought there by the Portuguese, and would document

a very fast spread of the plants in the Old World.

 

The Hungarians identify the source of their peppers ("the only good thing

the Turks brought") as the Ottomans.  Those areas of Eastern Europe under

Ottoman control probably received Capsicums from the Turks.  The Turkish

Capsicums very likely entered the Ottoman Empire in the trade between Italy

and Spain and between Venice and the Ottomans.

 

The German Capsicums may have come from the Ottomans in Eastern Europe, but

the German states also had trade relations with the Portuguese and the

Italians, providing other possible sources.  A dearth of documentation

leaves us to speculate on just how the peppers spread across Europe.  

 

BTW, I suspect the peppers at the monastery in Brno were used as medicinals.

 

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] red tower feast?

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 10:56:58 -0500

 

> When I asked about the bell peppers, he said, "they are

> period... Columbus

> found and named them in 1492 on his trip to the West Indies."

> Olwen

 

Columbus found peppers in the New World and waxed poetical (greedily?) about

the number of caravel loads he could supply to Spain each year.  However, to

my knowledge, there is no real evidence supporting such a trade.

 

Also, as I remember it, Columbus uses the generic "pimiento," which covers

all red, yellow or green peppers and all spice, not just Capsicum annum.

Could be Columbus found Scotch bonnets.

 

There are a couple of 16th Century paintings, which may show New World

peppers in the kitchen.  One, which I have not seen, is supposed to show a

ristra (not bell peppers) hanging in the background.  The other has a couple

of fruit in a basket which look like bell peppers, but are too obscured to

accurately identify.

 

Bear

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 12:05:36 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] red tower feast?

 

> Also, as I remember it, Columbus uses the generic "pimiento," which covers

> all red, yellow or green peppers and all spice, not just Capsicum annum.

> Could be Columbus found Scotch bonnets.

 

I've seen some references to the idea that the 'pepper' that Columbus

found and imported a sample of was allspice.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 13:12:32 -0400

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] red tower feast?

 

Robert Fuson's translation entitled The Log of

Christopher Columbus in the entry for 15 January

1493 concludes with:

There is a great deal of cotton here, very fine and long,

as well as a lot of mastic,and gold and copper. There is

also much aji, which is their pepper and is worth more

than our pepper; no one eats without it because it is very healthy.

Fifty caravels can be loaded each year with it on this Isla

Espanola. (p.175)

 

Fuson gives Aji as meaning chili pepper, not be confused

with aje (yuca or sweet potatoes) and ajo (garlic).

 

Andrew Dalby in Dangerous Tastes. The Story of Spices

(Unoversity of California Press, 2000)

suggests that Columbus may never have seen actual

allspice although he was assured that it was there...

a bush bearing small round fruits that lent a spicy taste

to food. Dalby also suggests that the aji found by

Columbus is that perhaps of C.chinese, the best known

cultivated versions today are those of the Jamaican

Scotch Bonnet.

 

So Bear when he suggested "Could be Columbus found Scotch bonnets."

may be right on the mark.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

Johnna Holloway

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 13:36:02 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] FW: paprika and spikenard

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

Cc: "'Charles.Perry at latimes.com'" <Charles.Perry at latimes.com>

 

While most secondary sources credit the Turks with bringing paprika peppers

to Hungary, the possibility that they came through the Croatian spice

traders can't be ruled out.  The Turkish claim is based mostly on the timing

of the incursions of the 1520's and the presumption that peppers came to the

Ottomans from Spain via the Venetians then were brought into Central Europe

by Ottoman troops.  

 

The Ragusans were active competitors with the Venetians during the 15th and

16th Centuries.  Historically, the area was ruled by Hungary from the 12th

to the 16th Century when it came under Ottoman control.  Dubrovnik proper

was controlled by the Venetians from 1205 to 1358, when it was ceded to

Hungary.  There is a connection to Spain in that some of the spice merchants

were Jewish and took in refugees from the Marrano persecutions in Spain.  

 

There is a new book, that I am looking forward to reading, from the Central

European University Press, The Long Journey of Gracia Mendes, which ties to

all of these subjects during 1510 to 1569.  The author is Marianna D.

Birnbaum, Professor Emeritus from, wonder of wonders, UCLA.

 

I am interested in reading the thesis and I hope Mr. Perry would be so kind

as to provide a bibliographic citation that can be used to find copies.

 

As a small point for anyone chasing references to Ragusa, there are two

Ragusas.  One is Dubrovnik, the other is a town in Sicily.

 

Bear

 

 

>>>>>> 

I just received this by email and thought some of you might

be interested as we have discussed both of these items here before.

 

I am in fact honored to have gotten this email, for if my

guess is correct, this is the same Charles Perry and his book

which have been previously mentioned on this list.

 

Perhaps some of you studying eastern Europe or the Balkans

might want to check out this thesis. Bear?

 

Stefan

 

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

From: Perry, Charles [mailto:Charles.Perry at latimes.com]

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 5:54 PM

To: Mark.S Harris

Subject: paprika and spikenard

 

    I just came across a collection of historical spice

threads collected by you. I had two observations to

contribute, didn't know where else to send them.

    Paprika: -ika is a Slavic suffix used on plant names;

paprika means "pepper plant." It was not introduced to

Hungary by the Turks but by Croatian merchants from Ragusa

(now Dubrovnik). There is a thesis on file at UCLA on this

subject, complete with maps of the spice routes through the Balkans.

    Spikenard: It has a musky, resinous scent, and its

commonest use throughout history has been as a hair tonic or

perfume (it is still probably used for that purpose -- I

suspect its presence in Vitalis), but occasionally it has

flavored foods and beverages. My translation of the

14th-century Arabic cookbook "Kitab Wasf al-At'ima

al-Mu'tada" (in "Medieval Arab Cookery," Prospect Books,

2001) gives some recipes that call for it. At present,

spikenard is available at markets that sell Iranian food

products. It comes in little cellophane packages -- looking

like a tangle of brown wires -- under the name "valerian." In

Perso-Arab script, however, the packages call it by its

Arabic name, "sunbul al-tib," "fragrant spikenard."

<<<<<<<< 

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2003 17:56:30 -0700

From: Edouard de Bruyerecourt <bruyere at jeffnet.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] paprika

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

 

I just watched an episode of "American's Test Kitchen" on PBS that

addressed paprika. The salient points:

 

All paprika is made of some variety of capsicum pepper, and almost

always a blend of varieties.

 

The paprika made from just the flesh ('mesocarp') of the pepper will

tend to be milder, while that made from the veins ('placenta') and seeds

will be hotter.

 

California and US peppers for paprika are usually oven dried in a one

day process. Hungarian/Spanish/European peppers for paprika are

traditionally sun-dried up to three weeks. There is a trend in Europe

towards oven-drying for less space and and less time, which is

significant since paprikophiles tend to favour the sun-dried paprika,

holding Hungarian paprika as superior for this reason.

 

Their favourite was Penzey's Hungarian Sweet (by mail order only),

followed by Pendery's Spanish Sweet. Even the US brands could deliver

good results (the editor chose McCormick's/Schilling blind, as hotter

one of his two favourites). The test kitchen guy said the price per

ounce of McCormick's was comparible to Penzey's _before_ you added for

shipping.

--

Edouard, Sire de Bruyerecourt

bruyere at mind.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 14:59:59 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <doc at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pink peppercorn

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

 

<jenne at fiedlerfamily.net> wrote:

> In _Dangerous Tastes: The story of spices_, Andrew Dalby says that a South

> American native plant related to capsicums is the source of the pink

> peppercorn/baies roses: "It has a cloase relative, Schinus

> terebinthifolius, native to Brazil, whose berries are currently enjoying a

> vogue as a culinary spice under such names as pink peppercorns, baies

> roses or Brazilian pepper. They have been much used by chefs who aim at

> nouvelle cuisine, though some diners suffer adverse reactions to them."

> I know that some peppercorn blends come with pink peppercorns in them.

> This Dalby's statement suggests to me that avoiding such blends isn't just

> a good way of keeping our cooking period, but of avoiding introducing a

> specific kind of allergy issue-- since there are people who are allergic

> to capsicums but not to Piper species, and so might be fooled by hearing

> that spice pepper was used into tasting something that would provoke

> their allergies.

 

Capsicum peppers are from the family Solanaceae (nightshade family),

whereas "pink peppercorns" (Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi) are from

Anacardiaceae (cashew family).  While it's possible that there might be

some allergens in common, I don't think it likely.

 

On the other hand (and the concept of cooking within period aside), I

think it would be a bad idea to use pink pepper in any dish unless you

tell those being served.  It is a completely different plant than

regular pepper (Piper nigrum) and is a potential source of allergy

trouble.

 

There's some good information on pink peppercorns at the site below,

including a little bit on some of the reported health problems.

 

        http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/

generic_frame.html?Schi_ter.html

 

- Doc

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

   http://www.medievalcookery.com/

 

 

Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 00:09:17 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <edouard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] chili pepper in 1620 spanish painting?

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

 

Came across this while looking for something else.

        http://gallery.euroweb.hu/art/v/velazque/1620/05christ.jpg

 

Does the thing in front of the bowl of fish look like a dried chili

pepper to anyone else?

 

Of course capsicums had a full 100 years to make their way to Spain by

then ...

 

- Doc

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

 

 

Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 10:44:46 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] chili pepper in 1620 spanish painting?

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

 

The painting is owned by the National Gallery  in London.

If you go to their website you can download the picture for viewing from

them. In theory this  has a zoom function which makes it easier to look

at the details.

It takes forever to download, so be patient.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/

CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG1375

 

Using the zoom function----

 

Yes, it's a pepper and yes it's garlic.....

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> Right shape, right color, but not a good reproduction.  It would be  

> nice if we could see the original or a Tauschen reproduction.

> Chili peppers appear in Leonard Fuchs herbal of 1543, so it is very  

> likely they were being used in cooking before 1600.

> Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:08:53 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Peppers

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

 

The Cambridge World History of Food has a rather interesting article on

capsicums, suggesting that they were spread by the Portuguese to West Africa

along with maize as part of the slave trade, then around to East Africa and

on to India.  "Thus 50 years after 1492, three varieties of capsicums were

being grown and exported along the Malabar Coast of India." (Purseglove,

J.W. 1968.  Some problems of the origin and distribution of tropical plants.

Genetics Agraria 17:105-122.  Watt, G. (1889) 1972.  A dicionary of the

economic products of India.  Dehli.)

 

"From India, chilli peppers travelled (along with the other spices that were

disseminated) not only along the Portuguese route back around Africa to

Europe but also over ancient trade routes that led either to Europe via the

Midle East or to monsoon Asia." (L'obel, M. 1576.  Plantarum sev  stirpium

historia.  Antwerp.)

 

"In the Szechuan and Hunan provinces in  China, where many New world foods

were established within the lifetime of the Spanish conquistadors, there

were no roads leading from the coast. Nonetheless, American foods were

known there by the middle of the Sixteenth Century, having reached these

regions via caravan routes from the Ganges River through Burma and across

Western China."  (Ho, P.T. 1955. The introduction of American food plants

into China.  American Anthropologist 55:191-201.)

 

Capsicums were known in Italy by 1535, Germany by 1542, England before 1538,

the Balkans before 1569 and Moravia by 1585.

 

"...except in the Balkans and Turkey, Europeans did not make much use of

chilli peppers until the Napoleonic blockade cut off their supply of spices

and they turned to Balkan paprika as a substitute."

 

Quotes are from the article in The Cambridge World History of Food.

Citations are sources referenced in the article.  If you are interested in

the subject, the full article is definitely worth reading.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 15:35:07 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] new world foods; old world names

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

 

In period pepper is used as a general word for hot spices and as a specific

word for members of genus Piper.  Black pepper or white pepper (Piper

nigrum), long pepper (Piper longnum),  cubebs (Piper cubeba), betel pepper

(Piper betle, whose leaves are used to wrap betel nuts, Areca catechu) and

kava (Piper methysticum) are all things that might be referred to as pepper,

although the first three would have been more likely to reach the spicer.

 

IIRC, the transference of the name pepper to the New World Capsicums occurs

in Columbus's journal of his first voyage to the New World where he relates

an undetermined capsicum pepper (possibly a Scotch bonnet) to genus Piper

and notes that he can ship something like 89 caravelles of the peppers to

Spain each year.  He also relates maize to millet and sweet potatoes to

yams.

 

Remember that most of the discoverers were not trained botanists and most

had no scientists on their expeditions.  They either used variants of the

native names or used the name of something the new foodstuff closely

resembled.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 09:12:10 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Earth Apples?

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

 

> Actually, according to Lang, peppers were introduced into Hungary by

> Bulgarians who got them from the Turks.

> Huette

 

Yep. I've seen several variants on how peppers got from here to there. The

point is all of the evidence shows them moving into Europe after 1529 when

the Turks rolled into Hungary (IIRC).  Nobody has a definite handle on how

they got there, but the general consensus is the Turks are guilty of

spreading the fire.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 17:00:17 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] chile, chili, chilli

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

 

> Does anyone know of references to Europeans eating capsicums in food in

> Europe and what they thought of them?

> --

> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

In contemporary sources, Columbus comments on the number of caravelles full

he can send to Spain.  Oviedo places them in Italy around 1535.  They appear

in Fuchs Herbal of 1545.  Turner places them in England by 1538.  I don't

know if these authors merely referenced the plant or mentioned their

culinary properties.

 

Bernardino de Sahagun describes how chilies were used in cooking in Mexico

in the late 1570s.  But the earliest European reference I've encountered to

eating peppers is a recipe for tomato sauce from the late 17th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 21:50:43 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] chile, chili, chilli

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

 

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

>>> In contemporary sources, Columbus comments on the number of caravelles full

>>> he can send to Spain.  Oviedo places them in Italy around 1535.  They appear

>>> in Fuchs Herbal of 1545.  Turner places them in England by 1538.  I don't

>>> know if these authors merely referenced the plant or mentioned their

>>> culinary properties.

> If I read Bears message correctly, Columbus' comments are about how much

> he _can_ send, not

> how much he _did_ send.  Every account that I have read always talks about

> how Columbus

> brought back peppers from the New World.  What they don't write about is

> how he actually

> accomplished this feat, since it must have taken months to return to

> Spain.  Today I could

> pick a peck of peppers and hop onto a plane and be in Spain in six or

> seven hours and the

> peppers would still be edible when I arrived.  How did Columbus manage to

> arrive in Spain

> with a cargo of edible peppers?  Or tomatoes for that fact?  If he brought

> seeds, which

> would survive such a voyage, it would take some time for the seeds to be

> planted, hopefully

> grow and thrive and hopefully bear fruit.  But I cannot buy that he sent

> caravelles full of

> picked fruit that arrived in perfect condition months later.

> Huette

 

You are correct, Columbus was reporting that he could ship 50 caravelles a

year (IIRC).  Nowhere is it said that he actually did so.  The Diario does

not report what he brought back, but that information may be in Peter

Martyr's works.

 

The return trip to Spain took about 2 months.  Fresh peppers might not

survive, but dried peppers could.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2005 01:52:32 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Basque Food/piment d'espelette

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

 

I have "The Basque Kitchen" by Gerald Hirigoyen. It mentions a spice called

piment d'espelette. He says that you can substitute sweet paprika or mild

chili powder but it won't be quite the same. Piment D'Espelette is a  French

Basque spice common, of coarse, in Espelette.

 

http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/espelette1.html

 

Excerpt:

Early History

 

When Columbus brought chile peppers to Europe from the Caribbean after his

second voyage in 1493, they were first grown in monastery gardens in Spain

and Portugal as curiosities. But soon the word got out that the pungent pods

were a reasonable and cheap substitute for black pepper, which was so

expensive that it had been used as currency in some countries. So the best

thing about chilies–in addition to their heat and flavor–was that they did

not have to be imported from India; anyone could grow them as annuals in

temperate climates.

 

Carried by Spanish and Portuguese explorers, numerous varieties of chilies

quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean region and Africa, and the rest

of the Eastern Hemisphere, where they permanently spiced up world cuisines

such as those of India, Southeast Asia, and China. However, there were some

famous national cuisines that were not conquered by chilies; Italians, for

example, utilized chilies only sparingly. The peperoncinis, for example, are

used in antipasto, crushed red chilies are a topping for Neapolitan pizzas,

and hot red chili powder as an ingredient in some pasta sauces. But no one

region in Italy celebrates chilies. In France, however, chilies were

established as a tradition in just one region the Nive Valley in the

southwest, and especially in the village of Espelette to the south.  It is

believed that chilies were introduced into the Nive Valley by Gonzalo

Percaztegi in 1523, the same year that corn first made its appearance there.

At first it was thought to be related to black pepper and was even called

"long black American pepper," and it wasn’t until the 17th century that it

was placed in its own genus.

 

Lyse

 

 

Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2005 09:08:02 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Basque Food/piment d'espelette

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

 

I would take this article with a grain of salt.

 

Chili peppers were found on Columbus's first voyage and are first described

in the journal entry for Tuesday 15 January.  The author may be confusing

this with the tale that Queen Isabella was treated with medicine made from

peppers brought back on the second voyage or is referencing inaccurate

secondary sources.

 

IIRC, Grewe speculates on the spread of peppers in Spain, but I have

encountered no primary evidence of where and why they were grown.

Personally, I speculate peppers were grown for the kitchen and the pharmacy

rather than as curiosities, for Columbus states, "There is also much chili,

which is their pepper, of a kind more valuable than [black] pepper, and none

of the people eat without it, for they find it very healthful."

 

Leonard Fuchs, in his 1545 Herbal, identifies these peppers as "Capiscon

rubeum & nigrum: Roter and brauner Calecutischer Pfeffer, Capsicum oblongis:

Langer Indianischer Pfeffer, and Capsicon latum: Breyter Indianishcer

Pfeffer." Setting aside Fuchs's error of identifying the peppers with the

Indian subcontinent, it is fairly obvious that capsicum peppers were placed

in their own genus during their first (known) scientific description rather

than in the 17th Century as the author describes.

 

In my opinion, the most accurate statements in the article are probably

those about Gonzalo Percaztegi, but I would like to know the author's

sources so that I could verify the information.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 22:39:28 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gastronomica on Spice Trade, Apicius and

        Martino

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

 

The actual article is not really going to expand our knowledge much.

He does state that Chiles were being grown in Italy by 1526

(Historia general y natural de de las Indias by Gonzalo Fernadez de Oviedo

y Valdes) and in Spain by 1564 when L'Ecluse comments on them.

L'Ecluse mentions that Moravia was also growing them.

He mentions a 17th century account that mentions the Spanish 'delight in pimento

and guinea pepper and include them in all their sauces.'

That is footnoted as Flandrin. Dietary choices and culinary Technique"

page 410.

 

He finds that with the exception of paprika being used in the Balkans

and the initial introduction of the Chile into Spain, Portugal, and to a

lesser degree

in Southern Italy, the Chile didn't really impact the established spice

trade because

the Europeans didn't adopt it wholeheartedly. The Indians and Chinese on

the other hand...

 

Johnna

 

Johnna wrote:

> I don't know that I can summarize it tonight. Been a long day here.

> The primary focus seems to be the question of did the Chile kill

> off the longstanding spice trade and very early on he's refuting

> the 1980 Hyman article from PPC on long pepper.

> He mentions that Columbus discovered it in 1493 and Fuchs

> described and drew it in 1542--

> "But how, where, or when it traveled , or who carried it, remains  

> unknown."

> I'll go into more this weekend. Have to be in at the University on  

> Friday.

> Johnna

> Sue Clemenger wrote:

>> What do they say about the chili? I recently had someone tell me, in all

>> earnestnesss, that Columbus had brought back tomatoes and chili peppers,

>> which apparently means that a creamy tomato soup (with chilis among the

>> seasonings) is thusly period.  Mind you, it was a *very* tasty  

>> soup....;o)

>> --Maire

>> 

>>> The latest issue of Gastronomica 7:2 Spring 2007

>>> features these articles that may be of interest to the list:

>>> The Medieval Spice Trade and the Diffusion of the Chile by Clifford

>>> Wright pp. 35-43 Johnna

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 15:35:07 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] new world foods; old world names

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

 

In period pepper is used as a general word for hot spices and as a specific

word for members of genus Piper.  Black pepper or white pepper (Piper

nigrum), long pepper (Piper longnum),  cubebs (Piper cubeba), betel pepper

(Piper betle, whose leaves are used to wrap betel nuts, Areca catechu) and

kava (Piper methysticum) are all things that might be referred to as pepper,

although the first three would have been more likely to reach the spicer.

 

IIRC, the transference of the name pepper to the New World Capsicums occurs

in Columbus's journal of his first voyage to the New World where he relates

an undetermined capsicum pepper (possibly a Scotch bonnet) to genus Piper

and notes that he can ship something like 89 caravelles of the peppers to

Spain each year.  He also relates maize to millet and sweet potatoes to

yams.

 

Remember that most of the discoverers were not trained botanists and most

had no scientists on their expeditions.  They either used variants of the

native names or used the name of something the new foodstuff closely

resembled.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 09:12:10 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Earth Apples?

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

 

> Actually, according to Lang, peppers were introduced into Hungary by

> Bulgarians who got them from the Turks.

> Huette

 

Yep. I've seen several variants on how peppers got from here to there. The

point is all of the evidence shows them moving into Europe after 1529 when

the Turks rolled into Hungary (IIRC).  Nobody has a definite handle on how

they got there, but the general consensus is the Turks are guilty of

spreading the fire.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 18:28:18 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] the oddness of ethnicity - specifically

        hungarian recipe

 

It has both hot paprika and cherry peppers or hot green peppers.

Those are New World Peppers, so How early can it be?

 

My guess would be 19th century. And here we go:

 

"The first two Hungarian paprika recipes did not appear in print until  

1829, in Istvan Czifrai's cookbook. They were paprikas chicken and  

halaszle, the fish soup of Szeged, the center of capsicum culture in  

Hungary then and now." from Why We Eat What We Eat: How Columbus  

Changed the Way the World Eats  By Raymond Sokolov. He mentions  

paprika is talked about as early as 1569, but it doesn't appear in  

cookery books until much later.

 

It is all over the internet:

http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/recipes/szeged-fish-soup-szegedi-halaszle/

 

Johnnae

 

On Feb 23, 2011, at 5:42 PM, Ian Kusz wrote:

<<< Speaking of which, someone suggested this to me as a healthy food; is it

period, is it tasty, and is it healthy?  Anyone tried to make?  Is  

it a touchy dish, or easy?

 

szeged fish soup

Ingredients

- 1 tbsp. slightly hot Paprika

- 1/2 cherry pepper

- or 1 hot green pepper, to taste >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 20:24:58 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] the oddness of ethnicity - specifically

        hungarianrecipe

 

Capsicum peppers are first mentioned in Columbus's journal of the first

voyage. They show up in Leonard Fuch's Herbal of 1540 and Fuchs's

nomenclature connects them with the Indian sub-continent rather than the

East Indies.  There is speculation that capsicum peppers came back to Spain

with Columbus and were transferred from there to Italy and from there into

the Ottoman Empire.  It is generally believed that the Ottomans brought them

(in particular paprika) into Central Europe as early as the incursion of

1526, but the actual date could be well into the 17th Century.  Trager gives

1529 as the date paprika peppers were planted in Buda, but he is a highly

questionable source.  To my knowledge there are no recipes or evidence to

prove use in Europe before 1600.

 

The peppers known in Europe before 1600 appear to be Capsicum frutescens,

while bell peppers are C. annum and don't seem to put in an appearance.

 

Bear

 

<<< are bell peppers non-period, too?

and you're saying paprika isn't period, either?  hmmm.....darn, I like

paprika

--

Ian of Oertha >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 20:10:35 -0800 (PST)

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] the oddness of ethnicity - specifically

        hungarianrecipe

 

Looking up paprika in the Oxford Companion to Food, they state that paprika was introduced into Hungary by the Bulgarians, who got them from the Turks, in 1604, according to Lang. They also state that the paprika was very hot then. The current paprika we have today is a product of a process formulated in 1859 that discards the seeds and most of the capsaisin and reduces the heat considerably.

 

Huette

 

<the end>



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