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butter-msg – 11/30/09


Period butter. Making butter. Butter churns.


NOTE: See also these files: dairy-prod-msg, Honey-Butter-art, cheese-msg, cheesemaking-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheesecake-msg, fresh-cheeses-msg, spreads-msg, flavord-butrs-msg.





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



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 13:59:20 GMT


> Just checking;  Ghee is a type of clarified butter?


> Marian, Clann Kyle


Ghee is clarified butter; I do not know if there are any other kinds of

clarified butter that are not ghee. It is available from Indian grocery

stores, and Indian cookbooks generally have instructions for making it.



DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu



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

Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 23:16:13 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - butter


Mark Harris wrote:

> I remember some arguments in previous years on whether "honey butter" was

> period at all. If even "herb butter" and butter were not period, what was

> eaten on bread? Anything?


Honey butter is probably a German invention, popularized mostly by the

"Pennsylvania Dutch", who are of German origin. I couldn't say when,

but I remember reading some period (or just post-period) traveller's

comment on the English diet: his comment was that less butter was eaten

in England than on the Continent, and that it was not eaten on bread in

the Flemish fashion.


I do know that some period recipes call for white grease (rendered lard

or suet) to be dissolved into pottages, and butter could have been a

non-meat-day substitute in many cases. Toward the very end of our

period, many English recipes called for a knob of butter to be beaten

(emulsified) into sauces, in a technique very similar to modern recipes

for French butter sauces like Beurre Blanc and Bearnaise sauce.

Generally it would thicken the sauce just a bit, but more importantly

would help suspend various things floating in watery liquids, so thinner

sauces wouldn't settle out at service.  


> Stefan li Rous

> markh at risc.sps.mot.com





From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 02:41:00 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - butter


Hi, Katerine here.  Over the years, I've been working on a project on the use

of various ingredients in 13th to 15th C English cuisine, as reflected by

the surviving recipe corpus.  My numbers are complete relative to the 13th and

14th centuries (not much of a trick for the 13th), though I'm nowhere near

done with the 15th.  For the curious, the total number of recipes involved

in the current figures are 26 13th C recipes, 419 14th C ones, and 907 15th

C ones.


Of these recipes, butter occurs in 15% of the 13th C recipes, and in 3% of

the 14th and again 3% of the 15th. 3% isn't a lot; but it's as many as, say,

pears and shellfish show up in, and more than cheese, peas, venison, kid,

or rice (comparisons from the 15th C).  Other forms of fat are far more common;

recipes include oil or grease six times as frequently.  Still, it was hardly



I do agree with the original claim, however, that it does not appear to have

been much used as a preservative in meat pies.  Meat pies do not frequently

appear to have be used as preservation techniques; for fish, galentine

(in gelled form) appears to have been used more often.



- -- Katerine/Terry



From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 22:50:18 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - butter


At 4:47 PM -0500 5/17/97, Mark Harris wrote:

>On Friday, May 16, Lord Ras said:


>I agree that there are recipes that are LATE period that call for butter and

>even very RARELY a mid-period recipe lists "boter" as an ingredient. However,

>butter was not NORMALLY consumed. It was considered medicinal (to cover

>wounds, salve base, etc.) until rather recent times. Whish IMHO puts it in

>the same category as potatos, tomatos and other late period dietary



The 13th c. Andalusian recipes use both butter and clarified butter. Le

Menagier fries in lard and butter (Cress in Lent with Milk of Almonds).

Platina greases the pan for armored turnips with butter or liquamen (animal

fat, not the Roman liquamen), Proper Newe Book uses butter, _Curye on

Inglysch_ uses it in an emberday vergion of Sawgeat and in Malaches Whyte,

_Ancient Cookery_ in tart in ember day, ...


So much from a quick search of the _Miscellany_. I don't know what you

count as a "mid-period" recipe--if that includes _Curye_ and _Le Menagier_,

then what do you classify as early period?






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

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 15:58:24 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - butter


Stefan li Rous writes:


> It was my understanding that butter was eaten by the lower classes but not

> by the upper but I don't have referances to back this up. Anyone else know?

> Lord Ras, is it possible that the sources you have been looking at are

> primarily just for the upper class and thus would miss the use of butter by

> other classes in/on food?


> I remember some arguments in previous years on whether "honey butter" was

> period at all. If even "herb butter" and butter were not period, what was

> eaten on bread? Anything?


From the 13th-century Arabo-Andalusian "Manuscrito Anonimo", a chapter

entitled "The Customs that Many People Follow in Their Countries":

        ...  Many people eat butter, and add it to bread, while others

        cannot bear to smell it, much less to eat it....