Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

cheese-msg



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

cheese-msg – 9/23/07

 

Medieval cheese. Recipes. Cheeses which date from medieval times.

 

NOTE: See also the files: dairy-prod-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheesemaking-msg, Charles-Chees-art, cheesecake-msg, cheese-goo-msg, clotted-cream-msg.

 

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

NOTICE -

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                 AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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

 

From: winifred at trillium.soe.umich.EDU (Lee Katman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: forwarding recipe

Date: 18 Apr 1993 19:18:58 -0400

 

here is the recipe I was trying to forward a few days ago.

LetÕs hope this different editor does the trick for me....

 

Winifred                                 Lee Katman

Winifred at trillium.soe.umich.edu           Cynnabar, Midrealm

-------

Greetings from one who is new to the net and the SCA, but not to medieval

cooking:

 

I have a very good book of recipes called "Fabulous Feasts" by Madeleine

Pelner Cosman which covers what was eaten, how it was presented and what

what was available.  Definitely two thumbs up!  This book has a whole

section on Appetizers.

 

One that is very easy and fits your requirements is Brie Cheese with honey

and mustard, which consists pretty much that.  Cut the cheese into small

pieces and dolup a little mustard (I prefer mustards with the seeds uncrushed)

and a little bit of honey on top.  Even if this dish gets a little warm it

just softens the cheese.

 

Victoria Williams Cauldwell

vaw at lclark.sun.edu          

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: feast formats

Date: 9 Nov 1993 18:39:19 GMT

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Avwye writes,

 

>      FYI Jeff Smith's _The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines_ is

>not a bad source for modern Greek and Roman foods.  I've made a few Greek

>students less homesick....I've also used it to compare medieval recipes

>against, for things like amounts and cooking times. AND, he recommends Apicus

>in his bibliography. (I believe there are some modern adaptations --not weird,

>just using modern measures, etc.--in the collection, too.)

 

This is all true.  You should, however, be aware that he's a dreadful source

on period or ancient cookery. It is one thing to have Apicius in your

bibliography; it's another thing to write a book that reflects serious

scholarship either in its text or in its recipes.  Smith's book does the

first, but not the second.  -- But it is all good eating.

 

>      Earlier this thread was exploring the use of cheese in "period" feasts

>served at events.  My plea to cooks: please do not use cheese as a filler in

>every single dish you serve. Some of us can't digest it, and even with the

>lactose supplements our ability to digest dairy products is limited. Nothing

 

_Nothing_ should be used in every single dish!  Apart from the objection

above, that there are probably people who can't eat it, anything you care

to name (except maybe salt) is going to get seriously old with that much

repetition.

 

And it isn't period ;^). Despite complaints to the contrary, the figures

I've been putting together show that even salt isn't that common.

 

>      And when you do use cheese, please do not use

>American cheddar!  Cheese may be period, but the cheddar variety is not!

 

Most currently existing named varieties of cheese are post period; the

name generally derives from issues including the specific species of

critters that help make the stuff cheese, which are usually modern.

There are a few exceptions, brie being one of the better known.  Another,

as I recall (but I don't have the information at home), is double gloucester.

You can get it, but at least here, it's killingly expensive.  Cheddar is

actually not a bad substitute -- probably as similar to their hard cheese

are our chickens are to their chickens, or our eggs to their eggs.

 

Then again, they ate cheeses; that's a plural.  If you're going to push

a lot of cheese at people, it's only sensible to include some variety.

 

Cheers,

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cheese questions

Date: 25 Nov 1993 04:59:30 GMT

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Fiammetta Adalieta writes,

>Mistress Angharad, thank you and again thank you for your postings,

 

You are most welcome; though I'm not a mistress (wife, yes ;^).

 

>In the article on Ember day tarts, Angharad mentioned that cheddar and

>munster cheeses (if I remember correctly) are not period.  I was wondering

>what sort of cheeses are, and how we know.

 

I looked this stuff up several years back, and came to the conclusion that

there are several lines believed to go back to period, but that I couldn't

readily find out why they believed them unchanged.  The period or very close

cheeses that I recall offhand still in use today are cream cheese, cottage

cheese (but fresh, not aged), brie, and double gloucester.

 

Cheers,

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: kellogg at rohan.sdsu.edu (kellogg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period soft cheeses (was: Re: Is cheesecake period?)

Date: 22 Oct 1996 17:12:26 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University Computing Services

 

Monica Cellio (mjc at telerama.lm.com) wrote:

(attribution lost) wrote:

 

: >Is cheesecake period? If so, when and where?

 

: Cheese pies of various sorts are period, but not as sweets.  The closest

: thing I know of to dessert-grade cheese pies is from Digby (1669).  The

: closest approximation for the cheese is probably ricotta or farmer's cheese.

: Cream cheese is modern.

 

        This thread aroused my curiousity, so I did some fairly extensive

web searches.  Cream cheese does seem to be an American original.

 

        Most cheese websites claim a great antiquity for cottage cheese,

unfortunately without any references.  The one soft cheese that I seem to

have found a solid period reference to is ricotta.

The Sugarplums...All About Cheese site at <URL: http://www.sugarplums.com/

fieryfeature/c.html> shows a print of a painting entitled "The Ricotta

Eaters" by one Vincenzo Campi, who is listed as having lived between

1525 and 1591.

 

        Anyone know anything else about this painting or artist?

 

                Avenel Kellough

 

 

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 07:11:23 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #78

 

About farmers cheese:  What I can buy commercially that is called

Farmer's Cheese is nothing more than what is called "Green Cheese" or

unripened, pressed curds in our historical time frame. If you break it apart

in your fingers you can clearly see that a large curd was allowed to form.

It was salted, pressed (whey removed to make it more solid) and then sliced

into a brick, wrapped, and sold as farmer's cheese. These cheeses are

probably the closest to what we can buy that is similar to what most period

recipes for "cheese tarts" are made of, if somewhat drier. The cheese tartes

or pies in my experience were supposed to be lumpy, although you can see

that this cheese breaks apart very easily. I make my own curds with milk

from Jersey cows. It is far, far superior.

 

        Now, what I grew up calling Farmer's cheese is something different.

We also called it Cup Cheese, and was in essence a strong smelling liquid

cheese sold in cups or tubs (no rind visible), and roughly had the

consistency of that children's play thing, Slime, although it was clear- to

faint yellow. (PLEASE, no jokes about bodily excreta). It's a Pennsylvania

Dutch (Or Amish) delicacy, and deservedly so if you like stinky cheese.

Anyone from Lancaster, PA out there who could get me a recipe would be

rewarded with my undying thanks!

 

      I would appreciate a private e-mail or post of the cheese goo recipe.

I have been waivering for months now over fresh cheese with fine herbs or

"savory toasted cheese" (not my recipe--the brie version, but I havn't

gotten my hands on the recipe yet) for a feast. I much prefer my own

cheeses, because they're richer and have far more character and flavor than

bought cheese. Must be the unpasteurized, fresh Jersey Cow milk, cream and all.

 

Aoife

 

 

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

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 14:20:21 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks: viking's pies

 

Allison wrote:

> Norse Pies, from the James Prescott translation

>

> Take  cooked meat chopped very small, pine nut paste, currants, harvest

> cheese crumbled very small, a bit of sugar and a little salt.

>

> That's the entire recipe. Is it Norse, you Vikings out there?

>

> I usually use farmer's cheese when harvest cheese is called for, but I'm

> now wondering if that's the wrong assumption.  Cheeses were made in late

> Spring, after the calves/kids/lambs/??? were weaned, and you had some

> rennet from a calf stomach handy.  By Autumn, how much would such a

> cheese ripen?  Enough to crumble? ...

 

I'm not a cheese expert -- I'm sure Gideanus will have something to say

on this -- but the last time we made Norse Pies, we used Roquefort, a

more-or-less wild guess based on the words "crumbled" and "rich" (which

apparently doesn't appear in the Prescott translation).  I'm not fond of

blue cheeses, but it worked pretty well.

 

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                Stephen Bloch

                                          sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

                                      http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/

                                       Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 10:47:13 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Yolks vs whites

 

<< the

cheesecake called sambucade in the Forme of Cury uses egg whites and a

curd cheese, which could easily be of the low-fat variety. >>

 

If you do "substitute" low or non-fat cheeses in a recipe, please experiment

ahead of time. The melting/cooking consistencies of several of these products

are granular rather than meted and creamy after heating.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

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

Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 14:55:32 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Yolks vs whites

 

  If you do "substitute" low or non-fat cheesesw in a recipe, please experiment

  ahead of time. The melting/cooking consistencies of several of these products

  are granular rather than meted and creamy after heating.

 

Indeed. In fact, I have found that very few of them work.

 

Consider, for example, that fat free cream cheeses tend to "air harden" when

left out.  They dry into a rather unattractive plastic flake.  Still just as

tasty, but really yucky looking.  (For a fast example, pour some honey on a

piece of bread that was covered in fat free cream cheese... and it will

obligingly dessicate in front of your eyes.)

 

        Tibor

 

 

From: JTRbear at aol.com

Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 21:10:33 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Yolks vs whites

 

Tillamook makes a reduced fat cheddar that works fine in chees sauces and

melts pretty well straight.

 

Jean-Philipe Lours

 

 

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

Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 21:48:15 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Cheese recipes

 

Kerridwen wrote:

> I am looking for a starting place for recipes for period cheeses.  I am

> willing to do the research but would appreciate a nudge in the right

> direction.

 

Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think you'll find very many recipes for

making cheeses in sources considered classically period, unless they're

non-English sources I haven't seen translated yet, which is possible.

There are a few recipes for things like chinches, junket, and lait larde

which are for various curd foods or "whitmeats" in the 14th-15th-century

English repertoire (ex. The Forme of Cury, etc.). One of the problems

you'll encounter is that cheeses either tended to be made on small farms

by presumably illiterate farmers, or at monasteries whose records became

sparse after their dissolution in the 15th century or so. Detailed

descriptions of the cheesemaking process just don't seem to proliferate.

 

What you WILL find are a few Roman recipes, both, I believe, in Cato the

Elder's book on Agriculture, which would be approximately 3rd century

B.C., and Columella's De Re Rustica, which is a similar book from around

the second century C.E.. You might also try Pliny the Elder's Historia

Naturalis, wherein are descriptions of the process for making things

like Vestine Cheese, if I remember correctly. The dates I mention are a

bit iffy, since I'm working from memory here.

 

Also, you'll find some late and post-period sources in English. They

include Bartholomew Dowe's "Dairy Book for Good Housewives" (1588)

Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book (~1604),  Sir Hugh Plat's "Delightes

for Ladies" (1609), Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife" (~1615),

and "The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby, Knight,

Opened" (~1669). Fettiplace only gives recipes for fresh soft cheeses,

while the others go further into the process of making aged cheeses.

 

People researching this topic seem to have an innate desire to discover

that their favorite modern cheese is found in period. Almost without

exception, this doesn't appear to be the case. There are quite a few

cases where period cheeses from, and named for, a given region, bear

little resemblance to modern cheeses from the same area, with the same

name.

 

Good sources for information on ancient-vs.-modern cheese are C. Anne

Wilson's "Food and Drink in Britain", and, Heaven help me for saying so,

the Larousse Gastronomique, which, as I have frequently said, is pretty

much reliable only where French foods are concerned.      

G. Tacitus Adamantius

 

 

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 07:16:35 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #135

 

That Cheesy Guy, Adamantius wrote :^D

>What you WILL find are a few Roman recipes, both, I believe, in Cato the

>Elder's book on Agriculture, which would be approximately 3rd century

>B.C., and Columella's De Re Rustica, which is a similar book from around

>the second century C.E.. You might also try Pliny the Elder's Historia

>Naturalis, wherein are descriptions of the process for making things

>like Vestine Cheese, if I remember correctly. The dates I mention are a

>bit iffy, since I'm working from memory here.

>

>Also, you'll find some late and post-period sources in English. They

>include Bartholomew Dowe's "Dairy Book for Good Housewives" (1588)

>Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book (~1604),  Sir Hugh Plat's "Delightes

>for Ladies" (1609), Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife" (~1615),

>and "The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby, Knight,

>Opened" (~1669). Fettiplace only gives recipes for fresh soft cheeses,

>while the others go further into the process of making aged cheeses.

>

>People researching this topic seem to have an innate desire to discover

>that their favorite modern cheese is found in period. Almost without

>exception, this doesn't appear to be the case. There are quite a few

>cases where period cheeses from, and named for, a given region, bear

>little resemblance to modern cheeses from the same area, with the same

>name.

 

What we do know, however, is that similar cheeses do appear in period (sorry

to confuse). Anecdotal evidence suggests that strong cheese, mild cheese,

gooey cheese, dry cheese, poor quality cheese, high quality cheese, curds,

and Whig houses (where they sold the whey much like a coffee bar of today.

There's no accounting for tastes!) all were common. You probably will not

find colored cheeses, but you can find fancy-shaped cheeses and "similated"

cheese from almond milk.

 

And here is another post-period but probably accurate place to look (it's my

hobby, too): Lady Castlehill's Receipt Book: 1976, Molendinar Press, Glasgow

copyright Haymish Whyte. This is really a cook-book manuscript disguised as

a coffee table book. Some punctuation has been changed to make sense to a

modern non-sca reader. Otherwise, it's faithful. It is probably current with

the OOP Martha Washington, but gives a great recipe for slip-coat cheese.

 

Also try: Mrs. McClintock's Receipt book for cookery and Pastry work: Ed.

Isabail MacCloud, Scotland's first published cook book from the late 16th

early 17th century, and the stats are,going from memory: Edinburough

University Press, sometime in the 80's.

 

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a cheese-making

class about three years ago in a kitchen that was a Jr. High teaching

kitchen....had the mirrors over the stove, etc. I was delighted to see the

reaction to the process of hardening the curds. The class actually gasped

when the curd seperated from the whey and I stuck my spoon into a pot of

what looked like milk and was actually a huge solid lump floating in a clear

liquid! It still makes me chuckle, thinking about it. That's Alchemy at it's

finest!

 

Aoife  

 

 

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

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 10:20:07 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #135

 

Aoife wrote back at me, who'd previously pontificated:

 

> What we do know, however, is that similar cheeses do appear in period (sorry

> to confuse). Anecdotal evidence suggests that strong cheese, mild cheese,

> gooey cheese, dry cheese, poor quality cheese, high quality cheese, curds,

> and Whig houses (where they sold the whey much like a coffee bar of today.

> There's no accounting for tastes!) all were common. You probably will not

> find colored cheeses, but you can find fancy-shaped cheeses and "similated"

> cheese from almond milk.

 

Yuppo! Cheese is cheese, and each has some variant on the qualities

other cheeses have, so this isn't surprising. True that anecdotal

evidence indicates that there were cheeses coated with mold or a dry

rind, etc. My point was only that just because a recipe calls for Brie,

it doesn't necessarily follow that modern runny Brie with a white rind

is what is being referred to. I remember reading that Roquefort, for

example, is perfectly well-known in period France. The catch is that  it

had no blue veins, but, if I remember the statement correctly, had a

moldy white rind like the modern Brie or Camembert. It may be that some

local dairy person picked an opportune (or inopportune, depending on

your POV) moment to scald the wooden equipment, killing the "official"

Roquefort mold, leaving room for the little penicillium buggers we know

and love today to proliferate and become the new "official" mold.

 

Adamantius

 

 

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

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 08:06:26 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Soap

 

Just taking the Good Huswife's Jewel back to the library so I have it with me:

 

To make good sope.

<snip>

 

Also is the tidbit to make cheese yellow you must add Saffron.

 

Clare R. St. John

 

 

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

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 11:19:58 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - coloring cheese?

 

ND Wederstrandt wrote:

> I didn't think so either... I mean I knew they colored cheese but didn't

> know everything they used... when I pulled the sope recipe this morning

> from Good Huswife's Jewel(1596) I saw the note on a different page stuck in

> the middle of how to preserve apples and what makes a good pig.  It makes

> sense since vast quantities of saffron were grown around Saffron-on-Waldon

> (hence the name)  I make soft cheese so next time I make some I'm going to

> try it.  I haven't tried marigolds either but will try a batch with that as

> coloring. Does anyone else know what coloring agents were used?

>

> Clare St. John

 

Well, various green leaves, primarily sage and parsley, are known to

have added both flavor and color to soft cheeses eaten fairly fresh.

This may have arisen as a side effect of using herbs to curdle the milk

(sage and nettle tops seem to be the standard).  Markham (Again! Oy!

[Slaps forehead]) calls for saffron to be added to the peculiar mixture

he says should be used to "run" your milk into curds. Another thing to

consider is that for aged cheeses, they tend to become fairly

yellowish-brown as they become drier, with the ratio of fat to total

mass becoming higher.

 

Adamantius

 

 

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

Date: Wed,  4 Jun 1997 12:50:32 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Cheese recipes

 

There is a very early period cheese recipe in Lucius Junius Modratus

Columella, On Agriculture, book VII, section VIII. My impression is that

this was written sometime after the Caesars but sometime before the fall

of Rome--I may be wrong on this, and it may be earlier.  According to

the Pittcat (University of Pittsburgh Library), ol' Lucius had an

Italian translator in the 15th C, as well as a German one.

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

From: jodi_smith at juno.com (Jodi N Smith)

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 17:50:35 EDT

Subject: Re: Fwd: SC - Goat Cheese

 

I have entered goat-milk cheese in Arts & Sciences competitions, with

good results.  My documentation for the use of goats in making cheese

comes from:

 

Larousse Gastronomique, by Prosper Montagne (translated by Nina Froud and

a bunch of other people), Crown Publishers, New York 1961

 

Food in History, by Reay Tannahill, Stein & Day, New York 1973

 

It also seems like several of the books about all the various kinds of

cheeses have chapters on the history of cheeses, and sometimes the

history of particular varieties of cheese.

 

Good Luck!

Mistress Drahomira, Unser Hafen, Outlands

 

 

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

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 07:38:29 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Goat Cheese

 

Sharon L. Harrett wrote:

> Does anyone have documentation for goats' milk cheese in period? I have some

> secondary for Classical Greece and Rome, but that's not enough. I seem to

> remember seeing an article on the history of cheeses in a magazine (possibly

> Food &Wine) but can't find it. I have a friens who raises goats and makes

> wonderful cheese, and she would like to enter it in Art-Sci, but can't find

> anything reliable for dates and places. Help please?

 

There are pretty detailed instructions for making sheep's and

goat's-milk cheeses in Columella's book on husbandry (De Rustica?) which

is 1st-2nd century C.E., and they are referred to in the various

Tacuinum Sanitatis manuscripts, which are 14th century. The process is

not described in the medieval manuscripts, but Columella's process is

still more or less what is used today, and it is reasonable to assume

the same thing was done in the middle ages.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 11:08:42 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Culinary A&S Entries

 

Mark Harris wrote:

> I'd be interested in hearing more about the dry, smoked sausage and the

> cheese. Did you make these from the raw materials? recipes?

 

The sausage was as close as I could get to the Polonian Sawsedge in Sir

Hugh Plat's "Delighted for Ladies" (c. 1609), made following the recipe

pretty closely. It is, in fact, a kielbasa. As for the cheese, it was an

English Slipcote, so called because it is a pretty soft cheese inside a

rind of the dried outermost layer, rather than a mold coating. You can

give it a squeeze, and the coat slips off. Recipes for this are found in

numerous sources, ranging from the Penn Family receipt book to Kenelm

Digby to Martha Washington's Cookery Book.

 

I neither slaughtered the hog nor milked the cow, but otherwise did my

best ;  ).

 

> I don't remember the article, but I will be trying to find it in my not

> very well organised TIs, so you can tell me just to go there. But I would

> like to hear any elaborations or corrections.

 

Apart from the omission of a good chunk of the notes and bibliography

(the article was pretty long, are you surprised ;  ) ?  ), there isn't

too much I would add if I were to write it over again. You can find it

on the Web, now that I think of it, on the Ostgardrian Web pages at:

 

http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/cooking/ppb.html

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: marilyn traber <margali at 99main.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 12:48:41 -0400

 

XSimmons wrote:

> Know what you can make from all that skimmed milk, after you've

> separated off the cream? Cottage cheese!  ("Yum, yum," cried all the

> dieters.)

>

> Just for grins, cottage cheese is also period.  Curds [14c] and whey

> [before 12c] (solids and liquid) form in the cheese-making process,

> which generally involves enzymes from a calf's stomach.  (Still like

> rennet custard, regardless of the origin of the rennet!)

>

> Curds are rich in casein, a protein that also helped make milk-paint

> work (and is now used in making plastics.) Whey is high in lactose,

> vitamins, and minerals, and contains some fat.  Perhaps that is why

> curds and whey are mentioned as food for children.  (Imagine having

> cottage cheese for breakfast, instead of "frosty choco-nut sugar

> crunch

> bomb" cereals!)

>

> Ly Meara al-Isfahani (who likes her curds and whey with cinnamon and

> honey)

 

   I got into cheesemaking not because I recreate stuff, but I grew up

near a cheese factory and grew up eating chese curds-not in the form of

cottge cheese, but in the form of pre cheese. In the cheddaraing

process[and other forms of solid cheese] the curds forming the cheese

are drained and compressed. You can actually do this with cottage cheese

of you know what you are doing. Curds like this are essentially

unripened uncompressed "green" cheddar. A "green" cheese isnt

necessarily a green colored cheese, but the compressed cake of cheese

that the "grain" pattern of the curds is still visible. The medievals

would also batter and fry these curds sort of like our mozzarella

sticks. Well, I have the taste for curds, and make them just for the

"precheese" With the whey left over after the curds precipitate out, you

make a condenses whey spread by gently heating the whey til almost all

of the water is gone, and you have a rich velvety lightly carmel colored

goo that is high in vitamins.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 11:46:11 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #262

 

ND Wederstrandt wrote:

> I was at the wonderful Central Market and found some cheese with Nettles in

> it.  I was tempted to get it to try but didn't have enough cash.  I also

> read that nettles can be used for cheesemaking as well as being a fiber and

> dye plant.  The Vikings were very adept at using it.

>

> Clare St. John

 

Yep. Especially after they invaded Scotland and Ireland...

 

Actually, though, there are recipes for nettle cheese in Columella,

Markham, and Digby (howzzat for a law firm?), I believe.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 12:43:11 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: Re- SC - Hierarchy-Cathe

 

I love a coincidence! This is from the "barely-1-day-old" letter from Laurel

Queen of Arms.

 

        Tibor

 

From the section on accepted arms:

 

Michael Houlihan. Badge. Vert, a wedge of Emmental cheese reversed Or.

 

<Snip>

    Emmental is the correct name for what

    is sold as Swiss cheese in the United States.  It is a period

    cheese, which was sold in wheels and blocks.  

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 15:05:04 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - oat recipe

 

<snip>

 

While these are not documented recipes, Cheese and other food was potted in

late period, and oatcakes are so simple to make that I am unaware of an

historical example of their recipe, although I have read accounts of their

existence.

 

Oatcakes, Potted Stilton   adapted from Farmhouse Cookery...Recipes from the

Country kitchen, Reader's Digest, London 1980.

 

<snip>

 

Potted Stilton (or any other strong flavored cheese):

 

1 lb. mellow Stilton or other cheese, crumbled or grated

4 oz butter, unsalted, at room temp.

1/2 tsp mace

1 tsp grainy prepared mustard

clarified butter

Combine all the ingredients together except the clarified butter and mash

very well to incorporate. pack tightly into a crock and seal with clarified

butter. if desired, decorate the surface with carrot flowers, herb leaves,

etc.. and pour on another fine layer of clarified butter to seal. Chill.

Serve cold, with oatcakes.

 

And that, folks, is what makes Oats an Artform.

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 20:02:06 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Fromage Bleau

 

>Ill have to find my reference books, but essentially, the varietys of

>cheese relate to the local products, if memory serves-cheddar comes from

>cheddar, meunster comes from meunster, parmigian from parma, you get the

>drift. I do know that the blue mold in blue cheese is proprietary to

>that one cavey section of france, and unless it comes from there, it is

>only 'blue cheese'.

>

>margali

 

Actually, the blue culture in Roquefort is made from moldy bread crumbs that

the curds are sifted through prior to being packed in the vate.

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 10:36:02 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Cheddar

 

James and/or Nancy Gilly wrote:

> It's been said several times on this list that cheddar cheese is not period,

> because the cheddaring process wasn't invented until (I think) the 1700s.

> What precisely is cheddaring?

>

> Alasdair mac Iain

 

Hmmm. This is a tough one.

 

The problem is that the process that cheddaring actually is, is

different, and apparently older than, the processes that are sometimes

_called_ cheddaring. Confused yet?

 

All right. Cheddaring _is_  a process, which may or may not (with

emphasis on the "not") have been developed in Cheddar, Somersetshire,

England, of taking coagulated milk, allowing the mass to settle under

the whey, with the aid of heat, cutting the firmed mass into blocks, and

stacking them up on each other, allowing gravity to compress them for

anywhere from a few minutes to two hours. This alters the casein

filament structure, resulting in a change of the mass from a stack of

blocks of "jellied" milk, to a stack of horizontal layers of long

fibers, which can be shredded like mozzarella or "string" cheese. That

is cheddaring. The stack is then ground in a mill into small grains

called curds. Yes, I know we had curds, technically, quite a while ago,

but what the hey...anyway, these curds are then made into cheese using

various arcane techniques that I won't go into now.

 

Another process that is sometimes, erroneously, referred to as

cheddaring, is the production of Cheddar cheese using curds collected

from a commune of different small dairy farms, which results in a very

consistent and rather abundant (in Cheddar terms) product, without the

variations from year to year that are commonly associated with wine

production, but which are also part of the whole cheese thing. That

process is believed to have originated in late 18th-, early 19th-century

America.

 

Also, cheddar is an early English example of a "cooked" cheese, where

the coagulated milk, or the separated or cut curds are slowly warmed in

their whey, to firm them up. The cheese recipes in, say, Kenelm Digby,

don't include this process. Digby, by the way, refers to Cheshire, which

is somewhat similar to Cheddar, and which also usually calls for the

cooking process mentioned above. The question remains whether the

Cheshire Digby refers to bears much resemblance to modern Cheshire, and

whether it was cooked. As for Cheddar, cheese have been made there for

_quite_ a long time, but it isn't clear how much pre-nineteenth century

Cheddar cheese resembled the cheeses made in Cheddar (and several other

places) today.

 

It's a pretty safe bet that the deep yellow or orange cheddar found in

the USA isn't very close to a period cheese that might have been made in

Cheddar. There might be a coincidental similarity in flavor, but the

color and the texture would be quite different.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 14:47:11 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Problems of Thought....

 

Cheddar cheese *is* period, & I don't know where folks have gotten the

idea that it isn't.

 

"Cheddar, parish Sedgemoor district, county of Somerset, England...Cheddar

cheese was first made there at or before the beginning of the 12th century

and was aged in caves nearby... Cheddar is one of England's oldest cheeses.

The original, so-called farmhouse variety remains in limited production in

modern times.

In the traditional method of cheddar manufacture, the firm curd is cut, or

"cheddared," into small bits to drain the whey and then pressed firmly into

cylinders...The cheese, a light orange-yellow in colour, is wrapped in thin

muslin and coated with wax.  It is aged a minimum of three to six months,

preferably one and one-half to two years..."  Encyc. Brit.

 

The cottage industry of producing Cheddar cheese arose in the 16th century,

and spread to N. America in the late 1700s.

 

Cindy/Sincgiefu

(who'd gladly walk a mile through the snow for a pound of aged Vermont

sharp cheddar)

renfrow at skylands.net

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 15:43:59 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - sources

 

>I am interested in doing research on period cheese making and dairying.

>Does anyone have reccomendations for period sources about this. I am

>looking for recipies, if possible, but anything would be interesting.

>I have a copy of Menaigier de Paris, what others should I see?

>Thank you!!!

>Emmanuelle of Chenonceaux

 

Here is a web site that just came to my attention. It is on Scottish

cheesemaking.

 

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese1.html

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 11:11:54 -0000

From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>

Subject: RE: SC - herb cheese

 

> I am interested in herb cheeses. I know that in Apicius there are a

> couple of recipes that list herbs and other ingredients to mix with fresh

> cheese before serving. However, I haven't found anything in later period

> books. Has anyone seen any period cook books that talk about flavoring

> cheeses with herbs?

>

> Clarissa

 

C Anne Wilson, in 'Food and Drink in Britain' talks about spermsye cheeses,

flavoured with herb juices, and I'd love more information on this, if anyone

can help.

 

BTW I had a look in Stefan's Floregium in the cheese sections, and noticed

there was no mention of the 'crumbly' cheeses which are common here in the

UK, such as Wensleydale, Lancashire and Cheshire cheeses.  As 'cheddared'

cheeses are OOP for me, these are the type I use commonly as replacements.

They are keeping cheeses, but have a soft, crumbly texture closer to curd

texture, usually white in colour.  Double Gloucester is much closer to

cheddar in texture than these cheese (and I speak as someone from

Gloucester!).  I'm puzzled about this, don't you have them in the States?

 

Caroline

 

 

Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 11:14:54 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Tastes of Britain Class Notes

 

Christine A Seelye-King wrote:

>        Samit - Curds with Garlic - Early Period, "A Celtic Feast".

> Large curd cottage cheese was drained, and then mixed with butter, sour

> cream, garlic, and chervil.  Used as a spread on Rye Bread. Very yummy

> (and I hate cottage cheese), kind of a lumpy cheese spread.

 

I love this recipe.  I usually make it with farmers cheese which has a small

curd and doesn't need to be drained.. and the results are wonderful... you might

want to try it.

Also, have done this with a homemade fresh curd cheese with great results.

 

Meadhbh

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:13:46 -0500

From: Brian Songy <bxs3829 at usl.edu>

Subject: SC - cheese

 

I've lurked here for several months on the sca-cooks list, not out of

shyness, but out of a feeling that I had little to contribute - - I'm very

new to the SCA.  But this week, I decided that I would put forth a best

effort to come-up with something of interest, even if it was based upon

secondary sources (like the internet).  Therefore I present, for your

entertainment, criticism, amusement and use the following chart of cheeses:

 

Type of Cheese          Date of Earliest Reference              Reference

Feta                   {1184BC}                                [1]

Sbrinz                 "...Roman times..."                     [6]

Romano                 "...since the time of Christ..."        [6]

Cantal                 "...to the time of the Gauls..."        [6]

Munster                 8th Century                             [6]

Gorgonzola             879AD/11th century                      [1], [6]

Roquefort               1070AD/"was the favorite cheese         [1], [6]

                        of Charlemagne and King Charles VI"

Wensleydale             {1150AD}                                [4]

Grana                   1200AD/13th Century                     [1], [6]

Fontina                 13th Century; "favorite of the          [6]

                               Duke of Savoy"

Beaufort               {1267AD}                                [2]

Emmental(aka "Swiss")   {1267AD}                                [2]

Comte                   {1267AD}                                [2]

Cheddar                 1500AD                                 [1]

Parmesan               1579AD/{1200AD-1300AD}                  [1], [3]

Gouda                   1697AD                                 [1]

Gloucester              1697AD                                 [1]

Stilton                 1785AD                                 [1]

Camembert               1791AD                                 [1], [5]

 

{} signifies I consider that the date is dubious.

/  two dates reported

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/book1.html

[2] http://www.franceway.com/cheese/history.htm

[3] http://www.parmigiano-reggiano.it/estoria.htm

[4] http://www.wensleydale-creamery.co.uk/history.htm

[5] http://www.camembert-country.com/cwp/cam_hise.htm and

http://www.cheese-gourmet.com/

[6] http://wgx.com/cheesenet/wci/

 

Brian of Trollfen

Bxs3829 at usl.edu

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:42:09 -0500

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

Subject: SC - RE: cheese

 

You might wish to add:

 

Cheshire           54BC "Julius Caesar discovers the Britons making..."

Gruyere            1722   "introduced into France"

 

Referenced in Trager, James, The Food Chronology.

 

You can also add Trager to the references for Camembert and Roquefort.

 

The dates look reasonably accurate from a couple minor forays into cheese

history, but I would consider them working dates, subject to change when

confronted with better evidence.  I'll tuck your list into the notebook for

future reference.

 

Bear

 

 

Subject: Brie cheese

Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 23:30:11

From: Lady Lisette <starkiller at picknowl.com.au>

To: stefan at texas.net

 

Phew! It took a while, but I finally dug out the documentation for Brie in

period. The source, is of all places, the "Family Circle Recipe

Encyclopedia", Editor Susan Tomnay, Murdoch Books, North Sydney Australia,

1995. Here is the quote.

 

"BRIE A soft creamy-yellow whole cow's milk cheese with a thin, white

edible skin. It is aged from the outside in by moulds and bacteria that

grow on the rind. Brie is made in a large flat wheel shape and is cut into

wedges for serving. The cheese has been made since the 8th century when

Charlemagne ate it at the priory of Reuil-en-Brie and pronounced it 'one of

the most marvelous of foods.'" pg58.

 

Lydie

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 12:37:04 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Cheese chart?

 

Don't forget to add Ricotta which is described in Platina.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 10:25:08 SAST-2

From: "Ian van Tets" <ivantets at botzoo.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - brie

 

Dee, if you liked baked brie, I wonder if you would like losyns?

 

Fomre of Cury #88:

Take good broth and do it in an erthen pot.  Take flour of payndemayn

and make therof past with water, and make therof thynne foyles as

paper with a roller, drye it harde and seeth it in broth.  Take

cheese ruayn grated and lay it in disshes with powdour douce, and lay

theron loseyns isode as hoole as thou myght, and above powdour and

chese;  and so twyse or thryse, and serue it forth.

 

I got this out of Maggie Black's book too (this was the first one

that made me think all might not be well with her redactions).  She

states at the front of one of her other books that cheese ruayn

(rewain, etc.) is brie (substantiation, anyone??) but somehow ignores

that for this recipe. Doubtless if you don't have your own pet

recipe for powder douce dozens of people on the list will oblige.

 

Cairistiona

 

 

Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 11:53:18 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Toasting salamander.

 

Christina Nevin wrote:

> Speaking of toasting, I got to see an interesting piece of kitchen equipment

> in action on TV this weekend. The BBC did a docu on Hampton Court Palace,

> including a brief piece showing re-enactors in the kitchen. They showed a

> 'salamander', basically a flat iron disk with a very long handle, which was

> shoved in the coals to heat up, and then used mostly to heat cheese on top

> of bread. A medieval toastie maker the housekeeper said (erm, yes, well...).

> I'm not sure how accurate this is, as I didn't agree with some of the other

> stuff they said about food of the time. Has anyone seen pictures of this

> equipment in use?

 

Not in use, no, but I seem to recall seeing recipes for things like

Cambridge Burnt Cream (a.k.a. Creme Brulee) which describe getting the

salsmander red hot and holding it close to the surface of the sugared

cream, and moving it around a bit to get an even brown.

 

This all has to do with the fact that it was impossible, until the

advent of gas ovens with broilers, to get radiant heat directly on _top_

of foods (with possible exceptions like tandoor ovens), without a

heat-transferring "middleman" like the red-hot salamander.

 

As for toasted cheese being made with a salamander, I believe this

practice post-dates period, probably coming into being in the 18th-19th

centuries when things like Mornay Sauce(more or less cheesy bechamel)

became common, and thse sauces were and are frequently glazed under a

broiler or salamander.

 

There are descriptions of cheese being toasted in England and Wales, as

I recall, in late or early-post-period (perhaps Harrison's "Description

of England"???) and the process generally involves roasting the cheese

on an inclined board propped up near the fire: when the butterfat leaked

out enough to cause the cheese slice to begin to slide down the board,

by which time it was also brown and bubbly, it was quickly transferred

onto buttered (and sometimes mustarded) toast. I believe I've seen this

in Wilson's "Food and Drink in Britain".

 

Adamantius

¯stgardr, East

 

 

Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 12:24:44 -0800

From: "James L. Matterer" <jlmatterer at labyrinth.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Toasting salamander.

 

> There are descriptions of cheese being toasted in England and Wales, as

> I recall, in late or early-post-period (perhaps Harrison's "Description

> of England"???) and the process generally involves roasting the cheese

> on an inclined board propped up near the fire: when the butterfat leaked

> out enough to cause the cheese slice to begin to slide down the board,

> by which time it was also brown and bubbly, it was quickly transferred

> onto buttered (and sometimes mustarded) toast. I believe I've seen this

> in Wilson's "Food and Drink in Britain".

 

In "The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages," Terence Scully gives this

recipe from The Neapolitan Collection ( MS Buhler 19 in the Pierpont

Morgan Library):

 

"Crostata de caso, pane, etc. Crusty Cheese, Bread, etc.

Get bread, remove the crust, slice it thin and toast it on the fire to

colour it, then coat the slices with fresh butter and put sugar and

cinnamon on top, then slices of creamy cheese, then sugar and cinnamon;

then put the slices in a tort pan on the coals with its lid on and coals

on top; when the cheese has melted, serve it quickly."

 

A quick glance through Scully didn't reveal a date for the Neapolitan

Collection, but it appears to be late Medieval Italian. Perhaps someone

else could help in dating this MS?

 

Huen

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 14:10:56 -0500

From: Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - salted cheese?

 

> Fish and ham I understand, but cheese?  I realize salt is used in making

> cheese, but the impression I get from this is of salt used to preserve

> cheese for extended periods.  Am I reading too much into this or missing

> some basic cheesy knowledge and now giving Margali the cheesemaker a

> good laugh behind her hand?

>

> curiouser and curiouser was, Puck

 

yep, Puck....I can always use a good laugh!

You use salt not just for taste, but to draw out more whey [the water content

encourages the growth of nasties, hence dried, salted foods] but some milks

[goat and sheep being the worst culprits] seem to enhance the salty taste more

than cows milk. For 1 lb of cheese made in the chedder fashion [that we are

going to take to an event without refrigeration] i use a good 2 tbsp of flake

salt and it is not what people would call particularly salty[unlike some navy

personnel I can mention..]

 

margali

 

 

Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 15:11:56 -0800

From: "James L. Matterer" <jlmatterer at labyrinth.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread and Circuses

 

> And, FWIW, the whole cheese/bread/butter thing at the beginning of a

> meal seems to be way off prevailing medieval European medical theory

> (dairy products, especially cheeses and cheese dishes, would normally be

> served at or near the end of the meal to close the chest and stomach up

> while digesting, and I've seen no evidence of butter being spread on

> bread in medieval Europe, and some evidence to suggest it was not).

>

> Adamantius

 

As for cheese, John Russell (Boke of Nurtute) says that it is "hard

cheese" that should be restricted to the end of the meal, not all

cheeses or dairy products. In fact, he recommends that cheese be served

with the very first items of a dinner.

 

Before dinner Russel says you should serve:

"Good sone, alle maner frute that longethe for seson of the yere,

Fygges, reysons, almaundes, dates, butur, chese, nottus, apples & pere."

 

After dinner should be:

"Aftur mete, peeres, nottys, strawberies, wyneberies, and hardcheese."

 

Furnivall (editor of Boke of Nurture) says that the cheese used in the

beginning may be butter-cheese, milk-cheese, or cream-cheese, as

contrasted with hardcheese. Butter was considered a separate item.

 

Huen

- --

A Boke of Gode Cookery

http://www.labs.net/dmccormick/huen.htm

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 13:48:19 -0400 (EDT)

From: Robin Carrollmann <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Roasted garlic  was  my latest feast

 

> << and then grate good cheese of Aragon >>

>

> What would be a modern equivalent of this Aragon Cheese?

 

Aragon cheese is still made in Spain.  I do not know if the modern version

is the same as it was in period.  I have never tasted it, so I'm not sure

what more commonly found cheeses might be used as a substitute.  Here's a

description, taken from www.cheese.com, if it helps:

 

Aragon

 

Description: Made by curdling milk with rennet or thistle-flower extract

for 40 minutes at 95 degrees F. Curd is cut into small bits, drained,

molded and pressed by hand. Aragon ripens for a week in a controlled humid

environment. This cheese is sometimes made with a mixture of ewe's and

goat's milk.

 

Country: Spain

 

Milk: ewe and goat milk

 

Texture: semi-hard

 

> Rosalyn MacGregor

> (Pattie Rayl)

 

Brighid

Robin Carroll-Mann

 

 

Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 15:42:35 -0400

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

Subject: SC - Fw: [TY] Say Cheese

 

Some interesting thoughts on cheese from the Tavern Yard.

 

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

From: Mark Mettler <mettler at bulloch.net>

To: <TY at reashelm.ce.utk.edu>

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 15:05:45 -0400

Subject: [TY] Say Cheese

 

First:  What is Roquefort Cheese:  It is made by hand using the milk of

the famous Lacaune Sheep from the Causses region of Southern France. The

cheese is aged in the limestone caves of Combalou, where the combination

of humidity, temperature and air flow are just right. The caves also

contain the mold, Penicillium roqueforti, which are responsible for the

cheese's blue vein.

 

Second:  Who and When: Once upon a time a young shepherd was guarding

his herd of ewes (sheep) near the "Grotte (caves) du Combalou", a large

cliff face that dominates the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. He was

just about to prepare his midday meal when he saw in the middle distance

a young lady. She appeared to be remarkably beautiful.

 

Fascinated, he decided to follow her. He left his dog to look after the

herd and hid his lunch consisting of bread ("pain de seigle", this is

bread made from 60/70 percent rye flour and 40/30 percent wheat flour)

and cheese (curd from eweÕs milk) in the cool, damp rocks of the

"grotte".

 

The chase was on. Unhappily, history relates that our shepherd never

found the young goddess. He returned to his herd, tired, hungry and

disappointed. In his absence the bread had decomposed and given the

cheese streaks of blue veins. He was to hungry to ask himself what had

happened ; all he knew was that the taste was remarkable. It did not

take long for him to share the mystery with his fellow herdsmen. Within

a short time many of the " grottes" had been converted into "cabanes en

bois"(oak planks were built in the interior of the grottes where the

cheeses were left to ripen). The word "cabanes" is still with us today

as the people that work in the cellars are called "cabaniers."

 

That is the legend of how Roquefort cheese was born. This exquisite

alchemy is the product of milk, bread, air and time. In the words of

Curnonsky, a well known Parisian gastronome, "the Roquefort is the son

of the mountains and the wind."

 

Over centuries the center of Roquefort cheese making has always been

Roquefort-sur- Soulzon a village perched on the side of cliff of Causse

du Larzac, between Millau and Saint-Affrique, some 700 kilometers south

of Paris.

 

And now a word from the Cheese Book on cheese as a whole:

 

Most authorities consider that cheese was first made in the Middle East.

The earliest type was a form of sour milk which came into being when it

was discovered that domesticated animals could be milked. A legendary

story has it that cheese was 'discovered' by an unknown Arab nomad. He

is said to have filled a saddlebag with milk to sustain him on a journey

across the desert by horse. After several hours riding he stopped to

quench his thirst, only to find that the milk had separated into a pale

watery liquid and solid white lumps. Because the saddlebag, which was

made from the stomach of a young animal, contained a coagulating enzyme

known as rennin, the milk had been effectively separated into curds and

whey by the combination of the rennin, the hot sun and the galloping

motions of the horse. The nomad, unconcerned with technical details,

found the whey drinkable and the curds edible.

 

Cheese was known to the ancient Sumerians four thousand years before the

birth of Christ. The ancient Greeks credited Aristaeus, a son of Apollo

and Cyrene, with its discovery; it is mentioned in the Old Testament.

 

In the Roman era cheese really came into its own. Cheesemaking was done

with skill and knowledge and reached a high standard. By this time the

ripening process had been developed and it was known that various

treatments and conditions under storage resulted in different flavours

and characteristics.

 

The larger Roman houses had a separate cheese kitchen, the caseale, and

also special areas where cheese could be matured. In large towns

home-made cheese could be taken to a special centre to be smoked. Cheese

was served on the tables of the nobility and travelled to the far

corners of the Roman Empire as a regular part of the rations of the

legions.

 

During the Middle Ages, monks became innovators and developers and itis

to them we owe many of the classic varieties of cheese marketed today.

During the Renaissance period cheese suffered a drop in popularity,

being considered unhealthy, but it regained favour by the nineteenth

century, the period that saw the start of the move from farm to factory

production.

 

Adapted from "The Cheese Book," by Richard Widcome. Chartwell Books

(Seacaucus, NJ), 1978.

- --

Gryffri de Newmarch

Chronicler of Forth Castle - http://www2.gasou.edu/SCA/chronicler

of the Southern Creative Anachronists - http://www2.gasou.edu/SCA

Keeper of the Book - http://www2.gasou.edu/SCA/newmarchbook

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 19:44:28 EDT

From: LadyAletha at aol.com

Subject: SC - yellow cheese

 

>and that the ubiquitous cheddar worked well, though the orange stuff

>was a bit agregious (the yellow food coloring being added fairly recently

>to duplicate the effects of the cow eating a lot of real grass)

 

actually, an acquaintance of mine with an interest in historical cheeses will

wax quite eloquent about how dying cheese yellow/orange is in fact

period--15th cen, I think he can document it to.  The color indicates a

higher cream content...so of course, people started faking it to make their

cheese look "richer." I'll ask him to send me the documentation if anyone

would like, though it may take a bit.

 

Alethea

 

 

Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 20:44:40 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - yellow cheese

 

LadyAletha at aol.com wrote:

> >and that the ubiquitous cheddar worked well, though the orange stuff

> >was a bit agregious (the yellow food coloring being added fairly recently

> >to duplicate the effects of the cow eating a lot of real grass)

>

> acually, an aquaintence of mine with an interest in historical cheeses will

> wax quite eloquent about how dying cheese yellow/orange is in fact

> period--15th cen, I think he can document it to.  The color indicates a

> higher cream content...so of course, people started faking it to make their

> cheese look "richer."  I'll ask him to send me the documetation if anyone

> would like, though it may take a bit.

>

> Alethea

 

In theory, yes, it does indicate a higher cream content, but it also

depends largely on what the cow has been eating. Consider the snow-white

butter made outside Rome, for example, or the fact that a many

full-cream cheeses are white. Some quite lean ones are yellow.

 

In my own experience with making cheese, primarily the Digby slipcote

cheese, it becomes more yellow as it ages. I guess as it dries out

somewhat, the butterfat content overall does become higher.

 

Another consideration: I believe Gervase Markham, in The English

Hus-wife, provides us with a rather odd rennet/starter recipe, which

contains egg yolks and saffron, to name a couple of the less orthodox

ingredients. I assume this stuff would be pretty yellowish.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: r19832345 at aol.com (R19832345)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

Date: 05 Sep 1999 18:32:13 GMT

 

whew.... I wish i had the time these days to do such detailed

research...Bravo....

 

had you seen my list of dates/cheeses?

  Any comments?  they would be appreciated, as this is but a page in a larger

work I will eventually get back to completing one day.

 

Origin/Usage:  Middle east B.C./ Appenzell-Switzerland 742 A.D.>

Asiago-Italy 1200 A.D.> Beaufort-Romans B.C.> Bellelaye(Tete de

moine)-Switzerland 15th cent> Roquefort-France-Romans B.C.>

Caciocavallo-Italy 13th cent?> Camembert-France 12th cent>

Cantal-France Romans B.C.> Cheddar-Britian 15th cent> Cheshire-

Britain 12th cent> Comte-France 13th cent> Cream cheese-unknown

Ancient> Ennentaler-Switzerland 16th cent> Fontina-Italy 13th

cent> Gammelost-Norway 1st cent> Gouda-Holland 13th cent>

Gruyere-Switzerland 12th cent> Gruyere de comte-France 13th cent>

Herve-Belgium 13th cent?> Limburger-Belgium 13th cent?> Livarot-

France 13th cent> Maroilles-France 10th cent> Munster-France 13th

cent?> Parmesan, grana, Lodigiano, Lombardo, Veneto, Bresciano,

Grana Padano Emiliano and Parmigiano Reggiano-Italy 13th cent>

Pont L'eveque-France (Angelot) 13th cent> Saint Nectaire-France

13th cent?> Sapsago-Switzerland 15th cent> Sbrinz-Switzerland-

Romans B.C.> Stracchino(Piccante [sharp] and dolce [mild]) 12th

cent>Vacherin Fribourgeois-Switzerland Ancient> Wensleydale-

Britain 1066>

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 00:36:53 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Russian Black Bread

 

Tollhase1 at aol.com wrote:

> CmUaSrKgYaNlOiLES at 99main.com writes:

> << take the leftover whey and simmer it until it is a thick

>  goo. about as simple as you can get!

>  margali >>

>

> What temperature, or does it matter.  Most cheeses it does.

 

"Simmer" generally denotes around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Small bubbles

rise to the surface, but it's less than a full, rolling boil. The point

is to denature protein that hasn't already been curdled in the making of

a previous cheese.

 

In short, this seems to be a form of ricotta, the genuine version of

which is re-cooked, as per its name. The difference would seem to be

that Margali is instructing us to cook the whey until it boils away, or

nearly so, as I believe is done with some Scandinavian cheeses like

gjetost and mysost, while the name "skimmerkase" would suggest the

cheese is skimmed off the top, as ricotta used to be.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 22:32:56 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

 

> At any rate, he has either been an extremely uncritical user of

> secondary sources that involved a great deal of invention, or he

> has been an enthusiastic inventor himself (including the

> invention of the quote attributed to Charlemagne).

 

Well, neither story originates with Toussaint-Samat (who is a she, BTW, not

a he). Larousse Gastronomique says in the entry for roquefort: "it was

Charlemagne«s favourite cheese", and in the entry for brie: "Brie appears to

have been in existence in the time of Charlemagne, who is said to have eaten

it at the priory of Rueil-en-Brie."

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 18:55:12 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

 

>Well, neither story originates with Toussaint-Samat (who is a she, BTW, not

>a he). Larousse Gastronomique says in the entry for roquefort: "it was

>Charlemagne«s favourite cheese", and in the entry for brie: "Brie appears to

>have been in existence in the time of Charlemagne, who is said to have eaten

>it at the priory of Rueil-en-Brie."

 

When did Toussaint-Samat write? Is it clear whether her book is earlier or

later than the edition of the Larousse you are quoting?

 

In any case, my impression is that the Larousse is quite unreliable on

matters historical.

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 10:53:38 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: cheddar in beets recipe

 

Ian Gourdon wrote:

> >Regarding the recipe you posted it sounds  good but what justification is

> >there for the use of Cheddar cheese? Did this cheese exist at that time? -Ras

>

> Cheese Variety         Year(AD)

> --------------         --------

> Gorgonzola             879

> Roquefort               1070

> Grana                   1200

> Cheddar                 1500

> Parmesan               1579

> Gouda                   1697

> Gloucester             1697

> Stilton                 1785

> Camembert               1791

>

> Data compiled from Scott (1986).

 

We know a cheese made around/marketed from Cheddar existed at that time.

We don't know what it was like, but I've recently had some uncooked (And

un"cheddared") English cheddar that might be pretty close to what it

was, and that was more like a hybrid Parmesan and aged Gouda.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 15:57:20 -0500 (EST)

From: cclark at vicon.net

Subject: Re: SC - Re: cheese question

 

Lady Jehanne de Huguenin wrote:

>surely you could interpret "semisoft cheese" as cottage cheese? ...

 

I don't think so. Cottage cheese is a very soft unripened cheese. Muenster,

Gouda and Roquefort are examples of semisoft cheeses. Brie is a soft ripened

cheese. Cheddar and Swiss are hard. Parmesan is very hard.

 

Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon

 

 

Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999 00:54:06 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: SC - Currant vodka cheese

 

Angus replied to my comment on vegemite and cheeses at Central Market

with:

>         <snip>

> > I have yet to buy any of the vegemite. I'm afraid that with all the

> > imported cheeses

> > (including a Swedish one this last time that said it was the same as

> > cheese

> > made in the 15th century, except they added Vodka and a berry),

>         <snip>

> Just out of curiousity, what's the name of the cheese ?

 

Ok, I went and got the cheese out of the refrigerator this time.

 

The main label says: "Vodka Currant" Semi-soft Prastost (I think the a

has double dots over it) ,Aged over 12 months. Product of Sweden.

 

The explantion on the label says:

"Aged by Swedes since 1500 AD. this favorite Swedish tithe to their

Priests is still as flavorful as back then - but now with a splash of

Currant flavored vodka! The Priests savored nothing but the best!"

 

The web address they give (I've seen more and more web addresses on

food items) is: www.vodkacheese.com

- --

Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mark S. Harris             Austin, Texas           stefan at texas.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 19:15:51 -0900

From: Kerri Canepa <kerric at pobox.alaska.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Late Fall/Early Winter Vegetables

 

Henry wrote:

>I haven't tried armoring them, though. What's a good cheese to use on parsnips?

 

Hm. I don't know how authentic Gruyere is, but I like to use it with a variety

of different things. I did armored turnips with Gruyere and also Tart for Ember

Day. Both came out quite yummy.

 

I have used Raclette and Tomme de Savoie and they would do really well for any

recipe calling for "ripe" or "old" cheese. Both are rather on the bitey side

without being overpowering. They also melt well when heated.

 

For milder cheeses I've used Baita Friuli and Parmesan, besides Gruyere. I can't

get fresh curds or cheeses here in Anchorage (it's making me seriously consider

learning to make it myself) except Mozzarella which is fine except that the

consistancy is too firm.

 

Since we're on the topic of cheese, does anyone know where a cream cheese

without stabilizers can be acquired?

 

Kerri

Cedrin Etainnighean, OL

 

 

Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 13:18:40 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions. . .

 

And it came to pass on 30 Jan 00,, that Varju at aol.com wrote:

> I know that the "cheese" debate has occured on the list before,

> but for the life of me I cannot remember if  Parmesian was listed as one

> of the period cheeses.  Is Parmesan cheese period?

 

> Noemi

 

"Queso de Parma" (cheese from Parma) and "queso Parmesano

rallado" (grated Parmesan cheese) appear in several 16th century

Spanish recipes, if that's any help to you.  How period it would be for

German cooking, I don't know.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 18:48:21 -0500

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: SC - Fw: [SCA-AE] Cheesemaking book

 

Interesting information from the Aethelmark List. Thomas, are you aware of

any other texts on cheesemaking pte-1600?

 

Phlip

 

Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio

 

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

From: Jakys the Cheesemonger <jazzmanian at myremarq.com>

To: sca-aethelmearc at andrew.cmu.edu <sca-aethelmearc at andrew.cmu.edu>

Date: Saturday, March 18, 2000 6:56 PM

Subject: Re: [SCA-AE] Cheesemaking book

 

>Katja,

>  Thus far, I have been fielding these questions via e-mail, since I had

>no idea there was such interest. However, at this point, I may as well

>post.  There is, thus far to my knowledge, only one source from period

>that I know of concerning cheesemaking from our period.  It is entitled

>"La Summa Lacticiniorum" by Pantaleo de Confluentia, written in Turin,

>Italy in 1470.  The original is, apparently, the only copy and is in a

>museum/library in England at present, and sadly unavailable for loan

><g>. (Yes....... I asked.)

>  However, a limited issue work was published by Irma Naso some time

>back, entitled "Formaggi del Medioevo" (Medieval Cheese). It was an

>analysis of the original work from a grad student in Italy. I was

>finally able, this winter, to get a copy shipped on loan to me from the

>research library at Notre Dame.  We could only have it for two weeks,

>but managed to photocopy the entire thing. The first part is written by

>Naso, and is an analysis of the work (sadly in Italian, never officially

>translated).  We were able to bang out a translation of what appeared to

>be the key parts of it, but it's mostly commentary by the author on the

>economy of Italy at that time, and the effects of it on the dairy

>industry.  However it contains a reprint of the entire original work.

>Other sources have referenced this work as an analysis of cheesemaking

>techniques, milk sources, equipment, etc. and speak of it highly.

>Sadly, it was written in a somewhat "corrupted" version of Latin in use

>in northern Italy at the time. A few friends have stopped by to help

>translate a few bits, but it's slow going. I know of no software that

>will translate it for me in our new "automagic" ways to a usable online

>form.  I don't have it in electronic copy.  I hope to finish a complete

>translation this year, and when done, I'll publish it on the web for the

>research use of all Scadians.

>  (Hint..... anybody good with Latin that would like me to mail them a

>chapter to translate is free to contact me. <g>)

>   If anyone else has access to similar works, I would be very happy to

>hear from you.

>Yours in Service,

>Lord Jakys the Cheesemonger

>Shire of Sterlynge Vayle

>AEthelmearc

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000 13:36:31 CEST

From: "Christina van Tets" <cjvt at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - Re: cheese colouring

 

Stefan asked:

>I think most of our yellow cheeses are artifically colored or at least

>intentionally colored. Anyone out there who has actually made cheese

>have any comments? So I would wonder if the period cook would have

>had multi-colored cheese available unless he intentionally colored

>it. And I would imagine if that were the case, it would have been

>explicitly mentioned since it would be out of the norm. The recipe

>is pretty explicit on coloring the noodles in two colors, for instance.

 

I think this may depend on where you or your persona come from.

 

TOTALLY UNSUBSTANTIATED HEARSAY (warning for those of you who will curl up

and moan in agony if they read stuff like this without academic support...):

  I have read that Celts, among others, used Lady's Bedstraw to curdle their

milk for cheese, as it not only curdled it, but coloured it a reddish-gold,

and that this is where Red Leicester cheese comes from.

 

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:  I came across an OOP reference (OK, it was Little

House on the Prairie, but you can duplicate some of those recipes really

easily) to using grated carrots to colour milk prior to curdling.  For my

most recent attempt I tried this in warm milk, while I was letting the

starter grow a bit in it.  This worked beautifully.  I used about 1/2 cup

grated carrot for about 4 litres of milk, and got a lovely creamy colour for

the soft cheese, which turned to a really good pale to mid yellow when the

cheese developed a rind. Unfortunately, I can't say what it looked like in

old age because my lord husband got to it before it matured properly.

 

>It may also be that we have been so conditioned by seeing brightly

>colored foods, due to the use of artifical colors, that we consider

>the more pastel shades not to be useful, whereas the medieval diner

>may have been quite happy with them.

 

It may also be that we assume that people in days gone by had colourless

surroundings because _we_ see their statues, etc as they are now, without

the polychrome decoration, and their mosaics all pale and faded.  It's quite

startling to see a statue or mosaic that hasn't had this happen, for one

reason or another, and to realise just how gaudy some of these things

actually were.  I can imagine very easily that this kind of aesthetic could

be transferred to food presentation.  Perhaps we need to go back to

paintings of food to answer this question.

 

Cairistiona

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000 09:41:42 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: cheese colouring

 

Christina van Tets wrote:

After Stefan wrote (I think!)

> >It may also be that we have been so conditioned by seeing brightly

> >colored foods, due to the use of artifical colors, that we consider

> >the more pastel shades not to be useful, whereas the medieval diner

> >may have been quite happy with them.

>

> It may also be that we assume that people in days gone by had colourless

> surroundings because _we_ see their statues, etc as they are now, without

> the polychrome decoration, and their mosaics all pale and faded.  It's quite

> startling to see a statue or mosaic that hasn't had this happen, for one

> reason or another, and to realise just how gaudy some of these things

> actually were.  I can imagine very easily that this kind of aesthetic could

> be transferred to food presentation.  Perhaps we need to go back to

> paintings of food to answer this question.

 

Of course this idea can be taken too far, too, as with the commonly-held

SCAdian belief that "There-is-no-such-color-as-pink-in-period, only

faded red!" I'm half-horrified at the prospect of, say, a Phydias

Poseidon in bright red lipstick, but what the hey...

 

FWIW, I'm aware of various herbs added to cheeses, probably initially as

herbal curdling agents, which may have continued to be used for flavor

and/or color, even when calf rennet and such became a more common denaturizer.

 

Among other cases of artificial colorings added to cheeses, I'm aware of

Gervase Markham recommending a rather peculiar process for turning the

marrowgut and wealcrud of a calf into rennet, which involves both egg

yolks and saffron (plus rosewater and various other things). This might

contribute to a yellower color of the finished cheese, too, although I

suspect the saffron and rosewater are there as much to mask any musty

flavors accruing in the various soaking processes used to make this

rennet, as for coloring.

 

But, ultimately, a lot of early "yellow" cheeses, including Cheddar,

apparently, relied simply on a high butterfat content and trace pigments

from whatever the dairy cow ate for their color. This is also true of Parmagianno.

  

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 09:32:26 -0500

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Hatd Cheese Stefan (was Cressee webbed)

 

Stefan inquires:

>>>>I think most of our yellow cheeses are artifically colored or at least

intentionally colored. Anyone out there who has actually made cheese

have any comments? So I would wonder if the period cook would have

had multi-colored cheese available unless he intentionally colored

it. And I would imagine if that were the case, it would have been

explicitly mentioned since it would be out of the norm. The recipe

is pretty explicit on coloring the noodles in two colors, for instance.

 

It may also be that we have been so conditioned by seeing brightly

colored foods, due to the use of artificial colors, that we consider

the more pastel shades not to be useful, whereas the medieval diner

may have been quite happy with them.<<<<

 

The colouring of cheese seems to have been a fairly

late Elizabethan practice. Traditional "common cheese"

made on the farm for commons were largely low-fat,

skimmed milk cheeses which were hard and crumbly.

The popularity of whole milk cheeses such as Cheddar

were called "rich cheeses" and were deep golden yellow.

In an attempt to match the appearance of these more

expensive cheeses, a practice of colouring less rich

cheese with saffron arose to deceive the buyer and

get more for their simple skimmed-milk cheeses.  The

modern colouring agent is a vegetable extract from the

fruit of a West Indian tree, Bixa orellana.  This was first

used in the mid-eighteenth century, first called "anatta",

but soon after became "anatto".  It is still in use today.

Some of the really orange cheeses like Leichester and

many Scottish cheddars are heavily coloured with it.

 

I doubt that cheeses were so coloured in medieval period

times as the colours were fairly naturally varied,  according

to regions, due to the type of cattle, sheep or goats being

milked and the local composition of pasturage.  The common

Gurnsey and Jerseys we use in American dairy production

were not common on the contenient, even to this day.

The composition of the milk varies considerably with breeds

and what they consume. Sometimes the microflora can

add colour as well as the method and length of aging.

The prohibitions against adulterations we see in medieval

law in fakery of metals, gems, pearls, etc. would lead me

to believe that colouring of cheese to fake a higher quality

product would not have been tolerated.  It was with the

rise of the middle classes at the end of the SCA periods

that such fakery became widespread as they were content

with the illusion of the quality of foods being consumed by

the upper classes.  Much of medieval cheesemaking

knowledge (and product) came out of the monastaries

which would not have coloured their cheeses either.

 

Such richly coloured cheeses were evident mostly where

whole milk cheese or "cream" based cheese were produced.

The cheeses of northern (Scandinavian) countries are largely

whey cheeses and more often made with goat's milk (Gjeost,

Pultost, aka Ramost or Knaost) and are white or very pale

yellow for the most part. Others are Prastost (Sweden

16th C.), Gotaost or Getost, Hushallsost (farmer cheese).

Finnish cheeses are unusual in their manufacture as they add

eggs (Ilves cheeses) or roasted or smoked whole cheeses.  

Most of these cheeses were only farm produced and are hard

to find today.  Some cheeses of Denmark are unusual in that they

were made without rennet using the juice of insectivorous plants

like the sundew (drosera) but from my study more likely the

butterworts (pinguicula).  This has been long noted by Linnaeus

(Flora Lapponica, p. 10) and similarly by peasants in the Italian Alps

(Pfeffer, through Oppenheimer) .  This was known to the ancients

as Galium verum (Czapek).

 

Pinguicula vulgaris (tatort).....I wish I knew how to produce proper

dicritical marks on my keyboard.....makes an odd proto-cheese

known as Taettemaelk..... damn I can't even get an "ae" to work....

or "ropey milk" in Norway.  From this we get the name Tattegraes

"curdlegrass"  and Undslaeva Greas.  These plants were especially

effective on reindeer milk it seems.  Some sources also list the

Venus' flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) emzynes being used (but this

is bullshit as this species ONLY occurs in the coastal Carolinas and

has only one species in the whole Genus).  The insectivorous

species of the sundew and butterwort range worldwide and have

numerous species.  I have cultivated and studied these species

for over 35 years and have alway been fascinated by them.

 

Anyway back to cheeses, as I have digressed rather far from the topic

at hand....I would love to hear from Nanna about Icelandic cheeses such

as Skyr (sounds yummy), Mysingur, and their version of the Norwegian

Mysost.

 

Swiss cheeses (undyed) vary greatly in colour and taste with variations

of milk, altitude and curing processes too numerous to list.  Italian

cheese tend towards hard white cheeses probably due to the hotter

conditions there.  These are the grated cheeses we find so popular

in Italian cookery.  I won't venture into the "blue" cheeses as these

are unique to themselves and deserve separate coverage (I also

abhor their tastes), though the white mold cheeses like brie and

Camembert are delightful (but way past period).  Neufchatel however

dates way back into the medieval period (but not so tasty as brie).

 

This post only skims the surface (appropriate pun) of this topic and

I am sure you have reams of material already in your datafiles, Stefan,

on individual cheeses.  I am interested though in getting new comments

from our large number of list members from places where other than

commonplace cheeses are available.  Supermakets carry a good variety

now but the .....prices..... are.... obscene.

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 07:22:01 +0200 (MET DST)

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at algonet.se>

Subject: Re: SC - Hatd Cheese Stefan (was Cressee webbed)

 

On Tue, 4 Jul 2000, RANDALL DIAMOND wrote:

> effective on reindeer milk it seems.  Some sources also list the

> Venus' flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) emzynes being used (but this

> is bullshit as this species ONLY occurs in the coastal Carolinas and

> has only one species in the whole Genus).  The insectivorous

 

But the Drosera species (Drosera rotundifoli, etc) was used for this, at

least according to some sources (among them

http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/drosera/drose/drosrot.html, but I have

read it in other places as well).

 

> abhor their tastes), though the white mold cheeses like brie and

> Camembert are delightful (but way past period).  Neufchatel however

> dates way back into the medieval period (but not so tasty as brie).

 

IIRC there are claims that brie is period.

 

> from our large number of list members from places where other than

> commonplace cheeses are available.  Supermakets carry a good variety

> now but the .....prices..... are.... obscene.

 

Hmm, I can get a edible "cooking" brie for as low as 49 SKR/kg (app.

US$2.75/lb). This is not the good stuff (that's 2-4 times as expensive),

but is quite edible and very nice in cooking (tarte de bry, etc). The

traditional scandinavian hard cheeses (Västerbotten, etc) tend to be

more expensive ($3-5/lb). BTW, these prices include the Swedish 25%

"sales tax".

 

/UlfR

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                                     parlei at algonet.se

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 11:21:08 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: cheese colouring

 

> TOTALLY UNSUBSTANTIATED HEARSAY (warning for those of you who will curl up

> and moan in agony if they read stuff like this without academic support...):

>   I have read that Celts, among others, used Lady's Bedstraw to curdle their

> milk for cheese, as it not only curdled it, but coloured it a reddish-gold,

 

I have also heard this. Lady's Bedstraw does dye a reddish-gold.

 

Mrs. Grieve's _Modern Herbal_ (which is not period and not my favorite

source but it IS online) says of Ladies' Bedstraw:

 

"The plant has the property of curdling milk, hence another of its popular

names ' Cheese Rennet.' It was called ' Cheese Renning' in the sixteenth

century, and Gerard says (quoting from Matthiolus, a famous commentator of

Dioscorides), 'the people of Thuscane do use it to turne their milks and

the cheese, which they make of sheepes and goates milke, might be the

sweeter and more pleasant to taste. The people in Cheshire especially

about Nantwich, where the best cheese is made, do use it in their rennet,

esteeming greatly of that cheese above other made without it.' The rich

colour of this cheese was probably originally derived from this plant,

though it is now obtained from annatto. "

 

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

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 21:50:40 -0500

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Re: Hard Cheese Stefan

 

Par Leijonhufvud comments:

 

>>>>But the Drosera species (Drosera rotundifoli, etc) was used for this, at

least according to some sources (among them

http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/drosera/drose/drosrot.html, but I have

read it in other places as well).<<<<

 

I did mention this specifically in my post adding however

that I believe that the Pinguicula (butterworts) were more

commonly used, not that Drosera wasn't used.

 

>>>>IIRC there are claims that brie is period.<<<<

 

My error!!!  Brie is certainly period, first mentioned

in the court of Champagne in 1217.  Henry IV and

Louis XII both loved Brie cheeses.  It was Camembert

to which I was specifically referring.  There is a statue

in Vimoutiers to Marie Harel who allegedly first made

Camembert cheese in 1791. Actually this is an inaccurate

legend as what we know as Camembert was described

by the name "Livarot" in a 17th century dictionary.  Actually

the cheese was made in the Pays d'Auge as "Augelot" in

the time of William the Conquerer.   In truth, Marie Harel

is the inventor of modern Camembert as she was the first

cheesemaker to develop the pure white cheese flora of

today's Camembert.  Period Camembert had red or blue

rinds as ripening was natural. In the 19th century, the

factory production inoculates the cheeses with Penicillium

candidum.  Likewise, Brie also originally had a red rind, which

cheese gourmets insist was the best part of the cheese.

I tend to agree as I think even the white mold is delicious.

 

> from our large number of list members from places where other than

> commonplace cheeses are available.  Supermakets carry a good variety

> now but the .....prices..... are.... obscene.

 

>>>>Hmm, I can get a edible "cooking" brie for as low as 49 SKR/kg (app.

US$2.75/lb). This is not the good stuff (that's 2-4 times as expensive),

but is quite edible and very nice in cooking (tarte de bry, etc). The

traditional scandinavian hard cheeses (Västerbotten, etc) tend to be

more expensive ($3-5/lb). BTW, these prices include the Swedish 25%

"sales tax".<<<<

 

I can't even get locally made cheddar for that low a price.

Generally, the price of domestic cheese at our large

supermarkets in my area starts at $5.99 US to $8.99 US.

Imports like Brie start at $7.99 US for the cheap stuff.

More esoteric imported cheeses start at $12.99 US and

go astronomical quickly. Consider yourself fortunate.

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 09:04:56 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Hard Cheese Stefan

 

RANDALL DIAMOND wrote:

> Brie is certainly period, first mentioned

> in the court of Champagne in 1217.  Henry IV and

> Louis XII both loved Brie cheeses.  It was Camembert

> to which I was specifically referring.  There is a statue

> in Vimoutiers to Marie Harel who allegedly first made

> Camembert cheese in 1791. Actually this is an inaccurate

> legend as what we know as Camembert was described

> by the name "Livarot" in a 17th century dictionary.  Actually

> the cheese was made in the Pays d'Auge as "Augelot" in

> the time of William the Conquerer.   In truth, Marie Harel

> is the inventor of modern Camembert as she was the first

> cheesemaker to develop the pure white cheese flora of

> today's Camembert.  Period Camembert had red or blue

> rinds as ripening was natural.  In the 19th century, the

> factory production inoculates the cheeses with Penicillium

> candidum.  Likewise, Brie also originally had a red rind, which

> cheese gourmets insist was the best part of the cheese.

> I tend to agree as I think even the white mold is delicious.

 

I've heard it alleged that Brie once had a blue rind, and that

artificial steps to introduce pennicilium into the center of the cheese

weren't taken until fairly recently, so while blue cheeses did exist,

they weren't what English dairy folk would call "vinny" (veiny?).

 

Part of the problem is that a lot of the documentation for cheeses is

based on the name of the market town they were traditionally sold from.

Cheeses from Brie, from Roquefort, from Chesire, and from Cheddar (not

to mention Rouen) all existed in period, but it is sometimes unclear as

to exactly what these cheeses were like.

 

Last year I had a wonderful opportunity to taste a cheese made in the

area around the town of Cheddar, called, appropriately, by that name,

made by a family that had been making farmhouse cheeses in the area

since the mid-fifteenth century (or so they claim). It was Cheddar. It

was [allegedly] in a period style. It just wasn't a whole lot like the

Cheddar most people are familiar with. It was neither white nor orange,

just the medium yellow often associated with old Parmagianno, which it

also resembled in flavor. (Hints of real Gouda, too!) It also was, I

believe, uncooked, so discussions of Cheddaring or the periodicity

thereof wouldn't be relevant.

 

Good stuff, though.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 21:40:50 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Cressee webbed

 

Elysant at aol.com wrote:

> Some time ago (perhaps you have it on the Florithingy?) we did talk about

> when various cheeses (we know about) began to appear...  perhaps if we review

> and expand such a list we can see which candidates of cheese "might" have

> been used in England in the time of the recipe we are talking about, and what

> colour they are in the original countries they were made in rather than what

> you see on the shelves here, as as with poor old Cheddar, the U.S. mass

> manufacturing and marketing guys might have done a number on the cheese in

> question and if that's all we have to look at we might end up with wrong

> assumptions about it - including colour.

 

A primary candidate might be Rouen, a pale, mild, semi-firm Norman

cheese that appears to be the "chese ruayn" frequently mentioned in the

14th-15th-century English corpus of recipes, either as an import or

perhaps as a style name for a locally produced version. Presumably Brie,

another of the few cheeses mentioned by name in the corpus, was probably

imported from France, but anything is possible. Of course I'm

concentrating on the English sources, since Cressee is from one of them.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 14:39:36 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - My anti modern cheese thing was: toys for tot feast

 

> I seem to recall Columella saying certain herbs can be pulverized to

> actually _be_ the coagulant. One of them IIRC, was sage.

>

> Adamantius

 

Ladies Bedstraw, meadowbright and IIRC something ending in -wort other than mugwort. Ladies Bedstraw is the bestknown one. I prefer rennet, but you can buy vegetarian rennet made from bedstraw.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 22:19:24 EDT

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - Check out An Early History of cheese making

 

<A HREF="http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese1.html";>Click here: An Early

History</A>

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese1.html

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 00:27:36 -0500

From: harper at idt.net

Subject: SC - Flavored cheese

 

I was glancing through the "Obra de Agricultura" (Spanish

agricultural manual, 1513), and I came across the chapter on

cheese.  Herrera says that when making cheese, you can add

flavors and spices to the milk, so that the cheese will have that

flavor.  He specifically mentions ground pennyroyal, or savory,

and adds that there are many who put in ground-up tender pine

nuts, but this is only if you are going to eat the cheese fresh.

 

Sheep dung mixed with vinegar will remove blemishes from the

body; mixed with oil and wax, it will cure burns.  (Just in case you

were wondering.)

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 17:52:55 -0500

From: "Gaylin J. Walli" <gwalli at ptc.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese to begin was  desserts

 

Bonne asked:

>isn't the beginning of the feast still the wrong place, medievally

>speaking, no matter the sort of cheese?

 

I think Platina would say so:

 

Aged cheese is difficult to digest, of little nutriment, not good for the stomach or belly, and produces bile, gout, pleurisy, sand grains, and stones.

They say a small amount, whatever you want, taken after a meal, when is seals the opening of the stomach, both takes away the squeamishness of fatty dishes and benefits the digestion and head. (Milham translation, pg. 159)

 

Iasmin de Cordoba, gwalli at ptc.com or iasmin at home.com

 

 

Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2000 13:57:43 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - re cheddar

 

Ian Gourdon wrote:

> > > Cubed Cheese: swiss, cheddar, farmer

> >

<snip>

> > BTW, cheddar isn't period.  But you already knew that

> > didn't you. :-)

> >...

> > Huette

>

> allow to quote a piece from the list a few whiles ago:

> "...I decided that I would put forth a best effort to

> come-up with something of

> interest, even if it was based upon secondary sources (like

> the internet).

> Therefore I present, for your entertainment, criticism,

> amusement and use the

> following chart of cheeses:

>

> Type of Cheese         Date of Earliest

> Reference             Reference

<snip>

> Cheddar

> 1500AD

 

> which makes Cheddar OK, I'd say. It'd be Swiss that would be

> less clear to me as OK.

 

At this point I think Cheddar has somehow become reverse-grandfathered

in because people reely reely want it to be period. Yes, cheeses sold

from, and made near, the market town of Cheddar were made, sold, and

sales recorded around 1500 C.E. Whether they bear much resemblance to

modern cheddar is highly questionable. They appear not to be "cheddared"

in the modern sense of heating, cutting, and cooking the curds prior to

draining, and to be honest, after a fairish amount of research in this

field I believe I have yet to find a period English recipe for any kind

of cooked cheese, versus quite a few uncooked recipes.

 

Modern Gouda, a form of "Swiss" cheese, probably _is_ made according to

a period method, whether it's been listed as period or not, because it

is an uncooked cheese, IIRC. OTOH, cheeses like Brie are recorded as

existing in period, but it is mentioned elsewhere (I _think_ in Wilson's

"Food and Drink in Britain"; no doubt some helpful individual with the

book on the shelf in front of them will let me know if I'm wrong, so I

can speak freely) that the kind of white mold used to form and protect

the rind of such cheeses was not cultured or used in period

cheesemaking, and that Brie may have had a blue mold on the outer

surface. So, knowing that cheeses with such-and-such a name existed in

period is not necessarily a sure indication of whether the product you

may be contemplating purchasing for a feast or something is a really

accurate representation. This is probably an area where a lot of people

would rather simply not sweat the small stuff.

 

BTW, in the past year I've run across two different brands of Cheddar

advertised as uncooked farmhouse Cheddar, at least one of which was

claimed to have been made on the same family's premises, and according

to the same family's recipe, for the past 500 years or so. I think there

may have been two different brands because two different importers or

distributors were both handling Keen's Cheddar (Keen was, IIRC, the

family's name). The cheese itself was an uncolored deep natural yellow,

with a waxy (waxy, not waxed) rind, a nutty flavor, and resembling

something between aged Gouda and underaged Parmagianno.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 22:30:18 -0500

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - Cheesemaking question

 

And it came to pass on 5 Mar 01, , that Philip & Susan Troy wrote:

> Bartholomew Dowe wrote "A dairie Booke for good huswiues", [Very

> profitable and pleasaunt for the making and keeping of white meates.],

> pub. by Thomas Hacket, London, 1588. I found it in facsimile form as an

> addendum to a reprint of an English translation of a roughly

> contemporary Italian book on household management, whose title I have

> unfortunately lost.

 

Having Dowe's first name made things much easier.  It is bound together

with an English translation of "The housholders philosophie" by Torquato

Tasso.  I have located a used book dealer who is listed as having a

reasonably-priced copy, and am sending an email to see if it available.

 

The listing from the Library of Congress catalog is:

Personal Name: Tasso, Torquato, 1544-1595.

Main Title: The householders philosophie ; anexed, A dairie booke /

Torquato Tasso.

Uniform Title: [Padre famiglia. English] Published/Created: Amsterdam :

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum ; Norwood, N.J. : W. J. Johnson, 1975.

Related Names: Dowe, Bartholomew. Dairie booke for good huswiues.

1975.

Related Titles: Householders philosophie. Description: 27 [i.e. 69], [20]

p. ; 22 cm. ISBN: 9022107655 Notes: Translation of Il padre famiglia.

Photoreprint ed.

Includes original t.p.: The housholders philosophie : wherein is perfectly

and profitably described, the true oeconomia and forme of housekeeping

... First written in Italian by ... Torquato Tasso, and now translated by T.

K. Whereunto is anexed A dairie booke for all good huswiues. At

London, printed by F. C. for Thomas Hacket ... 1588.

The 2d work is by B. Dowe.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 01:23:29 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - cheese

 

Hope you aren't completely buried under the snow, but you aren't going

anywhere, so try this great site I found today on how to make cheese!

 

http://www.tudocs.com/cheese.html

 

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese2.html

 

The first one brought up a bunch of cheesy sites--didn't have time to

look at all of them.  One is a catalog where you can buy presses, cheese

boxes, etc.  Might try their 30 min. Mozzarella, myself, sometime.

The second one is directions and history, just the things you were

looking for.

 

Allison

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 15:22:16 +0200

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pot cheeses?

 

In case you're interested

 

http://www.bigwig.net/mcbishop/concangis/photos/cheese.htm - photo of a

roman cheese press fragment

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 23:12:26 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] clay fondue pot

 

hey from Anne-Marie

 

re: the original text for the la Varenne ramekins of cheese....the text is in

the CA I did, as well as the complete anachronist on French Food (basically we

reissued it without the constraints of the CA system).

 

here it is again....

 

Ramequins of Cheese [V#41, p221]

Take some cheese, melt it with some butter, an onion whole, or stamped, salt

and pepper in abundance, spread all upon bread, pass the fire shovel over it

red hot, and serve it warme.

 

"cheesy goodness" is now a fixture in my household....:)

 

--AM

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese of Aragon?

Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 23:26:13 -0400

 

> I am going to try some recipes of Libre del Coch for a Sca commons this

> Friday. Does anyone know what Cheese of Aragon is?? It's in #50.

 

<NOTE - See the file: Guisados1-art>

 

> Andrea

> Ostgardr

 

Queso de Aragon is also known as Queso Tronchon. It definitely dates to the

Middle Ages. It was originally a goat cheese, but is now made from a blend

of cow and goat milk. It is served fresh or slightly aged, it comes from a

ring mold with a depression in the middle, sort of a like a gelatine mold or

bundt pan, but the center depression doesn't go all the way through. If you

can't get it locally, try mail-order from a Spanish food store like

www.tienda.com. If you want more info, let me know.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 16:45:01 -0700 (PDT)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cheese color

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Drakey asked:

> ps.  anyone know where I can find some primary source cheese recipes

> outside of Gervase Markham?

 

Dowe, Bartholomew

  Dairie booke for good huswiues.  1588.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 02:41:26 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] cheese: primary source recipes

 

<< anyone know where I can find some primary source cheese recipes

outside of Gervase Markham? >>

 

Jacob Bifrons [Jachiam Bifrun]: Epistola de caseis & operibus lactarijs

(letter about cheesemaking and working up of milk), 1556, printed as an

appendix in Jodocus Willich's 'Ars magirica', Zuerich 1556, p. 220-227.

 

Two types of cheese and cheesemaking are described: a 'traditional' one,

and another technique, imported from Italy "thirty years ago" (a

triginta annis).

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 03:22:22 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cheese: primary source recipes

 

<< Is the source in English? >>

 

It is in Latin. But someone could work on it. There is a German

translation, published in the "B=FCndner Monatsblatt", vol. 6, 1993, page

445-451. Might be of some help.

 

A correction on what I said: The letter is 1556; but the book (Jodocus

Willich's 'Ars magirica') was published in 1563. Sorry.

 

I have a transcription and JPEGs ready. Will make them available soon

(needs one further round of proofreading). Perhaps there is somebody who

wishes to tackle a translation project.

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 22:14:52 -0400

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cheese color

 

Johnna the librarian sends greetings:

 

Bartholomew Dowe's Dairie booke for good huswives

is anexed to  The householders philosophie which

is that odd household manual by Torquato Tasso.

It was released as a facsimile in 1975 as part of the

English Experience series #765. The publisher was

Amsterdam : Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and in the USA by

Norwood, N.J. : W.J. Johnson. ISBN:90-221-0765-5.

A DAIRIE BOOKE FOR GOOD HUSWIVES is dated 1588 and

discusses the making and keeping of white meats

which is what dairy products were known as.

(I wrote a letter into T.I. urging that people

buy up volumes in this series back in 1970's...

now of course you can't find them except in

really good academic libraries and at $50 plus

on the antiquarian market.)

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 02:04:00 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Jacobus Bifrons on cheesemaking in Switzerland 1556

 

> I have a transcription and JPEGs ready. Will make them available soon

> (needs one further round of proofreading).

 

http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning/bifrun/bifrun.htm

 

Jacobus Bifrons [Jachiam Bifrun]:

Epistola de caseis et operibus lactariis et modo quo in Rh=E6ticis

regionibus et alpibus parantur, 1556

(A letter to Conrad Gesner about cheesemaking and dairy products in

Switzerland, 1556.)

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 22:45:38 +0200

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Slugs as rennet

 

Hello!  We're off tomorrow for our last jaunt in Europe before heading back

to the States.  I'll be back in about a week.

 

Just thought I'd leave you with this interesting note from a nice lady at

the Wensleydale Creamery in England. We went there last summer & hubby

claimed to have seen a sign saying they used to use slugs as rennet. But he

lost all our pictures of the cheese museum & had no proof of his assertion,

so of course I didn't believe him. It's been a running joke ever since.

Well, seems he was partially correct. According to the lady, the

Wensleydale Creamery didn't use slugs, but some farmer's wives may have:

 

>> Thank you for your enquiry about slugs being used as rennet.

>> The farmer's wife of the 17th and 18th centuries had to make her cheese

>> under much more difficult conditions than our modern dairymaid has to

>> face.  She had no thermometer to record the right temperature of her milk.

>> The heat of the milk had to be judged by placing the hand in the vat or

>> better still the elbow, or by tasting before she dare add the rennet.

>> Even rennet was not obtained with the ease it is today.  A couple of

>> centuries ago rennet as we know it, had not been thought of.  In those

>> days when the farmer killed a young calf, the stomach was taken out,

>> washed, salted, cured and hung on a nail in the kitchen rafters to dry.

>> The young calf's stomach contained the properties found in our modern

>> liquid rennet.

>>

>> When the farmer's wife required rennet to coagulate the milk she would cut

>> off a small piece of the dried stomach, boil it in a pan on the kitchen

>> fire, and strain off the liquid to cool.  This liquid would serve for the

>> next few days' cheese making, and when it was used up she repeated the

>> process.  The dried calf's stomach was known as "keslop" but the

>> cheesemaker of two centuries ago had no means of finding out the strength

>> of her home made rennet.  Sometimes she ran short of "keslop" and thereby

>> short of rennet.  When this happened the household had to resort to

>> hunting the black snail in some nearby swamp.  A black snail submerged in

>> a bowl of milk causes the same reaction as rennet and eventually cheese

>> curd will begin to form."

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 11:11:36 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Brie Period?

 

The following is a recipe I redacted for use at a feast I did some years ago.  You will note that this herbed cheese goes back to Roman times:

 

Cheese Round with Herbs

 

Recipe By Appendix Vergiliana, Moretum

Servings 104

Categories

Appetizers

 

65 each garlic clove

1/4 cup celery

1/4 cup rue

1/2 cup coriander

3/8 cup salt grains

6 1/2 pounds soft cheese (ricotta)

1/2 cup olive oil

7/8 cup balsamic vinegar

 

In a mortar grind the garlic, then the fresh soft cheese, and finally the herbs

(use celery leaf or parsley), so that these ingredients are thoroughly blended.

The mixture can be moistened with olive oil, followe by a small amount of strong

vinegar. Form the mixture into a round and chill.

 

Redacted by Minowara Kiritsubo from directions in "A Taste of Ancient Rome",

translated from the Latin.

 

Notes : Recipe is from a poem whose protagonist was a farmer, Moretum. From A

Taste of Ancient Rome.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 11:41:30 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ember Day Tart

 

A F Murphy wrote:

> A couple of us are playing with this recipe. We're looking at the

> version with "grene cheese" in it, and looking for ideas. We are

> assuming this means an unripened cheese. What do people think the

> original author of the recipe might have been able to obtain, and so

> might have used? And what would be the closest thing we can get?

 

'Grene' has a number of meanings in the ME, from the color, to new,

unripe/untested, and pale. I would say they mean a light-colored, unripe

or fresh cheese. An you have a point that ricotta might not be

appropriate for England. Have you though about cottage cheese (farmer's

cheese)? You can get it in dry curd as well and the usual in little

tubs, so you can adjust the moisture levels. And if you 'press it

through a straynour' (or run through a blender) you won't have the funny

lumps.

 

'Lainie

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 13:42:32 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cutting the cheese

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:16:34 -0700 "Mercy Neumark" <mneumark at hotmail.com>

writes:

>I just don't know history of this stuff as well as I probably should.

>Does anyone have any suggestions on history books on cheese

 

*Sheep and Man*  M. L. Ryder, Duckworth, Ltd.  1985.

 

    There is a good discussion of the uses of sheep's milk and it's

importance as a food source in the Middle Ages.

 

     Elizabeth

 

 

From: "Dan Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Irish cheese?

Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 09:42:44 -0700

 

Cheese making in Scotland

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/book1.html

 

Scottish Cheese sites

http://www.scottish-store.co.uk/pages/cheese.htm

http://www.ayrshirefarmersmarket.co.uk/ayrshirestalls.cfm?ID=12

http://www.rerrick-cheese.co.uk/

 

may be Scottish is clearly Brit

http://www.mackenzieltd.com/cheeses.asp

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:19:32 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period cooking and camping

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Thu, 23 May 2002 08:46:26 -0600 "AnnaMarie" <wolfsong at ida.net> writes:

>Hmmmm....  wonder if you could coat *any* cheese in wax to keep it? As much

>as I like Gouda I prefer a variety and absolutely love goat cheese. I'm

>also making yogurt cheese alot lately but I could make that daily.

 

    I got to attend a cheese lecture recently, and waxing was touched on.

The Cheesemaker said that she finds wax changes the taste of the cheese

when applied as part of the aging process.  She also indicated that it is

fairly easy to trap the 'wrong' molds between the cheese and the wax when

waxing.  This woman was an artisanal cheesemaker, and quality was

extremely important to her.

 

   When I worked at a natural foods co-op there was a week or so of

hoo-rah because some person disregarded the cheese handling techniques.

We lost several pounds because there was mold that (gosh!!) looked

*exactly* like a moldy fingerprint on the cut up pieces of cheese.  (I

*still* shake my head over that one!)

 

   Elizabeth

 

 

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 00:22:59 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cheese of Aragon

 

On 20 Jun 2002, at 16:32, Susan Browning wrote:

> I am looking at a Catalan recipe for an eggplant casserole, and it

> specifies cheese of Aragon.  Any ideas as to which type of cheese

> would work for this recipe?

>

> Eleanor d'Aubrecicourt

 

This question has come up before on the list.  It was answered by Master

Thomas, who has done *extensive* research with the Catalan manuscripts.

His answer was:

 

Queso de Aragon is also known as Queso Tronchon. It definitely dates to

the Middle Ages. It was originally a goat cheese, but is now made from a

blend of cow and goat milk. It is served fresh or slightly aged, it comes from

a ring mold with a depression in the middle, sort of a like a gelatine mold or

bundt pan, but the center depression doesn't go all the way through. If you

can't get it locally, try mail-order from a Spanish food store like

www.tienda.com. If you want more info, let me know.

Thomas Longshanks

---------------------------

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 13:06:49 -0500

From: Yana <yana at merr.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] RE: Cheese in the Domostroi

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

 

> Does anyone know if the Domostroi has anything about cheese or cheesemaking,

> or should I point her to one of the secondary sources like "Bread and  

> Salt"?

 

Why, yes, the Domostroi does have info about cheese. Cheese was recommended

to be produced at home (Pouncy:150), in order that you [the homeowner]

would "celebrate your good fortune every day.  You will never have to go to

market."  So cheese was also commercially produced.

 

Cheese was kept in either the cellar, the icehouse, or in the small

storerooms (Pouncy:165).  The text lists many different foodstuffs, and

doesn't say which was stored where.

 

The above is from the SCA-period parts of the Domostroi.  There is no

mention of how the cheese was made in the Domostroi, in either the period,

or non-period sections.  I checked the original Russian, to see what was

being translated as "cheese," but it is just "syr", the generic word for

"cheese."  I was hoping that it might be "tvorog" (a certain type of

Russian cheese) or something more specific.

 

In "Bread and Salt" (I'm going to abbreviate it "BaS", and may I say that

boy, you are good. You actually made me move some computer equipment

around, just to get to my cooking files.), cheese is mentioned as one of

the items eaten on Easter Sunday, as well as placed on the altar (a common

practice even today, for parts of the Easter feast to be brought to church

to be blessed) [BaS:98-99].  Cheese was also used as a filling in breads or

rich breads (korovai) in the very early 17th century [BaS:116].  There is a

mention of caviar being pressed into cheese [BaS:125], but no date that I

could find (it's hot, gimme a break).

 

Now since I couldn't check the original Russian for the Easter references,

it might possibly, *possibly* be that the cheese in question eventually

became part of what is called today (don't know about then, but likely the

same) "paskha," a sweetened cheese mixture that was molded into a pyramid

and marked with the Cyrillic initials "XB", which stand for Khristos

Voskres (Christ is Risen).  Think of it as a slightly grainy, crustless

cheesecake.  Very yum.  It is traditionally made with tvorog, a dry cottage

cheese.  Tvorog can also be pressed and drained, so that it is much more

firm and can actually be sliced (kinda crumbly, like feta).  This is what I

would keep in mind when thinking about period Russian cheeses, that they

may have been very similar to the modern tvorog.  Easily made at home,

could be pressed and dried, which would keep much longer than in the  

more liquid-y form.

 

To sum up, yes, the Russians ate cheese (at least the upper-middle classes

did, and perhaps their servants), but no, we don't know what type of

cheese, or how it was made.  Hope this saves some research!

 

--Yana (Geez, I just rejoined the list yesterday!)

<http://medievalrussia.freeservers.com>

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 12:30:28 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Cheese... again?

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

 

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

The GodeCookery website has a page devoted to suitable cheese for

Medieval and Renaissance recipes

http://www.godecookery.com/how2cook/howto02.htm

 

I am a bit skeptical, perhaps unfairly. Anyone have a good idea of what types of cheese are really period, please critic the list below, copied from the link above...

 

Anahita

---------------

 

Parmesan - first recorded use is in 1579.

 

I think it may be older than that.  The 1520 Libre de Coch mentions "formatge de parma".  Of course, I don't know if this is the same kind of cheese as the Parmasan we know.

 

I'm not at home and can't access the Italian cookbooks. Anyone know if Platina mentions Parmesan?

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 16:00:58 -0400

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Cheese... again?

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

 

Brighid ni Chiarain asked:

>>> I'm not at home and can't access the Italian cookbooks.  Anyone know if

Platina mentions Parmesan? <<<

 

Yes.

 

From 2.17 On cheese: "... Today there are two kinds of cheese in Italy which

vie for first place, like the "rotten," as the country people call it, which

is made in Tuscany in the month of March, and the Parmesan, which is made on

this side of the Alps and can be called maialis from the month of May. ..."

(Milham's translation)

 

Platina distinguishes between fresh cheese and aged cheese, and indicates

that cheese  is pressed, salted and smoked. Ricotta from whey is described

in the next section.

 

Cynara

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 20:38:58 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Period Cheese... again?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>>>>

I am a bit skeptical, perhaps unfairly. Anyone have a good idea of

what types of cheese are really period, please critic the list below,

copied from the link above...

 

Anahita

 

---------------

 

Cheese

 

This list includes cheeses that were known during the Middle Ages &

Renaissance, along with some 17th century varieties and a few modern

cheeses that are acceptable period substitutes.

<<<<

 

I can only comment on the Italian ones. This excerpt

is taken from Scappi and lists several cheese

varieties.  Those that are fresh (i.e. soft cheeses)

and are given as to the area they come from or the

hard cheeses.

 

First book page 6.  To understand the goodness of all

the cheeses, many fresh, some salted and how to

conserve them Chapter 8

Look for fresh cheeses, you want those made with fat

(creamy) milk, and those that do not have an aspect of

being salted for more than a day, because they will

become too strong.  I affirm that my experience is

true, that those that are made in Tuscany, that one

demands for the ravioli, should be made of the richest

milk, and are always the most tender and moderately

salted.  But that cheese, which in Milan, is called

fat cheese, and that is carried to German lands in the

rind of trees (tree bark), its goodness is when it is

moderately salted, and many times it will have an

erratic odor.  Many of the other salted cheese, like

Parmiggiano, and that of the Riviera and marzolini,

one finds they are the best when they are made

originally in March and all of June, and when one cuts

them they yield a perfect odor with some tears; but

other cheeses that are carried to Rome from the

Kingdom of Naples are made in a different fashion, one

calls these horse cheese (cacio cavallo is still a

Southern Italian cheese), and they are not as good as

Parmiggiano.  It is true that when they are fresh they

are fat, and they are in their goodness, that the

fresh provatura*, especially the provatura Marzoline

is much better when fresh than salted.  But these

cheese by us called ÒSardescoÓ (sardinian), should be

hard, and white on the inside, even though by nature

they are black, and if you want to save (keep, store)

these said cheeses, you need to oil them, and look at

them frequently, excepting the ÒSardescoÓ.

* Provatura is actually buffalo milk cheese aka

mozzarella

Taken from: Scappi, B. (1570). Opera dell'arte del

cucinare. Bologna, Arnaldo Forni

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 11:07:08 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cheese pudding

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

 

Greetings, all.  ...Coming out of lurk-mode...

 

I have done a fair amount of research into cheese and

cheesemaking, and don't recall seeing recipes for

cheese pudding - however, they could be out there!  I

have found a *ton* of recipes for cheese tarts, both

sweet and savory, that have a similar pudding type

consistency within a baked shell.  One of my favorites

is Lese Fryes, which I took from Renfrow's Take a

Thousand Eggs unredacted book (I believe it's printed

from Two Fifteenth Century cookbooks?).  Here's the

recipe:

 

Lese Fryes

Take fresh cheese, and pare it clene, and grinde hit

in a morter small, and draw yolkes and white of egges

through a streynour, and cast there-to, and grinde hem

togeterh; then cast thereto sugur, butter and salt,

and put all together in a coffin of faire paste, and

lete bake enough, and then serve it forthe.

 

My redaction:

16 oz. Ricotta

3 eggs

1/4 Cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablspoons soft butter

 

I used a basic flaky crust, but here's the recipe:

3/4 Cup white flour

1/4 Cup whole wheat flour

1/3 Cup chilled butter

2 1/2 Tablespoons cold water

 

Make the pie crust first: mix flours, cut butter

finely into flour with two knives, then mix the water

into the flour-butter mixture without crushing the

flour and butter together. Roll into a ball and wrap

in parchment paper or saran wrap, let rest in the

refrigerator for at least one hour.  Makes one 9" pie

crust. Pre-bake crust for 10 minutes. Mix filling and

pour into crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

 

This is *really* yummy.  We're serving it at an

upcoming Baronial feast.  Other recipes can be found

in a variety of sources, or check out Stephan's

Florilegium http://www.florilegium.org/  and look

under Food.

 

Eibhlin

West Kingdom, Cheesemaker's Guild

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 13:59:49 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] What to do with goat cheese...

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

 

Their products look fabulous.  :)  We have a local

producer here that makes incredible farmstead goat

cheeses, where the milk and the cheese are all

produced on the same farm.

 

Goat milk is a bit stronger in flavor than cow's milk.

  Goat cheese is very delicate when it's in curd form,

so you'll see a lot of artisanal or farmstead

cheesemakers referencing hand-ladeling.  Ladeling by

hand treats the curd very gently and prevents a lot of

that goaty "tang" from developing.  I couldn't bear

the taste of commercially available goat cheese until

I had my first bite of the hand made, hand-ladelled

variety.  Now, I actively search it out.

 

Eibhlin

 

--- Jane Boyko <jboyko at magma.ca> wrote:

> In regards to the taste of goat's cheese being

> stronger - I only noticed it

> in the white goat cheddar and it was very strong.  I

> have not noticed a taste

> difference in the cheeses at all.  I also find

> goat's milk to taste like

> cow's milk (to me very little flavour).  The

> problems I do have is in the

> melting factor and I do have to make adjustments -

> still working on a nice

> white cheese sauce.

>

> I have only had Sheep cheese in the form of feta.  I

> have never seen it made

> as anything else.  The grocery stores are getting

> better about carrying

> different types of goat cheeses but I really prefer

> to go to the Farmer's

> Market in Hamilton, Ontario (I now live in Ottawa

> and can't get there unless

> I visit the inlaws).

>

> The url I was referring to is:

> http://www.natricia.com/english/aboutus.html

>

> I have spoken with Virginia Saputo - the owner - and

> she is very well

> informed.

>

> I have tried Natricia's products - not the milk -

> and have found them to be

> very good and of a better quality than what I buy in

> the stores.

>

> Marina

 

 

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 13:38:06 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese

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

 

Being something of research freak myself,

You should also get hold of a copy of

 

Bartholomew Dowe's Dairie booke for good huswives

is anexed to  The householders philosophie which

is that odd household manul by Torquato Tasso.

 

A DAIRIE BOOKE FOR GOOD HUSWIVES is dated 1588 and

discusses the making and keeping of white meats

which is what dairy products were known as.

 

It was released as a facsimile in 1975 as part of the

English Experience series #765. he publisher was

Amsterdam : Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and in the USA by

Norwood, N.J. : W.J. Johnson. ISBN:90-221-0765-5.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:07:45 +0000

From: nickiandme at att.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pinto cheese?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org (Group-SCACooks)

 

I haven't been able to find a mention of this cheese anywhere.  Could  

it perhaps be a mispronunciation/misspelling for a Catalan cheese named  

Pic—n?

 

Pic—n, a close relative of Cabrales is made in the Cantabrian villages  

of Bejes and Tresviso. The cheeses are soft inside, some spreadably and  

others crumbly, and when cut reveal little galleries and caverns  

inhabited by the greenish-blue mold which gives them their  

characteristic strong big complex flavor.

 

Kateryn de Develyn

Barony of Coeur d'Ennui

Kingdom of Calontir

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 15:18:17 -0800 (PST)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pinto cheese

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

 

--- ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

> Orange cheese is artificially colored, usually with annatto which is

> new world. Is there any evidence for bright orange cheese in period?

> Safflower or other dyes could be used for this, but is there any

> evidence that it was?

 

According to the Oxford Companion to Food,

annatto was being imported to Europe in the

17th century.  It also states that annatto

replaced marigolds and carrots as a food

colorant in cheese, but didn't say anything about

saffron.  It also states that cows that eat

fresh summer grass give milk that can be turned

into yellow cheese.  Cows that eat winter fodder

give milk that makes white cheese.

 

> The mixed cheese is made by mixing dyed and undyed curds.   I believe

> that cutting the curds in that manner is part of the cheddaring

> process, which I don't believe is period.  But I suppose Pinto cheese

> could be speckled in some other way.

 

I was thinking, just a guess on my part, that

it could be spotted with molds. A French tomme

cheese is dotted with red, grey an yellow molds.

Sounds like a pinto to me.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 23:44:19 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] buffalos in Italy?

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

 

> Didn't they originally make mozzarella from Buffalo milk?

> Micaylah

 

According to several sources mozzarella was originally produced near Naples

from buffalo milk.  Modernly, most mozzarella is made from cows milk

although it is possible to buy mozzarella di bufala.  Provatura seems to

denote cheese made strictly from buffalo milk.  Both mozzarella and

provatura are soft cheese which are delivered packed in their whey.  The

rubbery mozzarella common to the US would be considered very poor quality in

Italy.

 

I haven't found a description of the manufacture of provatura, so I don't

have a feel for how similar the cheeses are in production.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 13:35:04 +1030

From: "Craig Jones" <drakey at webone.com.au>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Sicilian Cheese article by Charls Perry

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

 

Has anyone read this article? Worth paying $US12 to look at?  Does it

contain an primary cheese articles or not?

 

Drakey.

 

------------------------------------------

Citation

Gastronomica

Winter 2001, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 76-77

Posted online on December 2, 2003.

(doi:10.1525/gfc.2001.1.1.76)

 

Sicilian Cheese in Medieval Arab Recipes

Charles Perry

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 15:07:48 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] cheese sites from LIIWEEK:

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

 

from lii.org:

 

10. The Cheese Board

----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Guide to the rinds found on cheeses when they ripen and mature.

    Discusses types of rinds (such as bloomy, washed, and natural),

    which ones are edible, and differences between mass-produced and

    naturally formed cheeses. From an Indiana natural foods store.

 

   http://www.bloomingfoods.org/newsletters/jun00/cheese.shtml

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

11. Cheese Counter

----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Collection of articles and tidbits by Steve Jenkins, "author,

    frequent magazine contributor, and cheese consultant." Topics

    include bargain cheeses, alternatives to Brie, Paris cheese shops,

    preparation of cheese plates, storage tips, and specific types of

    cheeses. Also includes lists of cheese makers and cheese picks.

    From the online companion to the "This Splendid Table" radio

    program. Note: Most articles are from the late 1990s, so some

    specific sources may be dated.

 

   http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/souptonuts/cheese.html

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

16. Fankhauser's Cheese Page

----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Illustrated recipes and instructions for making hard cheeses,

    buttermilk, feta, mozzarella, mascarpone, yogurt, ice cream, and

    other cheese and dairy products. Also includes instructional

    videos, lab exercises, instructions for making a cheese press, a

    discussion of rennet, and recipes for ginger ale, root beer,

    bread, and sweet rolls. From a biology and chemistry professor.

 

   http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

40. Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board: Cheese Information

----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This promotional site for the Wisconsin dairy industry presents

    profiles of specific types of cheeses made in Wisconsin, a food

    and wine pairing guide, serving suggestions, a history of cheese

    making in Wisconsin, a virtual tour of a cheese factory,

    production statistics, and a glossary.

 

   http://www.wisdairy.com/cheeseinfo/

 

-----------------

 

The Great Cheeses of New England

This promotional Web site features a collection of recipes from New

England chefs, including fondues, tarts, Welsh rarebit, salads, and

appetizers. Also includes descriptions of New England cheeses, a list of

New England cheese companies, cheese trivia, and related information.

> From the New England Dairy Promotion Board.

http://www.newenglandcheese.com

 

------------------------

 

Camembert: Un Village, Un Fromage/Camembert: A Village, A Cheese

Illustrated information about this small village in the province of

Normandy (northwestern France) and the cheese that bears the village

name. Discusses the village church and graveyard, the House of Camembert

building ("resembles an open Camembert cheesebox"), and the

manufacturing process for the cheese, which is made from the milk of

Norman cows. In English and French.

http://www.camembert-france.com

 

----------------------------

 

Making Soft Cheeses

"Soft cheeses can be made at home without specialized equipment." This

site provides instructions for making cream cheese, pizza cheese,

Neufchatel, and other soft cheeses. Includes an equipment list,

illustration, and references. From Colorado State University Cooperative

Extension.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09337.html

 

---------------------------------

 

Mexican Cheese: The Whole Enchilada

Describes traditional Mexican creams (cremas) and cheeses (such as queso

blanco and queso cojita). Includes recipes using these ingredients. From

a food columnist and cookbook author.

http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/kgk/2000/0500/kgk051300.html

 

-------------------------

 

Rennet

Description of rennet, which is the "enzyme used for the coagulation of

milk in the process of making cheese." Includes definitions of types of

coagulating enzymes used to make cheese (such as animal rennet

"harvested from the stomachs of calves," vegetable "rennet," and

genetically-engineered rennet) and a discussion of concerns about animal

rennet among animal rights activists, vegetarians, and some orthodox

religions. From Whole Foods Market.

http://www.wholefoods.com/healthinfo/rennet.html

 

-----------------------------

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 12:08:55 -0700 (PDT)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cacciocavallo with pasta?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

There was some wondering of what kind of cheese to use with the  

Lombardy ravioli recipe. This got me to thinking of a quote from a  

letter to Isabella d'Este Gonzaga from one of her courtiers, telling  

her that if she visited Sicily, she would have to have one of their  

pasta dishes, dripping with cheese and butter and sugar and cinnamon.  

In Sicily, the cheese to grate and melt on pasta is cacciocavallo; this  

type of cheese has been made at least since the Middle Ages.

 

Typically I don't think you can find this cheese in American  

supermarkets; so has anyone here ever used this cheese? How goes it  

compare with grana padano or parmesan or romano?

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 15:51:05 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cacciocavallo with pasta?

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

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Also sprach Christiane:

> There was some wondering of what kind of cheese to use with the

> Lombardy ravioli recipe. This got me to thinking of a quote from a

> letter to Isabella d'Este Gonzaga from one of her courtiers, telling

> her that if she visited Sicily, she would have to have one of their

> pasta dishes, dripping with cheese and butter and sugar and

> cinnamon. In Sicily, the cheese to grate and melt on pasta is

> cacciocavallo; this type of cheese has been made at least since the

> Middle Ages.

>

> Typically I don't think you can find this cheese in American

> supermarkets; so has anyone here ever used this cheese? How goes it

> compare with grana padano or parmesan or romano?

>

> Gianotta

 

I gather it's a lot softer than the three you mention above; the

process of making it seems to suggest it's more like mozzarella, but

aged somewhat; if I had to guess I'd say it was probably something

like a cow's milk provolone. I believe I've seen it in markets in New

York, but never tried it.

 

But just out of curiosity, why would you think first about what seems

to be a Southern Italian cheese to use in a recipe from Lombardy,

which is about as far north in Italy as you can get?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 13:02:03 -0700 (PDT)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cacciocavallo with pasta?

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

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Cacciocavallo

 

An ancient cheese, certainly made in Roman times as its recipe was  

described by Columella in De

Rustica in AD35 - 45. It is known thoughout the Balkan states as  

Kashkaval, in Turkey as Kasar

Peynir and even as far as Syria and Lebanon as Kashkawan. The  

transalation in all languages is

"cheese on horseback" and stems from the cheeses being traditionally  

hung in pairs over poles for

maturing. Like many Italian cheeses this one is eaten young but also  

matured for up to two years

and used like Parmesan. It is a plastic curd cheese, pear shaped and  

the cheeses weigh about 2kg

each.

 

It seems to be very expensive from this e-merchant:

 

http://amos.shop.com/amos/cc/main/ccn_search/st/cacciocavallo/sy/

productsx/ccsyn/260/prd/13930134/ccsid/369742562-32189/adtg/04190541

 

These e-merchants seem a touch cheaper:

 

http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/cheese/cheese-details-6832.asp

 

http://caviarmore.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=1286

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 13:21:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cacciocavallo with pasta?

To: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>,  Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Adamantius says:

But just out of curiosity, why would you think first about what seems

to be a Southern Italian cheese to use in a recipe from Lombardy,

which is about as far north in Italy as you can get?

 

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

 

The lady who made the ravioli recipe was experimenting with cheeses.  

That got me to thinking about the regional nature of cheeses in Italy,  

and if I were to make pasta in the Sicilian style the Gonzaga courtier  

was slavering over, I'd have to use cacciocavallo, which is very  

specific to Sicily. So that got me wondering what it's like to cook  

with. No, I will not be making that chard ravioli recipe with  

cacciocavallo!

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 22:27:31 -0500

From: "Mike C. Baker / Kihe Blackeagle" <kihebard at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cacciocavallo with pasta?

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

 

Cacciocavallo is available in the USA in semi-rural southeastern Oklahoma --

admittedly, in an Italian grocery that has been there ever since Italian

miners were brought in to work the mines, but that is where I have  

found it.

 

You can also check outlets such as Whole Foods, and I *think* that I spotted

something very similar in the deli / international section of supermarkets

while I was recently on contract in the Pittsburgh, PA region and

luxuriating in aged, smoked provolone in abundant quantity.  <f/x:

hand-waving furiously at Odrianna, with continuing good memories of the

excellent, cozy-comfortable, Cook's Collegium I attended while in the

Debatable Lands>

 

If you can't find Cacciocavallo itself, in my opinion a good aged NON-smoked

provolone -- particularly one that has been "hung" so it looks physically a

bit like a birdhouse gourd -- should make a reasonable substitute both for

the palate and for the texture(s).  No, it will not be the same, but I'm

talking reasonable facsimile here.

 

  Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

 

Mike C. Baker

SCA: al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra

"Other": Reverend Kihe Blackeagle PULC (the DreamSinger Bard)

 

 

Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 22:55:05 -0400

From: Ariane Helou <Ariane_Helou at brown.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

So, I was reading this account of feasts in medieval Italy, and there's a

description of a wedding banquet that took place on June 15, 1368  (Petrarch

was among the luminaries attending).  There were 18 (!!) courses,

consisting of gilded roasts and feathered peacocks and so forth...nothing

I'd attempt to make, but I'm interested in this account for menu-planning

purposes, to get a sense of the order in which foods were served and

eaten.  In that respect, it's been pretty useful.

 

Here are the basics, for others who are curious about such things: each

course seems to consist of fish and either meat or poultry (occasionally

both).  The contents of the accompanying dishes are not always named, but

include cabbage, beans, salted tongue, and some pastries.  ("Side dishes"

are not that hard to figure out, since several of the vegetable or legume

recipes instruct the cook to "serve with roast _____")  And lots of wine.

 

But the part that interests me at the moment is that the seventeenth course

is "junket and cheese," and the eighteenth is "fruits, with cherries."  My

cookbook has a recipe:

 

"Junket.

Take pure milk, clear, strained, and add kid or lamb rennet; and when it is

curdled, wash it well, and put it between reeds, and give it to your Lord;

or put it in cold water instead until it is time to eat."

 

I like to end my modern meals with fruit and cheese, so it's rather

delightful to find that the same was done in the fourteenth century.  While

I could probably substitute any kind of fresh, soft, sweetish cheese, I'm

interested in trying to make the junket itself.

 

It sounds a little like cottage cheese to me.  I'm not sure what "put it

between reeds" means -- pressing it, I suppose?  Which would mean it's much

more solid than cottage cheese -- maybe more like farmer's cheese or

something.  The alternate instructions to put it in cold water make me

think that the curds can either be pressed and served later, or kept  

cool and served fresh the same day.

 

Since the meal I'm planning this for is at a camping event, I'd need to

make the junket anywhere from a week to a day in advance, so the pressed

version seems more appropriate. On the other hand, if it's going to be

very time-consuming or difficult, perhaps I ought to just buy more cheeses

and devote my energies to the more substantial and central parts of the

meal... which brings me back to the question of what a finished junket

looks like, anyway. :-)

 

Vittoria

 

 

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 10:45:22 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

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

 

Am Samstag, 4. Juni 2005 22:26 schrieb Huette von Ahrens:

>>>>

> I know that I grew up with something we called "cinnamon toast", which was

> white bread toasted and, while still hot, spread with butter and then had

> cinnamon and white sugar strewn on it.

>

> Many years ago, I was talking with another Laurel here in Caid.  She is

> Hispanic and had found a reproduction of a period Spanish cookbook

> somewhere.  I don't remember which one.  She told an amusing story of

> picking a recipe to translate, struggling with the differences between

> modern and Renaissance Spanish, and, after spending several hours on this

> one recipe, discovered that the recipe was for cinnamon toast.  I wish I

> could ask her which cookbook she translated, but she has dropped out of the

> SCA and I don't have any contact information for her.

><<<

>

> My point is that, in Spain, cinnamon toast was pre-1600.  It would not be

> unthinkable that other cultures had cinnamon toast also.

>

> I cannot remember.  Did you post the recipe for flavored butter from the

> WolfenbŸttel MS on this list?

 

I think I did, but here it is again, anyway.

 

Men schal nemen garophesneghele unde musschaten, cardemomen,

peper, ingever, alle lickwol gheweghen, unde make daraff botteren

edder kese

 

You shall take cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper and ginger, in equal

weight, and make butter or cheese of it (or: add butter or cheese)

(WolfenbŸttel MS, c. 1500, northern Germany)

 

A redaction is unnecessary. I find the mixture very pleasant in butter,

less so in cream cheese. A generous pinch of salt improves it, but as

period butter was often salted for preservation that probably just comes

closer to the original flavour. A generous teaspoonful, with a little less

salt, is enough for a stick of butter.

 

The recipes intent in mentioning ÔcheeseÕ might be to have the spice blend

used during cheesemaking, which could give a very nice aroma indeed. I have

never been able to try this myself, though. Any feedback on the matter from

a cheesemaker will be much appreciated.

 

 

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 11:47:39 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

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

 

> Men schal nemen garophesneghele unde musschaten, cardemomen,

> peper, ingever, alle lickwol gheweghen, unde make daraff botteren

> edder kese

>

> You shall take cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper and ginger, in equal

> weight, and make butter or cheese of it (or: add butter or cheese)

> (WolfenbŸttel MS, c. 1500, northern Germany)

 

The relationship of "mach" with "darauf" (literally "make upon it") suggests

to me that this may be a spice blend to dredge butter or cheese in before

serving.  Something on the order of a Renaissance cheeseball.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 05 Jun 2005 13:19:03 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

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

 

On Jun 5, 2005, at 12:47 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

> The relationship of "mach" with "darauf" (literally "make upon it")

> suggests to me that this may be a spice blend to dredge butter or

> cheese in before serving. Something on the order of a Renaissance

> cheeseball.

>

> Bear

 

Yeah, I'm inclined to agree. It may be a small point in the end, but

to me, "mach darauf" is more like "make thereupon" than "make

thereof". The combination sounds right on a humoral level, too, since

spices provide the heat needed for digestion and dairy products tend

to be seen as closing up the chest and stomach, rather like filling

the fuel tank of the automobile and remembering to put the plug back

in the gas tank.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 21:21:12 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

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

 

Am Sonntag, 5. Juni 2005 18:47 schrieb Terry Decker:

> The relationship of "mach" with "darauf" (literally "make upon it")

> suggests to me that this may be a spice blend to dredge butter or cheese in

> before serving.  Something on the order of a Renaissance cheeseball.

 

Good point. They still make cheeses like that in Denmark, though not  

with the same spice mix.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 21:27:26 -0700 (PDT)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

To: mooncat at in-tch.com, Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com> wrote:

> What's quark?

> --maire

 

I found this definition online.

 

Huette

 

Quark

 

A favorite in Germany and Austria, where it appears at breakfast, in

salads and in desserts, quark

is what cheesemakers call an acid-coagulated cheese. Instead of using

the animal coagulant rennet

to create curds quickly, in 30 minutes or so, traditional cheesemakers

make quark slowly by adding

a culture to pasteurized milk -- whole or skimmed -- and waiting

patiently for the culture to

convert the lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid.

 

When the pH drops sufficiently, a process that can take about 18 hours,

curds form. Cheesemakers

may add a few drops of rennet to enhance the curd's structure, but the

culture does most of the

work. Acid-coagulated cheeses (fresh chevre is another) have a more

delicate texture than cheeses

coagulated primarily with rennet.

 

Quark, the cheese, has nothing to do with quark the subatomic particle.

The word has been used to

describe this kind of cheese probably for centuries.

 

Commercial quark varies considerably from one manufacturer to the next.

The texture can be as

soft, smooth and spoonable as thick crme fra”che, or dense and

spreadable like a whipped cream

cheese. Its flavor is mild, not tangy, with a faint cultured taste.

 

"In Europe, we use quark a lot in desserts," says Campton Place chef

Daniel Humm, who is Swiss.

The San Francisco restaurant sells 900 quark souffles a month, with

seasonal fruit accompaniments

like balsamic cherries or oranges in spiced syrup. Humm uses the

luscious, light quark produced by

Vermont Butter & Cheese, which is made by adding crme fra”che to

skim-milk curd.

 

At 11 percent fat, the Vermont Butter & Cheese quark is less rich than

crme fra”che, which can

top 40 percent. Allison Hooper of Vermont Butter & Cheese says chefs

like her quark because it can

tolerate heat and because it gives frozen desserts and mousses a light,

frothy texture..

 

[ Quark ] Fine as a breakfast spread on toast or bagels, as a topping

for borscht or pureed

vegetable soups, as an ingredient in cheesecake, mousses, Bavarians and

frozen desserts. .

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 14:26:17 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cinnamon cheese/butter balls

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

 

Am Montag, 6. Juni 2005 11:13 schrieb Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius:

> On Jun 5, 2005, at 11:57 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>> Okay, if the question here is whether the spice mixture is used to

>> coat just the outside or whether it is mixed throughout the cheese

>> or butter, how do the humoral theories affect that? If you are

>> balancing the humoral effects of the different items it would seem

>> that mixing the spices throughout the cheese or butter would be

>> superior to just coating the outside since the spice would be

>> better dispersed.

>

> All true. I just don't know which it is, and there may be some reason

> of which we're unaware hat what seems like a common-sense approach

> is not the approach taken by people in this position in period. The

> only info I've got is that phrase which, to me, says to put spices

> "on the cheese" rather than "in the cheese". Maybe some spices don't

>react well to the fats and acids in the cheese over time...

 

I thought the German said rather to put the butter or cheese 'on' the spices.

Maybe rolling in it or something similar is intended, but I am also not 100%

sure whether 'af' in Low German at his point does not mean 'of'. The spices

certainly don't have a problem with butter.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 10:54:02 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Digby Help Needed

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

 

On Jun 10, 2005, at 9:25 AM, Mairi Ceilidh wrote:

> I do not own a copy of Digby yet, and I need a recipe from it.

> What I need is Slipcote Cheese.  

 

http://www.ostgardr.org/cooking/ppb.html#cheese

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 14:58:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Digby Slipcoat Cheese

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

There are three recipes in Digby, I have included them

below.  Let me know how your's come out as I've been

experimenting with them myself. :)

 

"To Make Slipp Coat Cheese" Digby, page 223

 

According to the bigness of your moulds proportion

your stroakings for your Cheese-curds.  To six quarts

of stroakings, take a pint of Springwater: if the

weather be hot, then let the water be cold, and before

you put it into the stroakings, let them stand a while

to cool after they are milked, and then put in the

water with a little Salt first stirred in it: and

having stirred it well together, let it stand a little

while, and then put in about two good spoonfuls of

Runnet, stir it well together, and cover it with a

fair linnen-cloth, and when it is become hard like a

thick jelly, with a skimming-dish lay it gently into

the moulds, and as it sinks down into the moulds, fill

it still up again, till all be in, which will require

some three or four hours time. Then lay a clean fine

cloth into antoher mould of the same cise, and turn it

into it, and then turn the skirts of the cloth over

it, and lay upon that a thin board, and upon that as

much weight, as with the board may make two pounds or

thereabouts.  And about an hour after, lay another

clean cloth into the other mould, and turn the Cheese

into that; then lay upon the board so much, as will

make it six or seven pound weight; and thus continue

turning of it till night: then take away the weight,

and lay it no more on it; then take a very small

quantity of Salt finely beaten, and sprinkle the

Cheese all over with it as lightly as can be imagined.

  Next morning turn it into another dry cloth, and let

it lye out of the mould upon a plain board, and change

it as often as it wets the cloth, which must be three

or four times a day: when it is so dry, that it wets

the cloth no more, lay it upon a bed of green-rushes,

and lay a row upon it; but be sure to pick the bents

clean off, and lay them even all one way: if you

cannot get good rushes, take nettles or grass.  If the

weather is cold, cover them with a linnen and woollen

cloth; in case you cannot get stroakings, take five

quarts of new Milk, and one of Cream.  If the weather

be cold, heat the water that you put to the

stroakings.  Turn the Cheese every day, and put to it

fresh of whatsoever you keep it in.  They are usually

ripe in ten days.

 

 

"To Make Slipp-Coat-Cheese" Digby, page 224

 

Master Phillips his Method and proportions in making

slippe-coat Cheese, are these. Take six wine quarts

of stroakings, and two quarts of Cream; mingle these

well together, and let them stand in a bowl, till they

are cold.  Then power upon them three pints of boiling

fair water, and mingle them well together; then let

them stand, till they are almost cold, colder then

milk-warm.  Then put to it a moderate quantity of

Runnet, made with fair water (not whey, or any other

thing then water; this is an important point), and let

it stand till it come.  Have a care not to break the

Curds, nor ever to touch them with your hands, but

only with your skimming dish. In due time lade the

Curds with the dish, into a thin fine Napkin, held up

by two persons, that the whey may run from them

through the bunt of the Napkin, which you rowl gently

about, that the Curds may dry without breaking.  When

the whey is well drained out, put the Curds as whole

as you can into the Cheese-fat, upon a napkin, in the

fat.  Change the Napkin, and turn the Cheese every

quarter of an hour, and less, for ten, twelve or

fourteen times; that is, still as soon as you perceive

the Napkin wet with the whay running from the Curds.

Then press it with a half pound weight for two or

three hours.  Then add half a pound more for as long

time, then another half pound for as long, and lastly

another half pound, which is two pounds in all; which

weight must never be exceeded. The next day, (when

about twenty four hours are past in all) salt your

Cheese moderately with white Salt, and then turn it

but three or four times a day, and keep it in a cotton

cloth, which will make it mellow and sweet, not rank,

and will preserve the coat smooth.  It may be ready to

eat in about twelve days.  Some lay it to ripen in

dock-leaves, and it is not amiss; but that in rain

they will be wet, which moulds the Cheese.  Others in

flat fit boxes of wood, turning them, as is said,

three or four times a day.  But a cotton cloth is

best.  This quantity is for a round large Cheese, of

about the bigness of a sale ten peny Cheese, a good

fingers-breadth thick.  Long broad grass ripeneth them

well, and sucketh out the moisture.  Rushes are good

also.  They are hot, but dry not the moisture so well.

   My Lady of Middlesex makes excellent slipp-coat

Cheese of good morning milk, putting Cream to it.  A

quart of Cream is the proportion she useth to as much

milk, as both together make a large round Cheese of

the bigness of an ordinary Tartplate, or Cheese-plate;

as big as an ordinary soft cheese, that the

Market-women sell for ten pence.  Thus for want of

stroakings at London you may take one part of Cream to

five or six of morning milk, and for the rest proceed

as with stroakings; and these will prove as good.

 

 

"Slipp-Coat Cheese" Digby, page 226

 

Take three quarts of the last of the stroakings of as

many Cows as you have; keep it covered, that it may

continue warm; put to it a skimming dishful of

Spring-water; then putin two spoonfulls of Runnet, so

let it stand until it be hard come: when it is hard

come, set your fat on the bottome of a hairseive, take

it up by degrees, but break it not; when you have laid

it all in the fat, take a fine cloth, and lay it over

the Cheese, and work it in about the sides, with the

back of a Knife; then lay a board on it, for half an

hour: after half an hour, set on the board an half

pound stone, so let it stand two hours; then turn it

on that board, and let the cloth be both under and

over it, then pour it into the fat again; Then lay a

pound and half weight on it; Two hours after turn it

again on a dry cloth, and salt it, then set on it two

pound weight, and let it stand until the next morning.

  Then turn it out of the Cheese-fat, on a dry board,

and so keep it with turning on dry boards three days.

In case it run abroad, you must set it up with wedges;

when it begins to stiffen, lay green grass or rushes

upon it: when it is stiff enough, let rushes be laid

both under and over it.  If this Cheese be rightly

made, and the weather good to dry it, it will be ready

in eight days: but in case it doth not dry well, you

must lay it on linnen-cloth, and woollen upon it, to

hasten the ripening of it.

 

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

All three of these recipes are quite different from

each other.  The first recipe will make a smaller

cheese that has a springy, somewhat moist paste -

kinda like a very young brie - and is the easiest of

the three to make.  The second one is a large, flat

cheese that will have a harder paste from the hot

water.  This will be more chewy and cut in wedges with

a thicker rind.  The last one (that I haven't tried

yet) looks more difficult to manage as it seems like

the curd and paste is much sofer and more liquid.

Tell me which you make and how they turn out.

 

Eibhlin the cheese-geek

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 21:06:58 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Food on Plates

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Both cheeses have the traditional shape and rind of a

gouda, however the one on the right has what looks

like  cumin and caraway seeds - which would make that

Leyden.  The left one is definitely an aged gouda

which is probably about 2-3 years old.  We have a 4

year version that we carry that is darker and

grainier, it no longer crumbles like this image,

rather it breaks into shards.

 

Both dutch cheeses, and both made in late-period,

which fits what you've got painted on the canvas and

the area the artist is from.

 

Hope this has helped,

Eibhlin, who is a cheesemonger and corp. buyer of

cheese and charcut. in real life.  ;)

 

>>>>>

Ok folks---

 

Picture One

http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2005/claesz/claesz_ss1.shtm

 

The question has arisen on another list as to the

cheeses?

 

The fruits in question I think are mainly currants.

 

Any ideas on the cheese?

 

Johnnae

<<<<<

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 20:43:34 -0800 (PST)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Neufchatel Cheese

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

It's a lower-fat version of cream cheese, basically.

Actually neufchatel is a basic cream cheese,

frequently referred to as a "French Cream Cheese".

The cream cheese as we know it today was created back

at the turn of the 20th century by American Dairymen

trying to recreate Neufchatel. Back then it was

difficult to move perishable product very far, so many

of these wonderful foods couldn't be found outside of

a certain area or season. Neufchatel is very

perishable, lasting only about 4-5 days outside of

refrigeration.  Once you get a little spot of mold

anywhere on the product you have to toss it, because

about 8 hours later it's going to be present

throughout the product.

 

The recipe for it is very simple, basically just

rennet and culture a batch of cream and let it sit

overnight.  In the morning when it's curded drain it

through a cheesecloth.  When it has finished draining

put it (still in the cheesecloth) into a colander

inside a larger bowl, place a plate on top and weigh

it down with two bricks.  The next morning take the

cheese out of the cloth and either flavor with salt

and herbs or just serve as is. I have always gotten

rave reviews over this simple little cheese.  It's

easy to make and it's really, really yummy.  I've not

found any similar recipes in period texts, but we do

know that they have fermented and renneted cream - I

just have no evidence to show that they would have

then pressed the clotted/curded cream after it had

drained.

 

Neufchatel that you see on the grocery store shelves

today is using the traditional french cream cheese

recipe and it creates a very flavorful product.  It's

definitely not a light cream cheese product unless the

box specifically says "light" on it.

 

Hope this helps clarify the differences,

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 10:02:23 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking More Cheese info

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

 

On Dec 5, 2005, at 9:25 AM, wildecelery at aol.com wrote:

> I've been told that it's in Menagier...there's a poem on buying

> cheese....

>

> Does anyone have a good idea where i can find it in both French

> and English.  Still working on my own period cookbook

> collection......

 

Well, it's here in English with an accompanying bit of somewhat

similar text (but not a direct translation) in Latin:

 

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html

 

I found it by searching for the word "Magdalene", a word I know

appears in the verse and AFAIK, not too many other places in Le

Menagier.

 

> Also....

>

> I'm looking for a good, definitely period, main-dish recipe that

> incorporates cheese (specifically either using the generic term cheese, or

> farmer's or fresh cheese ) as one of the main ingredients....

 

The mushroom pasties, also in Le Menagier, call for cheese, and some

(myself included) have interpreted this as a fair amount of cheese,

rather than as a seasoning.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 23:25:26 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking leaves and crust

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

 

On Jan 11, 2006, at 7:43 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

> The modern recipe is using soft cheese to simulate fresh cheese.

> When the whey is drained, the cheese forms a soft but solid mass

> that would need to be broken apart for the recipe.  A mortar can be

> the heavy stone or metal mortar we are familiar with or it may be a

> bowl.  The instruction to grind may actually be a direction to

> break up the cheese rather than to pulverize it.  Unfortunately,

> the simple Latin dictionary I have available doesn't shed any light

> on the verb.

>

> We don't know precisely what cheeses the Romans used, but Mark

> Grant describes experimenting with cow's milk curdled with fig

> sap.  He also points out that Roman preservation techniques were to

> bottle cheese in brine or vinegar, dip it in salt, smoke it, or

> pack it with crushed pulses.

>

> It is an interesting question, which I may pursue later.

>

> Bear

 

I seem to recall Pliny the Elder talking a bit about cheeses in the

Roman world, Cato giving one or two recipes, and Columella (author of

De Re Agricultura, not to be confused with Cato's De Agricultura)

giving us a pretty fair amount of information. I vaguely recall

something about sage leaves being crushed for their juice, used as a

vegetable rennet substitute. Somewhere I have a smudgy little

photocopy of some sections from Columella, but at the moment not even

a prayer of getting at it.

 

Adamantius

 

>> I do not understand, how can you grind ricotta or soft cheese?

>> This sounds like a hard cheese.

>>

>> Lyse

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 10:59:17 -0500

From: Barbara Benson <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking leaves and crust

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

 

> and Columella (author of

> De Re Agricultura, not to be confused with Cato's De Agricultura)

> giving us a pretty fair amount of information. I vaguely recall

> something about sage leaves being crushed for their juice, used as a

> vegetable rennet substitute. Somewhere I have a smudgy little

> photocopy of some sections from Columella, but at the moment not even

> a prayer of getting at it.

>

> Adamantius

 

I just so happen to have one of the volumes (I am working on getting

them all) and it is the one with the cheese section. Keep in mind that

his discourse on cheese occurs during his discussion on keeping and

managing Goats - so he is not talking about cow cheese:

 

excerpt from De Re Rustica by Columella:

               VIII. It will be necessary too not to neglect the task of

cheese-making, especially in distant parts of the country, where it is

not convenient to take milk to the market in pails. Further, if the

cheese is made of a think consistency, it must be sold as quickly as

possible while it is still fresh and retains its moisture if, however,

it is of a rich and thick consistency, it bears being kept for a

longer period. Cheese should be made of pure milk which is as fresh as

possible, for if it is left to stand or mixed with water, it quickly

turns sour, It should usually be curdled with rennet obtained from a

lamb or a kid, though it can also be coagulated with the flower of

the wild thistle or the seeds of the safflower, and equally well with

the liquid which flows from a fig-tree if you make an incision in the

bark while it is still green (Forster 285).

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 11:31:12 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking leaves and crust

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

 

He goes on to say:

 

"The best cheese, however, is that which contains only a very small

quantity of any drug. The least amount of rennet that a pail of milk

requires weighs a silver denarius; and there is no doubt that cheese

which has been solidified by means of small shoots from a fig-tree

has a very pleasant flavor. A pail which has been filled with milk

should always be kept at some degree of heat; it should not, however,

be brought into contact with the flames, as some people think it

proper to do, but should be put to stand not far from the fire, and,

when the liquid has thickened, it should immediately be transferred

to wicker vessels or baskets or moulds; for it is of the utmost

importance that the whey should percolate as quickly as possible and

become separated from the solid matter. For this reason the country-

folk do not even allow the whey to drain away slowly of its own

accord, but, as soon as the cheese has become somewhat more solid,

they place weights on the top of it, so that the whey may be pressed

out; then, when the cheese has been taken out of the moulds or

baskets, it is placed in a cool, shady place, that it may not go bad,

and, although it is placed on very clean boards, it is sprinkled with

pounded salt, so that it may exude the acid liquid; and, when it has

hardened, it is still more violently compressed, so that it may

become more compact; and then it is again treated with parched salt

and again compressed by means of weights. When this has been done for

nine days it is washed with fresh water. Then the cheeses are set in

rows on wickerwork trays made for the purpose under the shade in such

a manner that one does not touch another, and that they become

moderately dry; then, that the cheese may remain the more tender, it

is closely packed on several shelves in an enclosed place which is

not exposed to the winds. Under these conditions it does not become

full of holes or salty or dry, the first of these bad conditions

being generally due to too little pressure, the second to its being

over-salted, and the third to its being scorched by the sun. This

kind of cheese can even be exported beyond the sea. Cheese which is

to be eaten within a few days while still fresh, is prepared with

less trouble; for it is taken out of the wicker-baskets and dipped

into salt and brine and then dried a little in the sun. Some people,

before they put the shackles on the she-goats, drop green pine-nuts

into the pail and then milk the she-goats over them and only remove

them when they have transferred the curdled milk into the moulds.

Some crush the green pine-kernels by themselves and mix them with the

milk and curdle it in this way. Others allow thyme which has been

crushed and pounded through a sieve to coagulate with the milk;

similarly, you can give the cheese any flavor you like by adding any

seasoning which you choose. The method of making what we call Òhand-

pressesÓ cheese is the best-known of all: when the milk is slightly

congealed in the pail and still warm, it is broken up and hot water

is poured over it, and then it is either shaped by hand or else

pressed into box-wood molds. Cheese also which is hardened in brine

and then coloured with the smoke of apple-tree wood or stubble has a

not unpleasant flavour. But let us now return to the point from which

we digressed."

 

I'd say something like a young sheep's milk manchego or one of the

pecorinos would come pretty close (but not aged romano), and for the

fresher cheeses, chevre or Bulgarian feta, soaked free of some of its

salt, would make good libum cheeses.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 09:57:53 -0800 (PST)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 34, Issue 65

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

During the month of March you begin to see fresh goat

cheeses hit the market, as kidding season is Jan to

Feb.  These days most farmers only give the colostrum

(produced the first 10 days or so) and early milk to

the kids for the first two weeks and then begin

collecting the milk to use for spring cheeses shortly

after.

 

Sheep begin milking around April/May for market, and

are lambing right about now.

 

Cows were not used for milk as much until very late in

period, they were primarily work and meat animals

prior to that.  Cows were not cultivated for dairy

purposes until closer to the sixteenth century as

their population expanded. They require *by far* more

land and resources per pound of milk than do goats or

sheep.

 

Two of the most famous cheeses from period were aged

for a minimum of two years before being released -

Sbrinz from Switzerland (precurser to parmigiano

reggiano) and Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy (produced

in late period).  There are several cheeses that were

aged up to a year and more, but they are by far fewer

than those that were aged for a lesser amount of time.

It is very difficult to make a cheese exactly right

every time so that it will survive the long aging

time.  Granted, in period they were extremely good at

sanitation but even today the conditions have to be

exactly right for it to be able to age-on.  Plus, you

need a *lot* more milk because you need to make a much

larger cheese.  The bigger the cheese, the dryer you

can make the paste, the more impervious the rind you

create, the longer it will last.  Typically these

cheeses that are aged to a year or more are only good

for cooking.  There is so little moisture left and the

flavor is so intense that you only need to use a small

amount at a time grated into or over your food.

 

Eibhlin, the cheese-geek

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 14:35:39 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dayboard...

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

        lilinah at earthlink.net

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> I'm making the fresh cheese. I'd like to make a couple different

> flavors, and i am pretty sure there is evidence for flavored cheese

> (i.e., with herbs or spices or something else), but i don't recall

> where to find it.

 

Herbs in cheese no problem! How about MORETUM, a food/lust poem by

Virgil, wherein the amorous rustic makes his lunch of cheese pounded

with garlic, rue, coriander seeds and salt.

<http://virgil.org/appendix/moretum.htm>;

 

Selene

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 19:29:47 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dayboard...moretum

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

 

K C Francis wrote:

Herbs in cheese no problem! How about MORETUM, a food/lust poem by

Virgil, wherein the amorous rustic makes his lunch of cheese pounded

with garlic, rue, coriander seeds and salt.

<http://virgil.org/appendix/moretum.htm>;

 

Selene

 

Yes, we had this at a recent SCA feast here in the West.  I fell in

love with it and have made it at home since then.  While I grow rue, I

didn't use it.

 

Katira

 

I also served it at a feast several years ago...it was very well

received and was nummy!

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 16:30:27 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Dayboard...moretum

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Katira wrote:

Herbs in cheese no problem! How about MORETUM, a food/lust poem by

Virgil, wherein the amorous rustic makes his lunch of cheese pounded

with garlic, rue, coriander seeds and salt.

<http://virgil.org/appendix/moretum.htm>;

 

Bon Appetit,

Selene

 

Yes, we had this at a recent SCA feast here in the West.  I fell in love

with it and have made it at home since then.  While I grow rue, I didn't use

it.

 

I served Moretum at the Greco-Roman Mists Bardic i did in 2002.

Euriol of Lothien made it and she parboiled the garlic so it wouldn't

be too harsh. While I like my garlic with more bite, her idea was

"kind" to those who like their garlic to be gentler :-)

 

As for my cheese at the Dayboard, I ended up just serving it plain as

a spread for the nice part-whole wheat bread that Anna Serre made. A

lovely young Indian woman (truly South Asian, not a persona) said it

reminded her of cheese her mother used to make.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2006 23:00:17 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] FW: spice and cheese question for my turnips

        recipe

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

 

There's not much that I've found on Elizabethean cheese markets, but I would

expect fontina not to be very common.  It is more likely you would see gouda

or edam from the Low Countries, where there were a number of major cheese

markets.  The trade relationship between England and the Low Countries was

strong during the 15th and 16th Centuries due to the number of refugees who

moved to England to escape the Spanish.  The only true Dutch cheese market

of this type remaining is at Woerden.

 

If fontina did show up in England, I would expect it to be old cheese traded

in Venice or Pisa, shipped directly to London or transferred through

Portugal and traded to the English there to ship to London then wholesaled

at the docks to local grocers . By the 16th Cenbtury, England was getting

most of its spices from Lisbon. Pisa was a Genoese satellite, the overland

Genoese cloth trade with Asia had shrunk, and Genoa had established

factories in Spain and Portugal to rebuild its trade with Asia.   So the

trade through Portugal would be a strong possibility.

 

I also don't count out Venice, since the English went where they could make

a bargain.

 

You state that you can date fontina to the 13th Century.  Documentation,

please.  I'm curious because most of the sources I've run across base this

date on some very shaky evidence (shapes of cheese in illustrations and an

unidentified document).  I've also seen the claim for a 12th Century origin,

again with no real references that can be verified.  There is an entry on

the area cheeses in the Summa Lacticinorum (1477).  I haven't located a

copy, but an abbreviated quote from the reference makes me think that it a

generalization and not a specific reference to fontina.  The first use of

the name fontina is stated to be in 1717.  If we don't have an accurate

description of the cheese and its properties prior to the 18th Century, then

there is no way we can be assured that the cheese we call fontina is related

to the cheese produced in the 12th or 13th Century or even manufactured in a

similar manner.

 

Bear

 

> I'm going to use fontina, and I'm pretty happy with that choice because I

> can date it back to the 1200s in the mountains northwest of Venice (unless

> one of you more learned folks thinks I'm whacked).  Of course, how Arwen

> would have gotten an Italian cheese like fontina in 1576 Ipswich is a

> question I need to answer..... Can anyone point me to resources for the

> cheese trade in Elizabethan England?  Was there one?  I'm assuming at this

> point that they might have brought cheeses with them along with whole

> spices on merchant ships from Italy?

>

> Dame Arwen Lioncourt OP

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 07:18:03 -0800 (PST)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spice and cheese question for armored turnips

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Take every dated list of cheeses with a huge grain of

salt.  The research is quite poor and documentation

pretty much non-existant. You'll see that many of

these lists are really just regurgitations of other

peoples lists - just recopied from other websites.

There is very little period documentation for cheese

or cheesemaking and what there is doesn't really refer

much to a "named" cheese (there are some exceptions) -

so it's really difficult to determine what cheese was

used.  Generally speaking you had regions that would

make a "style" of cheese - like a hard cheese or a

semi-soft and it was all based on tradition, the type

of pasture, what kinds of animals it was more economic

to raise in that area, and the climate (which would

affect the lactation cycle). All of these things plus

what you do to the cheese in the cheesemaking and

aging process dictate what you'll end up with.  That's

why with only a handful of milk options (cow, goat,

sheep, camel, mare, reindeer, etc.) we have thousands

of different kinds and types.

 

Up in the mountains they would make large cooked-curd

cheeses in the summer because they would keep and

would transport well so that when the vendor would

make their trips up into the mountains every few weeks

to collect the cheeses for sale they would be easier

to transport down off the mountain.  They primarily

use helicopters now.  Fontina is (in my opinion) a

more modern cheese because, although it is made in the

mountains at high altitudes, it is pretty difficult to

transport.  The paste is rather springy and the rind

is wet and sticky and it has a tendency to dry out and

crack if it's not cared for and inspected regularly.

It also has a tendency to split down the middle if

it's not supported correctly underneath, darned

finicky to keep at times.  It's a wide, flat cheese

and is only about 5 inches thick.  A difficult wheel

to get out on the back of a donkey - but easy to

transport by cog train or other mechanized method.  It

may have been made down in the valleys as they were

drying up the cow's but late-lactation milk is

difficult to work with and I don't know that they

would risk such a large wheel on chancier milk.

 

In Elizabethan England trade was quite heavy with the

Dutch, and the dutch make great trading cheeses.  You

would see gouda's, emmental's, maybe an Edam or two,

and possibly some muenster coming off the boats.

There would be some cheeses coming in from Italy as

well, primarily a few parmeseans (which were designed

for local use and export) and maybe some aged

pecorino's - probably of Sardinian lineage.  No Fresh

cheeses would be making the trip, their life

expectancy is too short for anything outside of their

local area.  That means no mozzarella except for some

limited areas of Italy.

 

As far as local cheeses go you would have some hard

cheeses that would be transported into cities and

towns from the outlying countryside.  Things like a

gloucester or a caerphilly in texture and density.  I

characterize cheddars and cheeses that use the

cheddaring process as being post-period as I haven't

been able to document the specific milling and

cheddaring process back very far.  It's seen in the

victorian era but I haven't seen it earlier than that.

 

Generally speaking, when I shop for cheese I look for

"country where made" and "styles" - soft, semi-soft,

washed rind, blue, hard, etc. I'm not looking for

names unless I'm doing a tasting on period cheeses.  I

will avoid pasta-filata's (stretched curd cheeses like

mozzarella and provolone) if I'm doing English or

German foods and instead try and find something that

is made in the UK or Germany. Then I look for the

style that I need for my recipe; young/fat, hard/dry,

etc.

 

When I make my own cheese I go from period

documentation and period images to re-create what they

may have been doing.  I won't end up with exactly what

they would have made as the terroir, animal,

milk-type, etc., etc., can be way off.  I'll end up

with something that's flavored by the wild yeasts in

my region, milk that's affected by the days weather

conditions, what point the animal is in their

lactation cycle, what type of feed the animal at that

day, etc., etc.  It will be unique to my region but

the recreation itself and the techniques used are as

close to period methods as I can get.  Additionally,

the animals in period tended to be multi-use, raised

for milk and/or meat and/or fiber and/or work.  Today

they are very stratified. You've got your good

milkers which don't always make good fiber animals or

good meat animals.  Plus, most of the milkers have

been bred to produce more milk and of a better quality

than they may have had in period.  We can only make an

approximation today.

 

So, as you can see there's really no hard and fast

rule or a shopping list that makes cheese selection

easy.  If you're using it for cooking and want a

representative cheese to use in a dish then look for

country and then style of cheese.  If you're doing a

platter or display of cheese then look for named

cheeses that can be documented.

 

I have found in the last couple of years that the more

I learn about cheese and dairying in period the less I

know.  ;)  I used to go into stores with a list of

cheeses that had been dated off of websites on the

internet thinking I was getting pretty darned close to

what they used back then. Don't even get me started

on raw milk vs. pasteurized...

 

Mistress Eibhlin, cheesemaking

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:26:17 +0100

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ulloa and other denominations for specific

        medieval      cheeses

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Ulloa, gallego or patela is semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk in the

Spanish provinces of La Coru?a, Lugo and Pontevedra. It is most as

likely that this cheese existed in the Middle Ages as did what we call

today Cabrales or Roquefort but is there available research connecting

names today and those of medieval cheeses as in the case of blue cheese?

I see Italian cheese made from buffalo milk is receiving modern names or

substitutes while Nola simply calls it buffalo cheese.

 

Susan

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 18:28:14 -0400

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheese History/Science

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

 

Glad to be the one to post this one.

 

http://www.livescience.com/history/070528_cheese_science.html

 

Daniel

 

 

Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 08:12:24 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Perfume and Cheese Nutrition and Wax

        questions

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

 

I apologize for the formatting. I get the digest

version which doesn't make replying very easy at times.

 

**********From Sharon**********

3) On cheeses from the store, how can you tell if the cheese is coated in

beeswax or some other food grade wax?  Can the other waxes be used to make

molded or dipped candles?

 

**********My response**********

You usually can't tell if it's beeswax or paraffin

unless the wax is in it's natural color, these are the

two most common waxes used on cheeses.  Cheese wax is

typically made of paraffin and will sometimes have

additives blended in to control certain types of

growths.  Wax is also post-period.  You don't really

see much evidence that it's used until around the

victorian times when people began converting over to

gas lighting.

 

**********from Sharon**********

4) What are some of the traditional ways that cheeses are wrapped and

protected (cloth, herbs, leaves, wax, mats, baskets?)?  What are the best

historic household or cookbooks with cheesemaking info?  (I have looked at

the articles in the florlegium.)  I know the following have some info from

other people's suggestions and will request them on interlibrary loan.:

Columella

Digby

Markham

 

***********My response**********

There was little done to protect cheeses in period.

There is actually little done these days to wrap

cheeses, other than wax or some dried herbs, as most

options are going to cause unwanted mold to grow

against the cheese.  There is some evidence that

nettle leaves and grape leaves were used in Roman

times but these are secondary references so I don't

know how accurate they are. Regardless, if you're

going to wrap your cheese in leaves you need to treat

the leaves first by macerating (boiling) them in a

high alcohol/water blend. Bourbon and water with

grape leaves makes a yummy wrapper.  The only drawback

is that these wrapped cheeses don't have greatly

increased shelf lives, you may get an additional 2-3

weeks out of them.  Rather, they make it easier to

handle and get to market and they impart a different

flavor.

 

The primary method used on the cheese was to form a

protective rind that would create a flavor profile and

texture in the final product that a) was pleasing and

would sell, and b) that was reproducible.  Parmigiano

Reggiano is floated in a brine solution for two days,

is allowed to air dry, and then is rubbed several

times with olive oil to give it that hardened rind.

Munster uses a red smear, brevibacterium linens, that

is a strain of yeast designed to give a cheese a soft,

creamy interior that (while smelling rather strongly)

makes a pretty mild,yeasty flavor.  These munsters can

last up to two months.  Feta is aged in a brine

solution and as long as it stays completely submerged

will last a very long time. The texture will get more

and more gluey as is ages though.  Another treatment,

which is very period, is to marinate the fresh cheeses

in olive oil.  They will react much like feta.

 

Here's my current working list of sources for cheese recipes:

Walter of Henley's Husbandrie - dates btw 1270 & 1300

Fitzherbert's Book of Husbandry - c. 1543

A hundreth good points of husbandrie - 1557

The Householders Philosophie - 1588

A dairie Booke for good huswives, Dowe - 1588

Skene of Hallyard's Manuscript of Husbandrie - 1666

Wm. Harrison, Description of Elizabethan Eng. - 1577

A generall rule to teche euery man that is willynge, Seton

On the Making of Cheese

The nature of fresh non-salted cheese, Libro Settimo - 1593

About Cheese, Bifrons - 1556

Inventory of one of Charlemagne's Estates, c. 800

Charlemagne's Cheese, a study. (Heather Rose Jones)

1999

 

These, in addition to the ones you mentioned, are the

texts that I'm currently working with in regard to

cheese production.  I also have a number of livestock

and cattle documents that are from archeological finds

or period census data.

 

Eibhlin

 

Sharon

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 08:26:57 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period sources for cheese

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

I posted my current working list of sources at the

bottom of a rather lengthy post on August 22nd.  The

original question listed Platt, Digby and Plato as

well.  There are more out there but these are the ones

that are available online so they have easier access.

Hope it helps!

 

Eibhlin

 

Here's the snipped bit of message:

 

Here's my current working list of sources for cheese

recipes:

Walter of Henley's Husbandrie - dates btw 1270 & 1300

Fitzherbert's Book of Husbandry - c. 1543

A hundreth good points of husbandrie - 1557

The Householders Philosophie - 1588

A dairie Booke for good huswives, Dowe - 1588

Skene of Hallyard's Manuscript of Husbandrie - 1666

Wm. Harrison, Description of Elizabethan Eng. - 1577

A generall rule to teche euery man that is willynge, Seton

On the Making of Cheese

The nature of fresh non-salted cheese, Libro Settimo - 1593

About Cheese, Bifrons - 1556

Inventory of one of Charlemagne's Estates, c. 800

Charlemagne's Cheese, a study. (Heather Rose Jones)

1999

 

These, in addition to the ones you mentioned, are the

texts that I'm currently working with in regard to

cheese production.  I also have a number of livestock

and cattle documents that are from archeological finds

or period census data.

 

 

Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 16:14:25 -0700

From: "K C Francis" <katiracook at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period sources for cheese - extract from

        West-Cooks   by Eibhlin

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

> Perhaps what some of us would like to see is a list of cheeses that

> were made in period and still available in a form like, or close to,

> that of the past.

> --

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

 

This was put into the files section of the West-Cooks egroup about 4  

years ago.  Enjoy.

 

PERIOD CHEESES

 

     * Appenzeller, (Switzerland).  Noted as being one of Switzerland's

oldest cheeses, it dates back to Charlemagne.

     * Beaufort (AOC), (France, Savoie).  Mentioned in Roman times.

     * Bellelay, (Switzerland). This cheese is now known as Tete-de-

Moine.

It was renamed during the French Revolution, was originally named  

after a

monastery in the Jura mountains.

     * Brie de Meaux (AOC), (France, Ile-de-France).  Mentioned as  

early as

774 when it was served to Charlemagne.

     * Cantal (AOC), (France, Auvergne). This is one of the oldest of  

the

French cheeses, dating back to the 12th century.

     * Castlemagno, (Italy). This cheese was mentioned in 1277 as a  

unit of

exchange.

     * Cheshire, (Great Britain).  54 BC - the method for making it was

brought to England by the Romans

     * Comte, (Switzerland).  1267 AD

     * Cottage Cheese, very common, early to late period.

     * Emmental, (Switzerland). This cheese can be traced back to  

1293, but

was first mentioned by name in 1542, when it was given to the people of

Langethal whose lives had been devastated by fire.

     * Farmers Cheese, very common.  It's just unprocessed curds that  

have

been salted and packaged.

     * Feta, (Greece).  1184 AD

     * Fontina, (Italy).  13th cent.(haven't verified this one)

     * Fribourgeois, (Switzerland).  According to local documents, it  

was

served to the wife of Duke Sigismund of Austria in 1448.

     * Gorgonzola, (Italy). 879 AD (haven't verified this one)

     * Gouda, (Holland).  An ancient cheese, its history dates from  

the sixth

century, when it was made on small farms around the village of  

Gouda.  It

has been exported since the 13th Century.

     * Grana, (Italy).  1200 AD (parmesan and romano are of this family)

     * Gruyere, (Switzerland, Fribourg).  In 1115 a quantity of  

Gruyere was

recorded as the thithe paid by local farmers to the monks of Rougement

Abbey.

     * Mariolles (AOC), (France, Flanders).  Made as early as the 10th

Century at the Abbaye de Mariolles.

     * MŸnster, (Germany).  In the Middle Ages the cheese was made by  

the

monks at Munster Abbey in modern day Alsace.  When Alsace became part of

Germany, the name of the ceeses gained an umlaut, it became MŸnster,  

after

the Wesphalian town.  Ownership of Alsace switched from Germany to  

France

several times after that, but the cheese continued to be made on both  

sides

of the border.

     * Parmesan, (Italy). 1200-1300 AD

     * Quark, (Germany). Simply means "curd" in German, and the  

cheese is

said to date from the Iron Age, when nomadic tribes discovered the  

means of

fermenting the milk without the use of Rennet.

     * Ricotta, known throughout period

     * Romano, (Italy). 1200-1300 AD

     * Roquefort, (France). 1070 AD - but is under debate!

     * Saint-Marcellin, (France).  Served to royalty as early as  

1461.  In

those days it would probably have been made with goat's milk.

     * Sapsago, (Italy).  16th cent.

     * Sbrinz, (Switzerland). Is thought to be the cheese referred to by

Pliny the Elder as Caseus Helveticus in his writings of the 1st  

Century AD.

     * Slipcoat cheese, (Great Britain).

     * Wensleydale, (Great Britain).  1150 AD

     * Yogurt, known througout period

 

 

NON-PERIOD CHEESES

 

     * Camembert, developed in 1791 by Marie Fontaine. The cheese  

Napoleon

ate was not what we know as Camembert.

     * Cheddar, because of the cheddaring process, which was created  

during

the Industrial Revolution, is late 18th century.  There is a cheese  

that was

known in period that was called Cheddar, but it was an *entirely*  

different

cheese from what we know today.

     * Edam, 18th cent.

     * Gloucester, 1697 AD

     * Port-Salut, 1865 AD

     * Stilton, 1750 AD

 

List compiled and researched by Lady Eibhlin nic'Raghailligh, mundanely

known as Kathleen Madsen.  Feel free to email with questions or  

comments.

kmadsen12000 at yahoo dot com.

 

Katira

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org