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cooking-oils-msg – 2/29/12

 

Period cooking and food oils. Rendering fat into oil.

 

NOTE: See also the files: butter-msg, nuts-msg, broths-msg, salads-msg, frittours-msg, fried-foods-msg, aspic-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 18:15:51 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - walnut oil

 

This is Elizabeth, following the list a couple weeks late, posting from

David's account.

 

At 3:19 PM -0400 5/8/97, Karen Farris wrote:

>     Would any of you illustrious chefs inform a poor French peasant girl

>     of the periodicity of walnut oil?  What about other nut oils or

>     vegetable oils?  Is there script of any other than animal lards and

>     olive oil?

 

According to a 13th century Book of Trades (quoted in _Daily Living in the

12th Century_), the oil merchant sold olive oil, almond oil, walnut oil,

linseed oil, and poppy oil.

 

 

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 09:09:04 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

<< would like to learn

more about NW Europe, specifically the western part of the British Isles

(Ireland, Wales and Cornwall) in regards of cooking.

I love oil which has been suffused with herbs.  Have attempted to make my

own (I think I was too impatient) and use commercially produced ones a lot.

Are they period?   >>

 

Well, not to disappoint you but it appears as if the lubricants of choice

based on extant recipes were as follows: British Isles, Northern France-

butter; Germany and Teutonic countries- lard; Italy, South France, Spain,

Portugal and the mid-east- olive oil. Of course, since I'm basing this on

memory, I could be wrong.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 16:19:19 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Lord Ras writes:

 

>Well, not to disappoint you but it appears as if the lubricants of choice

>based on extant recipes were as follows: British Isles, Northern France-

>butter; Germany and Teutonic countries- lard; Italy, South France, Spain,

>Portugal and the mid-east- olive oil. Of course, since I'm basing this on

>memory, I could be wrong.

 

Actually, based on the recipes I've seen in the English corpus, I'd say

that the primary oil-like substances in use in England were white grease

and lard.  You also see suet, but less frequently.  Next in order is

probably oil, usually olive.  One sees butter fairly frequently in the

13th C (about 15% of recipes), but less often than oil or grease, and in

the 14th and 15th centuries relatively rarely (about 3%).

 

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 11:29:39 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

Ras wrote:

> Well, not to disappoint you but it appears as if the lubricants of choice

> based on extant recipes were as follows: British Isles, Northern France-

> butter; Germany and Teutonic countries- lard; Italy, South France, Spain,

> Portugal and the mid-east- olive oil.

 

Katerine made some corrections to the "British Isles - butter" part.  I

shall point out that in the cooking of the Arabic-speaking world (which,

being a literate culture, has left us more cookbooks from longer ago

than has Christian Europe), the primary lubricant seems to be rendered

from the tail of the fat-tailed sheep (see the notes on ingredients in

the _Miscellany_).  Butter was also known, and the _Manuscrito Anonimo_

points out that "some people love it, and add it to bread, while others

cannot stand even to smell it."  _Manuscrito anonimo_ goes on to say:

 

   Butter is not employed in kitchen dishes because it is only used

   in the various kinds of rafis [see below] and in some cakes, and

   in similar foods of [made by?] women.  It is needed for its oil,

   over which it quickly forms a dry crust, and for spicy or

   vinegary things so that it may cut their sharpness and make them

   soft and smooth, and do them great benefit.

 

Most of the recipes calling for butter in this cookbook are for a class

of dishes called _rafis_, which appear to all be sweetened, yeast-raised

breadlike or cakelike dishes, cooked in a pan (not baked in an oven).

Butter is also used occasionally for greasing meats to be oven-roasted,

and for making puff-pastry dough, e.g. for "sambusak", which I think is

a cognate for "samosa".

 

Oil (I've been assuming it means olive oil, without much evidence) also

appears frequently in the _Manuscrito anonimo_, often interchangeably

with butter or animal grease.

 

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 22:18:43 +0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

And it came to pass on  6 Sep 97, that Stephen Bloch wrote:

 

> Ras wrote:

> > Well, not to disappoint you but it appears as if the lubricants of choice

> > based on extant recipes were as follows: British Isles, Northern France-

> > butter; Germany and Teutonic countries- lard; Italy, South France, Spain,

> > Portugal and the mid-east- olive oil.

>

> Katerine made some corrections to the "British Isles - butter" part.

> I shall point out that in the cooking of the Arabic-speaking world

> (which, being a literate culture, has left us more cookbooks from

> longer ago than has Christian Europe), the primary lubricant seems

> to be rendered from the tail of the fat-tailed sheep

 

Not a correction, but an addition: in Spain, though olive oil was

much-used, pork fat appears to have been very popular also.   The

"Libro de Guisados" mentions lard in a number of recipes, but bacon

fat is even more common.  "Sofreirlas con buen tocino gordo" --

"Gently fry them in good fatty bacon".

 

Brighid ni Chiarain of Tethba

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 22:43:45 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

I have been using my 'free' time' to study this flavored oil question. The

only reference I came across was a recipe for 'flavored' oil in Vehling's

Apicius which is decidedly not English and decidedly not the appropriate

period. The reference uses 'nard', rosemary, etc. as seasonings.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 21:45:31 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Flavoured oils query

 

Ras wrote:

> I have been using my 'free' time' to study this flavored oil question. The

> only reference I came across was a recipe for 'flavored' oil in Vehling's

> Apicius which is decidedly not English and decidedly not the appropriate

> period. The reference uses 'nard', rosemary, etc. as seasonings.

 

"nard" or "nardo" is probably spikenard.

 

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 98 22:57:03 PST

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

Subject: Re: SC - fat rendering?

 

: Philippa gave a lamb/goat recipe:

: >1 4 lb leg of lamb, deboned and cut into cubes

: >lamb fat, rendered, with olive oil

:

: What does this second line mean? Or more precisely,

: how should you do this?

:

: This is heating the lamb fat to turn it into oil, right?

: What is the olive oil for? Does this keep the fat from

: burning while it melts into oil? Should you strain the

: resulting oil?  How much olive oil should you use?

:

:   Stefan li Rous

 

The rendering you have right, you're merely removing the oil from the fat.

The olive oil was to stretch the lamb fat since I didn't really have enough

lamb fat for the browning I was doing. Olive oil is a flavored oil, not

particularly good for high temperature cooking, though certainly not bad.

Peanut oil can be taken to a very high temperature without smoking, and

this is one case where the cheaper oils can be of benefit, because the

cheap peanut oil has LESS flavor than the expensive ones I've tried, giving

as close to a neutral flavor as possible. Since peanuts are OOP, you don't

want that flavor, but you may want the heating characteristics. As far as

straining, just remove (and enjoy- cooks privilege) the cracklins, or in

other words, the connective tissue left behind from the rendering.

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 08:59:48 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Shopping savvy for Feasts-revisited

 

I prefer butter to margarine, but will use margarine where it is applicable.

Both are in the refrigerator.  I buy my olive oil in 3 liter cans and my

extra virgin olive oil in smaller quantity.  Regular olive oil is for

cooking, extra virgin is for sauces and dressings.  I also have peanut oil,

corn oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, and canola oil

(canola oil is a scribal error, I was given the bottle).  At present, I am

out of lard, walmut oil and almond oil.  Yes, I use all of these for

different applications in cooking and baking.  I may even use the canola for

tempering my cast iron, where the flavor shouldn't matter.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 22:53:32 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Oils (was: Shopping savvy for Feasts)

 

At 8:59 AM -0600 11/19/98, Decker, Terry D. wrote:

>I buy my olive oil in 3 liter cans and my

>extra virgin olive oil in smaller quantity.  Regular olive oil is for

>cooking, extra virgin is for sauces and dressings.  I also have peanut oil,

>corn oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, and canola oil

>(canola oil is a scribal error, I was given the bottle).  At present, I am

>out of lard, wlamut oil and almond oil.  Yes, I use all of these for

>different applications in cooking and baking.  I may even use the canola for

>tempering my cast iron, where the flavor shouldn't matter.

>Bear

 

Isn't canola oil (alias rape seed oil) Old World? Although I can't think of

any specific references to it, as I can for almond, walnut, sesame, and

olive oil. Peanut, corn, and soybean oils would be out of period, of course.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:41:58 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Oils (was: Shopping savvy for Feasts)

 

> Isn't canola oil (alias rape seed oil) Old World? Although I can't think

> of any specific references to it, as I can for almond, walnut, sesame, and

> olive oil. Peanut, corn, and soybean oils would be out of period, of

> course.

>

> Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

The quick ref says canola oil is extracted from Brassica napus, a European

member of the mustard family, commonly referred to as rape or oil rape.

Also according to the quick ref, rape oil is used a lubricant and in

manufacturing processes.  Whether it's medieval or not, I couldn't say, but

the taste is such I don't think any self respecting medieval cook would let

it get anywhere near the kitchen.  I think its use in cooking is recent, due

to its "healthy" properties.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 01:10:46 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - another question

 

Stacie wrote:

> instead of shortening what would one use? Lard...? butter?

> if you substituted shortening for butter how would it turn out?

> Stacie

 

Ounce for ounce, butter has less shortening power than lard or vegetable

shortening because it is an emulsion containing, what (it's late, I'm

tired, and I don't have the reference in front of me) roughly 15% water.

 

Almost all baked goods require at least _some_ water. Things like

shortbread usually can get enough from the butter, but if you

substituted another fat you might have to add some water. When

substituting whole butter for another fat, you should probably add

commensurately less water. It's probably not a big deal in most cases,

but when multiplying recipes for bulk use, it could be an issue.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Subject: RE: ANST - Lard

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 99 14:35:17 MST

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

To: "'ansteorra at ansteorra.org'" <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>

 

> What is a good substitute for Lard in today's cooking world and for penny

> royal?

> F. Havas

> ches at io.com

 

Lard is a pretty good substitute for lard.  It is available in stick form

and by the bucket.  About the same price as solid vegetable shortening.

 

If there are health or religious issues.  Crisco or some other solid 100%

vegetable shortening makes about the best substitute.

 

If you are using this in pastry or a similar dish, I recommend sticking to

the solids, as solid and liquid fats have different characteristics when

blended into a recipe.  If you are planning to fry in it, vegetable oil,

olive oil, corn oil, etc. can be substituted, although they do not handle as

high a heat as the solid shortenings, which may be an issue if you are

trying to flash cook a dough.

 

<snip of pennyroyal substitute. See herbs-msg>

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 20:46:15 -0700

From: lilinah at grin.net

Subject: Re: SC - Middle Eastern Sesame oil

 

Artemis of St. Malachy wrote:

>I'm currently preparing for a feast at the end of October. Several of

>our dishes are Islamic in origin and require sesame oil. I've been told

>that this is not the same as the sesame oil used in many asian dishes,

>and that middle eastern sesame oil is made from untoasted sesame seeds

>and does not have the strong flavour that asian sesame oil has. The main

>problem is I can't find the stuff anywhere. We have several asian food

>stores in our area, but not middle eastern. I will be require a fair

>amount of the oil (about 1.5 L) and am wondering if there is a good

>substitute for it. I don't know if this sesame oil has a particular

>cooking characteristic. I've found cold-pressed sesame oil in health

>stores. It was a much lighter colour to the asian sesame oil and didn't

>seem to have as strong a taste to it, but the bottle did not say whether

>the sesame seeds were toasted or untoasted.

 

If it is light in color, it is untoasted and shouldn't have a real strong

taste. This light colored oil is what you want. Besides cold-pressed, I

think there are some untoasted expeller pressed varieties available too,

often at the health food store.

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 23:34:10 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

phlip at morganco.net writes:

<< Anybody have any references, whether to recipes, commentary, or other references?

Phlip >>

 

al-Baghdadi (1223 CE) contains many recipes using the tail of these sheep. It

was used much as we use cooking oil or lard in almost every recipe that was

meat based.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 00:40:38 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

"Alderton, Philippa" wrote:

> I remember a fe months ago, we had a thread in fat tailed sheep, and a few

> questions have come up on another List I'm on. Anybody have any references,

> whether to recipes, commentary, or other references?

 

From Reay Tannahill's "Food in History":

 

"The pastoral peasant tradition of the Near East contributed the oil in

which almost every Baghdad dish was put to cook -- alya, the fat

rendered from sheep's tails. Time after time al-Baghdadi began his

instructions with the words, 'Cut meat into middling pieces; dissolve

tail and throw away the sediment. Put the meat into this oil and let it

fry lightly...' The popularity of tail fat may have had something to do

with the existence of the local fat-tailed sheep, though whether as

cause or effect remains a matter for debate."

 

As both Ras and Tannahill state, al-Baghdadi is full of references to

cooking in rendered tail fat. It may not be a 100% valid assumption that

what they're talking about is the fat-tailed sheep we know, but it seems

pretty reasonable. Even if alya is presumed to be a modern term, do we

know if anything like it appears in al-Baghdadi in its original text?

  

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 11:52:15 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

Phlip wrote:

>Anybody have any references,

>whether to recipes, commentary, or other references?

 

There is a very interesting three-page article, "The Fate of the Tail" by

Charles Perry in "Disappearing Foods", the 1994 Oxford Symposium papers.

Basically, he says that in the 9th century Kit‚b al-Tabib only half a dozen

recipes call for tail fat, but says "the reason may simply be that tail fat

was out of favor at the court of the Caliphs". Most later Arab cookbooks

call for tail fat (al-Baghdadi is "saturated with tail fat", Perry says).

But he does point out that in later versions of al-Baghdadi, there are

several added recipes and they do not usually call for tail fat so its use

may have declined.

 

"The most popular cookbook of the Arab Middle Ages, to judge from the number

of manuscripts that have survived, was Kit‚b al-Wusla al-Habib. Tail fat has

a prominent place in the book. Recipes for rendering it constitute the

fourth chapter. Alya is expicitly called for in 34 recipes, and the "fat"

referred to in 18 more recipes was almost certainly from the tail, judging

on the basis of similarities in wording or the very quantity of fat called

for. The fat has two principal uses. Boiled meat is typically pounded and

then fried in tail fat before adding to a stew, and in starchy dishes such

as pilaf and lentils, tail fat is for flavoring, commonly poured in shortly

before the dish is done often together with as honey, vinegar, sugar syrup

or spices (even, in some cases, other fats such as sesame oil, olive oil

and/or clarified butter)."

 

There is also a very interesting one-page article on fat-tailed sheep in The

Oxford Companion to Food.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 02:08:13 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>

Subject: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

<< I remember a few months ago, we had a thread in fat tailed sheep, and

a few questions have come up on another List I'm on. Anybody have any

references, whether to recipes, commentary, or other references? >>

 

Here are some gleanings:

 

- -- Grewe, R.: Hispano-Arabic cuisine in the twelfth century. In:

Lambert, C. (Dir.): Du manuscrit ‡ la table. MontrÈal/ Paris 1992,

141-148.

ÑOne of the most characteristic features of this cuisine is that olive

oil is the basic, and almost the only, cooking fat. (...) the fat of the

fat-tailed sheep, so common in the Near East, does not seem to have

taken root in Spain (p. 143).

 

- -- Heine, P.: Kulinarische Studien. Untersuchungen zur Kochkunst im

arabisch-islamischen Mittelalter. Mit Rezepten. Wiesbaden 1988.

[Culinary studies. Inquiries into the art of cookery of the

Arabic-Islamic Middle Ages. With recipes.]

He mentions alya, the fat of the fat-tailed sheep, on several pages (see

his “Index der arabischen Termini” s.v. Ñalyaì) and gives references to

al-Baghdadi, Wusla, and al-Warraq.

 

- -- Rodinson, M.: Recherches sur les documents arabes relatifs ‡ la

cuisine. In: Revue des Ètudes islamiques 17 (1949) 95-165. [ëStudies

into the arabic sources pertaining to cookingí.]

Says among other things, that the use of alya was an element of the

cuisine paysanne that entered into or was part of the cuisine of the

prince in the 12th/13th century. -- If I am not mistaken, there is still

no edition/translation of the Wusla, so his description of this cookbook

is still important. -- You find the pages on alya with his ÑIndex arabe,

turc et persan (p. 159); there is also a literary source mentioned,

where the tail is the ambassador in a quarrel between King Sheep (or

Mutton) and King Honey.

 

The principal sources mentioned are:

 

Al-Baghdadi:

Chelebi, D. (ed.): Kitab al-Tabikh. Mosul (Umm al-rabi'ain Press) 1934.

[Engl. ‹bs.: Arberry, in: Islamic Culture, 13, 1939.]

Arberry, A.J.: A Baghdad cookery book. In: Islamic Culture 13 (1939)

21-47; 184-214.

 

The Wusla:

see the description in Rodinson

 

al-Warraq:

÷hrnberg, K./ Mroueh, S. (eds.): Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, Kitab al-Tabikh.

Helsinki 1987 (Studia Orientalia 60). [Arabic text; no translation;

short English introduction.]

 

Thomas

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 02:57:56 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

Susan.P.Laing at mainroads.qld.gov.au writes:

<< Think I'll be sticking to the Lard or oil substitutes (since the Australian

sheep industry tends to "dock" the tail  >>

 

Lamb fat would be a  far better substitute than either lard or oil. Neither

lard nor oil possess the requisite flavor that tail fat does. Also pork is

not eaten by followers of al-Islam making lard a completely unsatisfactory

substitute. Another point you may want to consider is that recipes calling

for tail fat oftentimes call for other types of oil and/or fats in addition

to the tail fat.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 12:04:27 -0000

From: nanna at idunn.is (Nanna Rognvaldardottir)

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

Ras wrote:

>Lamb fat would be a  far better substitute than either lard or oil. Neither

>lard nor oil possess the requisite flavor that tail fat does.

 

Quite correct, but tail fat is softer than inside fat from lamb, has a lower

melting point and does not have the tallowy aftertaste that inside fat

sometimes does, so it may not be totally interchangeable. Not that I have

much experience with tail fat, as Icelandic sheep are short-tailed, but I

understand the fat has much the same characteristics as the soft deposits of

fat sometimes found around the throat, or on the feet. Fotafeiti, "feet

fat" - that is, rendered fat from sheep’s feet - used to be the preferred

fat here for frying sweet things like kleinur, love balls and pancakes,

because of these characteristics.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 22:26:15 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Fat tailed sheep

 

Adamantius wrote:

>ha...I wonder if this is a facet of a different level of hydrogenation,

>or a difference in the tissues themselves.

 

Charles Perry has an explanation that I’m not quite sure I understand but it

goes like this:

 

"An animal can only metabolize its fat in liquid form. The inevitable

consequence of this is that fat stored near the surface of the body, where

it is influenced by ambient temperatures which are usually lower than the

body¥s own temperature, has a lower melting point than fat stored deep in

the body. ... Unlike hard fat, however, which might be deposited in large,

convenient lumps in the interior of the carcass, most soft fat was scantily

dispersed all over the body subcutaneously. Sheep sometimes deposit larger

lumps of soft fat in other places, such as the neck and throat. These

deposits have limited value, however; there might be cool ambient

temperatures on one side of the lump but warm body temperatures on the

other. Fat deposited on the tail turned out to be the solution. Surrounded

as it is by cool temperatures, the tail can be home to a substantial slab of

fat with a texture somewhat like bacon, though of course with a muttony

aroma." (The same would go for the feet; any fat deposited there would also

be surrounded by lower temperatures on all sides.)

 

Nanna

 

 

From - Fri Apr 14 00:14:38 2000

To: spca-wascaerfrig at egroups.com

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 22:05:30 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: [spca-wascaerfrig] Mongolian hot pot for a meal?  

 

In a message dated 4/13/00 1:14:02 AM Eastern Daylight Time, stefan at texas.net

writes:

<< I'm not sure whether Asia had sesame oil in our period or not.

Europe didn't, I'm pretty sure. >>

 

Both Greece and the Kingdom of Jerusalem knew sesame oil as did Andelusia.

Andelusia being the most western of western Europe, I would say that sesame

oil definitely WAS period in Europe.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 May 2000 16:14:17 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - an interesting challenge...and its even about medieval food! :)

 

Allison,     allilyn at juno.com wrote:

>Chiquart's chickpeas--vegan

(SNIP)

>[possibly, if almond oil is not available, olive oil and

>almond extract might be used. (SNIP)

 

No need to put almond extract into your cooking oil. Almond oil, aka

sweet almond oil, is very "mild" and doesn't have a strong flavor,

unlike a good olive oil has a very pronounced flavor. Sweet almond

oil doesn't taste like bitter almond, which is the common "almond

flavor". So I'd say, if you have no almond oil, use a light vegetable

oil of some sort (not peanut, for example, as it too has a pronounced

flavor). But you can find sweet almond oil at health food stores

where the other cooking and salad oils are, so you might give it a

try.

 

Anahita al-shazhiyya

 

 

Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 08:44:34 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Refrying fritters

 

> If the temp is too low

> they get really grease soaked and heavy. Another

> thing, use peanut oil for frying if using a vegetable

> oil. Stuff doesn't burn as fast because it has a

> higher smoke/burn temp.

 

If you are trying to maintain a period dish, using canola oil would be a

better substitute. Canola is known in period as rape seed oil (or the

vegetable rape), hence the name change to a more PC term. The etymology has

something to do with the latin I believe (notes are not at hand).

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 18:05:04 PDT

From: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Refrying fritters

 

> > use peanut oil for frying if using a vegetable

> >  oil. Stuff doesn't burn as fast because it has a

> >  higher smoke/burn temp.

>If you are trying to maintain a period dish, using canola oil would be a

>better substitute.

 

Is the allergen some people are sensitive to present in peanut oil?  If so,

then canola oil is not only better for being an oil that might have been

used in period, but it leaves you out of the allergic reaction by unknowing

diner scenario.

 

Bonne (who recently learned that, back home, a friend with food allergies

who DOES ask the cook in advance in order to make informed choices, was not

fully informed and had to make a sudden exit from feast to hospital last

weekend.)

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 00:12:44 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Lucrezia in Marketland - mainly OOP - LONG

 

Lucrezia wrote:

>I also picked up some goose fat (which was great on roast potatoes) but

>there's heaps too much for me to use over the next couple of weeks. Anyone

>know if it'll be OK if I throw some of it in the freezer?

 

You can but you shouldn¥t need to. It keeps very well. I just finished the

goose fat I bought in London in February - I simply kept it in the fridge.

And I brought some more home from Hungary - just wish I could have brought

more but there were so many foodstuffs I had to bring home ...

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 09:35:08 -0000

From: "Nanna Rognvaldardottir" <nanna at idunn.is>

Subject: Re: SC - goose fat

 

Stefan wrote:

>Wow. This sounds wonderful. I really liked the duck fat that I've

>gotten when cooking ducks. Is goose fat very similar? It never occurred

>to me that such an item might be available seperately. But then duck

>is not common here and I've never seen goose nor ever eaten any.

 

Fairly similar, although I¥ve never had commercially rendered duck fat for

comparision, but the fat I get from my own duck-cooking seems to have much

the same qualities as goose fat. The taste is slightly different but not so

it matters greatly.

 

Duck and goose fat is the preferred cooking fat of Southwestern France and

Hungary, for instance. It is great for roasting potatoes and other

vegetables, or for browning meat and poultry (use it by itself or mixed with

some oil). Or try to add a spoonful or two to soups and stews. Or use it in

piecrusts for savoury pies. I¥m sure it is loaded with cholesterol and other

things that are bad for you but goose fat, at least, is mostly monosaturated

fat and has a much lower ratio of saturated fat than butter or lard.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 10:56:18 -0000

From: "Nanna Rognvaldardottir" <nanna at idunn.is>

Subject: Re: SC - goose fat

 

Stefan wrote:

>Those are two widely spaced regions. Is there any particular simularity to

>the cuisine that would make goose fat preferable? Or is it not unique

>to those areas and was at one time used in Germany and areas in between

>as well? Is there any particular reason southwest France and Hungary

>would raise more goose than other places? Or perhaps there is some

>reason that the use of goose fat stands out more in those two regions?

 

Well, one similarity that springs to mind is that both the French and the

Hungarians are very fond of goose liver, which means the overstuffed geese

yield a LOT of fat. I¥m told the ideal conditions for geese are sandy soil

and lots of sun, which would hold true for both the Great Plain of Hungary

and parts of Southwestern France. (And Hungarian goose liver is absolutely

delicious; the sautÈed goose liver with apples that I had at the Gundel

restaurant in Budapest last week was one of the best things I¥ve ever eaten,

and the true highlight of a wonderful seven-course meal).

 

These are not the only regions where goose fat is used, though. It is used

to some extent in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, for instance, and in

Romania and some of the Balkan countries.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 08:21:07 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - goose fat

 

IIRC, they are both within the Saxon held lands between the 9th and 12th

Centuries. Also, one needs to consider that the use of bird fat, chicken

fat in particular is common to Jewish cookery across Europe.  

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 19:29:46 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - crendering chicken fat

 

KarenO wrote:

>   Does anyone know what the process for rendering chicken fat for pie crust?

> I've been making chicken stock,  and my roomie  tells me tales of how a

> former co-worker used to render the chicken fat to make her pie crusts.

> I've been cooling the stock, and skimming off the fat layer,  even freezing

> some.

 

You can do that, but another method would be to pull the neck and apron

(abdominal) fat off the raw chicken, then freeze it until you have a

pound or two, or more, then render that. You can render fatty portions

of skin, too. A good method is to very gently simmer the fat with a

little water, until the skin and connective tissue soften, allowing for

the fat to render more efficiently. When the water has cooked off, the

real rendering begins, but the process ends up being faster and better

in the long run because there's less potential for browning of the fat.  

> Also, can I freeze the fat  (as is now) and finish the process later?

 

Yuss.

 

I've never had a piecrust made with chicken fat. Maybe knoedeln, but I

guess it would work.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 10:47:46 -0400

From: "Nicholas Sasso" <NJSasso at msplaw.com>

Subject: Re: SC - rendering chicken fat

 

In my reading of Grigson's Charcuterie and some other references from turn of the century, grinding the material before the rendering will give you a generally easier and more efficient extraction.  The tissues are all broken up, and there is a quicker melting of the animal fat before the surrounding tissues brown/burn.  I am teaching a basic class on rendering beef and pork fats in November in GA.  Promises t be fun.

 

The method I am using is heating water in quantity (say three gallons) and then adding ground tissues to the pot.  The tissues render and sink a little, leaving the fats floating on top.  Skim the fat off, press the tissues, and you got lard/tallow.  The water serves to regular/diffuse the heat and prevent scorching.  Cool stuff.  Anyone got medieval references to how to render?  I haven't looked through Menagier or Scully's stuff yet, and that is my weekend project.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 02:58:34 EDT

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: SC - Rendering fat

 

I have not attempted to render chicken any kind of fowl fat, but I have done

pork and beef.  When we butchered hogs, we rendered the lard thusly:

1.) clean a 55 gallon cast iron cauldron and place on a hot fire to preheat

2.) remove the fat and skin from the hog and cut into pieces about 3 inches

on a side.

3.) place the fat and skin into the cauldron, adding just enough water to

keep it from scorching.

4.) add minimum amounts of water occasionally until there is enough lard to

keep the fat from scorching.

5.) when the "cracklings" are golden brown, and floating, remove from the

fire and strain the lard into a clean, dry receptacle for storage.

6.) press the cracklings in a lard press to remove as much lard as possible.

7.) gorge on the hot, crisp cracklings.....this is the only time they are

really good, in my opinion.

 

Mordonna The Cook

SunDragon, Atenveldt

m.k.a. West Phoenix, AZ

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 16:41:45 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - crendering chicken fat

 

It depends on how pure you want it. I know that when I make schmaltz, I

take the warm chicken fat, add about 2x as much water and whisk the

bejesus out of it, then let it stand and use one of the gravy separators

to pour the water out from underneath, and repeat once or twice. the

water will pull out any non-fat impurities and excess congealed protein

that can cause cloudiness. If you dont care about the protein and any

little cooking remenants that just skimming the fat off the stock and

saving it works.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 21:23:43

From: "Vincent Cuenca" <bootkiller at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - fat consumption in period

 

To add on to Adamantius' comments on fats (I deleted the digest so I can't

quote directly):

 

Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat's "History of Food" cites regional preferences

for cooking fats.  Lard was popular pretty much everywhere it was available,

but southern Europe preferred olive oil over butter.  She cites several

accounts of Provencal and Catalan travelers bringing large supplies of oil

with them when they were forced to travel northward; there was an apparent

belief that eating butter caused leprosy.  Of course, northern travelers in

Italy experienced the opposite reaction; they were sickened by the smell of

hot olive oil and pined for good northern butter.

 

Now, Mme. Toussaint-Samat has some pretty heavy Francophilic tendencies, and

she buys into the idea of half-rotten meat being popular in the Middle Ages,

so I'm not taking her quite at face value.  Her scholarship does seem to be

pretty solid, though.

 

Vicente

 

 

Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:33:50 -0800

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #2934 - noodles with sugar

 

Platina also tells how to make schmaltz, not by that name but the process of the extraction of usable cooking fat from animal fatty tissues is more or less the same and he mentions the use of Goose and other poultry at the end of the

paragraph. Book at home, Me at work, but that's how I seem to recall it.  Platina is turning out to be surprisingly useful for documenting use of familiar elements in modern Jewish cooking, isn't he?

 

Selene

 

 

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 23:29:37 -0400

Subject: Re: medieval healthy food was Re: [Sca-cooks] Tiramisu

 

On 18 Jun 01,, LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> I would also prominently remind people that  olive oil was being substituted

> for lard if the original does not indicate  such a substitution. While other

> fats can be substituted for lard in certain recipes such substitutions not

> only change the final flavor of the dish but also takes it from the realms of

> a period recipe to a modern recipe based on a a period source.

 

That depends on the recipe.  In period Spanish cuisine, olive oil is listed

over and over again as the substitution for lard/bacon fat in Lent.  Nola

explicitly says that a water-salt-oil mixture can be used as a substitute for

broth to make flesh-day recipes suitable for Lent.  So in a recipe for leek

pottage, I might choose to make a Lenten version, and replace the bacon

fat with oil.  Yes, there will be a taste difference, but the result will not be a modern dish.  (Although it will serve the modern purpose of being vegetarian-

friendly.) On the other hand, I would not make that substitution in a recipe

for chicken livers fried in bacon fat with egg yolks.  There is no period

justification for doing so, and it would not accomplish anything useful.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

From: "Hrolf Douglasson" <Hrolf at btinternet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cauldron cooking

Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 23:02:00 +0100

 

> I've got vegan friends too, including our baroness.  Please clarify for me

> what you mean by "vegetarian suet"?

 

Its made by the same people as make UK brands of pure suet (ATORA)

and is vegatarian/vegan. I have found that it reacts exactly the same as the

normal stuff.

Available in supermarkets this side of the water

 

vara

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 08:17:48 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olives in period Russia

 

> > BTW, other oils such as poppyseed, hempseed and flaxseed were used.

> Used where? In northern Europe? Or do you mean in Russia?

 

I believe all three were used in Russia. Poppyseed and hempseed oil were

used in Poland. Hemp oil is mentioned in the Domostroi. Smith and

Christian talk about the use of hempseed and flaxseed oil in _Bread and

Salt_. However, looking at my notes, I don't see any documentation for

poppyseed oil, though the Domostroi mentions keeping poppyseed on hand.

 

> Which of these plants were grown in northern Europe? If there are

> native plants that oil can be extracted from, does this mean that

> it is less likely that they would have paid the price to import olive

> oil? Or would taste (or even the extra expense) mean that olive was

> still preferred?

 

All of these plants: hemp, flax, field poppy, were grown in Northern

Europe and Russia. In Poland, Olive oil was imported as a special luxury

(according to Dembinska). Again, I don't have any references to olive oil

in my few sources on Russian food. I'll try to remember to ask on the SIG

list.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

From: "Jim and Andi" <icbhod at home.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Sesame oil, was Andalusian feast

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 10:38:44 -0600

 

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

Untoasted sesame oil is easy to find here, where both Vittoria and i live.

 

Do you have a health food store (not a pill store) or natural foods

store near you? We have quite a few around here and they all carry

several different kinds of sesame oil. We also have a really

wonderful market that sells fabulous produce that also carries the

untoasted kind (Berkeley Bowl - so named because it used to be in the

building that previously housed a bowling alley). Worth a look-see if

anyone ever visits Berkeley.

 

Untoasted is NOT likely to be at ethnic markets, in my experience.

Since the toasted is used in several East Asian cuisines, not just

Chinese, it is what you're most likely to find in the ethnic markets.

 

Anahita

-----------------------

 

I think it depends on what ethnic markets you have near you. I live in

Nashville TN, and while the Asian markets only have the dark toasted sesame

oil, the Middle Eastern markets have several different brands of the regular

sesame oil. And the price difference can be astounding between the health

food markets and the ethnic markets, *especially* for stuff like that. I

would price it first, even if you have to drive a little ways for the

cheaper ethnic store. I priced whole cardamom pods here just a few days ago,

and at the local Wild Oats they cost $4.69 for 2 oz. but at the Indian

market they cost $4 for a half-pound. Nuts, tahini, dates, and spices and

rice were all significantly cheaper.

 

Madhavi

 

 

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:41:43 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lenten oils, was Honey Butter?

 

On 6 Mar 2002, at 11:30, A F Murphy wrote:

> What did people in the north use as cooking fats during Lent? They

> couldn't use either butter or lard, which I think were otherwise the

> standards. The only oil I know about in period (my knowledge not being

> extensive) is olive oil, and while that might have been available, how

> common would it have been?

 

I'm sure the wealthy would have imported olive oil.  The other oil

that was in use was rapeseed oil (commonly called canola oil in

modern U.S.)  According to C. Anne Wilson in _Food and Drink in

Britain_, large-scale cultivation of rapeseed did not begin until the

16th century; before that, the oil was mostly imported from

Flanders.

 

> Of course, this actually raises another question. As I write this, I

> realize I take it for granted that they needed to brown onions, saut=E9

> some foods, pan fry fish...  Did they, actually? I haven't read many

> recipes yet, but it occurs to me that I don't think I have encountered

> these techniques much, if at all, yet.

 

There are period recipes for pan-frying all kinds of foods, though

deep-frying recipes are rare.  I took a quick look through the fish

section of _Take a Thousand Eggs_.  Most of the recipes call for

grilling, roasting, or stewing the fish, but there are a few that say to

fry them in oil.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 12:10:23 -0500 (EST)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lenten oils, was Honey Butter?

 

> What did people in the north use as cooking fats during Lent? They

> couldn't use either butter or lard, which I think were otherwise the

> standards. The only oil I know about in period (my knowledge not being

> extensive) is olive oil, and while that might have been available, how

> common would it have been?

 

There's also poppyseed oil, flaxseed oil, and hempseed oil. I don't

know how common they were outside of Eastern Europe though. I'm sure I

have docs somewhere but one of my bookshelves suddenly suffered morbid

lean a bit ago and everything I need seems to be trapped in there.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lenten oils, was Honey Butter?

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:27:36 -0600

 

Almost any seed can be crushed for oil.  Walnut oil was fairly common in

Northern Europe and the European almonds which appear in cookbooks all over

Europe contain more oil than those we eat in the US.  Hemp and flax seed

have also been pressed for their oil.

 

I seem to remember complaints about the price of olive oil in Northern

Europe. Prior to the 13th Century, information about olive oil imports may

prove sketchy, but after the founding of the Hanseatic League in 1241, I

believe you will find imports of olive oil listed in their records.

 

I also suspect a number of people honored the Lenten prohibition by simply

neglecting it.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Chickengoddess" <rhiannon at madcelt.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 07:52:25 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Lenten oils

 

FYI, the Orthodox Catholic tradition rules out olives and olive oil for

lent.  Now, looking at the pre-Trent Roman Catholic Church, we see that it

is much less like what the RC Church has evolved into in modern times and

much more like the Eastern Orthodox traditions in both liturgy and custom.

In the Eastern Churches (Greece, Serbia, Russia, Antiochian, Jerusalem, etc)

lent means no meat, fish dairy or olive products.  Strict observance means

totally oil free. For some odd reason shrimp and shellfish are ok.  Perhaps

in this instance, it would be more useful to look into the religious sources

of the period in western Europe for this information than the cooking

sources, as the religious practices dictated the dietary changes.

 

Just a thought,

Rhiannon Cathaoir-mor

South Downs, Meridies

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 20:28:06 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period cooking oils?

From: Daniel Myers <doc at bookofrefreshments.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, at 08:08 PM, El Hermoso Dormido wrote:

> I'm looking in my pantry and suddenly find myself wondering how

> many oils besides olive oil are period...

 

On a quick check, almond oil, walnut oil, "nut oil", and "special oil"

are referenced in "Libellus de arte coquinaria" [Northern Europe, ca.

1300] (I've no idea what the last two oils are - and apparently neither

did the translators).

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

Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

http://www.bookofrefreshments.com/doc/

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 17:37:52 -0700

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period cooking oils?

 

On Wed, 10 Jul 2002 18:08:48 -0600 El Hermoso Dormido

<ElHermosoDormido at dogphilosophy.net> wrote:

 

"I'm looking in my pantry and suddenly find myself wondering how many oils

besides olive oil are period..."

[snip]

"Is almond or walnut oil period?"

 

Almond oil and sesame oil were used for cooking, though they show up mostly in

Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sources.  I have seen other kinds of nut and

seed oils in Spanish recipes for cosmetics.  The Manual de Mugeres has a

recipe for hand & face pomade, which calls for the following oils, in addition

to lard and wax:

sweet almonds

bitter almonds

peach seed

melon seed

poppy seed

 

The same source also mentions sesame oil and masticin other recipes (for

cosmetic use).

 

I don't offhand recall seeing a mention of walnut oil in period sources, but

as walnuts are frequently mentioned, I think it likely that someone was

extracting oil from them.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 09:40:33 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] proper cracklings

 

Chiklins, that's a hoot!

 

Did you ever notice that schmaltz is documentable from a source that we have?

Look in Platina, near the beginning under "Liquimen."  At the end of the

lard-rendering process, they say that you can render chicken fat by the same

method. Woohoo!

 

Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

> Saw the title, had to comment!

> OK, the Jewish version of cracklings is called *gribnis* Same cooking deal,

> only we use chicken. <snipperoo>

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 05:40:22 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] schmaltz

 

Also sprach Mark S. Harris:

>What is "schmaltz"? I take it that it is a Jewish word (although it sounds

>German, Yiddish?) for rendered chicken fat? How is it used? To fry

>things in, like lard is? How does cooking in it compare to lard? Is it

>not more common because chickens don't have much fat or is there some

>other reason? I realize that the Jewish folks may simply accept any

>additional difficulties since they avoid the more common pork fat/lard.

 

I believe schmaltz just means fat, so while it can refer to rendered

fat (something other than pork, but not necessarily chicken, although

chicken is sort of the default setting for Jews, in most cases), it

can also refer to herring taken in the season when they're especially

fatty.

 

I would say cooking in chicken fat (based on observation) is a little

more like cooking in bacon fat (i.e. the rendered fat from cooking

cured bacon) than like lard proper. I think it doesn't hold up as

well for as long as lard does under high heat. I don't _think_ you'd

use chicken fat for deep-frying, for example, because I think it

burns a little more easily. However, you can use it for sauteeing,

and even for pastry and other shortening purposes (for example, it's

a common/traditional fat for things like matzoh balls).

 

You can also spread it on bread, to moisten it, if, say, you're

eating a dairyless meal and want to avoid butter.

 

This isn't just applicable to Jewish foods, BTW: certain Chinese

dishes can be cooked in chicken fat (Yangchow fried rice being

traditionally cooked in either lard or chicken fat, for example), and

there's a huge tradition in parts of Southwestern France and in

Central Europe to cook in goose fat, which is somewhat similar.

 

Adamantius

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] schmaltz

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 07:13:48 -0500

 

"Schmalz" is German for "cooking fat" or "lard." "Schmaltz" is the Yiddish

form. The differentiation between lard and chicken fat is religious, as you

surmise. When you deal with older texts it can be a little tricky to

determine which is meant since the spelling was often phonetic.

 

Bear

 

>Ok, I guess it's been a while. So time for another Stefan question.

>What is "schmaltz"? I take it that it is a Jewish word (although it sounds

>German, Yiddish?) for rendered chicken fat? How is it used? To fry

>things in, like lard is? How does cooking in it compare to lard? Is it

>not more common because chickens don't have much fat or is there some

>other reason? I realize that the Jewish folks may simply accept any

>additional difficulties since they avoid the more common pork fat/lard.

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 11:12:45 -0400

From: Devra at aol.com

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Schmaltz

 

I suspect that schmaltz isn't used as much as butter because there aren't a lot of convenient commercial sources for it, the way there are with butter  I have seen it sold in jars (1 C?) in the long past, but can't remember seeing it recently.  You can of course make your own; it just requires some attention to keep the fat from browning.  And it keeps moderately well in the fridge.  It's not that chickens don't have enough fat--you ever pull the loose fat out of a capon/oven stuffer roaster?  Schmaltz was traditionally used to fry things like potato pancakes.

 

Hard to do reduced cholesterol with it, though.

Devra

 

 

From: "Mercedes/Stephanie" <steldr at cox.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Schmaltz

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 10:37:17 -0500

 

I can usually get it at a small, high end grocery store here in Tulsa, it's

frozen and is usually with the kosher chickens and such.  I used to pick up

a container at a grocery store in Dallas that has a large kosher section,

over near Forest Ln and Preston, maybe?   I do remember, many years ago,

that we used to buy it just refrigerated in jars in the butter area of the

grocery store.  I only use it when we make chopped liver.

 

Mercedes

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 09:00:18 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Schmaltz

 

Chicken fat is just not as necessary for all-purpose cooking fat/bread spread since the invention of pareve margarine.  [Pareve = neutral for purposes of milk vs. meat meals.]  Between that and the modern medical knowlege that animal fats are bad for you, schmaltz' days were numbered.  Let's face it, the traditional Ashkenazy diet has probably killed more Jews throughout the centuries than Hitler and Haman combined, and much more insidiously!  This, says the woman who just had a last-hurrah meal of kishka and stuff before seriously contemplating the low-carb Atkins diet again. Urgh. Soy blini anybody?

 

Selene Colfox

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 13:56:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: robert frazier <robertblacksmith at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Turnip/rape?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

rapeseed is a grain crushed for cooking oil.the first

large amounts sold.modernly,was by the canadian oil

company.because rape is a bad word it's known as

"canola oil". The oil has been found as far back as the

norse digs in dublin.very period and cheap.

 

robert frazier

stallarifannsk household,An Tir

 

 

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Turnip/rape?

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 16:04:13 -0500

Reply-To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> So if "rapes" are turnips, what is rapeseed?  Is it turnip seed, or a

> different plant entirely?

> Vicente

 

Actually "rapes" are Brassica napus var. napobrassica better known as the

Swedish turnip or rutabaga or B. napus var. napus, the canola or annual

rape, close relatives of Brassica rapa var. rapa, the field turnip.  Of

course the average peasant probably called everything that looked like a

turnip, a rape.

 

Rapeseed are the seeds of the rutabaga and rapeseed oil is the oil pressed

from the seeds.

 

Canola oil is rapeseed oil which is low in erucic acid and is pressed from

the seeds of the canola.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 23:18:06 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] plea for help-- Soup for the Qan

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

 

Fat-tailed sheep are called that because they store large quantities of fat

in the nether regions around the tail. There are a number of breeds, most

of which have very coarse wool suitable for carpets.

 

I haven't worked with it but I would think that mutton fat or beef tallow

would be closer than butter.  It is definitely not marrow.

 

Bear

 

>>  would the marrow in the sheep's tail have had an effect other than

>> the butter?

> I had read (somewhere) that the sheeps tail was used for the fat content,

> and one of the suggested substitutes was .. butter? Maybe I got that

> wrong?

>> Jared

> Maggie

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 15:36:22 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Holiday Sweets

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Katira wrote: [talking about hais]

> I get a mixture that holds together well and is more

> like a sweet than a travel food (Cariadoc's version is

> so dry it is almost impossible to shape according to a

> helper at a feast he was doing, though it was still

> quite tasty).  I also tried the sesame oil in my first

> version and felt it overpowered all the other flavors.

>  I also found it was quite an oily mixture. Ugh.  The

> butter is perfect for my taste.

 

Did you use a nice cold-pressed sesame oil from a health food store?

Or one from a Middle Eastern market? Or the dark roasted East Asian

kind from the supermarket?

 

I find a good quality cold-pressed sesame oil has a wonderful flavor

that adds rather than detracts from the dishes to which it is added.

Spectrum oils has two. I prefer the cold-pressed organic for flavor,

but it is more expensive than their other oil, so I buy a bit of each

for feasts, for a compromise for best flavor and price.

 

Not too long ago, I decided to try the cheaper Middle Eastern sesame

oil. Although the finished product was acceptable, and I imagine most

diners didn't notice, it did not have the same wonderful fresh nutty

flavor of the cold-pressed oil. I find this kind, which is hot

pressed or chemically extracted I don't know which, to be bitter.

 

The dark roasted East Asian sesame oil is generally available in

supermarkets and several people on various lists have used it

mistakenly. This kind was not used in Near Eastern food and is, of

course, completely unsuitable, as it adds an overpowering flavor to

the food, rather than the wonderful flavor of cold-pressed sesame

oil. It is meant to be used only as a flavoring in finishing a dish

and is added at the end after the dish has pretty much finished

cooking. In the proper setting it is wonderful, but Near Eastern food

is not the place it should be.

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 10:23:40 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mediterranean food

To: ekoogler1 at comcast.net, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-ooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Here's what Clifford Wright has to say about the use of butter and

other animal fats in medieval Sicilian cuisine. What's really

interesting to me is that he mentions the village where my grandmother

came from, Corleone.

 

      "In the fourteenth century and up until the beginning of the

eighteenth century, animal fats such as butter, bacon, lard, mutton fat

(perhaps a vestige of the Arab presence), and beef suet were the fats

used in Sicilian cooking. In fact, the preferred cooking fat in

fifteenth-century Sicily was butter. According to the stricfizarii

(taxation records), these were the largest purchases. In Corleone, a

mountain town of western Sicily, butter was sold in a quartara, a kind

of narrow-necked earthenware vessel and was sometimes the only food to

accompany the bread available to the agricultural workers who used it

frequently in place of cheese.

 

     Although olive oil, the cooking fat most closely associated with

Sicilian cooking today, has been produced continually throughout

Sicilian history, it was rare and expensive until recently. Although

butter was used more than olive oil in Sicily, and it was a primary

cooking fat, its production and distribution was neverthless limited.

In the Middle Ages, only the Jews bought olive oil in quantity as pork

fat was forbidden to them (the Muslim Sicilians having suffered their

final expulsion in the 1230s). The Jewish cooks fondness for olive

oil is partly behind this, but also most merchants dealing in Sicilian

olive oil for export were Jews. Don’t let the abundant use of olive

oil in contemporary Sicilian recipes fool you into thinking that olive

oil was always abundant in Sicily. When olive oil, with its modest

production, was used, it was used on bread or for seasoning dried

vegetable soups."

 

There are some useful essays on Mr. Wright's site about food history

for the Mediteranean region. http://www.cliffordawright.com

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 23:39:12 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grapeseed oil and liana syrup

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

 

On 15 Nov 2004, at 9:57, Patrick Levesque wrote:

> Can we document grapeseed oil in period? (probably, but where?...  

> Actually, does

> anybody knows of sources devoted specifically to oil pressing, and the  

> various

> kind of oils used, in period? Specifically late period Italy, but any  

> reference

> will be interesting... I'm heading off to the Florilegium right now to  

> check what's there :-))))

 

I know that grapeseed oil appears in the Manual de Mugeres (Spanish

household manual, 15th/16th c.).  However, it is in recipes for cosmetics.  I

don't know about culinary use, though I don't remember seeing it in  other

Spanish culinary sources.  Sorry.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 10:13:50 +0100

From: henna <hennar at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Devilled Eggs (was: Out of the food topic

        altogether   rant Authenticitypolice)

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

 

On Mon, 7 Feb 2005 21:19:43 -0500, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius

<adamantius.magister at verizon.net> wrote:

> Also sprach Bill Fisher:

>> On Tue, 8 Feb 2005 01:30:03 +0100, henna <hennar at gmail.com> wrote:

>>> They aren't fried in lard, but in butter or turnipfat :)

>> 

>> What is "turnipfat"  - I am not familiar with this?

>> 

>> Anyone?

> Rapeseed oil? Which is, I believe, a period cooking fat in Northern  

> Europe?

 

I think rapeseed oil as well, It's an oil made from the seeds of

turnips (pretty yellow flowers :)), at least if turnip is indeed

Brassica rapa 'cause otherwise there's a translation error.

 

Finne

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 08:22:50 -0500

From: Bill Fisher <liamfisher at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Devilled Eggs (was: Out of the food topic

        altogether   rant Authenticitypolice)

To: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

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

 

On Mon, 7 Feb 2005 21:19:43 -0500, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius

<adamantius.magister at verizon.net> wrote:

> Rapeseed oil? Which is, I believe, a period cooking fat in Northern  

> Europe?

> Adamantius

 

Heh, rapeseed is otherwise known as canola oil,  Rapes are a member  of

the mustard family.   Rape oil was toxic until the crafty Canadians in Canadia

bred a much less toxic version of the plant in recent history. Apparently erucic

acid causes huge fatty deposits in and around the heart and kills you  

quickly.

 

Brassicaceae, Cruciferae is the varietal.

 

Cadoc

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 13:49:41 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Devilled Eggs (was: Out of the food topic

        altogetherrant Authenticitypolice)

To: "Bill Fisher" <liamfisher at gmail.com>, "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Cruciferae (according to Juss) is the botanical family commonly called

mustards. Brassicaceae is an alternative family name put forward by

Burnett. The rape is genus Brassica species napus.  Common varietals are

napus, napobrassica, annua, biennis, and pabularia.  Ain't taxonomy fun?

 

Bear

 

> Heh, rapeseed is otherwise known as canola oil,  Rapes are a member  of

> the mustard family.   Rape oil was toxic until the crafty Canadians in Canadia

> bred a much less toxic version of the plant in recent history.

> Apparently erucic

> acid causes huge fatty deposits in and around the heart and kills you

> quickly.

> Brassicaceae, Cruciferae is the varietal.

> Cadoc

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:47:15 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aqras Mukallala

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Someone wrote:

>> Would this have been a roasted or a plain sesame oil? I seem to

>> remember comments on this list that what you wanted for medieval Middle

>> Eastern recipes was the non-roasted stuff, which was harder to find,

>> and I think my searching for it bore this out.

 

Yes, UNROASTED. Here in Berzerkley, i have no problem finding

cold-pressed sesame oil.

 

Jadwiga wrote:

> By the way, if you find a reasonably priced source for this, I want

> some. Sesame oil (the light kind)

> is the base for Neutrogena body oil.

 

I buy good quality cold pressed sesame oil at the health food store -

i get Spectrum brand. How reasonable the price is depends on how much

you want to buy. IIRC, it's around $4 for 12 ounces. Since i only use

it occasionally (and i keep it in the fridge to retard oxidation,

i.e., so it doesn't get rancid too fast), i don't mind paying the

price for good flavor and quality.

 

I have tried the sesame oil from the Middle Eastern market, which is

cheaper, but ya gets what ya pays for. It was nowhere near as good in

freshness or flavor as the health food brand.

 

If i were putting oil on my skin, i'd want the cleanest freshest i

could get, so i'd go for the Spetrum brand.

--

Urtatim, formerly Anahita

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 22:44:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

They used a lot of clarified butter (ghee) as their

cooking fat.  It was typical to have a pot of it above

or near the cooking area so that it could be quickly

added to the pot if needed.  This is referenced in Ann

Hagen's books on foods in Anglo-Saxon England, if I

remember right - I don't actually own a copy.  I've

seen it in another spot and am wracking my brain to

remember where.  If I recall, I'll post it.

 

Also, I've never seen reference in period manuscripts

to bread served with butter spread upon it.  It seems

more like a modern convention that is a society-wide

practice.

 

My thoughts,

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 23:52:23 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

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

 

On 7/16/05 10:44 PM, "Kathleen Madsen" <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> They used a lot of clarified butter (ghee) as their

> cooking fat.  It was typical to have a pot of it above

> or near the cooking area so that it could be quickly

> added to the pot if needed.

 

Well, they did not call it by the Hindi word "ghee" and actually, ghee

proper is also cooked beyond mere melting and clarification to impart a

slightly nutty flavor.

 

This does not stop me from keeping a jar of pre-packaged ghee by my stove,

for use as you describe.  Ancient Anglo-Saxons unfortunately had very few

South Asian mini-marts in their neighborhoods. <smile>

 

Selene Colfox

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:21:09 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <eduard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

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

 

On Jul 17, 2005, at 3:42 PM, Carole Smith wrote:

> There are other groups that use clarified butter today, and

> probably in period as well.  The Arabic word is samneh (pronounced

> Sam nah with slight emphasis on the first syllable).  And of course

> clarified butter is used in French cooking as well.

 

Interestingly enough, there is an ingredient with a similar name and

purpose ("saim") being used in period France.  Check lines 15 and 35

below.

 

From "Enseignements qui enseingnent a apareillier toutes manieres de

viandes" (ca. 1300)

http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/%7Egloning/1300ens.htm

http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/lessons.shtm (my translation)

 

|13| Char de porc: la loingne en rost, en yver e en estei, as aus

vers. E qui en

|14| veut en chivei si la depieche par morseaus; (c)e puis cuisiez

oingnons en

|15| saim, e broez de poivre e d'autres espices e pain ars, e

desfaites en un

|16| mortier; puis destrempez de l'eve ou le porc sera cuit; puis metez

|17| boillir e metez sus les morseaus qui avront estei arochié e du

sel, e tout

|18| cen metez en escueles e du chivé de sus.

 

(Pork: roasted loin, in winter and in summer, with green garlic. And

which if wanted in gravy then cut it into pieces; And then cook

onions in grease, and ground pepper and other spices and toasted

bread, and grind in a mortar; Then temper with the water that the

pork cooked in; Then put it to boil and put over the pieces which

have been pulled and of salt, and all this put in a bowl with the

gravy thereon.)

 

[...]

 

|32| por char de veel -- Char de veel en rost, la loingne parboullie

en eve, e puis lardee e rostie

|33| e mengie as aus vers ou au poivre. E se vous en volez a la

charpie, parboulliez

|34| la en eve e puis si la depechiez par morseaus en une pelle, et puis

|35| frissiez les morseaus en une paiele en saim ou (la) lart, e puis

metez des

|36| oués batuz dessus, e puis poudrés [pondrez_(o')_Ms.] de sus de

poivre, si sera charpie. E se

|37| aucuns en veut en pasté, parboulliez la en eve e puis lardez,

detrenchiez

|38| par morseaus e les metez en pasté.

 

(For veal -- Roasted veal, the loin parboiled in water, and then lard

and eat with green garlic or pepper. And if you would like it

minced, parboil it in water and then cut into pieces in a pan, and

then fry the pieces in a pan in grease or bacon fat, and then put

beaten eggs therein, and then sprinkle with pepper, then that is

minced. And if otherwise wanted in a pie, parboil it in water and

then lard it, slice into pieces and put it in a pie.)

 

 

In both cases I translated this as "grease".

 

Scully has "sain" and "saing" in the glossary of _Viandier_ and

defines it as, "drippings from a roast, grease (esp. of pork)."

 

Greg Lindahl's site seems to be down, so I can't check Cottgrave's

dictionary. (I hope it's just temporary)

 

- Doc

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

   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:01:49 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hais report

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Adamantius wrote:

> On Nov 8, 2005, at 11:34 PM, CLdyroz at aol.com wrote:

>> I really do not like the oil. I do agree that the next batch should

>> use butter.

> If/when you used sesame oil, was it the toasted or untoasted-seed

> variety? This would make a pretty dramatic difference in the flavor.

> I assume that, if the original calls for sesame oil, there's a good

> chance they liked the flavor that way. It only remains to be explored

> why your experience was different. Which, I of course realize, is

> what you're doing...

 

I find that using *quality* ingredients really does make a

difference, at least, i can taste it.

 

For "Middle Eastern" cuisine, *non-toasted* sesame oil is the kind to

use. Very definitely NOT the dark roasted Chinese sesame oil.

 

I love sesame oil. I sometimes mix half-and-half butter-and-sesame

oil to make pie crusts.

 

I've tried several different kinds. And they are not equals. I

suspect the unpleasantness of the sesame oil in the hais was due to

an inferior sesame oil.

 

From a halal market: some brand from the Middle East. It was bitter,

and had a slightly stale (not rancid) flavor and an unpleasant

"greasy" feel. I used it because it was cheap - but i would NOT

recommend it and will NOT use it again.

 

From the health food store, Spectrum produces many vegetable oils.

-- The Spectrum organic cold-pressed unrefined sesame oil was THE

best. But expensive. I use it if i'm making something for myself and

a couple other people.

-- Spectrum has two other sesame oils that are cheaper - unrefined

and refined - not quite as good as the unrefined organic, but good.

For feasts i buy the cheaper one - the refined - it doesn't have the

same wonderful earthy-nutty flavor of the unrefined organic, but it's

not bad, and it's waaaaay better than the awful stuff from the halal

market.

 

Why use inferior ingredients that make a bad tasting dish?

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 20:31:11 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Hais report

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

 

On Nov 15, 2005, at 7:26 PM, K C Francis wrote:

>> From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

> -snip

>> So, when you used sesame oil, what kind of sesame oil did you use?

>> 

>> Adamantius

> can't be sure, but it might have been the toasted.  I really like

> how the butter works so that is always my choice for this recipe.

 

Okay. The toasted-seed variety is usually pretty dark brown, often a

Japanese brand like Kadoya. (Chinese brands can be even darker,

almost opaque, with coffee-like overtones of flavor). Both toasted

and untoasted types can sometimes go rancid fairly easily, too, so

that might easily contribute to a sort of negative flavor effect.

 

The untoasted-seed variety is lighter in color, almost colorless,

like the oil that floats on top of a jar of tahini paste. It's a lot

less aggressively flavored, and is probably the kind of oil preferred

for Middle Eastern cookery.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 15:46:18 -0800 (PST)

From: Carole Smith <renaissancespirit2 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] used oil

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

 

Michael Gunter countgunthar at hotmail.com when talking about deep-frying a turkey wrote:

>>> 

Speaking of cleanup, what's the best way to dispose of the

used oil?

 

Gunthar

<<< 

 

I suppose in this time most of us don't cook with oils, much less  

fry, often.  But growing up in the deep South with parents who lived  

through the 1930's depression, the idea of throwing away that much  

oil after one use was unthinkable.

 

   Mom would let the oil cool until after dinner, by which time the  

flour, etc. settled to the bottom of the cooking pot.  She'd pour the  

clear oil into a glass container (such as a mayonnaise jar) and seal  

it. Next time she wanted to fry or saute, the jar of oil would  

appear on the counter.  We had no air conditioning, and the oil never  

went rancid in the cupboard.  She did keep two jars - one for fish  

and one for everything else.

 

   The sludgy bits left in the cooking pot were always a good  

beginning of gravy if we wanted it.

 

   I keep a jar of used oil in the cupboard, although I fry far less  

often than Mom.  I don't tell people about it because their reaction  

is always the same  Eeeewwww!

 

   Cordelia Toser

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 09:27:41 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] mongolian meat cakes

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

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> Roasted has a very strong flavor, and the feastcrat

> cut what she used with sunflower oil. I would imagine there would  

> be a great difference in the flavor of roasted vs. unroasted sesame oil.

> ~Aislinn~

> I use the toasted sesame oil primarily in hummus, because I prefer the

> flavor.

> Bear

 

Several Middle Eastern recipes call for sesame oil, and it was

determined that the roasted oil was just too strong.  I was able to get

cold pressed oil from a Web site (in fact, I found it on E-Bay!!),

though you should be able to get it at health food stores, if no  

where else.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 12:18:23 -0400

From: "Martha Oser" <osermart at msu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sesame Oil (was: Mongolian Meat Cakes)

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

You should also be able to find the "light" sesame oil in a Middle Eastern

market, if you have one nearby.  It is light in color and flavor, rather

than the caloric "lite" of the modern day.

 

I am also finding it in the "international food" aisle of many large grocery

stores these days - Meijer, for example, if you're familiar with them.  The

"al-Ziyad" brand seems to be the most prevalent.  It has a label that's

mainly yellow with some green and red print.

 

-Helena

 

> Several Middle Eastern recipes call for sesame oil, and it was

> determined that the roasted oil was just too strong.  I was able to  

> get cold pressed oil from a Web site (in fact, I found it on E-Bay!!),

> though you should be able to get it at health food stores, if no  

> where else.

> Kiri

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:06:40 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] mongolian meat cakes

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

First, as far as i can tell, toasted sesame oil is not really used as

a basic cooking oil in East Asian cooking. It seems to me it is more

of a flavoring, generally added near or at the end of cooking, or

used for something that doesn't take long to cook.

 

Second, the sesame oil used in Near and Middle Eastern cooking is

from untoasted sesame seeds.

 

Third, purchasing:

I recommend Spectrum brand which i get at "health food" stores. They

make several versions. The organic cold-pressed unrefined has the

very best delicious earthy sesame flavor, but is more expensive than

the others. The unrefined and the refined are both good and less

expensive. Get what you can afford. I just noticed that it is also

sold by Amazon.com, of all places, but i'd expect shipping to be a

bit pricey.

 

I have purchased sesame oil at a local Middle Eastern market and

found it an inferior product, at least the brand i bought.  But if

it's all you can find, it is tolerable. I found it greasy feeling,

bitter, and having an almost rancid quality. I suspect that the way

the oil is extracted is affecting the flavor, as well, perhaps, as

the way it had been stored and shipped. In any case, what i tried i

found to be barely acceptable. But it sure was cheaper than the

Spectrum.

 

Of course, once you open a bottle of oil, it MUST be kept in the

fridge, unless you will be using it all up rapidly. An opened bottle

sitting on the counter, and especially if it's getting sunlight or

near the stove, will oxidize, i.e., turn rancid. This will adversely

affect the flavor of the food cooked with it.

 

Olive oil doesn't do well in the fridge - since part will solidify -

but keeping it in a cool dark place will prolong its life. However,

if you rarely use it, keeping it in the fridge won't be bad, just be

sure to take it out long enough ahead of time so it can reach room

temperature and liquify.

 

I also want to stress that the quality of ingredients one uses really

has an effect on the flavor of dishes. For example, when yogurt is

called for, i use whole milk yogurt without added stabilizers (no

gelatin, no gums, no carrageenan, etc.) - and i'd use sheep's milk

yogurt for Middle Eastern dishes if it weren't so darn expensive.

 

When i'm cooking feasts, i have to make some compromises based on my

budget, but i weigh them carefully. Sesame oil affects the flavor of

the dishes that call for it, and i've found that spending an extra

couple dollars for the good stuff was not a budget breaker.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 14:19:48 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Olive oil (was Re: Bread Recipe from my

        files)

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

 

>> since it had to be imported...so if you're looking at, say, 14th-century

>> English recipes, you wouldn't see a ton of olive oil, but it'd be

>> all over the Italian cookbooks of the same period.

> While olives (or at least olive oil) would have been imported into

> northern Europe, I don't believe that they were so rare as to be

> hugely expensive.

 

Yup, I think you may be looking at a consequence of the butter line

here, in that butter would be more available above the butter line than

below it.

 

There's stuff about oils and fats in the 2002 Oxford Symposium on Food

and Cookery http://www.oxfordsymposium.org.uk/contents2002.html

Judy Gerjuoy gave a presentation there on the medieval fats but I don't

think it made it into the proceedings.

 

> I'll try to find more concrete evidence, but given the above in

> connection with the number of recipes I've seen which call for olive

> oil (including some that use it for frying), I'm inclined to believe

> that while it was more expensive than lard, it was not considered

> overly expensive and was commonly used in large quantities by the

> middle and upper classes.

 

I think I'd agree.

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 02:53:53 -0500 (EST)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Bear wrote:

<<< From what I've read, the local fats of southern Europe tended to

be lard rather than butter and I'm curious as to how extensively

butter was used in the Moslem cultures of the period. >>>

 

The most common cooking fat in primarily Muslim cultures was sheep tail fat from fat tail sheep. This is true in the 'Abbasid cookbooks (ibn Sayyar al-Warraq (9th & 10th c.) and al-Baghdadi (1226)) and Ottoman recipes (15th c.). And it is also used in al-Andalus. It is used for meat dishes and occasionally shows up in sweets.

 

In the 'Abbasid cookbooks, sesame oil is the second most common cooking oil. It is used for savories and sweets. Of course, this is UNroasted sesame oil, not the dark stuff used to flavor East Asian dishes and not for cooking. I think it is not much used in 13th c. al-Andalus, but i'll have to double check. Sesame oil is used for some 15th and 16th c. Ottoman sweets, but rarely savories.

 

It is assumed that when oil is called for, and sesame oil is not mentioned, then it is olive oil, in 'Abbasid cookbooks. They almost never specify olive oil by name, although olives are used. It is also common in Andalusi recipes. But olive oil was *never* used for cooking in the kitchens of the Ottoman Sultans in 15th and 16th century Constantinople. It is likely that the common people used olive oil, but it doesn't figure in any surviving Ottoman recipes.

 

Finally, butter is the preferred fat for sweets in Ottoman recipes, and is also used in some savories. Butter is only rarely used in 'Abbasid recipes. Andalusi recipes use butter in some sweets and pastries.

 

As for the recipes in the 14th century Mamluk Egyptian cookbook, the Book of the Description of Familiar Foods, i'll have to go double check. The core of the book is a copy of al-Baghdadi, which reflect the above comments, but hundreds more recipes have been added from other sources and i'm not certain what they call for off the top of my head.

--

Urtatim (that's urr-tah-TEEM)

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 06:27:16 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

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

 

Bear said:

<<< From what I've read, the local fats of southern Europe tended to  be

lard rather than butter and I'm curious as to how extensively butter was used

in the Moslem cultures of the period. >>>

 

Yes, we've discussed butter use in southern Europe previously. But I

thought the alternative was olive oil, although lard is also likely.

 

Butter being used less because it doesn't keep as well in warmer

climates. But when was olive oil used vs. lard? Why would each be  used? I

might at first say lard was cheaper than olive oil, but that  might not

have been the case in the Middle Ages.

 

Like butter, lard wouldn't have been used on fish days, right? And  lard,

typically (always?) from pigs wouldn't have been used in the  Moslem parts

of southern Europe.

 

Stefan

------

 

The point of some of the previous posts in the thread is puff pastry is a

technology transfer from Moslem to Christian Europe.  The contention is that

the basic technique of puff pastries using butter moved from one to the

other. Olive oil was used by both cultures.  Moslems and Jews used sheep

and chicken fat.  Christians used lard (the pig was ubiquitous in Europe and

lard was cheaper than olive oil, particularly in northern Europe).  AFAIK,

butter is the least used fat in southern Europe.  Unless one can answer how

and when butter became the fat of choice in Moslem pastries, then the

contention that puff pastry is a transfer from Moslem to Christian Europe is

flawed.

 

Olive oil and leaf pastry almost certainly pre-dates Islam in Europe, so

might not butter and leaf pastry be a central European substitution that was

adopted by the Ottomans?  What, and how solid, is the evidence for any of

these positions?

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 09:28:30 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

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

 

On Nov 22, 2008, at 1:52 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< Yes, we've discussed butter use in southern Europe previously. But I  

thought the alternative was olive oil, although lard is also likely. >>>

 

Olive oil and lard are both common alternatives, but there's no single  

alternative, and it depends on where and when you're speaking of.

 

<<< Butter being used less because it doesn't keep as well in warmer  

climates. >>>

 

Well, unless you clarify it, which some people did and do in warmer  

climates. Another important consideration is that _cows_ don't always  

do as well in warmer climates.

 

<<< But when was olive oil used vs. lard? Why would each be used? I  

might at first say lard was cheaper than olive oil, but that might  

not have been the case in the Middle Ages. >>>

 

Speaking very generally, the local product is going to be cheaper.  

Other considerations are smoke point for frying (the temperature you  

can safely bring your fat to without it deteriorating and going rancid  

too quickly), moisture content (butter is used a lot in pastries  

requiring steam to provide the kind of dramatic inflation you see in  

things like puff pastry because of its water content). And, of course,  

whether or not your religious leaders have placed a temporary ban on  

one or the other.

 

<<< Like butter, lard wouldn't have been used on fish days, right? And  

lard, typically (always?) from pigs wouldn't have been used in the  

Moslem parts of southern Europe. >>>

 

Not unless you were a Christian, and in some places conversion wasn't  

complete. But generally, yes, and then these were the people that  

brought us tail-fat, right?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 15:00:28 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

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

 

> Butter being used less because it doesn't keep as well in warmer climates.

 

<<< Well, unless you clarify it, which some people did and do in warmer climates. Another important consideration is that _cows_ don't always do as well in warmer climates. >>>

 

The lard they sell in stores has been treated to be shelf stable.  Untreated lard doesn't keep that well either, unless you have a cool place to store it.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 19:34:47 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Suey said:

 

<<< Of other grease products, as stated in various messages, sheep's tail

fat was the best grease for Muslims in Southern Spain until olive groves

were producing enough oil for cooking as it takes longer for olive oil

to go rancid. In Northern Spain lard from pigs was the cheapest and the

most commonly used for lack of olive groves but olive oil was used

during Lent.. >>>

 

What do you mean "until olive groves were producing enough for  

cooking"? Don't olive groves in Spain, in fact all throughout the  

Mediterranean, go back to ancient times? Well before the Muslims?

 

Stefan

--------

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 20:43:19 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

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

 

On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 8:34 PM, Stefan li Rous

<<< What do you mean "until olive groves were producing enough for cooking"?

Don't olive groves in Spain, in fact all throughout the Mediterranean, go

back to ancient times? Well before the Muslims? >>>

 

Olive trees were first brought to Spain by the Phoenicians, and were

well-established by Roman times.  The Muslims introduced many foods to

Iberia, including citrus, peaches, and eggplant, but olives were

already there.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:49:10 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Elaine Koogler quered:

<<< by Charles Perry, refer to "oil", they are talking about olive oil rather

than the sesame oil found in other Muslim cultures? >>>

 

I believe Perry and Huici are referring to olive oil although Perry has

a note as to the type of sesame oil used in Islamic cooking, which can

be confusing. I, personally, would not have mentioned that as I believe

he is not referring to Andalusian cooking.

 

Stefan quered:

<<< What do you mean "until olive groves were producing enough for  

cooking"? Don't olive groves in Spain, in fact all throughout the  

Mediterranean, go back to ancient times? Well before the Muslims? >>>

 

As Robin Carroll-Mann remarked the Phoenicians are thought to have

brought olive trees to Spain. That was around 1050 BC. The Romans made

an industry out of Spanish olive oil but that declined with the fall of

Rome and during the three centuries of Goth rulership until Muslim

domination. They increased and improved production. I maintain that

during the early Muslim era there was not enough olive oil to go around

in Andalusia much less other parts of Spain, all of which were under

Muslim occupation for varied periods of time except the northwestern

corner. Note Leon today imports olives and oil as the climate is not apt

for groves.

 

Suey

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 13:52:01 -0800

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

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

 

I haven't yet read the rest of this thread, but wanted to comment that the Hais recipe from al-Baghdidi gives the option of sesame oil or melted butter.  Can't speak to how many other recipes from this source use butter.

 

Katira

 

 

Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2009 21:54:03 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking with nut oil

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

 

On Aug 7, 2009, at 9:37 PM, Deborah Hammons wrote:

<<< I spent part of this afternoon looking in the Florilegium for posts about

cooking with nut oils.  I found a lively discussion in 1997, but it didn't

seem to address physically cooking with the nut oils.  Not sesame or canola,

those are seed oils.  But something like frying in sweet almond oil or

walnut oil.  Hazelnut or pistacio oil?

Aldyth >>>

 

I haven't fried with them, but the ease with which many nut oils  

become rancid when stored at room temperature with even a small air  

space in the container suggests a rather low smoke point -- they  

appear to break down rather easily. With the exception of peanut oil...

 

[Yes, neener neener, peanuts are not, strictly speaking, nuts...]

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:39:20 +1300

From: Antonia Calvo <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] hais

 

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

<<< Yes, untoasted sesame oil, like the stuff that floats on top of the  

jar of tahini, is really not very strong in flavor. Rich, but not  

strong. >>>

 

I think al-Baghdadi and others suggest sesame oil for frying pastries

and the like... (dammit, I'm at the office and the book is at home under

the bed!).

--

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 17:59:11 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] hais

 

Yes, particularly in the Arabic texts...either lamb tail fat or sesame oil.

When you get to other parts of the Middle East, they do use primarily olive

oil...and it is the unroasted sort.  I rarely find it in regular grocery

stores (Safeway, etc.) but find it often in gourmet grocery stores and in

Middle Eastern stores.  I've started using it occasionally in my every day

cooking because of the nice, sort of nutty flavor it brings.

 

Kiri

 

On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 5:39 PM, Antonia Calvo <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>wrote:

<<< I think al-Baghdadi and others suggest sesame oil for frying pastries and

the like... (dammit, I'm at the office and the book is at home under the

bed!).

 

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 18:26:39 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Table Fat

 

<< Schmalz is just a generic term for fat, as the Schmalz you will find on a

german farmhous table is rendered pig fat.

 

So Schmalz is probably only chicken fat in Jewish households.

 

Then there is Butterschmalz, which is heated and cooled butter, freeed

from the milk protein and most of the water, like the Indian Ghee

 

And Griebenschmalz is also made of pigs fat where I am from, so be

carefull to find out where from the recipe etc is before you use schmalz

 

Regards

Katharina >>

 

< I thought pig wasn't kosher?

Aelina >

 

Schmalz is a German word  for melted fat, grease, drippings. lard, etc.  It

covers any animal fat being used in this manner and in some dialects, butter

and the like.  Kosher is immaterial.

 

Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, a German

dialect, that is based on religion rather than region.  Since kosher is

material in Yiddish, schmaltz or schmalz, is more narrowly defined as

rendered chicken or goose fat.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:18:02 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Sesame Oil in 16th Century Ottoman Turkey

 

I was doing a bit of reading in the travelogue "The observations of many

singularities and memorable things, found in Greece, Asia, Judea, Egypt,

Arabia, and other foreign countries." I thought the following would be

of interest to the list:

http://books.google.com/books?id=tBkOAAAAQAAJ

 

p. 427

 

"Les Turcs ont l?huile de Sesame en tel vsage, que ceux de France ont

l?huile de noix, & en Languedoc l?huile d?oliue: & d?autant qu?on la

fait auec grand labeur, c?est commun?ment ouurage d?esclaue. Aussi ne la

fait on qu?en hyuer. Ils tre[m]pent la semence de Sesame vingt & quatre

heures en eau salle: puis mettent en la place, & la battent auec des

maillets de bois dessus vne serpillere iusques ? ce qu?elle soit

escorchee, puis la mettent tremper de rechef en de l?eau salee, qui

soustient l?escorce ? mont, laquelle ils iettent. Puis ostent le grain

du fond, qu?ils seichent au four, & le meulent: & deslors l?huile coule

molle comme moustarde: car il y a peu d?excremens. Puis l?ayans fait

bouillir lentement, separent le marc. C?est vne huile moult douce &

friande, & qui est ? bon march?."

 

The Turks have Sesame oil in such usage, as those in France have walnut

oil, and in Languedoc of olive oil: and as much as that one makes it

with great labor, it is commonly slave's work. Also it is done only in

winter. They soak the seed of Sesame twenty and four hours in salt

water: then put in place, and beat it with wooden mallets on top of a

floor mat until it is hulled, then put it to soak anew in salt water,

which supports the hull to rise, which they throw away. Then remove the

grain from the bottom, they bake dry, and grind it: and then oil flows

soft as mustard: since there is little excrescence. Then having made it

boil slowly, separate the grounds. It is a very sweet and dainty oil,

and which is inexpensive.

 

Note, "l'huile de noix" is translated as "walnut oil" in modern French,

but might be rendered more simply as nut oil. This passage lets us know

what kinds of oil are appropriate for the different regions of France

("Languedoc" is the South West where "oc" was used for "yes"). I wonder

if the floor mat in question was a kilim or some other rug, and if it

had to be turned over for such use if it was. I also noticed that the

sesame oil was boiled, which changes its flavor. Too, this gives us an

idea of the texture of French mustard.

 

Other passages make reference to sorbets and sherbets...

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 12:46:06 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sesame Oil in 16th Century Ottoman Turkey

 

Guillaume wrote:

<<< I was doing a bit of reading in the travelogue "The observations of many

singularities and memorable things, found in Greece, Asia, Judea, Egypt,

Arabia, and other foreign countries." I thought the following would be

of interest to the list:

http://books.google.com/books?id=tBkOAAAAQAAJ >>>

 

p. 427

SNIP

<<< The Turks have Sesame oil in such usage, as those in France have walnut

oil, and in Languedoc of olive oil: and as much as that one makes it

with great labor, it is commonly slave?s work. Also it is done only in

winter. They soak the seed of Sesame twenty and four hours in salt

water: then put in place, and beat it with wooden mallets on top of a

floor mat until it is hulled, then put it to soak anew in salt water,

which supports the hull to rise, which they throw away. Then remove the

grain from the bottom, they bake dry, and grind it: and then oil flows

soft as mustard: since there is little excrescence. Then having made it

boil slowly, separate the grounds. It is a very sweet and dainty oil,

and which is inexpensive. >>>

 

Ooh, thank you!

 

First, a question: Where was the author observing this taking place?

 

Sesame oil appears in SCA period Arabic language cookbooks, but not

in the one from mid 15th c. Ottoman Kostantiniyye (aka Constaninople,

not Istanbul :) by Mahmud of Shirvan nor in the descriptions of

palace food or lists of ingredients for dishes for feasts,

circumcision festivals, or served in the imarets (soup kitchens

attached to mosques and funded by bequests from sultans, their

mothers or wives or daughters, and viziers). I realize that the

masses of people do not eat like the Sultan, maybe, instead of the

butter (often clarified) so greatly used in the palace kitchens...

 

<<< Note, "l'huile de noix" is translated as "walnut oil" in modern French,

but might be rendered more simply as nut oil. This passage lets us know

what kinds of oil are appropriate for the different regions of France

("Languedoc" is the South West where "oc" was used for "yes"). >>>

 

I have been thinking about SCA period cooking oils for some months

and one thing has lodged in my mind: that is the possibility that

various regions had local, and maybe seasonal, oils that didn't get

exported. For example, the possibility of grape seed oil in grape

growing regions of what are now Spain, France, and Italy.

 

<<< I wonder if the floor mat in question was a kilim or some other rug,

and if it had to be turned over for such use if it was. I also noticed that

the sesame oil was boiled, which changes its flavor. Too, this gives us

an idea of the texture of French mustard. >>>

 

I wonder if the floor mat might have been perhaps of some bast fiber,

and not of wool. Just wondering, no evidence. Wool was cheap, but it

would soak up oil, while a bast fiber would not, or not as much.

 

On some other hand, given that the writer says flows soft as mustard,

i wonder if he is describing tahini.

--

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 17:21:50 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sesame Oil in 16th Century Ottoman Turkey

 

"First, a question: Where was the author observing this taking place?"

 

My best guess is Constantinople as it is referred to in several previous

and subsequent passages. I have not had a chance to read through the

whole thing, so I am only familiar with a few passages.

 

"I realize that the masses of people do not eat like the Sultan, maybe,

instead of the butter (often clarified) so greatly used in the palace

kitchens..."

 

Well, M. Belon notes that sesame oil is cheap, but so was butter, most

likely, from reading about a street stand in Constantinople that

specialized in dairy foods (both cow and sheep). Rich and poor alike

enjoyed the place because it was cheap. It had a menu including Melca

(Fresh Cheese Curds), Caimac (made of cream and in many different

styles. Greek: Aphrogala), and Oxygala. The author notes there was a lot

of Recuictte (Misitra / Mizithra -a cheese) used.

 

"On some other hand, given that the writer says flows soft as mustard, i

wonder if he is describing tahini."

 

From context, no. This seems pretty clear from the comparison with nut

and olive oils. It seems to me that the bit about mustard implies that

French mustard was pretty thin and runny.

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 23:41:55 -0800 (PST)

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

Respected friends:

   Suet and fat are _not culinarily interchangeable. (One oddity of linguistics is that rendered suet becomes tallow, while rendered fat is just fat.)

First, suet has much less included moisture and a higher melting point; this makes a huge difference with many recipes (as I found out the hard way when I used suet, not fat, in my first venison sausages). Tallow candles are a classic example of the difference between the two- fat melts at too low a temperature, and can't be made into candles at all. Tallow makes slightly drippy candles that don't smell good if they aren't stored cold, but they hold their shape well enough for practical purposes.

 

   Second, suet doesn't have to be heated and filtered for many uses - pie crust comes to mind - while fat tends to have some spectacularly nasty bits you'll want to be very sure you've gotten out. Generally speaking, fat is soft, smooth, and unctuous (a much nicer term than slippery) while suet is hard, brittle, and maintains shape (a much nicer term than sticky).

 

The very best suet is found around the kidneys. Lard is pork suet, and the kidney sections are called "leaf lard" and have always been considered the best quality.  

 

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

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

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

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 17:39:55 +0000 (GMT)

From: galefridus at optimum.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

A similar distinction exists wrt sheep fat. A lot of Islamic recipes call for tail fat, which is not to be confused with the muscle fat. Sheep store fat in their tails (and around their hocks in some breeds). I have never seen the stuff, but it is my understanding that it is the "more unctuous" of the two kinds of ovine fat. I've had some interesting conversations with sheep breeders in my efforts to locate a source for the stuff -- nearly all sheep bred in North America get their tails docked, so it's pretty hard to find (I haven't succeeded yet!)

 

-- Galefridus

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 00:48:49 -0500

From: "Philip Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

On Tue, 2011-02-01 at 23:33 -0600, Stefan li Rous wrote:

Alizaundre answered my questions of suet vs. fat with:

<<< The very best suet is found around the kidneys. Lard is pork suet, and the kidney sections are called "leaf lard" and have always been considered the best quality. >>>

 

Oh! Part of my question was where would I even find "suet". But I have seen packages of lard in my local grocery store. Does this mean that in most cases if a recipe calls for "suet" that I can use lard?  This could make things easier since I'm not even sure where to find a specialty butcher shop here locally.

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

 

Suet is mostly valued for its unrendered state; it has a tissue

structure that rendered lard doesn't. It's a solid fat that can be used

for pastry and such that lard can't really duplicate. The rendered beef

or mutton fat that is analogous to American or English lard would

normally be called "dripping" in English recipes. In France larde or

lardons would be more like the fatty part of bacon.

 

The product called for when lard is mentioned is usually evident in the

specific usage. If it is to be grated into a pastry or layered with meat

(as in Taillevent's aloyaulx recipe for meat rolls with a piece of

marrow or fat inside to keep it moist), it's generally unrendered kidney

fat. If you're frying in it, it's rendered, and analogous to American

lard.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 00:06:07 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

Alizaundre answered my questions of suet vs. fat with:

<<< The very best suet is found around the kidneys. Lard is pork suet, and

the kidney sections are called "leaf lard" and have always been considered

the best quality. >>>

 

Oh! Part of my question was where would I even find "suet". But I have

seen packages of lard in my local grocery store. Does this mean that in

most cases if a recipe calls for "suet" that I can use lard?  This could

make things easier since I'm not even sure where to find a specialty

butcher shop here locally.

 

Stefan

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

 

Suet is the hard fat around the kindeys in cattle and sheep.  Leaf lard is

the equivalent in pigs.  Fatback is the next lower grade of lard and the

lard that is sold as "lard" is usually the soft fat from around the

intestines or a mix of lards.  There are differences in taste, melting point

and smoking point.  Suet and leaf lard melt around 120 degrees F and have a

smoking point around 400 degrees F.  Lard, depending on quality. has a

melting point of about 90-100  degrees F and a smoking point of 250-375

degrees F.  Precise melting and smoking points will also vary depending on

other conditions, but these are a decent estimate.

 

Independent groceries often have a butcher shop and you probably have a few

carnecerias for the local Hispanic population.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 09:56:13 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

On Wed, 2 Feb 2011, V O wrote:

<<< A friend of mine who has done some research into this mentioned in a discussion we had about middle eastern cooking, that this breed of sheep (fat tail) mentioned in this type of cooking is no longer around.? So, would it be the same from a modern breed of sheep?? Does anybody know if that breed 'is" still around, or would it be just something available in the country or local area where they still are??

 

Mirianna >>>

 

We had this discussion almost exactly a year ago--there are several breeds of fat-tail sheep still around. From Phlip's post on the topic:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat-tailed_sheep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakul_(sheep)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awassi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackhead_Persian

http://www.sheep101.info/sheeptypes.html

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/heritage_breeds/65309/2

 

And from Urtatim's post:

 

"There are quite a number of fat tailed/fat rumped sheep breeds, which

appear to have originated in Central Asia. Some of them have tails

that when dressed (!!) weigh 5 lbs. Here are photos of a few

displaying their fat tails (or rumps) There are many other fat-tail

breeds besides these:

 

the Altay

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/altay/index.htm

 

the Balkhi

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/balkhi/index.htm

 

the Baluchi

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/baluchi/index.htm

 

the Hasht Nagri

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/hashtnagri/index.htm

 

the Moghani

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/moghani/index.htm

 

the Ujumqin, a Mongolian

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/ujumqin/index.htm

 

the Waziri

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/waziri/index.htm

 

The Han, one of the most extreme

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/han/index.htm

(note that while it is in "China", the region is one of

Turkic/Central Asian culture):"

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 09:08:32 -0800 (PST)

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] suet Vs. fat

 

Respected friends:

 

--- On Wed, 2/2/11, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

<<< Part of my question was where would I even find "suet".

But I have seen packages of lard in my local grocery store.

Does this mean that in most cases if a recipe calls for

"suet" that I can use lard?? This could make things

easier since I'm not even sure where to find a specialty

butcher shop here locally.

 

Stefan >>>

 

In some cases, yes, lard would substitute fine; however, most commercial lard isn't lard. It's a mixture of real lard (though certainly not all leaf lard) and pork fat, which has been artificially hydrogenated to make it act like lard in cooking. You may or may not have heard just how bad hydrogenated fat is for people, but a google search will give you an eyeful.

 

However, you may not need to search for all-natural lard. Most grocery butchers can get you suet, since it's very heavily used for feeding birds.

 

Also, I understand you live in Ansteorra? If that's true, I can just about guarantee you live within one hour of a private slaughterhouse. In New England and Michigan, they're often in the yellow pages under that name. I'm told they may also be listed under "meat processing".

 

Slaughterhouses can get you leaf lard or kidney suet very cheaply, since they package for private animal owners who often don't want the fats. I also find them a good place to get many organ meats and some unpopular off cuts - mostly those with heavy concentrations of tendons and ligaments, since so few people know how to cook them. Beef shanks, anyone?

 

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

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

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 23:57:44 -0500

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Intent or Interpretation

 

On Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 11:39 PM, Deborah Hammons

<mistressaldyth at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< The dilemma is: A vegetable dish calls for animal fat

frying as the method. If you substitute oil for a vegan version, or butter

for those a who don't care...can you still represent it as a period dish? >>>

 

I suppose it depends on the specific recipe and the culture.  In the

period cuisine I know best -- Spanish -- many vegetable recipes

suggest olive oil as a substitution for pork fat.  Olive oil is the

default for Lenten versions of Spanish recipes, and Lenten recipes

from other Christian countries use various kinds of oil.

 

"Although the foods that you can make for meat days are infinite, many

of them can be made in Lent, because in the chapters on those foods

where I say to blend them with meat broth, those sauces or pottages

can be thinned with salt, and oil, and water, but first you have to

give it a boil; and in this manner, it is as good as meat broth if it

is well-tempered with salt, and if the oil is very fine.  And in this

manner, many foods which are served  for meat days can be made in

Lent, and this is nothing but the custom of men to alter foods from

one thing to another."

Ruperto de Nola, Libro de Guisados (Spain, 1529)

Translation copyright Robin Carroll-Mann

 

Now let's look at his recipe for chopped spinach, which calls for the

vegetable to be fried in bacon fat.

 

"You must take spinach and clean it, and wash it very well, and give

it a brief boil with water and salt; then press it very well between

two chopping-blocks, then chop it very small.  And then gently fry it

in bacon fat; and when it is gently fried, put it in a pot on the

fire, and cook it; and cast in the pot: good broth of mutton, and of

bacon which is very fatty and good, only the flower of the pot; and if

by chance you wish it, in place of the broth, cast upon it milk of

goats or sheep, and if not, of almonds; and take the bacon, and cut it

into pieces the size of fingers, and cast them in the pot with the

spinach; and depending on what the season it is, if you wish, cast in

fresh cheese; you may do it likewise, like the abovementioned slices

of bacon; and if you put in a great deal, do not put it in until the

spinach is entirely cooked, and cast this in a little before dishing

it out; and if you wish also to cast in tender raisins which are

cooked, you can do it all around the spinach; and if you do not wish

to put in these things, neither bacon nor grated cheese of Aragon,

cast parsley and mint with it likewise; and the spinach will be

better."

 

There are a lot of possible variations on this recipe: broth or milk

(animal or almond milk), pieces of bacon or not, cheese or not, etc.

There is NO mention of using oil to fry the spinach, but I believe

that the first passage I quoted gives me "permission" to do so.  I

believe I can make a Lenten version of this recipe with olive oil and

consider it period.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2011 15:53:47 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] rapeseed/canola oil

 

On Mar 4, 2011, at 3:21 PM, yaini0625 at yahoo.com wrote:

<<< It was my understanding that they are the same plant. The French  

farmer my Dad spoke too explained that in America the name is  

different because of the negative connotation of the word.

Aelina >>>

 

It's the same plant But the question is -- was it used in cookery or  

just as lamp oil and animal feeds?

 

What I found last month on February 12 and posted then:

 

As to rapeseed, I remember seeing fields of it when we were at

Cambridge. Western Canada grows an immense amount of it, but it didn't

take over as an oil crop here in North America until late in the last

century. The Canadians through plant breeding developed a more

suitable plant that yielded a better oil or so I have read this am.

 

I searched OED and found a few quotes prior to 1600 but more after

1600--

a1661 W. Brereton Trav. (1844) 44 A?mill-stone, upon which the

rape-seed being thrown was ground.

1707 J. Mortimer Whole Art Husb. v. 63 If they [sc. lands] are

very rich?you may?sow them with Hemp, Oad Cole, Rapeseed or Madder,

or some other rich Commodity.

 

and then turned to Oxford reference Online.

rapeseed The large expanses of yellow fields in springtime are a

modern phenomenon, the result of European Community subsidies, but

rape was once grown all down the eastern side of England. It was

experimentally grown in the late Middle Ages and again in the second

half of the 16th century, but spread more successfully on newly

drained fens in the 17th century. It was valued for its industrial oil

and as fodder for sheep. The cultivation of rape required more labour

than did grain, but it could be fitted into arable rotations at a

slack time of the year. The seed was crushed at windmills or water

mills .

How to cite this entry:

"rapeseed" The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History. Ed.

David Hey. Oxford University Press, 2009. Oxford Reference Online.

Oxford University Press.

---

I searched then : Early English Books Online for "rape-seede",

"rapeseed", "rape-seed", "rapeseed-cakes", or "rapeseede" within full

text, sorted by date ascending

Results: 110 matches in 65 records and none connected with a recipe or

cookery. There were agricultural references about sowing it or a few

medical ones. (rapeseed-cakes are fed to cows.)

 

----

Then I searched ECCO which is the 18th century database under

(Entire Document=(rapeseed)) And (Entire Document=(cookery) and found

nil.

 

So I can't find a reference to its being used in cookery this am.

 

Even if we do a general search and substitute rape seed oil for the

canola, I don't find it either via Google.

 

----

Urtatim later wrote:

 

According to what i've read, rapeseed oil was used for cooking only

by the very poor. I have found no info to say whether this was their

primary cooking oil, or whether is was used only when circumstances

were dire and they couldn't afford anything better.

--

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

but we don't have a specific source for that assumption.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2011 10:24:54 -0600

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Colza oil

 

Colza, conola or rapeseed oil was not processed until the 19th C and,

therefore, not an item for medieval feasts. Colza or rapeseeds are found

in rape, conola or colza cabbage which Villena recommended as an

ingredient in a medicinal broth.

 

Suey

 

 

Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 21:58:58 +0100

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] rapeseed/canola oil

 

Just quick checked the Aichholzer book.

 

The Innsbrucker codex does mention oil trice but only once a specific oil :

linseed /flax seed oil (I161). one of the three does mention Schmalz OR oil

(I96)

 

The Dorotheer Codex does mention oil 10 times , two are for Hemp so peobably

hemp oil was also used, one for poppyseed cheese (like almondmilk cheese) so

poppyseed oil is also a possibility.

 

D77, D129, D146 again mention Schmalz or Oil for cooking (whatever you

have 129).

 

The Mondseer codex mentions oil 4 times, one M117 is a show recipe for a

lamp oil.

M14 again mention Schmalz or Oil for cooking M92 adds butter also as a

possible substitute M93 and 94 refers to M 92, but 94 does no longer suggest

oil just Butter or Schmalz.

 

Katharina

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 04:03:53 -0600

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

Here's the original quote, all typos mine:

 

p 154

"In the modern world, the cuisine of the Mediterranean and the Middle

East is closely associated with olive oil. For the medieval Muslims of

Baghdad, olive oil was a thing generally too costly for everyday use as

a cooking oil. It was instead most often reserved as a condiment to be

sprinkled on dishes, either as a final step in cooking, or at the table.

By comparison, we find the /Manuscrito anonimo/, that the Muslim chefs

of al-Andalus and the Maghreb preferred olive oil above all other fats,

to the point that their Christian neighbors to the north in more

temperate parts of Spain adopted it, even though they had no olive trees

of their own."

 

"Much more common for cooking in Baghdad than olive oil, even in the

kitchens of the caliph, would have been alya, the fat rendered out of

the tail of a plump sheep. Many, if not most of the recipes in

al-Baghdadi's /Kitab al-tabikb/ begin with instructions to render out

tail fat in a hot pan, fat which is then used to brown meat for stewing,

or as the medium for frying kubabs. In other, later Arabic cookery

books, much space us give over to methods of clarifying, enriching,

coloring and perfuming this staple, all things which would have made

this humble fat suitable for even the most refined dishes. Sesame oil

was also widely employed, but although used by Muslims, and cited by

al-Baghdadi as suitable for deep frying, it was much more closely

associated with Jews, to the point that many claimed you could tell a

Jewish household from the street simply by the way it smelled of burning

sesame oil. Of lesser importance as a cooking fat was /samn/, clarified

butter, which appears in a number of contexts, especially as a base

ingredient for pastries and breads, and aged as a condiment, valued for

its rancidity. "

 

<http://books.google.com/books?id=0tWMtRLaZOEC&;pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=The+Pleasures+of+Consumption:+The+Birth+of+Medieval+Islamic+Cuisine&source=bl&ots=5hvTWumGA9&sig=Ym2UmQlssgMzoANzewo_lfdQXsw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jWomT4afNsHcggf3pongCA&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=The%20Pleasures%20of%20Consumption%3A%20The%20Birth%20of%20Medieval%20Islamic%20Cuisine&f=false>

 

Miller, H.D., "The Pleasures of Consumption: The Birth of Medieval

Islamic Cuisine." in _Food: the History of Taste_. Edited by Paul H.

Freedman. Series: California Studies in Food and Culture. U of

California Press, 2007.Pp. 135-162.

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:22:16 +0000 (GMT)

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

I suspect the issue is one of geography. Olives grow in profusion all around the Mediterranean, but are not that common e.g. in Persia or Mesopotamia."Modern Iranian cuisine" still depends much less on it than Syrian or Maghrebi. Given how much of our source material comes from Baghdad, that may be it.

 

Giano

 

________________________________

Von: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

An: SCA-Cooks maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>

Gesendet: 10:47 Montag, 30.Januar 2012

Betreff: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a cooking oil?

 

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania said:

 

<<< Miller, H.D., "The Pleasures of Consumption: The Birth of Medieval Islamic Cuisine." in _Food: the History of Taste_. Edited by Paul H. Freedman. Series: California Studies in Food and Culture. U of California Press, 2007.Pp. 135-162.

 

According to Miller, olive oil would be served on the table as a prized fat, too expensive for the entire cooking process during the Middle Ages. >>>

 

Really?

 

I may be mis-remembering and perhaps this is specific to Islamic cultures, but from earlier discussions here and, I think, from my reading, I seem to remember that olive oil was fairly common around the Mediterranean and was the most common cooking oil.

 

I seem to remember it being common enough that it caused some religious friction between the northern and southern Christian countries, because olive oil could be used during Lent, while butter, the common cooking oil in the north, could not be used then.

 

What do the Middle Eastern/Islamic scholars here think? What have your studies said about how common olive oil for cooking was?

 

We discussed before that fat and cooking oils were more expensive then than now, but they did come up with enough to do deep-frying.

 

Stefan

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 04:43:41 -0600

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

Here is what S.D. Goitein says, all typos mine:

 

p 120

"Next to wheat, the nutrition of the common people depended mainly on

oil, obtained either from plants or from the olive tree. As oil,

together with wax, was also the almost exclusive material for artificial

lighting, its importance can be easily gauged. Because of the enormous

extent of flax-growing, linseed oil was widely used, in particular for

lighting. It was exported from Egypt to olive-growing Syria and to

far-away Aden in South Arabia (n.28). Edible oil was won to a large

extent from the sesame plant, which was grown in the Nile Delta, in

particular for its northern parts, and in Palestine. "Makers of sesame

oil" as a name occupation occurs frequently in the Geniza records, while

"sesamist," dealer in the crop, in rare (n.290. The dyeing plant

safflower (the English word is derived from Arabid 'asfur, which

designates its flowers) or rather its seed (called qurtum, ef. the

scientific name carthamus) also provides an oil, used mainly for

medicinal purposes. In the Geniza, we find the see sent from a village

to the capital, while the red dye made from the flowers, which was used

widely in cosmetics, was a common article in the international trade of

coloring stuffs (n.30)"

 

"The noble olive tree, in the Bible (Judges 9:8) regarded as the king of

all trees, is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, but almost entirely

absent from Egypt. Olive oil, however, was a vital ingredient in the

daily food of the population and also provided the choicest lighting. No

wonder, then, that its import to Egypt was one of the largest branches

of the Mediterranean trade. Still, it was partly processed also in the

country. In a document made out in Tunisia in 1074, a woman claimed

"[olive] oil makers' equipment" in Old Cairo which belonged to her, and

in 1203, a man called baddi, operator or proprietor of an oil press,

appears as a party to a contract in the same town. (n.31). Zayyat, maker

or seller of olive oil, is one of the most common names or occupations

mentioned in our papers, and repeated reference has been made here to a

bazaar named after that profession. In an olive-growing country like

Spain, it was of course natural that the lending of an object like a

stone used in the oil press should form the object of a contract

(Lucena, before 1021) (n.32). "

 

S.D. Goitein. _A Mediterranean Society, Vol I_.  Berkley: U. of Calif.

Press, 1967.

 

These statements don't disagree with Miller (whom I read as saying olive

oil was used, just not as the primary cooking fat), but I don't think it

says enough to agree either. The one paragraph almost seems to conflict

with the next, but that might be 4am talking.

 

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 08:44:52 -0700

From: "Daniel Myers" <dmyers at medievalcookery.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

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

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

Date: Mon, January 30, 2012 5:43 am

 

[... snip ...]

 

These statements don't disagree with Miller (whom I read as saying olive

oil was used, just not as the primary cooking fat), but I don't think it

says enough to agree either. The one paragraph almost seems to conflict

with the next, but that might be 4am talking.

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

 

Frankly, I think Miller is whacked on this, and for one simple reason:

There is plenty of evidence for olive oil being used as a primary

cooking fat in countries in medieval Europe where olives were *not*

grown (e.g. Germany, England, Denmark, France).  They had to be

importing all that olive oil, and from a trade viewpoint it makes little

sense to export the oil from where it is expensive to sell it where it

is cheap.

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 15:07:24 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

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

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

Date: Mon, January 30, 2012 5:43 am

 

 

[... snip ...]

 

These statements don't disagree with Miller (whom I read as saying olive

oil was used, just not as the primary cooking fat), but I don't think it

says enough to agree either. The one paragraph almost seems to conflict

with the next, but that might be 4am talking.

 

<<< Frankly, I think Miller is whacked on this, and for one simple reason:

There is plenty of evidence for olive oil being used as a primary

cooking fat in countries in medieval Europe where olives were *not*

grown (e.g. Germany, England, Denmark, France).  They had to be

importing all that olive oil, and from a trade viewpoint it makes little

sense to export the oil from where it is expensive to sell it where it

is cheap.

 

- Doc >>>

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

 

You aren't factoring in the cost of transportation.  Olive oil is a large bulk

commodity which was most easily transported by water.  Most of Europe was

accessible by water.  Hauling it overland to Baghdad and beyond would have

been more expensive than transporting it to Northern Europe.

 

From what I see in this discussion, Miller is saying that olive oil was so

expensive in Baghdad, that other oils more readily available and less costly

were used.  While Goitein and Miller make the point that locally available

oils were the most commonly used in given regions.

 

Also, the use of olive oil in Northern Europe was driven by Christian

religious doctrine that was not present in Islamic religious doctrine,

therefore there was not the need to import olive oil to olive oil poor

Islamic states as there was to Christian Northern Europe.  I'm sure the

Northern Europeans would have been happy to use lard and butter with olive

oil as a rare treat, just as the people of al-Islam used fat tail sheep and

local vegetable oils with olive oil a rare treat in some locales.

 

Miller may be in error, but I don't think he is whacked.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 16:46:55 +0000 (GMT)

From: galefridus at optimum.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

Based on my reading of numerous medieval Islamic cookbooks, it seems unlikely that olive oil was limited to use as a condiment. I have found recipes from Baghdad to al-Andalus that call for it to be used as cooking oil. It was by no means the only oil or fat in use -- some have already mention sheep tail fat, and I've seen recipes calling for sesame oil. Possible Miller was referring to what we now call extra virgin olive oil, which because of its more intense flavor and greater cost may have been used in a more limited fashion. But it is difficult to apply our modern olive oil standards to the medieval world, so I don't know whether they made a distinction between what we now call extra virgin and lower grades of oil.

 

-- Galefridus

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 19:12:31 -0800 (GMT-08:00)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a

        cooking oil?

 

David/Cariadoc wrote:

<<< In the Islamic cookbooks, both sesame oil and tail are mentioned explicitly, as is ghee. Off hand I don't remember olive oil being specified, but I haven't

looked for it. But "oil" unspecified is common, which makes me suspect that it

means olive oil. >>>

 

Welll, not in ALL Islamic cookbooks.

 

In Arabic language cookbooks i have seen references to "fine oil", which may be fresh olive oil, but is not 100% clear. Otherwise olive oil is rarely, if ever, mentioned. As Cariadoc points out, what are usually specified are sesame oil, sheep tail fat, and to a lesser extent butter - probably clarified, as Cariadoc notes.

 

In other Islamic cookbooks in Ottoman Turkish and Persian, butter - probably clarified - and sheep tail fat are specified.

 

In fact, within SCA-period olive oil entered the Ottoman palaces only as *lamp oil*, so expense was clearly not the issue.

 

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

<the end>



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