p-food-terms-lst - 9/25/00
A list of various period food terms, gathered from various sources, that might be useful in redacting period recipes. Gathered by Phillipa Seton.
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.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 08:43:07 EDT
From: Seton1355 at aol.com
Subject: SC - MY GLOSSARY - A FEW MORE ENTRIES
a cooking method involving poaching an unscaled fish in an acidic water,
making the outer skin turn bluish)
a skewer or spit.
CANEL OR CANELLE
a custard tart in the 14th-15thC English recipe corpus, sweetened with honey
or sugar, usually colored with saffron,
ef*flu*vi*um also ef*flu*via (noun), plural -via or -vi*ums
[Latin effluvium active of flowing out, from effluere]
First appeared 1651
1 : an invisible emanation; especially: an offensive exhalation or smell
2 : a by-product esp. in the form of waste
decent sized pieces
is a stuffing, often, but not always, made from meat. By extension, various
foods such as the mixture from which veal, poultry, or fish quenelles are
made, are also considered forcemeats.
an almond pastry cream, made today with a thickish pastry cream containing
flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter and flavorings, to which is added crushed
almonds or crushed almond macaroons. Usually used as a crepe, pate a choux,
or tart filling.
is related to the modern French word for cold, froid.
Galingale, a root. ("Galingas").
Galingal does have an aroma that includes hints of tumeric. The two do not
taste at all similar though. Galingal resembles in flavor ginger more than
anything else with an added flavor that I can't quite describe with any real
accuracy. It is a sort of peppery ginger flavor. I don't think tumeric would
be a good substitute for galingal.
GRAINS OF PARADISE
Sensoric quality Spicy, hot and warm, a little bitter.
i- more oftentimes y- signifies the past tense,
IDON ﬁRYN IDON (TH)RYN
done like this
is something that is ground, like meal or almonds
Laser is an aromatic, resinous root used fairly frequently in Roman cookery.
laser is the older form which describes Cyrenaican sylphium, which I believe
became extinct in the reign of the Emperor Nero (r. 54-69 C.E.). Subsequently
Persian sylphium, still occasionally referred to as laser in later Roman
recipe sources, such as Apicius, became the universally accepted substitute.
Now, Persian sylphium appears to have been asafeotida. I may have some of
these details reversed or incorrect, but
it's almost irrelevant since asafeotida is all modern adaptors of Roman
cuisine have to work with. It is unclear whether there was any real
similarity between the two types of sylphium, other than that both are
described as aromatic, resinous roots. A little asafeotida goes a long way --
too much makes your food reek somewhat of rotting garlic, while a tiny bit
acts as an amazing flavor enhancer in fish dishes and various
others. Available in Indian groceries as "hing"
slice it; cut it into pieces
LIQUAMEN in Platina is pork fat; it seems to have no connection with the
liquamen used extensively in Roman cooking.
This merely refers to the coagulated cream that has formed on the top.
Mix or combine.
flesh, i.e. boneless meat,
which is fairly similar to Soy sauce
MYLKE OF ALMOUNDYS
The simplest form is made by dissolving finely ground almonds in water and
straining off the residue. The result looks like milk and is used in many
Meats that have been grilled, fried, etc., produce drippings that can range
from very dark ones filled with particles and flavor to sweet white fats
that have a very soft flavor.
"Nice drippings" refers to the bacon grease at the top of the jar without all
the brown bits.
is made from sweet spices which might include cloves and cinnamon, possibly
is made from strong spices such as pepper, nutmeg, galingale, grains of
a fistful [of pepper]. Pugilism is boxing
a rhizome or root. (A piece of ginger)
was a precursor to baking soda,
is sodium or potassium bicarbonate. In other words, baking soda.
[New Latin sal aeratus aerated salt]
First appeared 1837
: a leavening agent consisting of potassium or sodium bicarbonate
From"The Boston Cooking School CB, by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, 1884:
"...Pearlash is purified potash.
Saleratus is prepared from pearlash by exposing it to carbonic acid gas.
Pure, strong alkalies are powerful corrosive poisons, eating the coats of the
stomach perhaps quicker than any other poisonous agent. This caustic or
burning property is somewhat weakened by the carbonic acid united with them,
and is therefore less in bicarbonate of soda than in the potash compounds...
Soda has a great affinity for water; and when wet, a combination takes place
which allows some of the carbonic acid gas to escape. This may easily be
seen by the effervescence which occurs when soda is dissolved in hot water.
Soda alone, when mixed with wet dough, will give off gas enough to raise the
dough; but it leaves a strong alkaline taste and a greenish yellow color,
and, being poisonous must be neutralized by an acid, or else its use is not
So saleratus is/was stronger than baking soda, but was soaked in liquid
before use to expel some of the gas which causes the 'effluvia' & deep yellow
color mentioned in your recipe.
Saleratus was also used mixed with a weak acid such as cream of tartar.
Saunders, a condiment used for its red coloring.
Saunders is produced from a red dyewood that is not very aromatic. This red
wooded sandalwood is what we use in medieval cookery to produce color in
various dishes. My sources do not indicate if it is an actual member of the
a bread first boiled then baked
sugar from Cyprus
is fat from sheep tails, commonly used as a cooking oil in medieval Islamic
THE THIRD SPICE
nowadays almost always means MSG,monosodium glutamate, but in older recipes,
it may mean allspice.
the third part, so: for every two parts of honey, add one part of pine nuts,
and add powdered ginger thereafter.
The juice of unripe grapes, crabapples, or other sour fruits. I frequently
substitute dilute vinegar.
vegetable greens and members of the onion family, such as cabbage leaves,
spinach, beet greens, leeks, etc., as well as the plants used for seasonings
and spices: borage, parsley, sage, and so forth.