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thickening-msg - 6/11/10


Comments on and the use of period food thickening agents. Bread crumbs, liver, eggs, rice-flour, oatmeal.


NOTE: See also the files: bread-msg, flour-msg, organ-meats-msg, stews-bruets-msg, aspic-msg, grains-msg, rice-msg, gravy-msg, breadcrumbs-msg.





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


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


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


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


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


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 23:23:25 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - Thickening agents


Another (candidate for a) thickening agent not yet mentioned is (ground/

roasted) liver. If I am not mistaken, it is used e.g. in the 14th

century German 'Buch von guter Speise' #16, #29 or #40. Later on, there

are examples in the Rheinfr‰nkisches Kochbuch and in other 15th century

German sources.


Scully mentions liver as a thickening agent for broths and sauces too,

so there should also be examples in Romance texts, he has been working

on (see e.g. Early French Cookery p. 135 on a poitevine sauce).





Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 23:21:12 EDT

From: allilyn at juno.com

Subject: Re: SC - Egils news and a question


>>. Instead of thinkening the broth into sauce, the eggs shredded and it

looked like eggdrop soup.<<


Broth was too hot.  If you add the eggs to luke-warm broth, beat in well,

then heat, they thicken.


Allison,     allilyn at juno.com



Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 06:32:12 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Egils news and a question


"Laura C. Minnick" wrote:

> allilyn at juno.com wrote:

> > >>. Instead of thinkening the broth into sauce, the eggs shredded and it

> > looked like eggdrop soup.<<

> >

> > Broth was too hot.  If you add the eggs to luke-warm broth, beat in well,

> > then heat, they thicken.


> So I didn't sette it fro the fyre long enough? Hmm. Sounds about right.

> Sigh. Serves me right for trying to cook in the dark.


A modernish trick that makes this procedure pretty well foolproof

(although I've never tried it in the dark!) is to beat up your egg yolks

in a large mixing bowl, then ladel your broth into the bowl with the

eggs, a bit at a time, beating it as you go. This is the "tempering"

Balthazar spoke of; the idea is to protect the delicate egg proteins

from sudden temperature shifts, especially upward ones. When you have

all your broth in the bowl, or at least most of it, and the bowl is

almost full, then pour it back into the pot and heat it until thick. You

still can't let it boil, but if you have enough yolks it'll thicken it

with an uncurdled, velvety texture.


This process is also used for fine custards, BTW: you know, where you

add scalded milk or cream in a thin stream to your cold egg yolks,

beating continuously, then return to the pot or double boiler and

reheat until thickened...





Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:51:34 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Bread Crumb Thickening


Dry breadcrumbs crushed into a coarse meal is what I use.  The speed of the

thickening depends largely on the quantity of breadcrumbs to quantity of

broth. Slowly adding breadcrumbs and cooking down to get the required

thickness is probably the best way to do it, since I once created instant

sludge by adding to many breadcrumbs too fast.


A little water or broth can be used to help thin an overly thickened dish.


I use a breadcrumb thickened broth in making chicken and leek pies and have

found that a thin broth keeps the meat moister and sets up reasonable well

during the baking.




> I recently tried the chicken and pear stew from "Ein Buch von Guter Spise,"

> which calls for bread crumbs as a thickener.  On the first day, the broth

> was thick, but still soupy.  After a day or two, it was quite thick, almost

> the consistency of gravy.  Does it always take more than a day for the

> breadcrumbs to break down and be absorbed into the liquid?  Should I be

> using drier or moister breadcrumbs to cause the reaction to happen faster?

> Should I use more and chance the leftovers having the consistency of

> concrete?


> Rose :)



Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 16:48:55 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Bread Crumb Thickening


"Hupman, Laurie" wrote:

> I recently tried the chicken and pear stew from "Ein Buch von Guter Spise,"

> which calls for bread crumbs as a thickener.  On the first day, the broth

> was thick, but still soupy.  After a day or two, it was quite thick, almost

> the consistency of gravy.  Does it always take more than a day for the

> breadcrumbs to break down and be absorbed into the liquid?  Should I be

> using drier or moister breadcrumbs to cause the reaction to happen faster?

> Should I use more and chance the leftovers having the consistency of

> concrete?


Probably not. I don't have a lot of experience with storing leftover

bread-thickened sauces, but I get the feeling that while stale bread is

what is often intended in a lot of period recipes, completely dry bread,

akin to commercial croutons or zweibeck crumbs, are not generally what

is intended, unless specifically mentioned. Some recipes do tell you to

toast the bread on the gridiron before using it in a dark-colored sauce,

and many don't, but a large number of them seem to call for the bread to

be steeped for an unspecified length of time in vinegar, wine, water, or broth.


Having made some modern bread-thickened sauces such as rouille and

skordalia (not to mention real gazpacho), I can state that it does take

a while for breadcrumbs to reach their full thickening power. You can

guess and hope for the best, using less than immediately seems

necessary, but I've had fair success with soaking the bread (actual

bread, not crumbs) in just enough liquid to cover in a container barely

big enough to hold it and the liquid. Yes, the bread will swell, but

when it's pushed down into the liquid it generally doesn't get much

bigger than its original volume plus that of the liquid, since air

bubbles are less of an issue in soaked bread. When you're ready to

thicken your sauce, puree the bread (which can be toasted for browning

before soaking) or push it through a strainer or sieve, then add and

beat it into your boiling liquid.


Done this way, you don't get a lot of change from the product when

freshly cooked and the next day, as far as I can tell, and you get a

pretty speedy thickening, requiring less guesswork.





Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 09:02:52 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Bread Crumb Thickening


A standard 1 pound loaf of wheat bread will last about four days unwrapped

and uncut, two days if cut.  After that, they make excellent bread crumbs,

which seem to thicken better than the commercial breadcrumbs.  


After I serve a homemade bread at a dinner party, I often make breadcrumbs

from the leftover slices.  By the following day, they are dry enough to

grind into fine breadcrumbs.





Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 11:42:30 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - cornstarch


Christina van Tets wrote:

> Ras asked about documentation for cornstarch.  There is a recipe for this,

> IIRC, in Hieatt's Anglo-Norman article in Speculum.  Will get it to you as

> soon as my time frees up.  Mother in law currently visiting.


> Cairistiona


Finish your cuppa, Cairistiona. I've got it.


"21. Wheat Starch. How to make a year's supply of wheat starch which

will keep as long as desired. Take clean wheat around St. john's Day and

put it in a vessel; for nine days, put plenty of clean water with the

wheat; every day the wheat is to be well washed and the water changed;

then grind it thoroughly, put back into clean water, and let stand

overnight; then strain and place on a cloth in the sun until dry; when

it is dry, take it and put it in a clean vessel; keep it as long as you

wish, well covered and cut into pieces, etc. [Here, 'etc' must mean 'and

grind it for use as needed', rather than 'serve'.]"


Translation from Constance Hieatt and Robin Jones, "Two Anglo-Norman

Culinary Collections Edited from British Library Manuscripts Additional

32085 and Royal 12.C.xii", Speculum v. 61, October 1986 pp 859-882.


FWIW, Saint John's Day is June 24th; presumably the folk in Lochac and

such places will want to try this in late January?




Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 12:28:48 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - cornstarch


> So, where is arrowroot from originally? Was it used anywhere

> in "period"?


> Anahita


True arrowroot is Maranta arundinacea, from the American tropics.  There are

some other plants which are called arrowroot and are in the genera Canna and






Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 13:29:57 EDT

From: BalthazarBlack at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - cornstarch


lilinah at earthlink.net writes:

> So, where is arrowroot from originally? Was it used anywhere in "period"?


Arrowroot is a New World food, I believe... knowledge of the use of which was

given by North American Indian tribes who had been using it for a good long

time for it's alleged therapeutic qualities for the treatment of arrow

wounds. Its a starch extracted from the roots of certain tropical plants,

though which ones, exactly, escape me at the moment.


Balthazar of Blackmoor



Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 01:13:33 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - wheatstarch/ amylum/ amidon/ umerdum etc.


I guess I missed the original question (just back from my Zuerich

workshop). Anyway: here is a small collection of texts where the

preparation of wheatstarch/ amylum etc. is described (1) or where the

use of wheatstarch etc. is mentioned in a recipe (2). I am sure there

are other passages of this kind ...


Best, Thomas


1. How to make amylum/ amidon/ umerdum


- -- Simili modo e tritici semine tragum fit, in Campania dumtaxat et

Aegypto, amylum vero ex omni tritico ac siligine, sed optimum e

trimestri. inventio eius Chio insulae debetur; et hodie laudatissimum

inde. est appellatum ab eo quod sine mola fiat. proximum trimestri quod

e minime ponderoso tritico. madescit dulci aqua in ligneis vasis, ita ut

integatur quinquies in die mutata; melius, si et noctu, ita ut misceatur

pariter. emollitum priusquam acescat, linteo aut sportis saccatum

tegulae infunditur inlitae fermento, atque ita in sole densatur. post

Chium maxime laudatur Creticum, mox Aegyptium - probatur autem levore et

levitate atque ut recens sit -, iam et Catoni dictum apud nos.




- -- Hieatt/Jones 1986, Ms. A Nr. 21 (Amydon. Pur fere amidon pur tut l'an




- -- Wiltu eine [!] Amelunck machen so nim den besten weissen vnd erlise

in also scho:ene also du iemer kanst vnd tu:o in denne in einen zuber

vnd sch?tte frisch wasser dar vber alle tage vncz das er xiiij tage

gewessert wirt so tu:on denne daz wasser abe vnd stosse in in einem

steine wol vnd tu:o in denne in ein wis Du:och vnd swinge in wol in dem

frischen wasser so du aller vaste mahs vnd seige das wasser denne abe so

du aller truckenste maht vnd slahe in denne vf ein wi? du:och vnd lo? in

dorren an der sunen so er iemer veste mag vnd hencke in denne an den

luft in einen korp oder in einen sag.

(Cod. guelf. 16.17. Aug. 48, Blatt 111r/v; nach 1415, wohl noch erste

H‰lfte 15. Jh.)



- -- For to make amydon. -- Nym whete at midsomer / & salt, & do it in a

faire vessel / do water therto, that thy whete be yheled / let it stonde

ix days & ix ny(g)t, & everyeday whess wel thy whete / & at ye ix days

ende bray hit wel in a morter / & drie hit to(g)enst ye sonne / do it in

a faire vessel / & kouere hit fort, thou wil it note.

(Austin 1888, p. 112; Laud Ms. 553)



- -- Wie man vmberdumb soll machen.

ccliiij. Nimb ein scho:enen lautern Winter waitz/ vnd das er

scho:en erklaubt sey/ ge¸? ein frisch wasser daran/ vnnd seyhe

es alle tag ab/ ge¸? als offt ein frisch //wasser\\ wider daran/ mu:osts

acht oder zehen tag thu:on/ so lang bi? sich der waitz kle¸bet/

so nimb dann den Waitzen/ vnd sto? jn/ vnnd ge¸? ein frisch

wasser daran/ vnd truck jhn mit den henden/ vnnd nimb ein

scho:ens leines Sa:ecklein/ ge¸? den geru:erten Waitzen darein/

gibt ein wei? ding ausser. So du jn allen ein mal geru:ert hast/

das ist der erst schu?/ so sto? jhn stets zum andern mal/ den

[N2a||46a] sto? besonder durch/ der ist nicht so gu:ot. So nun der


in ein Zinnbecken/ oder schaff gesetzt/ so seicht das wasser

gantz ab/ vnd ge¸? ein anders daran/ bi? es dick [=dich] bedunckt

es sey am boden gantz wei?/ Ob aber fa:e?lin darinnen weren/

so ru:er jhn durch einander/ von boden auff/ la? wider durchs

Sa:eckel/ dann so ge¸? das wasser gantz darab/ das gleich wie

ein taiglein der Vmmerdumb sey/ breyt den auff ein scho:ens

wei? ha:erins tu:och/ auff ein bra:etle/ ge¸? das taiglin zettelwei?

darauff/ vnd setz jn an die Sonnen/ so er vbertrucknet/ ledigs

von dem tu:och/ kers vmb/ vnnd setz an ein heisse Sonnen/ so

wirt er scho:en wei?/ man mag jn in einer warmen stuben auch


(Staindl 1569)



2. Some recipes where amylum/umerdum etc. is mentioned


- -- Mincebek. E une autre viaunde, ke ad a noun mincebek. Pernez amydon e

myncez le en un morter, e si vos n'avez ceo, pernez flur demeyne; e

pernez let de almaundes ou ewe teve, e metez dedenz un poi de gest ou un

poi de past egre; e puys festes temprer; e pernez une esquele e festes

un pertuz parmy, e festes culer le mincebek parmy cel pertuz en oile ou

en gresse; e puys pernez sucre e festes sirop boiller; e festes bainer

le myncebek dedenz, e metez du cel desus; e puys les dressez.

Hieatt/Jones 1986, Ms. A Nr. 4; see also Nr. 13 (De amydoun. E une autre

viaunde, ke ad noun amydoun. Pernez amydoun, ...).



- -- Ain mandel mu:o? machen

Item wildu machen ein mandel mu:oss, So nym ein pfunt mandels, vnd nymm

auch vm?dum, vnd ob du des nicht hast, So nym semlein prot dar zue vnd

das thue jn ain wasser, vnd wall das darauss vnd das schlach mit der

milich durch ain tu:och. So wirt es klain, wiltu es su:ess haben So thue

zugker daran, das haist ain mandel mu:oss.

(Maister Hanns; 15. Jh.)



- -- WJlt du machen ein mandel mues so nym ein halb l mandel vnd vmerdum

darczue ob du ez nicht enhast so nym semeln prat dorzue vnd das tue in

ain wasser vnd pall es schˆn aus daz slach mit der milch durch ein tuch

so wirt es klain wildu es sue? haben so tue ein zuker dor zue das haist

ain mandel mues.

(Cod. vind. 2897, fol. 5r; 15. Jh.)



- -- Vmmerdumb mu:e?lin

cclv. Machs also/ Nimb des Vmmerdumbs ein wenig/

vnnd mach jn zu meel/ damit mach ein taiglin mit milch/ ein

d¸nns/ setz ein gu:ote milch in einer pfannen vber/ ge¸? dises

taiglin darein/ ru:ers fein/ se¸ds wie sonst ein milch koch.

Solliches mu:o? ist krancken le¸ten/ die ein bo:esen

kopff haben gu:ot/ es sterckt das Hirn.

Man braucht den Vmmerdumb sonst vil.

(Staindl 1569)



- -- Amidono d'amido.

Se tu vuo' fare amiduni per XII persone, tuoi do libre de mandole e una

libra de amido, Ë meza de zucharo Ë toi 1/2 de pignoli mondi e mezo

quarto de garofali, Ë toi le mandole bene monde Ë bene maxenate, Ë

distempera con aqua chiara bene bolita Ë toy tre parte de lacte Ë mitilo

a bolire; di quello che te romane crudo meti a molo l'amidon. Quando lo

lacte Ë bolito asay, distempera l'amido e mitil dentro e meschola spesso

e trailo in suso per menestrare, e mitige zucharo asay, e poni per sopra

le scutelle zucharo e garofalli e pignoli mondi. E se tu vuo' fare per

pi? persone o per men, toy le chosse a questa medesima raxone e ene

perfecta vivanda.

(Anonymo Veneziano)



- -- 28. Et encor plus, les flons de lait d'amendres: selon la quantitÈ

des flons que ferÈs si prennÈs la quantitÈ des amendres, si les faictes

bien plumer nectement et laver et puis les faciÈs tresbien broyer; et

prennÈs de belle eaue bien necte et colle son lait d'amendres en celluy

ou en cornue que soit belle et necte selon la quantitÈ des flons qu'il

doibt faire. Et puis prennÈs de bel amidon et le lavÈs de belle eaue

fresche et le mectÈs en une belle seille quant il sera lavÈs; et puis

prennÈs vostre lait d'amendres et puis le mectÈs dedans son amidon

trempÈ, et si mectÈs un petit de saffran pour lui donner couleur; et

puis coulÈs cela a une belle estamine dedans une belle et necte seille,

et mectÈs ung petit de sel dedans et de succre grant foyson. Et quant

cecy est fait si appellÈs vostre patissier que on face les crostes et

qu'il les mecte dedans le four ung petit enroydir; et que puis ledit

patissier hait une belle cuillier ou de boys ou de fer estachiee a bon

bastonnet bauc pour emplir dedans le four les cortelletes dudit flons.

(Maistre Chiquart, 1420; there are more recipes; see index of the Scully

ed. p. 208)



3. References


AUSTIN (1888): Austin, Thomas (ed.): Two fifteenth-century

cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450),

with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1439, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55.

Hertford 1888 (EETS 91). Reprint Millwood, N.Y. 1988.

FACCIOLI (1966): Faccioli, Emilio: Arte della cucina. Libri di ricette,

testi sopra lo scalco, il trinciante e i vini dal XIV al XIX secolo.

Zwei B‰nde. Mailand 1966.

FRATI (1899): Frati, Ludovico: Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno

1899. Nachdruck Sala Bolognese 1977.

HIEATT/JONES (1986): Hieatt, Constance B./Jones, Robin F.: Two

anglo-norman culinary collections edited from British Library

manuscripts Additional 32085 and Royal 12.C.xii. In: Speculum 61 (1986)


MAISTER HANNS (1996): Maister Hanns, des von Wirtenberg Koch: Guot Ding

von allerlay Kochen (1460). Faksimile der Handschrift A.N.V. 12 der UB

Basel. Hg. von Tupperware. Transkription, ‹bersetzung, Glossar und

kulturgeschichtlicher Kommentar von Trude Ehlert. Frankfurt a.M. 1996.

PLINIUS: C. Plini Secvndi natvralis historiae libri XXXVII. Hg. von Karl

Mayhoff (1897). F¸nf B‰nde. Nachdruck Stuttgart 1967.

SCULLY (1985): Scully, Terence: Du fait de cuisine par Maistre Chiquart

1420. In: Vallesia 40 (1985) 101-231.

STAINDL (1569): Staindl, Balthasar.: Ein sehr K¸nstlichs vnd nutzlichs

Kochbuoch/ vormals nye in so leicht/ Mannen vnnd Frawen personen/ von

jnen selbst zu lernen/ in Truck verfast (...). Auch wie man Essig macht/

und Wein guot behelt. Dillingen 1569. Nachdruck Dietikon-Z¸rich 1979.



Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 20:12:21 EDT

From: BalthazarBlack at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC -corn in the USA


TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

> Arrowroot powder which is either the ground tuber or the starch

> extracted from the tuber of the arrowroot is also used as a thickener,

> but I have no experience with it.


Arrowroot provides a little less thickening power than cornstarch (2/3

roughly) but produces a smoother, satiny sauce.  It also tends to clarify a

little more than cornstarch.  In my experience with arrowroot, however, I

have found that it tends to lose a lot of it's thickening ability when it is

re-heated. I believe that (and possibly cost) is why it is not in more

common use here in the U.S.


Balthazar of Blackmoor



Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 15:49:02 GMT

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

Subject: SC - Re: historical liver


As far as I can tell, the Spanish corpus

>uses the livers of most edible creatures.  There are a lot of recipes

>for roast fowl which use the bird's liver in a sauce.


The technique still survives in modern Catalan cooking.  Liver and nuts are

ground into a paste, thinned with broth or wine or water, and then added to

the sauce both as a thickener and a flavoring agent.  The technique is

called "picada", and can also include breadcrumbs, herbs and spices, peppers

and chocolate, depending on the sauce.  De Nola uses the technique over and

over again, but does not give it a name.





Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 23:43:44 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cornflour? In Apicius? Moo-ooo-ooo


Also sprach lilinah at earthlink.net:

> For the Roman feast i'm doing in September, i'm reading through;

> -- Flower and Rosenbaum, Apicius

> -- Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome

> -- Dalby and Grainger, The Classical Cookbook

> There are a number of sauce recipes that call for some sort of

> thickening. The original Latin appears to be "amula", given as

> "starch" in the translations, but as "cornstarch" in the recipe.

> Of course, i know the Romans didn't have what we call "corn" in

> America, that is, maize. Is this a case where "cornstarch" in British

> means "wheat starch" in American?

> And would fine white flour work? Or should I be using something else?

> Thanks,

> Anahita


See if you can get some wheat starch in a Chinese grocery. Amulum =

amydoun = wheat starch. Medieval recipes involve soaking kernels

until they burst and release starch, which separates from the

glutinous parts of the grain (to some extent), leaving a starchy

precipitate in your soaking water. You pour off the water and dry the

dregs, and grind it in a mortar.


Flower and Rosenbaum are using the term "cornflour" to mean a generic

starch, I suspect, and wheat starch could come under that heading.





Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 19:46:29 +0000

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] RE: Janete of hens

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


>Has anyone ever done this recipe? I'm trying to figure out a redaction

>(last minute, I know, but the feast is next weekend....*sigh*), and I'm

>wondering about the chicken liver in the dish.  I'm not an organ meat

>person, so I'm entirely unsure as to how much I should figure on


>--maire, starting to tear her hair out....


I haven't done the recipe, but I can tell you that chicken livers, either

raw or cooked, are a common thickener and flavoring agent in Spanish

cooking. Use one liver per whole chicken.  Alternately, try it without the

livers and see what you get.  De Nola does encourage his readers to get

inventive, after all...





Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 22:37:31 -0700

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] in the thick of it...

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


> Lonnie D. Harvel wrote:

>> First, would the broth from stewed meat be thickened in the 9th

>> century, Danelaw area.

> At a guess, crumbs.

>> Second, what is the technique for thickening with bread or bread crumbs.

> Grind bread. Put crumbs in liquid to be thickened.  Allow it to cook a

> little longer. If it still doesn't seem thick enough, repeat.


Make sure you give enough time for the starch to dissolve and get good and

mixed in.  Too little and it is more grainy than you'd like.  This is a

really easy test to work out to see how it behaves.  I did a Neapolitan dish

that was thickened with egg yolks, bread crumbs AND liver.  It was a

startling surprise to see the spaetzel appear in my Italian braised lamb :o)

(I mixed egg and crumbs together before adding to liquid . . . oops.)


Bread is a forgiving master to thicken with, really, just watch it and learn

how much to use, based on moisture in your crumbs, type of grain and quality

(density) of your original crumb.


niccolo difrancesco



Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 10:57:03 -0600

From: "wyldrose" <wyldrose at tds.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Buttered wortes


I suspect the oatmeal thing is cultural.  Many older Native Americans put

oatmeal in all their soups as a thickening agent and just love it.  (you

don't add a lot just a little and you don't really taste  it.)   When I

lived on the Rez I got over my  bias and had lots of pot luck dishes that

had oatmeal hidden in them.   The Native Americans began their love of

oatmeal in the 1600's when fur traders brought oatmeal along as a staple

food when trading.  The oatmeal is fairly quick to cook and can be added

into the  other foods (usually salt pork)  for a quick high calorie meal.

For the fur traders the food  was easy to transport on the long routes and

was taken every where the traders went.


Another thing to think about is that oats are a quick and easy crop and

can be harvested in multiple ways to get different  taste and textures.

They usually grow faster than the weeds! A good farmer could easily get  at

least 2 crops of oats a year, a great farmer  could get 3 or  4 in the right

climate, and the grain when for human food and the straw as bedding or food

for the animals.  Most wheat is more temperamental than oats for growing and

takes longer for maturity.  In the  British Islands I suspect the cooler

wetter weather was more suited to oats than to  most of  the wheat of the



I wish I could get Outlook to do the insetty arrow thing when quoting other



I have no particular objection to oatmeal - I actually really like porridge

- but I do find the idea of using it to thicken things a bit unusual. It has

a lot more texture than flour, for instance, and I can't see it going as

soft or smooth as breadcrumbs do when used for thickening. But then I

haven't used it for cooking much - just in parkin, and a few strange

experiments putting it in pancakes.

As a matter of curiosity, when Americans say 'oatmeal' do they mean

porridge? This is the impression I have. For me, raised in England, and

living most of my adult life in Australia, oatmeal is the finely ground

stuff, and porridge is a breakfast cereal made with rolled oats.





Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 02:49:21 +0000

From: CHARLES POTTER <basiliusphocas at hotmail.com>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] First Recipe from Libro di cucina/ Libro per

        cuoco, in parts


  I found wheat starch online at eFoodDepot.com for $1.55 for 12ozs. This is cheap!


                                    Master B



Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:55:00 +1300

From: Antonia Calvo <dama.antonia at gmail.com>

To: yaini0625 at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] First Recipe from Libro di cucina/ Libro per

        cuoco, in parts


yaini0625 at yahoo.com wrote:

>>> Is wheat gluten the same as wheat starch?


No. Gluten is a protein in wheat.


Antonia di Benedetto Calvo


<the end>

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