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F-It-spce-mixs-art – 12/25/03

 

French & Italian Herb and Spice Mixtures by THLady Johnnae llyn Lewis.

 

NOTE: See also the files: spices-msg, herbs-msg, spice-mixes-msg, spice-storage-msg, p-herbals-msg, merch-spices-msg, herb-mixes-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.

 

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.

 

While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.

 

Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan  at florilegium.org

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French & Italian Herb and Spice Mixtures

By

THLady  Johnnae  llyn Lewis

 

            Summer offers numerous opportunities to grill outside over open fires and grills. Besides modern BBQ sauces and dry rubs, adventurous souls can experiment with a variety of spice and herb mixtures adapted from historical sources. Many of these early recipes adapt readily to being used with poultry, beef and pork as substitutes for more modern grilling rubs. Historical spice and herb mixtures vary from recipe to recipe and source to source. Often amounts are never given. The composition of these original mixes would also have varied from household to household and would no doubt have varied from season to season depending upon supplies and costs. Due to space constraints, the original recipes, translations, along with descriptions have been omitted, but can be found in the books indicated. Experiment and have fun with these recipes this summer. Use as one would a modern dry rub.

 

Pouldre Fine Spice Mixture from Le Menagier de Paris. 1390’s.

3 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon grains of paradise

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons sugar

Mix well and store in covered container.

D. Eleanor Scully and Terence Scully. Early French Cookery. [1995] pp. 54-56.

 

Barbara Wheaton in Savoring the Past . The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789. [1983; 1996] provides the following recipes from French sources:

 

Spice Mixture from Livre fort excellent de cuisine 1555.

7 tablespoons powdered ginger

1/4 cup ground pepper

7 1/4 teaspoons grated nutmeg

5 teaspoons ground cardamom

5 3/4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons long pepper

4 1/2 teaspoons  ground cloves

2 tablespoons powdered galingale

Mix well. Store in airtight container in a cool dark place.

Wheaton. Savoring the Past . p.247.

 

An Herb Mixture Livre fort excellent de cuisine. 1555.

1 cup parsley

1/4 cup each sage, winter savory, wild thyme

1 1/4 cup marjoram

1/4 cup hyssop

1/2 cup pot marigold petals

2 tablespoons basil

If picked fresh, then dry the herbs. Measure, mix and store in a plastic container in a cool dark place. One may omit the marigold petals.

Wheaton. Savoring the Past . p.248.

 

A Pastrycook’s spice mixture from La Varenne’s Le Patissier Francois 1652.

3/4 cup ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 3/4  teaspoons ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons ground black pepper

1 tablespoon grated nutmeg

Mix well. Store in airtight container in a cool dark place.

Wheaton. Savoring the Past . p.253.

Wheaton notes that La Varenne states that the above mixture may be mixed with an equal amount of dry fresh salt and that this mixture then made with salt is very good with meats, poultry and fish. My suggestion would be to make the spice mixture up and then incorporate equal measures spice and salt in a separate plastic container.

Wheaton. Savoring the Past. pp. 253-254.

 

Another Spice Mixture from the 1607 Thresor de Sante.

7 tablespoons ginger

4 tablespoons fresh pepper

5 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons galingale

4 teaspoons   ground cloves

5 teaspoons   cardamon

1/2 ounce long pepper if you have it

4 grated  whole nutmegs

Mix well. Store in airtight container in a cool dark place.

Original recipe from Savoring the Past. Pp. 249-250.

 

Bonnefon’s Good Spice Mixture from 1679.

7 tablespoons plus another 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

3 tablespoons plus another 2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 nutmeg grated

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cups plus another 3 tablespoons salt

Mix well. Store in airtight container in a cool dark place.

Wheaton. Savoring the Past . p. 255.

 

Italian Mixtures include:

Venetian Fine Spice Mixture. 14th Century.

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2  tablespoons saffron threads loosely measured**

3/4 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix well and store in a covered container. Due to reasons of cost, one may modify the amount or omit the saffron.

Odile Redon, et al. The Medieval Kitchen. [1991, 1993] Pp. 221.

 

Venetian Sweet Spice Mixture. 14th Century.

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons finely ground bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix well and store in a covered container. The bay leaf is a modern substitution for an unknown “leaf”.

Redon, et al. The Medieval Kitchen. Pp. 221-222.

 

Venetian Strong Black Spice Mixture. 14th Century.

1/4 cup ground black pepper

1/4 cup ground long pepper, if available

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 whole nutmeg grated

Mix well and store in a covered container. This will serve for all spices, says the recipe.

Redon, et al. The Medieval Kitchen. Pp. 222.

 

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Copyright 2003 by Johnna H. Holloway. <Johnna  at sitka.engin.umich.edu>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.

 

If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.

 

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Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org