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gums-resins-msg – 2/5/12

 

Gums and resins used in period and how they were used. Modern sources. Camphor, myrrh, frankinsence, mastic, Gum tragacanth.

 

NOTE: See also the files: spices-msg, herbs-cooking-msg, p-herbals-msg, amber-msg,  amber-buying-art, spice-mixes-msg, wood-finishes-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

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

 

From: fp458 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Elise A. Fleming)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Plate that you can ea

Date: 10 Dec 1994 10:02:03 GMT

Organization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (USA)

 

Gum tragacanth, cheapest source, is Penn Herb.  Toll free number

is 1-800-523-9971 (presumably for orders over $15).  For orders

under $15, for information, or if you're calling from the 215

area code it's 215-925-3336.  Tragacanth gum is #630.  It comes

in powder form.  One ounce is $2.35, much cheaper than the price

from Sweet Celebrations in Minneapolis.  Four ounces is $7.25

and one pound is $27.50.  There is a shipping charge.  Penn Herb

sells all other kinds of herbs and herbal items.  They say they

are "Pennsylvania's Largest Medicinal Herb House."

 

Elise/Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 11:19:57 -0600 (MDT)

From: Mary Morman <memorman at oldcolo.com>

Subject: SC - Gum Tragacanth

 

I was pleased to find gum tragacanth being sold by the very reputable

Dragonmarsh at Worldcon over Labor Day.  You can contact them at:

 

        DragonMarsh

       

[ Stefan 9/9/07 - here is info for buying stuff at DragonMarsh. The writer lists them at 6th street. They have moved around the corner.

new info-

DragonMarsh

3643 University Ave.

Riverside, CA 92501

951 276-1116

www.dragonmarsh.com ]

 

Elaina

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 16:26:10 -0500 (CDT)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )

Subject: SC - Gums Arabic and Tragacanth

 

Greetings!  (Drat digest format where it's harder to quote from posts!)

Someone mentioned getting gum arabic and thought other names for it

were gum tragacanth, gum dragon, etc.  No, and no.  Gum arabic isn't

gum tragacanth.  While both are used in cookery, gum tragacanth's

primary use in period seems to have been in making sugar paste (modern

day gum paste).  You can't substitute gum arabic for gum tragacanth.  I

would hypothesize that the reverse would also be true, that one

shouldn't substitute gum tragacanth for gum arabic.  One of

tragacanth's uses is as a strengthener.  Arabic has been used to mix

with colorants so that one can paint them onto foods or confections.

 

When using one or the other, see what the recipe says, then use that

one.  I've been in the presence of sugar paste made with gum arabic.  

'Tain't the same thing!

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 21:32:07 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - camphor

 

rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com writes:

<< What *is* camphor?  I thought it was a petroleum product.  How would

they have produced it in the Middle Ages?  How else was it used in

the Middle Ages?

 

Stefan li Rous >>

 

What is camphor?

 

Camphor is a gum resin produced by the camphor tree.  The petroleum based

product you refer to is "Camphor Oil" .....a modern medicinal dating back to

the 19th century CE used to reduce the symptoms of upper respiratory distress

during cold and flu season especially on young children.  It is applied to the

chest area and the rising fumes make breathing easier.  It is oftentimes more

effective than others forms of medicine such as antihistamines.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 03:51:32 +0000

From: James and/or Nancy Gilly <KatieMorag at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: SC - camphor

 

At 21:59 25-1-98 +0000, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>What *is* camphor? I thought it was a petroleum product. How would

>they have produced it in the Middle Ages? How else was it used in

>the Middle Ages?

 

Says the *Britannica*:

 

         camphor, an organic compound of penetrating, somewhat

     musty aroma, used for many centuries as a component of incense

     and as a medicinal.  Modern uses of camphor have been as a

     plasticizer for cellulose nitrate and as an insect repellent,

     particularly for moths.  The molecular formula is C10H16O

     [C-ten H-sixteen O].

         Camphor occurs in the camphot laurel, *Cinnamomum camphora*,

     common in China, Taiwan, and Japan....

 

(*Encyclopaedia Britannica*, 15th edition, Vol II, p 492.  Copyright 1977 by

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.)

 

Alasdair mac Iain

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 08:58:41 -0600 (CST)

From: jeffrey s heilveil <heilveil at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - camphor

 

Camphor is the root of the camphry plant, ground. It can be mixed with

alcohol to make a tincture, and then mixed with a thickner to create an

ointment.  It is a cheap and easy way to teach elementary herbalism, and I

made it a long time ago in an intro Botany course.

 

Bogdan

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 21:15:35 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - spices vs. herbs?

 

acrouss at gte.net writes:

<< frankincense and myrrh >>

 

IIRC< both are plant products. Frankincense is the resin of an aromatic Asian

or African tree and myrrh is a fragrant gummy substance with a bitter taste

which is used in medicines, perfumes and incense in modern times. There are

period Middle Eastern recipes which use it as a food ingredient. It is

obtained from a shrub that grows in Arabia and East Africa. I do not have my

plant manuals at hand right now but will look up the scientific names if you

want them..

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 16:03:59 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Mastic (was: My entry to Queen's Prize Tourney)

 

At 8:08 PM -0500 3/29/98, Lady Beatrix of Tanet wrote:

>Many Thanks, but I have one question: What is Mastic?

 

Mastic or gum mastic is a resin used as a seasoning in Islamic cooking; you

use it in very small quantities, say 1/16 teaspoon per 1 or two pounds of

meat.  The taste suggests turpentine to us. In very small quantities it

adds an interesting tang to a dish, but it doesn't take much to make the

dish inedible.  To find it, try a Middle Easter, Iranian, or Indian grocery

store, or a specialty spice place.  It looks like little pale

yellowish/tannish blobs.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

[Submitted by: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>]

From: Gaylin Walli <g.walli at infoengine.com>

To: herbalist at Ansteorra.ORG

Subject: Re: HERB - Resins

Date: Tuesday, November 03, 1998 2:19 PM

 

Raisya asked:

>I bought frankinsence and myrrh at Pennsic this year, but didn't have a chance

>to label them immediately, and now I've forgotten which is which.  Does anyone

>here know?  One is yellow, the shade of butter, the other is brownish, the

>color of a darkish honey.  I think the yellow is frankinsence and the brown is

>myrrh, but I'm not sure.

 

The red-brown one is the myrrh. The yellow one is the frankinsence.

 

References:

 

"[Myrrh] flows as a pale yellow liquid, but hardens to a reddish-brown mass,

being found in commerce in tears of many sizes, the average being that of

a walnut."

(http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/myrrh-66.html)

 

"When the milk-like juice which exudes has hardened by exposure to the

air, the incision is deepened. In about three months the [Frankincense]

resin has attained the required degree of consistency, hardening into

yellowish 'tears.'"

(http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/franki31.html)

 

Jasmine

Jasmine de Cordoba, Midrealm, g.walli at infoengine.com

 

 

[Submitted by: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>]

From: N.D.Wederstrandt <nweders at mail.utexas.edu>

To: herbalist at Ansteorra.ORG

Subject: Re: HERB - Resins

Date: Tuesday, November 03, 1998 4:10 PM

 

Not necessarily.  Different grades of frankincense are different colors.

Ethiopean frankincense is a very bright golden yellow and is getting harder

to find because the wars over in the Middle East have caused the groves to

be burnt.  Arabian frankincense is a mixture and can range from dull gold

with bright yellow bits to darkish brown....   Indian frankincense is the

darkest and is the most common.... It often  is cut with other types of

resins.  I have an Organic Chemistry Manual that explains the types but it

is at home and this week I'm been off list dealing with Laurel's Prize

Tourney.  The difference I have always found is that myrrh is darker and

has a very bitter taste to it.  Frankincense is less bitter and even the

dark is not as dark as myrrh.  Smell wise - myrrh always has a bitter edge

to it.

 

BTW, ethiopean has the cleanest and brightest scent to it....It is also the

prettiest.

 

Clare

 

 

[Submitted to the Florilegium by: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at bright.net>]

From: Gaylin Walli <g.walli at infoengine.com>

To: herbalist at Ansteorra.ORG

Subject: Re: HERB - 'syropp of ela campane'

Date: Wednesday, November 04, 1998 9:29 AM

 

Phlip asked:

>Any ideas, folks?

 

This is how I would look at it.

 

'syropp of ela campane' would probably be a syrup of the plant

elecampane, often called Elfwort or Scabwort. The botanical of

this plant is Inula helenium (L.) I think. One of the major

constituents of the plant is the volitale oil "helenin" which

is sometimes called "elecampane camphor." Camphor, throughout

history, has been used to treat the symptoms of any of the

numerous kinds of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.

 

An excellent write-up on Elecampane can be found in M. Grieve's

(OOP) herbal online at

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/elecam07.html

 

and this writeup includes pointers to period sources (including

Gerard, Culpepper, and others) which may be of use to the SCAdian

or recreator in tracking down the origins of the syrup's creation.

 

Jasmine

Jasmine de Cordoba, Midrealm, g.walli at infoengine.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 16:41:50 -0600 (CST)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)

Subject: SC - Re: Recipe from Murrell

 

Lucretzia wrote:

>By Gum-dragon I would say they mean Dragonsblood, which is  today and

>has been since ancient times, an East Indian shrub known as Dracoena

>draco, and the pigment is the dried resin sap of the plant.

 

I disagree.  Gum-dragon is gum tragacanth in modern life, and is used

in sugar paste recipes as part of the ingredients.  It is identified as

"a gum obtained from various Asian or Easst European leguminous plants

(genus Astragalus, esp. A. gummifer) that swells in water and is used

in the arts and in pharmacy."  It is not a pigment and has no coloring

of its own.  In modern gum paste, substitutions for gum tragacanth are

used such as gum karaya, which is cheaper, but has a slight pinkish

cast.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 11:48:45 -0500

From: Roberta R Comstock <froggestow at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Mastic

 

On Sat, 11 Sep 1999 18:35:30 -0500 (CDT) <timbeck at ix.netcom.com> writes:

>Does anyone have the botanical name for the "mastic" bush?  Just

>currious...

>Timothy

 

Mastic is an aromatic resin obtained from a small anacardiaceous

evergreen tree, _Pistacia Lentiscus_,  native to the Mediterranean

region:  used in making varnish.  (Random House College Dictionary)

 

This plant family is the same one that includes pistacio nuts, cashews,

sumaca and poison ivy.

 

Hertha

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 00:34:50 -0300

From: dwilson at nbnet.nb.ca (dwilson)

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Mastic

 

> Does anyone have the botanical name for the "mastic" bush?  Just currious...

> Timothy

 

Pistacia lentiscus.  And a good small article at

http://www.tau.ac.il/~melros/Questions/Hebrew.html

 

Sheepstealer

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 10:19:18 EST

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - MASTIC

 

Well, one positive aspect to this whole bruhaha in Trimaris about feasting is

that it has spured me on to start looking up recipes again.

I recently asked what *mastic* is.  Well, I found the answer!

Phillipa Seton

 

THE FOOD OF THE WESTERN WORLD An Encyclopedia of Food from North America and

Europe. Theodora FitzGibbon

Quadrangle / New York Times Book Co. 1976

 

MASTIC

(Pistacia lentiscus)

An evergreen resinous shrub native to Southern Europe, the sap of which is

used as a culinary flavoring.  .... The gum tastes fairly like liquorice, is

obtained by making cuts into the tree bark.  

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 10:47:09 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: RE: SC - REC: BAID MASUS

 

Phillipa Seton said

> For tonight's supper I made  **Baid Masus** from His Grace's Miscellany. I

> had never made it before.  It was delicious! A very straight forward recipe

> and easy to make.  I didn't have any *mastic* however.  (I hope everyone got

> my previous post on mastic - a liquorice flavored sap)

 

I believe the information you posted said that mastic was the sap,

and the bark was liquorice flavored. Mastic doesn't taste in the

least like liquorice. More like turpentine (think retsina for a

similar effect in something consumable), which is why we use it in

very small quantities.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 01:09:03 -0500

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

To: SCA-Cooks maillist <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>,

       SCA-Arts maillist <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Frankincense

 

For those interested in learning more about the spice Frankincense,

and some of its history you might want to read this article that

just appeared in the May/June 2000 issue of "Aramco World"

 

"Scents of Place: Frankincense in Oman" by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

 

This journal is free and I highly reccomend it for those with an

interest in the Arab world. Since I've been subscribing there have

been a number of articles that whole or in part discuss the time

period that the SCA covers.

 

Before reading this I was really only aware of frankincense as being

one of the gifts given to the christ child in the Christian nativity

story. This article seems to be saying that it was more popular among

the Romans but then interest in it wained after Rome fell, although it

never disappeared entirely.

 

Does anyone have any referances to frankincense being used in medieval

foods or drinks? Other uses such as incense?

--

Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

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

 

 

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 11:59:07 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Gum Tragacanth Sources

 

Greetings. If my old memory works right, it seems there was a

discussion that gum tragacanth wasn't "findable" in the US anymore.

Master Aiden, from my local group, found two sources for me right

away and here they are for you.

 

http://www.bakingshop.com/sugarcraft/gum.htm

http://beryls.safeshopper.com/142/cat142.htm?772

 

He noted: "I've also discovered that it's also used for

leatherworking, incense, bookbinding, and making pastels,

curious..."

 

The "Beryl's" site has a pound of gum dragon for $30, plus shipping

and handling.  This corresponds well to the price some 10 years ago

of $30 which included $5 shipping/handling from Penn Herb, which

apparantly no longer carries gum tragacanth.  If you want to make

period sugarpaste, you need this stuff. They also sell it in

smaller quantities.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 17:02:14 -0400 (EDT)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] online glossary

 

> Benzoin

 

Styrax Benzoin, a tree resin. Now available as powdered resin and a

tincture. A perfume fixative. AKA gum benzoin, benjamin.

 

OED:

    1. A dry and brittle resinous substance, with a fragrant

odour and slightly aromatic taste, obtained from the

Styrax benzoin, a tree of Sumatra, Java, etc. It is used in

the preparation of benzoic acid, in medicine, and

extensively in perfumery. For scientific distinction it is

now termed gum benzoin. Also called by popular

corruption BENJAMIN.

 

  1558 WARDE Alexis' Secr. (1568) 3a, An unce of Bengewine. 1562

TURNER Herbal II. 30b, Belzoin or Benzoin is the rosin of a tree.

1601 HOLLAND Pliny I. 480 The herbe..(which beareth the gum

Benjoine) grew there first. 1616 BULLOKAR, Benzwine, a sweet

smelling gumme. 1616 SURFL. & MARKH. Countr. Farm 484 Your

hard gums, such as is frankincense, benjouin..and waxe. 1653

WALTON Angler (Arb.) 42 There is an herb Benione, which..makes

him (the Otter) to avoid that place. 1658 ROWLAND Mouffet's Theat.

Ins. 1000 Asa dulcis, Wine and Honey, or Benzoin dissolved in warm

water. 1671 GREW Anat. Plants I. 17 Benzoine, by Distillation

[yieldeth] Oyl; by Vstion, white Flowers. 1834 J. GRIFFIN Chem.

Recr. 117 Gum benzoin (or benjamin) is a prime constituent of

fumigating pastiles. 1875 JEVONS Money vii. 28 Cubes of benzoin,

gum or beeswax..are other peculiar forms of currency.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 20:22:53 -0700 (PDT)

From: Philippa Alderton <phlip_u at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mastic for Stefan.

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

OK, Stefan, I've been looking through my cookbooks, as

I promised, and here we go.

 

From Cariadoc's Mexcellany, the cooking section, the

following recipes contain mastic:

 

Burinya

Tuffahiya

Madira

Raihaniya

Rutabiya

Labaniya

 

A Baghdad Cookery Book

 

Sour dishes

 

Batd Masus

Zirbaj

Nirbaj

Hisrimiya

Halawiya

Rummaniya

Sumaqiya

Limuwiya

Mamquriya

Hubaishiya

Mishmishiya

Narenjiya

Narsirk

 

Milk dishes

 

Madira

Mujazza'a

Ukaike

Masliya

 

Plain dishes

 

Isfankiya

Rukhamiya

Aruz Mufalfal

Itriya

Muhallibiya

 

Fried and Dry dishes

 

Anbariya

Mishmishiya

Safarjaliya

Narenjiya

Fahtiya

Mudaqqaqat Hamida

 

Simple and sweet dishes

 

(on these, the "usual" in parentheses following means

that the recipe said "the usual seasonings", and that

similar recipes preceding and following all had mastic

in them. I didn't include any saying usual seasonings

otherwise.)

 

Burniya

Basaliya

Raihaniya

Nurjisiya

Nujumiya (usual)

Manbusha

Madfuna (usual)

Buraniya al-Qar

Khudairiya

Makhfiya

Dinariya

Rutabiya

Mugarressa Harisa al-Araz

Mudaqqaqat Sadhija

 

The last was simply titled "Chicken dishes" and

included a base spice blend, which included mastic,

and then discussed several variations.

 

Harisa and baked dishes

 

Harisa (usual)

Kabis

Sukhtar (or Kibi)

Tafshil

Akar

 

Fried, soused and turned dishes, pies, etc

 

Baid Masus (there were several dishes which stated

"usual seasonings " but I wasn't absolutely sure they

included mastic.)

 

Fish Dishes (fresh fish)

 

Samak Mushwa

Samak Maqlu (usual- these were the only two, but the

second was a variant of the first).

 

There was no Mastic used in the salted fish dishes,

nor in the strictly grain/vegetable dishes.

 

As you can see, mastic is quite common in Arabic

cooking. Most of the dishes included red meat, and

mastic was left out of most of the red meat/chicken

combos, but did appear in the plain chicken variations

(above)

 

I found no mastic in Platina, Anthimus, or Sabina.

Sabina did include mace, but by context, I think it

actually meant mace, beause the phrase was "nutmeg and

mace" in most cases.

 

Elizabeth, would you mind checking your translation of

"Fait de Cuisine" to see if the original might have

meant mastic instead of mace in any cases? I ask,

because I don't have access to the original to check

as I do with Sabina.

 

Aha, you say- so far this shows mastic only in Arabic

cookery, but not European?

 

Not so.

 

Taillevant has a Cameline sauce containg mastic

(there's also a garlic cameline, but more on that in

another post) with which he sauces Red Mullet, Fresh

Salmon, Gar, Dory, and Breem, all, IMO, fairly strong

flavored fishes. He also sauces Stewed Deer Testicles

with it. I am not including any of the recipes calling

for Garlic Cameline, because from context I can't tell

whether it's a separate variant, or an addition to the

base recipe.

 

Le Menagier de Paris, in the early part of his book

describes purchasing Cameline sauce for a couple of

parties- 3 half pints for 32 meals, and a 2 qt pot to

hold it, and a qt of Cameline for 40 meals. Later, he

describes the sauce itself, but it includes no mastic-

since it's the same century as Taillevant, and the

same area (France) I'm wondering id the mastic might

have been a temporary fad, or if perhaps changes of

trade patterns, between Crusades and the Mongols might

have made it unavailable, or if perhaps he might not

have known exactly what was in the Cameline he

purchased. His usage seemed to be on anything of

flesh, but I'm not including a list because I'm unsure

if it really included mastic or not.

 

Of course, "Soup for the Qan" included mastic in the

one soup dish, but the notes say that it was an import

from the Middle Eastern countries.

 

Margali said she thinks she remembers a reference in

Two 15th Century Cookbooks, but at this point, I'm so

tired of reading cookbooks, I didn't look. For the

same reason, Cindy, I didn't look at 1000 Eggs- do you

have any references?

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 22:51:03 -0700 (PDT)

From: Philippa Alderton <phlip_u at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mastic for Stefan

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

--- Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net> wrote:

> > From Cariadoc's Mexcellany, the cooking section,

> > the following recipes contain mastic:

 

Looks like Cariadoc has expanded his Arabic recipes

since Margali got her copy- might need to get the

newest version. Cariadoc, wasn't there a Morroccan

recipe in the 8th edition? I was looking for it to

post for the lady who was looking for Morroccan

recipes, but npow I can't find it.

 

> > Aha, you say- so far this shows mastic only in

> > Arabic cookery, but not European?

> Up to this point that was occuring to me...

 

Well, why not list it as an ingredient very common in

Medieval Arabic cookery, particularly in regards to

lamb and red meats, but occasionally used with fish or

chicken, and occasionally found in French cookery,

depending on trading habits? Almost every Arabic meat

recipe I found had mastic in it.

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 07:20:44 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mastic for Stefan.

 

It's not in the index for Two Fifteenth, Curye

on Inglishe, or in Wilson's Food & Drink in

Britain. I would think that its use in non-Arabic

cuisines would be somewhat limited.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

 

 

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 18:18:02 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mastic for Stefan

 

> Why the difference in interest in mastic, I wonder. Was the

> source of the mastic just much closer to the Arabs? Or does

> this help indicate that perfumed food in general was more

> appreciated in the Middle East than in Europe? But both

> used rose water in food, right?

> Stefan li Rous

 

An additional point to ponder: I don't recall seeing mastic in any

recipes from Christian Spain, even though the Arabs greatly

influenced Hispanic cuisine, and introduced many new foods.  For

whatever reason, mastic didn't "take".

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mastic for Stefan

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 18:13:46 -0500

 

Mastic is used in Apicius 3, Absintium romanum sic facies: (Make Roman

absinthe thus:).

 

Bear

 

>I gather that that's where it grew, and its usage

>spread from the Arabic areas to every place else- I'm

>thinking that if we look, we might find it was in

>vogue in several odd places, during the latter part

>of, and shortly following, the Crusades. We might also

>find it in Rome, during the Empire, when there was so

>much trade between Europe and North Africa.

>Phlip

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 08:57:18 +1000

From: "Craig Jones." <craig.jones at airservices.gov.au>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] gum mastic source

To: "SCA-Cooks maillist (E-mail)" <SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org>

Organization: Airservices Australia

 

>Their gum mastic is $50 for 500 gms.

 

I would suggest that a pound is probably more Mastic than I'll use in

3 of my lifetimes...

 

When cooking a pot of Mastaji for 12 people, I'd probably only add 2

grams.  It's strong stuff...  It's a good price though...

 

Drake.

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 07:19:55 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mastic

 

"Mastic for Beginners" by Andrew Dalby

is in PPC 65. PP 38-45 which the introduction

notes is longer than what is offered in his

book Dangerous Tastes.

 

Johnna Holloway  Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

Christina Nevin wrote:

It's still used to make bread in Greece - ask Bear, he would know.

> Apparently it's delicious. So any Greek-orientated Mediterranean grocery

> should have some.

> There was an extremely good article on it in PPC a couple of issues ago.

> Lucrezia

 

 

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] Mastic

Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 13:15:53 -0500

 

> It's still used to make bread in Greece - ask Bear, he would know.

> Apparently it's delicious. So any Greek-orientated

> Mediterranean grocery

> should have some.

> There was an extremely good article on it in PPC a couple of

> issues ago.

> Lucrezia

 

Tsoureki.  It's an Easter bread.  I've never seen it, tasted it or made it.

Mastic is used as a flavoring agent in Greek baking and candy making.

 

I finally remembered where I saw an interesting little piece on mastic and

Greeks, http://www.kal69.dial.pipex.com/ppc67.htm#Petits

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Erika Thomenius" <ldygytha at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] turpentine taste

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 18:54:45 -0600

 

>Phlip commented:

>I'm willing to bet there is

>commentary about not using pine wood for a roasting

>fire- I rather doubt Medeval people liked turpentine

>flavored food any more than we do ;-)

>To which Margali replied:

>So how the hell do you explain Retsina wine?

 

And chewing gum made of pine sap was quite popular in medieval Finland.

They even had special tools to harvest the stuff. (Check out _From Viking

to Crusader_ by Else Roesdahl.)

 

-Gytha "But it probably sticks to your dental work" Karlsdotter

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 08:50:19 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] for the botanists-

 

You might want to check out the new Timber Press

title on plant gums and resins for more details.

Maybe a library can ILLoan it in for you. It's

expensive but at 600 plus pages it may well

have what you want.

 

Plant Resins:  Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology,

  and Ethnobotany by  Jean H. Langenheim

http://www.timberpress.com/books/index.cfm?do=details&;ID=625

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

"Laura C. Minnick" wrote:

 

> Ok, after spending several hours on-line, and the best I can find is family

> Fabaceae- one of the divisions being Mimosoideae, and of those there is

> Acacia, and Mimosa pudica. So I'm trying to find out what was growing in

> Poitou in 1154- the

> travelogues etc refer both to acacia and to mimosa- and I'm trying to

> figure out which is which. I know acacia can be tapped for gum, and I

> know that mimosa shrinks from touch. But which lives in Poitou? Either?

> Both? when someone mentions one, which do they mean? AAAAAAAAGAHHHHH!

> 'Lainie

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 07:01:01 -0500

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

Subjct: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: [MR] gum arabic versus gum tragacanth

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

        <bmcellis at yahoo.com>

 

Gum arabic is derved from members of the genus Acacia, primarily A.

senegal.  Gum tragacanth is derived from Astragallus gummifer (Syrian

tragacanth).  Both are used in the same manner, but gum tragacanth has

greater stability over a wider range of acidity and temperature and is

therefor considered the better product for commercial use.

 

IIRC, both are mentioned by Theophratus (?), which makes them known from

Antiquity.

 

Bear

 

>> As one who plays with late period candy making, can

>> anyone show me a detailed discussion o the

>> differences between gum arabic and gum tragacanth?

>> I've had at least one cooking laurel tell me they're

>> the same and other cooks who tell me they aren't.

>> 

>> Any knowledge from someone who has studied the

>> differences/similarities would e appreciated.

>> 

>> Rebecca

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 10:41:07 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: [MR] gum arabic versus gum tragacanth

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

 

>> As one who plays with late period candy making, can

>> anyone show me a detailed discussion of the

>> differences between gum arabic and gum tragacanth?

>> I've had at least one cooking laurel tell me they're

>> the same and other cooks who tell me they aren't.

 

Gum tragacanth and gum arabic are quite different. When you add water to

gum arabic, you get a sort of slime if you wait long enough. However,

adding water to gum tragacanth gets you a jellylike substance that expands

greatly. Sez the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica: "Some plant gums,

such as gum  arabic, dissolve in water to give clear solutions. Other

gums, such as gum tragacanth, form mucilages by the absorption of large

amounts of water."

 

Gum Tragacanth is often called gumdragon in period sources.

 

Oxford English Dictionary sez:

"Tragacanth   1. A .gum. or mucilaginous substance obtained from several species of Astragulus (see 2), by natural exudation or incision, in the form of

whitish strings or flakes, only partially soluble in water: see quot.

1875. Used in medicine (chiefly as a vehicle for drugs) and in the

industrial arts. Also a similar substance obtained from Sterculia

Tragacantha of W. Africa.    a. Commonly called gum tragacanth."

 

"gum arabic, which is exuded by certain species of Acacia, and arabic

acid, obtained from it."

 

Two different species of trees!

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika   jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 13:53:26 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gum Arabic WAS parlor tricks

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

 

On Oct 25, 2005, at 1:03 PM, Martinsen at ansteorra.org, Kerri"

<kerrimart at cablespeed.com>" at ansteorra.org wrote:

> For those of us uneducated, what would one use gum arabic for?

> Vitha

 

Today  it shows up in candies, chewing gum, and sometimes as an

emulsifier for ice cream, among other uses. I'm not sure to what

extent Gum Arabic is used in period cookery or confectionery, but

other gums (primarily gums tragacanth and benzoin, a.k.a. gum dragon

and benjamin, respectively, in some period sources) are used mostly

as either edible adhesives or to change the textures of various

foods, mostly confections. So, for example, you sometimes see

instructions to use a solution of gum to glue gold or silver leaf to

a food or a pastille, or to toughen up sugar plate (IOW, to make it

less brittle and fragile), etc. I believe gums in small quantities

can also have medicinal applications -- maybe someone else has more

detailed information at hand, but I vaguely recall some gums being

considered to have expectorant qualities.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 13:01:52 -0500

From: "Helen Schultz" <helen.schultz at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gum Arabic WAS parlor tricks

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

 

Here is an excellent article about Gum Arabic... how it is in nature,  

how it is harvested, what it is used in...  have fun <smile>...

http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200502/gum.arabic.htm

 

This on-line magazine is full of all sorts of interesting things, not

necessarily cooking related, though.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meisterin Katarina Helene von Schönborn, OL

Shire of Narrental (Peru, Indiana) http://narrental.home.comcast.net

Middle Kingdom

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:04:29 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gum Arabic WAS parlor tricks

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

 

Martinsen at ansteorra.org wrote:

> For those of us uneducated, what would one use gum arabic for?

> Vitha

 

It's used in confections among other things.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Acacia_senegal.html

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:12:01 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Gum Arabic WAS parlor tricks

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

 

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

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

 

I'm not sure to what

extent Gum Arabic is used in period cookery or confectionery, but

other gums (primarily gums tragacanth and benzoin, a.k.a. gum dragon

and benjamin, respectively, in some period sources) are used mostly

as either edible adhesives or to change the textures of various

foods, mostly confections.

  _______________________________________________

 

Gum arabic appears in some of the confectionary receipes in the  

Anonymous Andalusian.

 

(Incidently, I tossed a pea-sized lump of it into a couple of inches  

of diet root beer, and nothing happened.  Perhaps it needs to be  

powdered.)

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 09:48:17 -0500

From: "Leslie Falzone" <leslie.watson at sympatico.ca>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

I have not tried this one but I have worked with edible camphor.  make sure

you get it from a good East Indian shop and tell them it is to eat.  They

will make sure you get the right stuff. There are several different ways to

process campor, and some should not be ingested.

 

aibhilin

 

>     I found this recipe in An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the

> Thirteenth Century.  Has anyone experimented with it?  (I'm currently

> collecting medicinal foods from the 12th-14th centuries.)

> This is given to feverish people as a food and takes the place of

> medicine. Take sweet, peeled almonds and pound them fine. Then extract

> their milk with a sieve or clean cloth, until it becomes like milk.  Add

> pomegranate and tart apple juice, pear juice, juice of quince and of

> roasted gourd, whatever may be available of these. Prepare them like the

> juice squeezed from the almonds and like the mixture of white sugar. Put

> in a glazed earthenware tinjir and light a gentle fire under it. After

> boiling, add some dissolved starch paste and when it thickens, put

> together rose oil and fresh oil and light under it a gentle fire until it

> thickens. Then take off the fire and take it out. If the stomach is  

> weak, add rosewater mixed with camphor.

> Pax Christi,

> Lady Cecilia de Cambrige

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 16:13:20 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

> Is the recipe referring to camphor resin (from a tree in the related to

> cinnamon) or to the camphor from elecampane? I thought it referred  

> to the former.  Any ideas?

 

Camphor within period will almost certainly the extract from Cinnamomum

camphora.  Elecampane (Inula helenium), known as inula to the Romans, has a

champhoraceous odor, but I haven't located a source for the terms elecampane

camphor or inula camphor in period.  Neither Culpepper or Gerard relates

elecampane to camphor.  The methods of use described by these authors would

primarily extract inulin.

 

According to one source, the earliest observation of elecampane camphor

(helenin) was by Le Febre in 1660 as a crystallization in the head of the

receiver during the distillation of elecampane root in water.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 10:48:13 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Whether camphor called for in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the

Thirteenth Century is from camphor resin or from a tree related to

cinnamon or camphor from elecampane is too technical for the Huici or

Perry translations as no explanation is provided except in in Huici?s

translation of the recipe "Camphor from Basil," see CXVI on page 141.

 

Susan

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 09:27:40 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

The Arabic usage (that little of it I have been able to find) and the

derivation of camphor into English suggest that the camphor called for in

the recipes is indeed camphor from Cinnamomum camphora.

 

Having no access to Huici-Miranda's translation, I can't comment on  

"Camphor from Basil."

 

Bear

 

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

 

Whether camphor called for in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the

Thirteenth Century is from camphor resin or from a tree related to

cinnamon or camphor from elecampane is too technical for the Huici or

Perry translations as no explanation is provided except in in Huici?s

translation of the recipe "Camphor from Basil," see CXVI on page 141.

Susan

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:03:35 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

I just realized that most of the recipes using camphor in the Anonymous

Andalusian Cookbook call for it to be dissolved in rosewater.  It can't be

elecampane camphor, which once extracted is not water soluble.  Helenin and

the other active ingredients are extracted from the crystal matrix by

iterative alcohol baths.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:09:20 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

Elecampane camphor and its extraction were first described in 1660.  Since

it can occur naturally on old elecampane root, so it was probable seen and

used earlier.  However, it is not water soluble, so it does not meet the

recipe instructions in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.

 

Bear

 

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

 

If we know whether of not camphor was extracted from elecampane in the

13th century, it would help.  (I think someone said that it hadn't been

extracted until the 17th century.)  Even if the translation doesn't

specifically say what sort of camphor, we can at leas make an educated

guess as to what may have been used.

 

Pax Christi,

Sydney

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:32:37 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Medicinal Recipes

To: <alysk at ix.netcom.com>,    "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Bear said:

>> Having no access to Huici-Miranda's translation, I can't comment on

>> "Camphor from Basil."

> Were you looking for the Spanish translation that Huici-Miranda did of the

> Arabic manuscript?  If so, I have the Spanish here somewhere.  Charles

> Perry went back to the Arabic manuscript when he reviewed our English

> translation of Huici-Miranda's Spanish version.  I don't have the Arabic.

> If you are curious about the Spanish, let me know and tell me which

> recipe, please.

> Alys Katharine

 

According to Susan, it is CXVI from page 141. There doesn't appear to be

anything in Perry's translation on "Camphor from Basil," so I'm curious.

While the Spanish is a translation, it is certainly more usable by me than

the original Arabic.  I am curious about the Arabic usage and the precision

of the translation, but making such an evaluation is beyond my linguistic

skills.

 

From Perry's translation, it appears that the Arabic usage allows the term

we translate as camphor to be used to things that resemble camphor and I

would be interested to see what the section on "Camphor from Basil"  

holds.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 13:17:26 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Medicinal Recipes

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

I do have access to the Huici Miranda translation and in text for the  

book I am preparing my comments on the meaning of camphor are: "The  

tree is a native of China and Japan and spread from there to India  

and Madagascar. The Arabs brought it to Europe where it grows in  

Italy and now in other tropical and subtropical countries." I,  

therefore, assumed that the tree was brought to Spain the with all  

the many other herbs, spices, vegetables and durum wheat by the Islams.

 

        The bad news is that looking at my text of my citation I find it is  

incorrect. As the Chilean National Library is so worthless I must go  

back to Madrid, Spain which will cost me a pretty penny to find the  

source although I presume it is from Covarrubias Orozco, Sebasti?n  

de. Tesoro de la lengua castellana o espa?ol. Madrid: Luis S?nchez,  

impressora del Rey N.S.1611

 

Many thanks for tripping me up keep it up!

 

        Recipes including camphor and instructing to "dissolve it by  

pounding" are:

45. Receta de la "Ka-fu-riya" -- con alcanfor, p 37-38

50. Receta de la "Y^ula-biya -- plato con julepe -- p. 40

62. Gallina que se llama ?bra-himiya," p 46

323. Hechura de manzana, p 180

372. Torta blanca con cebolla, p 204-205

381. Hechura del /Muhlabiya/, p 209

402. Receta para hacer Y^u-da-ba, llamada Umm al-faray^ es un plato  

oriental, p 200-221

404. /Y^u-da-ba/ provechosa para el fr?o y que fortalece el coito, p 222

405. Hechura de la /Kina-fa/, p 223

420. /Rafi-s/ regio, p 231-232

427. Receta de la rosquilla, p 235

433. Otra clase de ?l, p 239

435. Hechura de la Qa-hiriya, p 240

436. Qa-hiriya al horno, p 240-241

437. La /Qa-hiriya/ solar, p 241

438. Qa-hiriya llamada Al-s,a-bu-niya, p 241

439. El /Sanbu-sak/, p 242

441. Receta de los Qat,a-if ?Abbra-sies, p 243

444. Receta del enmielado, usado entre nosotros,

como final de los platos, p 244

446. Enmielado usado en T?nez en los banquetes, p 245

469. Dulce oriental, p 257

472. La marm?rea, p 258

473. Hechura de Alcorza de az?zar, p 258

474. Hechura del /Alfe?ique/, p 259

475. Azucarado, p 259-260

Susan

 

> Bear wrote:

>> Having no access to Huici-Miranda's translation, I can't comment on

>> "Camphor from Basil."

> Were you looking for the Spanish translation that Huici-Miranda did of the

> Arabic manuscript?  If so, I have the Spanish here somewhere.  Charles

> Perry went back to the Arabic manuscript when he reviewed our English

> translation of Huici-Miranda's Spanish version.  I don't have the Arabic.

> If you are curious about the Spanish, let me know and tell me which  

> recipe, please.

> Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 14:07:11 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

Camphor can cause liver damage, but that is normally from prolonged

exposure.  Adults can take up to 2 mg/kg of body mass without noticeable

effect.  It can be extremely toxic to small children and infants.  It's also

not recommended for pregnant women.  You should be able to get it from a

druggist.

 

Reading over some of the survey info for poison control, I'd be willing to

expirement with camphor as a spice, but I wouldn't want to use it in a

feast.

 

Bear

 

> Camphor would be Cinnamomum camphora. When i mentioned this to a

> chemist friend, he was rather disturbed and said that it should not

> be eaten and that it causes liver damage. He suggested substituting

> menthol (NOT mint). Menthol is used in many products, like candy,

> mouthwash, toothpaste, etc. so it is safe to consume in small

> quantities. I don't know if druggists sell it (i know they used to

> sell wintergreen oil - i don't know if they still do), or if you'd

> have to get it from a chemical supply house or commercial flavor

> manufacturer...

> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

> the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 10:58:56 -0800

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] medicinal recipies

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

 

As for the toxicity of camphor and ambrette seed: I tend to cheat on

things like this and dot a bit of the scented oil under the rim of the

plate.  You get the scent in the nose without ingesting iffy substances

through the mouth that way.

 

Selene

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 23:01:13 -0600

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] camphor was medicinal recipies

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

 

I came across a few interesting tidbits concerning camphor.  There are a

couple of studies that show synthetic camphor is 25% more toxic than natural

camphor.  80% of the world's natural camphor comes from Formosa.  And that

volatile oils increase the solubility of camphor in water (about 1 gm per

800 cc in pure water), which is a possible reason for specifying dissolving

it in rosewater in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 16:28:05 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Camphor in medicinal recipes

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

        I think Bear now has us cooking. I was getting a little worried  

about how people in non-third world countries get so up tight about  

food quality but looking down the street one sees that few worry  

about the quantity. As camphor was considered a medicine I think we  

must accept that fact and that it couldn't be as bad as painted in  

previous messages.

 

        Before leaving this subject I would like to correct a gross error of  

mine. I don't know where I got the idea that Huici translated a  

recipe for "Camphor from Basil," No. CXVI on page 141. I must have  

been off my rocker when I wrote that. Huici's translation of Recipe  

CXVI is on page 80 and it is a 'Green dish stuffed with almonds', no  

camphor is called for. As a matter of fact basil is not included  

either but cilantro juice for coloring. Recipes on page 141 are  

chicken dishes which do not call for camphor either.

 

        The only recipes calling for camphor are those I mentioned in Sca-

cooks Digest, Vol 7, Issue 35 on Nov 14, except for a couple of typo  

errors on the page numbers. All of Huici's translations call for  

camphor dissolved in rose water as Perry's making it obvious that the  

camphor tree existed in Southern Spain or it was imported from Italy  

- which I doubt as the Islams had a tendency to plant what they could  

of the products they imported to Spain as seen with rice, sugar,  

citrons, bananas, artichokes etc.

 

Lilinah or Bear wrote:

I came across a few interesting tidbits concerning camphor.  There  

are a couple of studies that show synthetic camphor is 25% more toxic  

than natural camphor. 80% of the world's natural camphor comes from  

Formosa.  And that volatile oils increase the solubility of camphor  

in water (about 1 gm per 800 in pure water), which is a possible  

reason for specifying dissolving it in rosewater in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.

 

 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 16:57:10 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sugarpaste Questions

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

 

James wrote:

> Thing that's mainly getting me is that what I've used in the past, gum

> tragacanth, isn't that easy to find. Was wondering if gum arabic will

> work the same?

 

No.  Don't use gum arabic.  Go to a cake decorating supply store or go

online and purchase whatever they are calling gum paste powder.  It is a

different gum - probably gum karaya which is slightly pinker in color and

makes a slightly beiger white than the whiter white of tragacanth sugar

paste.  I'm not sure if you can get the plain gum paste powder without the

added sugar.  The added sugar stuff tells you to just add water. I don't

see any plain gum paste powder in the Sweet Celebrations paper catalog but

I might have missed it.  They do have a "gum paste mix" which has the  

sugar already added.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 20:53:47 -0500

From: Heleen Greenwald <heleen at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Oh, My Aching Comfits!

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

When I was reading about your work with making confits, I was

wondering about gum arabic so I looked it up. OK, so now I am

convinced that you can eat the stuff.....but I have a bottle of gum

arabic that I use in calligraphy.... and I would never eat THAT

stuff... Is it the same thing??

Phillipa

 

gum arabic

 

NOUN:

A gum exuded by various African trees of the genus Acacia, especially

A. senegal, used in the preparation of pills and emulsions and the

manufacture of mucilage and candies and in general as a thickener and

colloidal stabilizer. Also called acacia .

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 21:23:34 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Oh, My Aching Comfits!

To: "Heleen Greenwald" <heleen at ptd.net>,  "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

The gum Arabic that I use is food grade and in a powder, not the  

liquid stuff that is prepared for calligraphers. I don't know what  

kind of solution the calligraphy Arabic is in but the powdered kind  

is available from "Sweet Celebrations" and other cake decorating  

supply stores.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 22:12:52 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Oh, My Aching Comfits!

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

 

Elise Fleming wrote:

 

> The gum Arabic that I use is food grade and in a powder, not the  

> liquid stuff that is prepared for calligraphers.  I don't know what  

> kind of solution the calligraphy Arabic is in but the powdered kind  

> is available from "Sweet Celebrations" and other cake decorating  

> supply stores.

> Alys Katharine

 

I don't use gum Arabic much.  When I need some, I buy it from the Indian

grocery store.  It's sold -- under the name of "Edible Gum" -- in

crystal form.  I usually crush it in a mortar to the size of pretzal

salt before dissolving it in water of rosewater.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 16:54:57 -0400 (EDT)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Mastic (was that Spanish bread recipe, etc.)

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

This semolina bread recipe reminds me a bit of how pan riminiciato is made; mainly having to soften the semolina with water, and the use of a heavy blanket to keep the dough warm as it rises (a lambskin would keep it even warmer).

 

Anyway, I was curious about mastic and found this nice description:

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/mastic.html

 

And this weird article about the antibacterial properties of mastic:

http://www.life-enhancement.com/article_template.asp?ID=770

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 18:21:57 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New World Foods

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

 

> snow flake wrote:

>> maple syrup perhaps... but a lot of different trees have sap that I find

>> hard to believe no one would have tried to do something with.  Have to

>> look at the trees across europe now. ;c)

> I was looking at that a couple of years ago for a writing project, and

> while they had maples in Europe, they did not have Sugar Maples- those

> are native to what is now the eastern US. Which is not to say that the

> Europeans didn't tap tree sap, but I don't know of any instances of it

> until the discovery of the Americas.

> Bear, do you know more about this?

> 'Lainie

 

Looks like everyone beat me to it.

 

IIRC, the Europeans tapped pines for resin until they developed the

distillation process for pine tar, so they certainly knew how to draw and

use sap.  They also tapped marsh mallows and opium poppies for their sap.

 

I will admit I had forgotten about using birch sap, although I have some

reservations about how widespread the use was.  I don't think European use

of birch was anywhere as great as the collection of maple syrup, even  

in the 18th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2010 13:05:42 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Another not-Mughal Indian recipe

 

<<< So...where do you get edible camphor and musk?  So far I've not been able to find either.

 

Kiri >>>

 

You get edible camphor by trying lots of Indian

grocery stores until you find one that carries it.

 

I don't think actual musk is available any more;

I believe it comes from musk deer which are a

protected species. I haven 't found a substitute,

but it sounds as though Madhavi has.

 

 

Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2010 17:34:02 -0500

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Another not-Mughal Indian recipe

 

On Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 4:05 PM, David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com> wrote:

<<< You get edible camphor by trying lots of Indian grocery stores until you find one that carries it. >>>

 

Since there's no lack of those in my neighborhood, I'll have to take a

look.  According to my copy of "The Indian Grocery Store Demystified",

edible camphor is called karcha karpoor, and comes in small jars or

boxes.  The author recommends the Swad brand.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

From: "lilinah at earthlink.net" <lilinah at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Sent: Sat, January 15, 2011 4:40:47 PM

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Musk and Camphor, was Flour question

 

Kiri wrote:

<<< ...please remind me

what I could use in the place of the frequent references to camphor and

musk. In some places, the reference is to "aromatics" and the two are cited

as examples. There are a couple of really cool dessert dishes that I'd love

to use but acquiring either of these is a problem...not to mention that I

understand that the musk that's available is a chemical compound used in

perfumes and is poisonous! >>>

 

There are some vegetable musk substitutes that may be edible in small

quantities:

ambrette seeds (Abelmoschus moschatus, related to hibiscus)

and

labdanum (which comes fromrock rose / Cistus ladaniferus; no, this is NOT

laudanum :)

I cannot guarantee the safety of either as i have not done much research into

them. From what i can tell, the natural plants themselves are safe to consume in

small quantities, but distillates from them used in perfumery are not

 

There is an edible form of camphor from the Borneo camphor (Dryobalanops

camphora, as distinct from Cinnamomum camphora) used by South Asians, frequently

in sweets. I have not yet gone looking for it, but several listees have found

it, including Mahdavi and Cariadoc, have found it in South Asian markets. In

various Indian languages it is called Kacha Karpoor (Hindi) or Pacha Karpooram

(Tamil) (also written pachai, paccha, pachha, and pachcha) or Cheen Karpooram

(Telugu); the name means raw camphor.

 

It comes in small crystals looking somewhat like coarse salt and is derived by

steam distillation from the leaves and wood of the Borneo camphor tree. Heres a

photo:

http://www.marktz.in/images/panch%20karpooram.jpg

 

And always specify edible, or the kind used in paan (betel leaf mix) because

nonedible, and downright poisonous, camphor smelling stuff is used for other

purposes. Definitely not blocks or tablets, nor so called medicinal (for

external use), nor puja (burned as an offering in religious ceremonies)

 

I tried to find it for sale on the internet, but could only find it on an

merchant website in India. I will definitely have to explore the many South

Asian markets near me.

-- Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 08:35:50 +1100

From: Margaret Rendell <m_rendell at optusnet.com.au>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Musk and Camphor, was Flour question

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

<<< Kiri wrote:

...please remind me what I could use in the place of the frequent references to camphor and musk...

 

Another thought regarding musk... what about those infamous

Australian musk flavored Life Savers? >>>

 

never gone for musk life savers, I prefer musk sticks (do a google image search if you're curious :) because I prefer lollies you can chew.

 

What about artificial musk essence?

I've never used it, but found it online at

http://bakingpleasures.com.au/ss/Musk-flavour

 

Margaret/Emma

Melbourne, Australia/Krae Glas, Lochac

 

 

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2011 15:22:30 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Flour question

 

I think that this recipe sounds delightful, even without the musk.? Before I would ever try using musk or camphor, I would try it out in a small batch with only a select few to taste.? I am not sure what musk would taste like, but from the camphor cough drops that I tried years ago, it is a pretty strong flavor, which modern Americans might not like.

 

But rather than using coriander as the aromatic, IMHO, I would rather try cardamom, which was popular in period both in Europe and the Middle East.? It can also be found commercially in a very fine powdered form.

 

I just looked up 'musk' in the Oxford Companion to Food which says this:

 

"In appropriately discreet quantity or diluted form, musk was formerly used in the kitchen with rose-water to flavour such things as pies but this practice seems to have died out."

 

The OCF goes on to say, "Smell-alikes in the plant world often have common names incorporating 'musk' or 'musky'. The musk melon is one example; and there are also the musk cucumber and musk lime. The musk mallow, 'Abelmoschus moschatus' is a different matter, in that its seeds provide a musky spice (French, ambrette) sometimes used to flavour coffee."

 

I have looked up ambrette or muskdana and found a site that sold the seeds for $7.00 an ounce that were food grade seeds.? It is another idea.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:26:17 -0800 (PST)

From: Spices at Spicewells <spicewells at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Musk and Camphor, was Flour question

 

I have recently obtained several bottles of edible camphor for sale. And, I

have to admit, it was an adventure finding it.

According to a conversation I had with Cariadoc at Midrealm 40 year, a

little goes a very long way. The 100 gram bottle would likely serve for many

recipes.

 

If anyone would like some, please let me know off line. I ship using USPS

Priority Mail, so the cost is pretty low.

 

Caitriona MacDhonnachaidh

Spicewell's

Middle Kingdom

618.830.2342

 

 

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2011 18:43:22 +0000 (GMT)

From: galefridus at optimum.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aloeswood substitution

 

<<< I've been looking up aloeswood and find that it's a resin from

an evergreen. Does anyone have suggestions for substitutions? My

initial though is juniper berries or gin.

 

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania >>>

 

I've done some preliminary investigations into aloeswood as well -- I could not find an adequate description of the scent, but I found that the major components of aoeswood essential oil are a class of chemicals called sesquiterpenes. ?For juniper berries, on the other hand, the major component is a monoterpene. ?Thus, it seems that the chemical differences are significant enough to make it unlikely that juniper -- berries or gin -- would be a good substitute.

 

But I could be wrong -- given the unbelievably high price of aloeswood (it could give saffron a run for the money), it would definitely be worth locating a substitute of some sort.

 

-- Galefridus

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 14:57:35 -0500

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aloeswood substitution

 

<<< I've been looking up aloeswood and find that it's a resin from an

evergreen. Does anyone have suggestions for substitutions? My initial

though is juniper berries or gin. >>>

 

Mastic perhaps? I sometimes describe the flavor as dehydrated turpentine.

 

Is this from a recipe? What cuisine?

--

David/Cariadoc

===============

 

Mastic probably won't do.  Aloeswood is a member of genus Aquilaria that has been infected by a parasitic mold, Phaeoacremonium parasitica. The resin is produced to counter the parasite.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 16:30:21 -0500

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

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

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aloeswood substitution

 

<<< Is Aloeswood a bush, tree, berry or mold?

What is it?

Aelina the Confused >>>

 

Aloeswood is the dark heart wood of a tree of the genus Aquilaria which has been infected by Phaeoacremonium parasitica.  The infection produces a resin high in volatile oils as an occulsive reaction to the infection.  The resin impregnates and creates the darkened wood.  All of these conditions must occur to have aloeswood.  The active ingredients are the essential oils in the resin.  The oils can be extracted from either the resin or the wood. AKA agar, agarwood, Oud, jinko, gaharu, etc.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 19:47:53 -0500

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aloeswood substitution

 

Sounds like you have it.  A. malaccensis is the most common of the Aquilaria

to produce aloeswood.  The resin is mostly contained in the wood itself

(Aquilaria wood is naturally light colored, the occlusive resin is what

darkens the wood).  In nature the infected plants that produce aloeswood are

roughly 7 per cent of the total population. Cultivated A. malaccensis is

usually infected to produce aloeswood.  You can find both wood and resin,

but I have no information on relative availability and price.  Essential

oils are extracted (as I understand the process) by heating the wood to cook

off the volatiles in the resin and condensing the vapor.

 

I know of references to aloeswood in a medicinal context, but it's use in

cooking is a new one on me.

 

Bear

 

<<< This is new to me. We carry an aloewood in the incense section but I never

thought to use it for cooking. Would have to check on the grade of the product.

 

It is listed as : Aloeswood  AKA Agarwood (oud) Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.

(A. Malaccensis), fam. Thymelaeceae

 

It looks like petrified wood and I have never seen any resins on it. It is

fairly expensive.

 

Is this the same family?  It is also available as Pure Essential Oil

Aoud/Oud  but it is $600.00 ish per ounce !  Not affordable by me !

 

Are they using it as a flavoring or as a thickener for other items?

Somewhat like Galangale.

 

Mora

Dragonmarsh >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2011 11:44:47 -0500

From: Sayyeda al-Kaslaania <samia at idlelion.net>

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] aloeswood from sustainable source

 

Here is the info I promised to send along. I'm very excited to have a

sustainable resource for aloeswood!

 

Sayyeda al-Kaslaania

 

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

Dear Julia,

Technology from our research is used to produce agarwood in plantations.

We have set up an internet company to help the farmers in Vietnam sell

their products and you can find agarwood for sale at: ScentedMountain.com

Agarwood has been used as an incense and in traditional medicine but I

have never heard of it used in food. What has it been used for in

cooking? The agarwood chips and agarwood powder sold by Scented

Mountain is pure "raw" agarwood right out of the tree so it would be as

"food grade" as you can get.

Robert Blanchette

 

Robert A. Blanchette, Professor

Department of Plant Pathology

1991 Upper Buford Circle, 495 Borlaug Hall

University of Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota 55108-6030 U.S.A.

 

Phone: 612-625-0202, Fax: 612-625-9728

E-mail: robertb<remove> at umn.edu <mailto:robertb at umn.edu> [I futzed the

email to reduce spam]

 

Current research: http://forestpathology.cfans.umn.edu/

Recent publications: http://forestpathology.cfans.umn.edu/publications.htm

 

<the end>



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