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spices-msg - 4/22/13

 

Information on medieval spices. Period documentation. Sources.

 

NOTE: See also the files: herbs-msg, herbs-cooking-msg, p-herbals-msg, seeds-msg, p-spice-trade-msg, saffron-msg, garlic-msg, merch-spices-msg, gums-resins-msg, spice-mixes-msg, galangale-msg, ginger-msg, G-of-Paradse-msg, nutmeg-mace-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: jeffs  at math.bu.EDU (Jeff Suzuki)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: spices etc.

Date: 28 Nov 1994 15:01:52 -0500

 

>Indian (like from India) spices were, I understand, sold by placing

>the spice on one side of a scale and gold on the other.  When the

>weight balanced you had payed for the spice -- it's weight in gold.

 

Depends on the period and the spice.  Saffron is far more expensive

than pepper.  Sugar is not cheap either.  

 

For lots of other _neat_ info regarding the cost of spices etc. in

late period Italy, see Frank Swetz, _Capitalism and Arithmetic_, which

also includes a facsimile copy of _The Treviso Arithmetic_, the first

mathematics textbook ever printed, even if it does use the pernicious

Arabic numerals.

 

Tio dell'abaco

 

 

From: rousseaua  at immunex.wa.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cubeb

Date: 22 Aug 95 14:44:40 PST

Organization: Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA

 

Hey all from Anne-Marie in An Tir

 

Grains of Paradise and Galangale are both readily available here in Seattle.

My favorite herbal apothecary has whole galangale, which resembles a ginger

root you've let sit in the produce drawer of your fridge for about a century.

I've also found the powdered stuff (aka galinga) wherever they sell stuff for

Thai cooking. One thing, I've noticed that the already powdered stuff seems

pretty wimpy, but I can't imagine getting any usable spice out of the petrified

whole stuff. Any suggestions?

 

--AM, who thinks one of the best things about living here is being able to get

bottles of rosewater in half liter sizes for really really cheap, and just

across the street from work! Hee.

 

 

From: bjm10  at cornell.edu (Bryan J. Maloney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca,rec.crafts.brewing,rec.food.historic

Subject: Re: Need help identifying spice

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 18:35:33 -0400

Organization: Cornell University

 

rcpj at panix.com (Pierre Jelenc) wrote:

> Bryan J. Maloney <bjm10  at cornell.edu> writes:

> > However, I am at a bit of a loss to divine the identities of two spices

> > (not being a proper cook).  What are "auence" and "spikenard"?  

>

> Avens: a plant of the genus Geum (rose family).

>

> Spikenard: Nardostachys jatamansi (a type of valerian).

 

Okay, so what are these plants marketed under and/or what are their modern

common names?

 

 

From: dpeters  at panix.com (D. Peters)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca,rec.crafts.brewing,rec.food.historic

Subject: Re: Need help identifying spice

Date: 14 Mar 1996 19:50:30 -0500

Organization: Panix

 

Pierre Jelenc <rcpj  at panix.com> wrote:

>Bryan J. Maloney <bjm10  at cornell.edu> writes:

>>

>> Okay, so what are these plants marketed under and/or what are their modern

>> common names?

>That's what they're called: avens and spikenard.

>They are not used in cooking anywhere that I know of; your only chance is

>with a plant nursery, I suppose.

 

I bought my spikenard from the Indiana Botanical Gardens in Hobart, IN;

my catalogue got lost in the move east, but I would think that Directory

Assistance could help you.

 

If you like giving your custom to SCA merchants, try the Pepperers' Guild.

 

Have fun.

D.Peters

 

 

From: mjbr  at tdk.dk (Michael Bradford)

From: jeffebear1  at aol.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: medieval spice names wanted

Date: 26 Dec 1996 04:00:46 GMT

 

Grains of paridise, 4 pepper blend, cardamon etc. are availible mailorder

or walk in from DragonMarsh 3737 6th St Riverside, Ca 92501 (909)

276-1116.

 

They carry over 4000 herbs and spices plus a whole lot more. You can order

a herb & oil list or just request your list. Most items are around $1.00

an oz.

 

They carry such items as saffron and galangal root at affordable prices.

Great for the SCA recreation cook.

 

Lady Morigianna

 

 

From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy  at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks  at eden.com

Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997 13:13:07 -0400

Subject: Re: Medieval spices

 

Sean Ellwood wrote:

> Any suggestions on how to look check and see if certain spices were

> available in Medeival China or Europe.

>

> Sven Carlson

 

Sure!

 

One place to look for such information is in books like "Food in

History" by Reay Tannahill. Another is Harold McGee's "On Food and

Cooking".

 

Finding such accounts for China could be hard, since there's not too

much for those who can't read accounts in Chinese. Except of course for

accounts by people like Marco Polo, who is, at best, not always

trustworthy, and William of Rubrick (I think that's his name) who is far

more so.

 

Europe is pretty easy. The extant recipes indicate quite clearly what

spices would have been available in the place and time the recipes were

written. They call for them, don't they? :  )

 

Regards,

Adamantius

 

 

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

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 17:04:04 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - Re: sca-cooks Re: Spice Use and Food Poisoning, etc.

 

Hi, Katerine again.  Philippa asks:

 

>Just to play devil's advocate....  I quite understand growing up using what

>to some would be "heavy handed" spicing, but for what reason did this heavy

>use of spice start?  It is now tradition, but what were the origins?  And

>even if it weren't to cover the taste of meat going slightly "off", could it

>have been because the wild vegetables and gamier meat had stronger basic

>flavors which are balanced better by stronger spicing?

>Just a thought.

 

First, where spicing is heavy, the reason is often that people like the

taste. That simple.  For virtually every major item that occurs in

medieval dishes that call for spice, we also have surviving recipes that

call for few spices or none.  Chicken, in particular, runs the gamut

from unspiced dishes to dishes that call for (some unknown quantity

of) half the spices on the rack.  That suggests that the intent is not

to cover, but to vary the cuisine.

 

But more crucially: what makes you think that medieval dishes were heavily

spiced?

 

Every study I've seen that purports to support that conclusion does so

by looking at household accounts, and distributing total spice purchases

over kitchen purchases.  But that's nonsense, for four separate reasons.  

First, spices were also used in the bakery and brewery.  Second, spices

(especially salt and pepper) were used in preserving -- and soaked out

before eating.  Third, whole spices were sometimes burned on the fire for

scent. Fourth, food that comes in as local produce or as rents will not

appear in the purchases, but constitutes a large part of what was eaten

in non-urban upper class settings.

 

Every study that actually looks at the spices used for a particualr meal

and the food in it reaches the opposite conclusion: that medieval spicing

was not particualrly heavy handed.

 

Since recipes by-and-large do not include quantities, you cannot tell

from the recipes themselves.

 

So: what makes you think that the phenomenon you are trying to explain

ever existed?

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

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

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 08:52:23 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - Re: Spice Use and Food Poisoning, etc.

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Allison responds to Phillipa:

 

>As for the current heavy use of pepper in foods, I think that followed

>the popularity of Mexican--or American-version Mexican--foods.  Tests

>have been done by restaurant chains and food companies, and they have

>found that more people ate more food if it were heavily spiced.  

 

Pepper was the cheapest medieval spice, and the one most heavily documented

as used widely not only in upper class cookery but in every class right

down to peasants.  The current use is a revival (not particularly of

medieval practices; relative to a significant drop here in the middle of

this century).  Medievals used a number of pepper-like spices, including

cubeb and grains of paradise (I'm not speaking botannically, but in

terms of general flavor class), both of which I've fed to people with

no interest whatsoever in historical cuisine, to rave reviews.  The

bottom line, I think, is that people everywhere use spices because they

*taste good*.  That so many spices show up across so wide a swath of

culinary traditions suggests that this is simply a human tendency.  How

much spices we eat results, among other things, from the food we're

used to.  Whether people in general like the flavor of any spices at all

seems more strongly related to the interaction between human taste and

smell and the spices themselves.

 

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: Charles Dean <charles  at macquarie.matra.com.au>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 23:30:20 +1000 (EST)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks Re: Spice Use and Food Poisoning, etc.

 

Hi all,

This posting prompted me to expound a pet theory of mine.

 

> But more crucially: what makes you think that medieval dishes were heavily

> spiced?

>

> Every study I've seen that purports to support that conclusion does so

> by looking at household accounts, and distributing total spice purchases

> over kitchen purchases.  But that's nonsense, for four separate reasons.  

> First, spices were also used in the bakery and brewery.  Second, spices

> (especially salt and pepper) were used in preserving -- and soaked out

> before eating.  Third, whole spices were sometimes burned on the fire for

> scent.  Fourth, food that comes in as local produce or as rents will not

> appear in the purchases, but constitutes a large part of what was eaten

> in non-urban upper class settings.

>

> Every study that actually looks at the spices used for a particualr meal

> and the food in it reaches the opposite conclusion: that medieval spicing

> was not particualrly heavy handed.

 

Warning Charles' pet theory on spices follows:

 

I believe that medieval cooks did use more, in quantity, of spices in

dishes than we do today. There is good evidence that their spice

consumption was higher that is now current by volume. We do have some

recipes that give spice quantities that seem excessive to our modern

tastes. I also believe that our cooking ancestors had a very similar

palette to our modern one, in what was an acceptable amount of spicing.

 

Two factors are also not taken into account when looking at medieval

spicing. Firstly most of the spices we taste today have had 400+ years

of plant breeding to make them taste stronger. You can see shifts in

amounts of spices called for in recipes between Mrs Beaton's cooking

book and modern versions, a much smaller period than 1200 to today.

Secondly medieval spices were (often) transported over large distances,

often for more than a year. In most cases they were kept in non-air

tight containers. Most spices loose flavour when exposed to air.

Spices were often stored longer then as is done currently as supply

was more infrequent or spasmodic. Given the above reasons it is

reasonable to assume that the spices available to the medieval cook

had considerably less flavour than the modern versions that we are

using for comparison.

 

If you accept my premsies above then end the result is that our

medeival cook could produce a result in flavour intensity that was little

different to the effects we create today in modern cooking but using

more in quanity of spice to achieve it. I am assuming that is is far more

likely that spice flavour intensity varied rather than some sort

of genetic shift changed our modern palatte from our medieval ancestors.

 

Charles

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

Charles Dean    charles  at macquarie.matra.com.au

Matra Internetworks - Internet service providers.

Ph (06) 251 6730  Fax (06) 253 4840

PO BOX 714, Jamison Centre, ACT 2614 AUSTRALIA

 

 

From: "Sue Wensel" <swensel  at brandegee.lm.com>

Date: 16 Apr 1997 10:46:58 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - spicing

 

> Clare said:

>         As to the strength of a spice,-- barks, seeds and roots keep their

> scent and taste far longer that flowers and leaves.   Herbs need to be used

> up much more quickly than spices.  I have cloves that I use for various

> things that are at least 5 years old.  The volatile oils in spices are a

> bit more long lasting that volitiles oils from leaves and flowers.  (That's

> why old potpourri smells different )  There are exceptions of course.

 

I agree with this point.  In addition, storing bark/seeds/roots, unground, in

waxed paper helps retain the volatile oils without increasing the amount of

moisture. Keep these dry and they will retain their strength for a long time;

get them wet and "use them or lose them."

 

We have better drying techniques on a mass scale now than was possible in

period. Therefore, I think our leafy/flowery spices last longer.  We also

have better storage containers now than then, with the advent of plastic.

However, I do not think that it is out of line to assume that many (but by no

means all) of the leafy/flowery spices used in period in upper class houses

were grown in the manor gardens and used fresh.  They would dry them for use

during the winter.  If indeed this were the case, then how does that change

our conversions of period recipes?  The standard conversion is 1 teaspoon of

dried herb for 3 of fresh.

 

Derdriu

swensel at brandegee.lm.com

 

 

From: Uduido  at aol.com

Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 22:18:03 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Paprika

 

<< Since we have been discussing the sources for a variety of foods I was

curious if anyone could add to my knowledge about paprika.   According to my

sources, the Turks introduced paprika to Hungary during their occupation.

The Turkish occupation occured after the Battle of Mohacs in 1526.   >>

 

Possibly. Hot pepper seeds were brought back on all three of the first

Columbus voyages. By 1528, they were a MAJOR agricultural crop in the

Mediterranean Basin. I tend to personally avoid at all costs the use of new

world foods in a feast because to many people it allows too much of an

intrusion of the Current Middle Ages into the dream they are trying to

achieve at an event.

 

Bearing that in mind when I do European and Middle Eastern cuisine I never go

out of my way to use any recipes that contain new world foods. And do not

have any redacted in my collection. I also never decide what I would like to

cook and then go searching for "period" recipes to justify it's use. All of

the above I do do with thoughts of my guests and their ultimate enjoyment of

unquestionably period food.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 16:56:23 -0400 (EDT)

From: Varju  at aol.com

To: sca-arts  at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: That Period Hot Pink

 

The Turks introduced paprika to Hungary in the 1500's.  Now, what it got used

for after that I don't know.

 

Noemi

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr  at best.com>

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 21:49:28 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - mustard history

 

Linneah quotes an article on mustard  and asks:

>I like mustard but I don't often see it at feasts.  Was it really as

>ubiquitous as the above makes it sound?

 

_Food and Drink in Britain_ (C. Anne Wilson) quotes figures for a

fifteenth-century English household which  in a given year used 3/4 lb

saffron, 5 lb pepper, 2 1/2 lb ginger, 3 lb cinnamon, 1 1/4 lb each of

cloves and mace, and 84 lb mustard seed.  Mustard, after all, was locally

grown and was a whole lot cheaper than spices which had to be imported from

the Orient.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 18:34:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: david friedman <ddfr  at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - RECIPE CHALLENGE II

 

Adamantius writes:

>Somebody raised the point that it was unclear as to whether "clowes

>gilofre" meant cloves, the spice, or the clove pink gillyflower.

>Actually, the point was rammed down my throat that I was an idiot for

>even considering that the spice might have been intended, but that is

>neither here nor there...

 

Period (and modern) French for cloves is "girofle"; a clove is "un clou de

girofle"; given how much of period English cooking comes from French, I can't see why anything but the spice would be meant.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 23:44:41 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - opinions desired on feast menu/ (long - sorry)

 

<<Are fennel seeds available in regular stores or where can I get it?>>

 

Yes. If not any Italian market should have them since they are a major

seasoning in Italian sausage.

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 08:46:02 -0400 (EDT)

From: Griff41520  at aol.com

To: sca-arts  at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: period spices?

 

In regards to period spices, the cook book PLEYN DELIT  goes into detail

about period spices.  They recommend as a substitute for

"grains of paradise"-cardomom.  Also Galingale can be found in Asian or

Indian markets as galangal.  To me it has a flavor somewhere between lemon

grass and ginger.  You can find the cookbook at the chivalry sport web

site-www.renstor.com/index.   look under books.

 

Ivy

Kingdom of Trimaris

Shire of Tri Os

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 08:26:58 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Questions

 

Kathleen M Everitt wrote:

> What are grains of Muske?

 

Musk is any of various animal sex-attractant, pheromonal secretions.

They were, in period, and are, now, very common in perfumes. They used to

be taken and processed from glands of the musk deer or several other

mammals. Essentially they were used to add an exotic perfume to foods.

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 05 Oct 1997 09:49:58 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - honey dormice recipe

 

Decker, Terry D. wrote:

 

<snip>

 

> Recipe By     : Apicius

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>

> NOTES : Glires:  Isicio pocino, item pulpis ex omin membro glirium

> trito, cum pipere, nucleis, lasere, liquamine farcies glires et sutos in

> tegula positos mittes in furnum aut farsos in cilbano coques.

>

> Dormice:  Stuffed dormice with pork filling, and with the meat of whole

> dormice ground with pepper, pine nuts, silphium, and garum.  Sew up and

> place on a baking tile, and put them in the oven; or cook the stuffed

> [dormice] in a pan.

>

> Translation from Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini; A Taste of Ancient Rome,

> University of Chicago Press, 1992.

>

> Stuffed Dormouse:  Is stuffed with forcemeat of pork and small pieces of

> dormouse meat trimmings, all pounded with pepper, nuts, laser, broth.

> Put the dormouse thus stuffed in an earthen casserole, roast it in the

> oven, or boil it in the stock pot.

 

Just thought I'd throw a small note in here: laser and silphium are not

the same thing. IIRC (which is as close as you're going to get on a

Sunday morning before I've had my tea) silphium was a more or less

unidentified (at least to us) plant resin which appears to have gone

extinct or otherwise unavailable between the lifetime of Marcus Gavinus

Apicius, and the time at which the earliest Apicius manuscript (7th

century?) is dated. Laser appears to be the more readily available

substitute for silphium, and is believed to be asafeotida gum,

presumably ground to a powder. This is available as an extract in some

herb or health-food stores, and as the genuine article, powdered resin,

in Indian markets under the name "hing powder".

 

G. Tacitus Adamantius, always interested in Soul Food ;  )

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 07:26:37 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss  at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - spices vs. herbs?

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

 

The strict definition is that if its from a leaf, its an herb, and if its

from bark, seeds, flowers, or a non-plant material etc its a spice.

 

According to my reading, in the middle ages, herbs did indeed encompass

things like swiss chard and spinach (this according to the lists of "herbs"

we are giving in things lke Charlemagnes _de Villis_ and other period

gardening lists). And this list isn’t limited to culinary herbs, either.

 

Hope this helps...

- --AM, who's 20th century mom says "if its cheap its an herb, if its

expensive and imported, its a spice" :)

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 10:27:02 -0000

From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688  at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>

Subject: SC - Spice query (was recipe with long spice list)

 

I'd echo David/Cariodac's query about tumeric.

 

Scully in 'The Art of Cookery' quotes the inventory of Pegalotti (1315 -

1340), a Florentine grocer who stocked amongst other things, "anise, pepper,

white, black and long, ginger (6 types), tumeric, cinnamon, cassia buds,

cassia, caraway, grains of paradise, sugars (8 types) alum, mastic, zedoary,

cloves, clove stalks, clove leaves, nutmegs, cubebs, cardamons, galingale,

mace, cumin, carobs, aloes, saffron, grape wines, quince wine, pomegranate

wine, honey, molasses, carob syrup, dates, figs, currants, pistachios",

 

but I haven't seen any recipes with tumeric, zedoary (or alum, aloes or

mastic for that matter).  Any ideas anyone?  Could they be medicinal?

Scully mentions pomegranate wine as given in cases of illness.

 

BTW John Hervey gives the The 'Fromond' List of Plants of c. 1500, a list of

plants grown in England (including artichokes!) and also including

galingale, which did surprise me, as I assumed it was imported.  I'd be

interested in comments.

 

Caroline

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 17:15:37 EST

From: KKimes1066 <KKimes1066  at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Galingale

 

It grows abundantly in the Thames, and is known as "Sweet Flag".

To reiterate an earlier statement.....

          DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!

Sweet flag is a suspected carcinogen. Don't use it. Whole root

Galangale can be had very cheaply from Penzey's Spice Catalog.

That is the real stuff, and you can get it with in one or two days if

need it desperately.

 

                            Percival Beaumont Esq-App

 

 

From: Mark Shier <mark  at medievalwares.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Spices

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 14:40:01 -0800

Organization: Island Net on Vancouver Island B.C. Canada

 

Anyone interested  in medieval culinary spices should track down a copy of

 

"Spices in the Medieval Diet", by Bruno Lauroix, in Food and Foodways

1, 1985, pp 43-76.

 

Lauriox uses account records, cookbooks and medical treatises to look

at spice use. Among other things, he concludes that the idea of pepper

being extremely expensive and restriced to the nobility is a modern

fiction. He is cautious on the amount of spices consumed, but he does

not think that consumption was much higher than today.

 

                           mark der gaukler

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:37:49 -0700

From: vincent_tom  at burr-brown.com

Subject: Re: SC - Source for Gallingale

 

>Excuse me for showing my ignorance - what is Gallingale?

 

It's a cousin to Ginger, with a bit more of a peppery flavor to it.  It's

only popular now to Medievalists and Indonesian cooks, as far as I know.

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 12:07:11 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Spices in cooking [was Jamaican Jerk (was jerked meat)]

 

Anne-Marie Rousseau wrote:

> My favorite debunker of the spoiled food myth is to point out that we have

> shopping lists for big households and when you look at the amount of spice

> they buy, it really isnt that much. Where lots of people get confused is in

> the variety and number of DIFFERENT spices (especially those of the exotic

> garlic salt crowd). Medieval food often (but not always) will call for

> small amounts of lots of different things. This seems exotic until you look

> at the lable of a Heinz 57 bottle, or read the ingredients of your Kentucky

> Fried Chicken. Your basic ketsup has far more types of spices in it, say,

> than your basic egredouce.

 

Yeah, if you look at a source like Le Menagier, who, while not royalty

or anything, seems to have been well-to-do, the evidence found in his

work seems to suggest extreme frugality with spices (including

suggestons for best ways to re-use the cloves, etc., how to clean the

last bit of powdered pepper out of your mortar so it doesn't go to

waste, and a number of other indicators that suggest that while a number

of spices were used, even by the "middle class", their use was not

profligate). Add to that the fact that it seems evident that there were

definite seasons for slaughtering several farm animals, as well as for

hunting game, and the picture is much more of a society whose

consumption of fresh meat was centered on the colder months of the year,

say, November to February.

 

Following that you have Lent, with meat-eating severely curtailed, if not

entirely eliminated, for a month and a half or so. That leaves us with

half of spring and the summer to be eating this alleged rotten meat, in

spite of the fact that we know a lot of salt meat was eaten at these

times, together with the fresh meat of smaller domestic animals and

game, like chickens and rabbits. The recipes I have seen that are

specifically identified as being for summer seem to center on chicken

and capon, which would be killed on an as-needed basis.

 

Finally, there are the recorded laws against disguising day-old meat as

fresh, with pretty stiff penalties, especially for those who processed

it in things like pies to make the freshness, or lack thereof, a more

burred issue.

 

I just can't buy the idea that there was so much meat just lying around

going off.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 09:34:01 -0500

Subject: SC - Spice cabinet-what do we stock?

 

Nick Sasso wrote:

 

> What items would be considered necessary,  recommended and luxury

> items in a recreationist's spice collection.  This includes spices, dried

> herbs, condiments and other flavorings.

 

From: Meadhbh: maddie teller-kook <meadhbh  at io.com>

I would recommend the following:

 

Saffron

Cubebs

Grains of Paradise

Black Pepper

Cloves

Bay Leaf

Oregano

Basil

Marjoram

Garlic

Ginger

Galangale

Rosemary

Lovage

Borage

Rose Petals (organic only)

Calendula

Nutmeg and Mace

 

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

 

Cardamom

Coriander

Anise seed

Fenugreek (for early Medieval and ethnic cooking)

 

From: "John Henschen" <bacchus  at revealed.net>

 

cardamom

coriander

 

From: Failenn "DAVIS, VICTORIA" <VICTORIA.DAVIS  at aeroquip.com>

 

savory

 

From: Amy E. Sousa/Lady Elisabeth Borden, Barony of the Bridge, EK <LdyElisbth  at aol.com>:

 

Chervil

Hyssop

and Sage

 

From: Rudd Rayfield <RuddR  at aol.com>

 

cinnamon

 

From: Ras <LrdRas  at aol.com>

 

sugar

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:15:25 -0400

From: Nick Sasso <Njs  at mccalla.com>

Subject: SC - Spices, pantry and import of each

 

The list I have been offered here is appreciated greatly.  It offered a

few things I had not considered.  The question that seems of even more

import is: which ones are absolute necessities, and which are important

yet less so?

 

When I present to a group of new cooks or curious people, they will be

a bit overwhelmed by a laundry list of things they have to buy to be

medieval cooks.

 

I figure that the list of general must haves includes

 

SPICES: saffron, grains of paradise, black peppercorns, galingale,

cardamom, salt, cubebs

 

Additionally, as available for purchase, or in an herb garden:

FRESH HERBS  garlic, sage, rosemary, ginger, borage, (No one

mentioned) Rue, chervil, marjoram,

 

CONDIMENTS: verjuice, vinegar, garum/liquimen

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:20:29 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss  at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Spice cabinet-what do we stock?

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

 

my kitchen for tourneys has the following...

balsamic vinegar

white wine vinegar

good quality olive oil

whole nutmegs and grater

cone sugar and grater

cassia (cinnamon)

ginger

whole garlic

salt

peppercorns and peppermill

a big jar of my poudre forte (contains all kinds of stuff, and is a good

general medieval seasoning. means I have to pack less!)

saffron

 

Fresh herbs I bring according to the recipes I plan on making...for this

weekend I have marjoram, parsley, sage, and mint.

 

- --Anne-Marie, who is packing for coronation as we speak

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 15:17:21 EDT

From: DianaFiona  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Spices, pantry and import of each

 

I figure that the list of general must haves includes

 

SPICES:  saffron, grains of paradise, black peppercorns, galingale,

cardamom, salt, cubebs

 

Additionally, as available for purchase, or in an herb garden:

FRESH HERBS  garlic, sage, rosemary, ginger, borage, (No one

mentioned) Rue, chervil, marjoram,

 

CONDIMENTS: verjuice, vinegar, garum/liquimen

============================================================ >>

     Everyone's going to have slightly different prefferences on the

listings, depending on what sources they use most. My slight adjustments would

include moving ginger to the (Dried) spices list, dropping the cubebs, and

adding cinnamon, cumin and corriander. In the fresh herbs, I'd drop borage and

add parsley, thyme, mint and hyssop--and, reluctantly, fresh corriander (I

hate it, but it *was* pretty popular......). I'd probably add mustard to the

condiments--I haven't seen it *in* that many dishes, but it's easy to get and

so *good*. ;-)

 

        Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 00:51:27 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Spice Cabinet-what do we stock?

 

I thought it might be nice to include a list from a period source:

Taillevent's Viandier (Scully translation) .

 

"170. Spices Necessary for This Present Recipe Book: ginger, cinnamon,

cloves, grain of paradise, long pepper, aspic [this might be a

mistranslation for spikenard], round pepper, cassia buds, saffron,

nutmegs, bay leaves, galingale, mace, laurel leaves, cumin, sugar,

almonds, garlic, onions, shallots, herb bennet, sorrel, vine leaves or

vine shoots, currants and green wheat in winter. For steeping, white

wine, verjuice, vinegar, water, greasy broth, cow's milk and almond

milk."

 

The two references to bay leaves and laurel leaves may be an error: bay

leaves are pretty much regarded as the edible form of laurel leaf; maybe

the second reference is to bay berries?

 

This is interesting in that it appears to show some differences between

French and English verions of medieval court cookery. Note the absence

of cubebs, coriander seed, caraway seed, anise or fennel seed, which

appear pretty frequently in the contemporary (late 14th century) English

recipe books.

 

What would I add? Mustard, cubebs, coriander seed, anise, fennel,

caraway, saunders, parsley, sage, marjoram, hyssop, dittany, and

pellitory (iffy). I'd also want some honey and some good oil, but those

might not be appropriate for a discussion on spice cabinets.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 08:09:34 -0500

From: vjarmstrong  at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)

Subject: 11 th C. spices and zedoary (was: Re: SC - Spice cabinet-what do we stock?)

 

All the discussion of what spices we stock for recreating period cooking

tickled something in my memory. In my never-ending search for all things

German I found the following on the web page for Francesco Sirene

<http://www.silk.net/sirene/medgerm.htm>; There's a chart called A Medieval

and Renaissance German Spice Chest. I rummaged through my files and found

it. Apparently this was complied from 7 cookbooks ranging from mid-14th to

late 16th centuries by Michel Balard. Complete bibliographical info is on

the page. One of the spices on the list that I don't recognize is zedoary.

Anyone know what that is? This is from an English translation of a

French-language article on German cookbooks, I'm not sure which language

zedoary comes from.

 

On the the 11th century part - On the same page there a quote from a 13th

century book that quotes an earlier work by al-Tartushi, who visited Mainz

in 1083 and described the spices available: "On occasion spice, which comes

from only the farthest Orient, is found there, whereas Mainz is situated in

the farthest Occident: for example, pepper, ginger, cloves, spikenard,

costum, and galanga, which are imported from India, where they occur

quantity."

Full bilbiographical information is on <http:www.silk.net/sirene.medgerm.htm>

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 08:20:54 -0500

From: vjarmstrong  at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)

Subject: Re: SC - Spice cabinet-what do we stock?

 

I just posted the message on 11th century spices and thought I ought to

check and make sure the page I referred to was still there on the Francisco

Sirene site. It was and I also found pages on late Roman, Norse, and

Russian spice chests, as well as some great suggestions on how to put

together a spice chest for your particular persona. The address is:

http://www.silk.net/sirene/spiceche.htm

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:31:49 -0500

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

Subject: RE: 11 th C. spices and zedoary (was: Re: SC - Spice cabinet-what do we stock?)

 

> One of the spices on the list that I don't recognize is zedoary.

> Anyone know what that is? This is from an English translation of a

> French-language article on German cookbooks, I'm not sure which language

> zedoary comes from.

 

Zedoary is the dried powdered rhizome of the Indian plant, Curcuma zedoaria.

The word is probably Persian in origin.  The plant originates in the

Himalayas and is grown in Madagascar (thank you, quick ref and Root).  Don't

ask me about the taste, I've never used any.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 22:18:04 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Is allspice period?

 

> Isn't allspice a native of the West Indies?  If so would it be possible

> for it to be LATE period?  Does anyone know of any late period

> recipes that call for allspice?

> Henri

> mailto:mikel  at pdq.net

 

I've seen two versions of this.  One says Columbus found allspice in Jamaica

in 1494.  The other says he missed it, and it was found by later explorers.

 

It was one of the spices used for curing boucan (17th Century).  The first

recipe I know of it being used in is a terrapin soup from the early 19th

Century. If you come across it in an older recipe it may be called pimiento

or pimento.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 12:18:39 EDT

From: THLRenata  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Galingale and grains of paradise...

 

You might also try DragonMarsh in Revierside, CA.  They have a huge selection

of herbs and spices, including both GoP and galingal.

 

They can be reached at Dragonmrsh  at aol.com or www.dragonmarsh.com.

 

There was some trouble with the website last week, so you might just want to

e-mail them and get their catalog.

 

Renata

 

 

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 13:54:29 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - An article on medieval spices

 

It is a scholarly journal.  Try this URL:

 

http://www.gbhap-us.com/journals/325/325-top.htm

 

> ----------

> From:         Mark.S Harris[SMTP:rsve60  at email.sps.mot.com]

> Sent:         Wednesday, September 23, 1998 11:12 AM

> To:   SCA-Cooks maillist

> Subject:      SC - An article on medieval spices

> I was editing this message to put in my spices-msg file and thought

> that some of you might find it interesting but not have seen it yet.

> Can anyone tell me about this "Food and Foodways"? I assume it is

> a journal of some type.

> Stefan li Rous

> stefan  at texas.net

> =============

> From: Mark Shier <mark  at medievalwares.com>

> Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

> Subject: Spices

> Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 14:40:01 -0800

> Organization: Island Net on Vancouver Island B.C. Canada

> Anyone interested  in medieval culinary spices should track down a copy

> of

> Lauriox uses account records, cookbooks and medical treatises to look

> at spice use. Among other things, he concludes that the idea of pepper

> being extremely expensive and restriced to the nobility is a modern

> fiction. He is cautious on the amount of spices consumed, but he does

> not think that consumption was much higher than today.

>                             mark der gaukler

 

 

Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 12:45:02 -0800

From: Vicki Strassburg Eldredge <taltos  at primenet.com>

Subject: SC - Time to give something back

 

With all the wonderful information I've received from this list, it's only fair

that I share when I find something really cool. (This may be redundant for some

of you, but I know I was excited by it.) A chart follows which gives a

spice, and then the name it can be found under in various ethnic stores.

 

~Maedb

 

>From _The Complete Book of Spices (A Practical Guide to Spices and Aromatic

Seeds)_ by Jill Norman, (c) 1990 ISBN 0-670-83437-8

 

ajowan ~ ajwain, carom, lovage (indian)

anise ~ saunf (indian) yan kok (chinese) jintan manis (malaysian)

asafetida ~ hing (indian)

caraway ~ kala jeera, shia jeera (indian)

cardamom ~ elaichi (indian) wok lok wuat (chinese) kapulaga (indonesian)

buah ~ pelaga (malay) kravan (thai)

cassia buds ~ nagkesar (indian)

cayenne ~ lal mirch (indian) pisi hui (thai)

coriander ~ dhania (indian) ketumber (indonesian, malay) pak chi met (thai)

cubeb ~ tjabe djawa (indonesian)

cumin ~ jeera (indian) jinten (indonesian) jinten putih (malay) yee raa (thai)

cumin,black ~ kala jeera (indian)

curry leaves ~ kari patta (indian) daun kari (indonesian) daun kai pla (malay)

bai karee (thai)

dill ~ sowa (indian) adas cina (indonesian)

fennel ~ saunf (indian) wooi heung (chinese) adas (indon., malay)

fenugreek ~ methi (indian)

galangal,greater ~ laos (indones.) lengkuas (malay) khaa (thai)

galangal,lesser ~ sa leung geung (chinese) kencur (indon.)

kaffir lime leaves ~ daun jeruk purut (indonesian) bai makrut (thai)

lemon grass ~ sereh (indonesian, malay) ta krai (thai)

mace ~ bunga pala (malay) dawk chand (thai)

mango powder ~ amchoor (indian)

mustard seeds ~ rai (indian) biji sawi (malay)

nigella ~ kala jeera, kalonji (indian)

pomegrante ~ anadana (indian)

poppy seeds ~ khas khas (indian) kas kas (malay)

saffron ~ kesar (indian) kunyit kering (malay)

screwpine ~ rampe (indian) daun pandan (indonesian) bai toey hom (thai)

sesame ~ til (indian) chee ma (chinese) bijan (malay) dee la (thai)

star anise ~ pak kok (chinese) bunga lawang (indonesian, malay) poy kak bua

   (thai)

tamarind ~ imli (indian) asam (indonesian) asam java (malay) mak kam (thai)

turmeric ~ haldi (indian) wong geung (chinese) kunjit (indonesian, malay) kamin

   (thai)

zedoary ~ amb halad, gundhmul, kachar (indian) kentjur (indonesian)

- --

~ Me (vicki, maedb, taltos)

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 20:27:54 -0500

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

Subject: Re: hot foods (was Re: SC - Period Chili)

 

Kornelis Sietsma wrote:

> On the subject of hot foods - chilies may by OOP, but are there period

> recipes for hot foods using mustard, pepper, or horseradish?

> You can get a good decent heat from any of these products - but was this a

> period practice?  And how old are "devilled" foods?

 

While mustard, pepper, and horseradish were used in period, they seem

rarely, if ever, to have been added to other foods to make them

significantly hot. The only recipe text that comes close to this usage

(that I can think of offhand) is Hugh Plat's 1609 kielbasa recipe (To

Make a Polonian Sawsedge), in which he instructs us, as I recall, to

make the sausage good and hot with ginger and pepper. I seem to recall

one or two other references to using spices liberally so long as you

_don't_ make the dish too hot.

 

(And no, before people latch onto the above, it is in no way intended to

suggest people used a lot of spices to disguise rotten meat. Fresh meat

was generally cheaper than spices.)

 

All this being said, though, while there were both mustard and pepper

sauces used pretty consistently throughout the SCA's period (the only

horseradish sauce I can think of offhand is in Kenelm Digby, published

in 1669), I think it would generally have been considered to be

medically unsound to eat _very_ hot foods, what with choleric humours,

an' all.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 23:02:06 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Quantities of salt and spices used.

 

> When we discuss quantities of spices added, we would do well to consider their

> shelf life.  In period, spices were usually on the (Silk) Road something like

> three years after their harvesting, before they came to the cooks' hands.

 

Another common route for spices was from India to Mocha at the beginning of

the monsoon.  From Mocha to the two major ports at the head of the Red Sea.

Transport overland to Alexandria or the Levant.  Then by sea to Turkey and

Italy or overland to Persia.

 

This sea route was used for almost a thousand years without hindrance,

moving at least one large shipload of spices every year.

 

Spices brought over the sea route appear to have brought premium prices,

being fresher and untainted by animal sweat.

 

> Our spices, OOTH, are whisked from their plant-y birth to Mccormick's

> bottelery, [or wherever] and thence to our shelves in mere weeks. Obviously,

> what we use is likely to give a much bigger bang than what they had!

> Surely this must be a factor.

> Devra the Baker

 

Not necessarily.  Ground spices lose potency faster than whole spices.  And

it is often hard to tell how long a ground spice has been in distribution.

 

I buy most of my spices from a health food store and difference in potency

between those and the spices from the large distributors is truly

noticeable.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 09:04:41 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Quantities of salt and spices used.

 

Devra at aol.com wrote:

> Our spices, OOTH, are whisked from their plant-y birth to Mccormick's

> bottelery, [or wherever] and thence to our shelves in mere weeks. Obviously,

> what we use is likely to give a much bigger bang than what they had!

> Surely this must be a factor.

 

Possibly. On the other hand, we don't know how long they sit around in

McCormick's warehouse before processing and canning, and, more or less

conversely, it's hard to gauge the shelf life and adulteration level of

spices sold already ground in the medieval marketplace. That being said,

though, the three-year trip on the Silk Road probably didn't abuse whole

spices any more than three years of storage in my

overheated-through-lack-of-ventilation kitchen, and I have cinnamon

sticks, nutmegs, cloves, peppercorns, cubebs, galingale, grains of

paradise and long pepper (some several years old) and when I grind them

they still have considerably more oomph than anything ground and tinned.

 

I agree this must be a factor, but what the effect is is hard to say.

There are good arguments to be made on both sides of this issue.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:22:30 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Medieval vs Renaissance Cooking

 

> There seems to be a dramatic difference between the two -- grains or paradise,

> cubebs, galengale and other popular medieval spices went out of style for

> one thing.

> Does anyone know why this happened and approximately when?

> Renata

 

The change appears coincidental with the opening of direct trade between

Europe and the Far East.

 

I believe Hourani speculates that the change in spices may have occurred

because of problems along the normal spice routes in conjunction with above

mentioned direct trade, which initially had a lower carrying capacity than

the well established trade.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 09:21:53 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - cumin

 

> Does anyone know the difference between "cumin"  and "black cumin"

> Phillipa

 

Cumin is Cuminum cyminum.  Black cumin is Nigella sativa.  The spice cumin

is made from the fruit of the cumin.  The spice black cumin is made from the

seeds of the black cumin.  Just to make matters fun, cumin is sometimes used

to referred to black cumin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 10:50:15 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - cumin

 

The quick ref gives Nigella sativa as the answer.  This apparently is the

plant commonly identified by the name "black cumin."  The site you quote is

the only one to flatly contradict this usage and identify Cuminum nigrum

exclusively as "black cumin."

 

A quick check of Francesco Sirene's web site:

http://www.silk.net/sirene/b.htm

 

produces the information about the common usage and points out that while

the seeds of Cuminum nigrum are smaller and darker than regular cumin,

calling them black is stretching it.  He also states the black cumins are

also known as black caraway.

 

So unless the recipe comes from the area which uses Cuminum nigrum, the odds

are black cumin is Nigella sativa.

 

Some other names for Nigella are nutmeg flower, love in the mist, fitch, and

gith. I believe the last two names would be those most likely to appear in

a medieval text.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 09:28:13 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Bhuna Prawn and Puri

 

><< Also where would I get the dry-roasted spices from?  Maybe dry roast

> >them myself or are they obtainable like that I wonder? >>

>Most India type recipes (and other cuisines as well) specify that you roast

>the spices before grinding or adding them. This is usually accomplished by

>simply putting them in a small pan on the stove burner or, less often, by

>putting them in the oven. Roasted spices, per se, are not often offered on a

>retail level, so far as my experience has been.

>Ras

 

The purpose of dry-roasting spice just before use is to bring out the

essential oils with the heat. Therefore buying previously dry-roasted spices

would be self-defeating, as once the essential oils are brought out they do

not linger long, and so the flavour would have fled.

 

Francesco

 

 

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 09:37:12 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - curry leaves?

 

>I´m not sure why they are called curry leaves but it comes from  Hindi,

>where they are called kari phulia or karipatta. Indonesian daun salam is

>rather similar and can sometimes be used as a substitute.

>Nanna

 

The reason is concealed within the name. Curry (or "kari") did not

originally mean "spice mixture", as it does to westerners today, but "stew".

It was the British who took home the idea of a spicy stew, and started

calling a standardized spice mixture "curry powder". (No self-respecting

Indian cook would use the same spice mixture in all dishes, or buy it

ready-made and losing flavour in a jar) So curry leaves are called that

because they are used in curries ("stews"), not because they are a

substitute for the so-called curry powder.

 

Francesco

 

 

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 18:08:30 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - curry leaves?

 

From: David Dendy <ddendy  at silk.net>

Francesco wrote:

>The reason is concealed within the name. Curry (or "kari") did not

>originally mean "spice mixture", as it does to westerners today, but "stew".

>It was the British who took home the idea of a spicy stew, and started

>calling a standardized spice mixture "curry powder". (No self-respecting

>Indian cook would use the same spice mixture in all dishes, or buy it

>ready-made and losing flavour in a jar) So curry leaves are called that

>because they are used in curries ("stews"), not because they are a

>substitute for the so-called curry powder.

 

Yes, I knew that, of course, but I was really wondering why *this* spice was

called curry-something - I mean, lots of spices are used in curries without

taking their name from them. But I checked my Indian cookbooks just now and

the answer was really self-evident - almost any recipe from Kerala or Tamil

Nadu (in Southern India) includes 10-20 curry leaves - other spices may vary

but lots of curry leaves and chilies are almost always called for. The curry

leaves were probably even more prominent before chili peppers were brought

to India. So it is perfectly natural that they should be called curry leaves

(a similar modern European example might be lovage, which is so prominent in

many dried vegetable soup and stew mixtures that it is called "the Maggi

herb" in many countries, Maggi being the best-known manufacturer of such

products).

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 10:09:01 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - spikenard

 

A good place to start looking for spices is on Francisco Sirene's web site:

http://www.silk.net/sirene/index.htm

 

The following is from his spice finder and catalog:

 

SPICA INDICA (ancient Rome) = Spikenard (Spices).

 

Spikenard (Spices) = Nardostachys jatamansi.

 

This root (or more properly rhizome) has a heavy and peculiar odour, like a

mixture of valerian and patchouli. The taste is bitter and aromatic. Used in

India from early times in perfume and medicine, it was imported to the

Greco-Roman world. It scented the precious ointment offered to Jesus. The

Roman cookbook of Apicius calls for it in sauces for meat, seafood, and

fowl. It is an ingredient in some medieval hypocras and clarry recipes.

[n.b. -- do not confuse this with American Spikenard (Aralia racemosa), a

totally different plant, which is what is usually offered as 'spikenard' in

North America.]

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 23:08:41 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - questions: TO BOIL PHEASANTS, PARTRIDGES, CAPONS AND  CURLEWS

 

> Seton1355  at aol.com writes:

> << What is canel flour?>>

> Ground cinnamon

 

The original phrase quoted, as I recall, was "flower of canel".  I agree

that canel is cinnamon.  However, though "flower" might be a homonym

for "flour", it could also mean "flower" in the sense of the finest or best;

ex., "the flower of chivalry".  Of course, if the latter meaning is intended,

that still does not preclude it from being the finest *ground* cinnamon.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

Actually, it is neither. "Flower of canel" is cassia buds -- the 'flower'

bud of the cassia/cinnamon tree (similar in appearance to cloves). The idea

that for some reason canel/cassia/cinnamon ground up was referred to as

"flour/flower", when all other spices ground up were powders, is something

perpetrated by early translators of cookery books, who were not very

familiar with spices, and didn't know that cassia buds were a popular spice

in period Europe.

 

Francesco Sirene

 

P.S. If you want to try cassia buds, we can supply them.

David Dendy / ddendy  at silk.net

partner in Francesco Sirene, Spicer / sirene  at silk.net

Visit our Website at http://www.silk.net/sirene/

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 23:19:54 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - SPICES

 

>My good lord husband recently gifted me with the book SEVEN CENTURIES OF

>ENGLISH COOKING: A Collection of Recipes by Maxime de la Falaise.

>This is from the back of the book.

>Phillipa

 

I'm not sure of your question. Are you asking about the reliability of these

statements from the book? (This book is one of the dinosaurs of historical

cookery works; many years ago, when it came out, it was ground-breaking in

reconstructing past cuisine, but today is long out of date in reliability

and authenticity -- although I must admit some of the recipes still taste

nice.) When she wrote it, exotic spices were unavailable, and I suspect she

was simply guessing. Today all of the genuine articles are readily available

(we sell them, for example. And our powder forte and powder douce are made

to actual 14th century Italian recipes. [PS We do have powder douce now, and

I'll be getting it onto the web-catalogue in a day or two].)

 

>CUBEBS

>A mixture of black pepper and allspice can replace the taste of cubebs.

 

Not very close. Get the real thing.

 

>SAUNDERS

>A red coloring made from powdered sandal wood.  Use of cochineal, carmine, or

>red food coloring.   I don't like any of these options.

 

Saunders is "red sandalwood", a completely different species from the normal

white sandalwood familiar to head-shop patrons.

 

>POUDER-FORTE

>A mixture of dried chives, mace and pepper

 

I have no idea where she gets the chives from.

 

>POWDER DOUCE

>A blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper

 

A little closer, though there are actual authentic recipes available.

 

Francesco Sirene

David Dendy / ddendy  at silk.net

partner in Francesco Sirene, Spicer / sirene  at silk.net

Visit our Website at http://www.silk.net/sirene/

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 07:57:29 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss  at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - flour of cinnamon

 

Hey all from Anne-marie...

 

Ras sez:

>The origin of the word flower and flour is identical so I fail to see how

>pieces is more logical than ground especially when such an interpretation

>confuses the recipe rather than clarifying it. Consider that one of the

>definitions of flower itself is 'a finely divided powder. With all the

>evidence in hand, I would still go with finely ground cinnamon (e.g., flowers

>of cinnamon) unless more substantial evidence is forthcoming.

 

interestingly, Taillevent calls for "fleur de cassia". James Prescotts

translation interprets this as cassia buds, which are available from

Francesco as well as from WorldSpice. Thorvald/James told me that he tried

the recipe with the dried buds and it was yummy, albeit less cinnamon-y

than if you used the flour of cassia, ie ground cinnamon.

 

I personally think its very rude of those Mssr Taillevent to use that

particular term and not tell us what he meant. Hmph.

 

- --AM, who got the cookbooks unpacked first after her move this weekend :)

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 00:40:59 -0500

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

Subject: SC - Spices in Poland

 

In reading "Food and Drink in Medieval Poland" I came across some

interesting comments about some spices I had not heard before.

 

p41:

This paragraph is about the middle to late 1300s.

He mentions the importation of two sorts of galingale ("lesser",.

Alpina officinarum, and "greater", Alpina galanga).

 

Have other folks seen mention of two types of galingale? Which one

is the one sold today as galingale? both? Any idea what the differances

are?

 

All the spices in this list were apparently imported through Cyprus.

 

He also mentions Cypriot "monk's pepper" the seed of agnia or chaste

tree (Vitex agnus castus). "The pepper was added to monastic dishes to

suppress venery or sexual desire."

 

Anyone have any more on this or similar spices? I've got a little bit

on period aphrodisiacs. This is the first time I think I've heard of

a period spice being used to achieve the opposite effect.

 

Hmmm. Maybe that's the solution for the SCA-Cook's list baby boom? :-)

- --

Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

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

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1999 23:45:43 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Spices in Poland

 

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

>In reading "Food and Drink in Medieval Poland" I came across some

>interesting comments about some spices I had not heard before.

>p41:

>This paragraph is about the middle to late 1300s.

>He mentions the importation of two sorts of galingale ("lesser",.

>Alpina officinarum, and "greater", Alpina galanga).

>Have other folks seen mention of two types of galingale? Which one

>is the one sold today as galingale? both? Any idea what the differances

>are?

 

We carry both types of galingale. Greater or Java galingale  (southeast

Asia) is the milder of the two, perhaps like ature of ginger and

cardamon. Lesser galingale (southern China) is much sharper in flavour,

like a combination of ginger and pepper. Greater galingale would seem to

have been the preferred variety in medieval Europe, though both were used.

 

>He also mentions Cypriot "monk's pepper" the seed of agnia or chaste

>tree (Vitex agnus castus). "The pepper was added to monastic dishes to

>suppress venery or sexual desire."

 

We have monk's pepper if you want to try some (it's not in the web

catalogue; we use it in a spice mixture -- but if anyone wants some e-mail

and we'll quote you a price)

 

Yours spicily,

Francesco

David Dendy / ddendy  at silk.net

partner in Francesco Sirene, Spicer / sirene  at silk.net

Visit our Website at http://www.silk.net/sirene/

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 08:18:31 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Spices in Poland

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Have other folks seen mention of two types of galingale? Which one

> is the one sold today as galingale? both? Any idea what the differences

> are?

 

Greater galingale has a larger cross-section (i.e. bigger slices) and awhitish flesh similar to ginger, while lesser galingale is smaller andwith a reddish-orangey flesh. It would be hard to discuss flavor differences in writing... . Greater galingale is also listed in The Von Welanetz Guide to Ethnic ingredients with a bazillion alternative names I won't go into here, except to say that many of the alternative names are in European languages, while the alternative names for lesser galingale (at least the ones they list) seem to be strictly Asian languages. This leads me to suspect the galingale known in period Europe may well have been Greater Galingale. On the other hand, what every herb and spice store I've seen sells as galingale is kentjur or Lesser Galingale (the little red guys), I could be wrong about this. I haven't discussed this in detail with the people at Aphrodisia. It may be that both found their way into medieval Europe.

 

> All the spices in this list were apparently imported through Cyprus.

> He also mentions Cypriot "monk's pepper" the seed of agnia or chaste

> tree (Vitex agnus castus). "The pepper was added to monastic dishes to

> suppress venery or sexual desire."

> Anyone have any more on this or similar spices? I've got a little bit

> on period aphrodisiacs. This is the first time I think I've heard of

> a period spice being used to achieve the opposite effect.

 

Ummm, I understand saltpeter is/was famous for being added to prison food, especially baked goods and meat dishes, for precisely that effect. Basically it messes up your blood pressure, rendering um, hydrostatic pressure regulation, um, impossible. Impotence in a can. It probably also caused some fatal strokes, though, with excessive repeated use. Salt would do the same, but the amount required would be unpalatable unless you used very frequent small doses (which many people do in their ordinary diets anyway...)

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 09:28:19 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Comparitives: East vs West

 

LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> castorquinn  at crosswinds.net writes:

> << what spices flowed through to Western Europe,

> before about 1300?  I am talking here of exotic spices, not the native

> spices , if there were any (were there?). >>

> A quick glance at period recipes reveals cassia, cinnamon, galengal, long

> pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, grains of paradise, mace,

> raisins of Corinth, etc.

 

Not to pick nits, but are you looking at a source "before about 1300"? I

don't imagine there'd be a huge difference, but since there aren't all

_that_ many pre-1300 sources available to us (and people always seem to

ask for stuff from before all those lovely 14th-century sources, don't

they ;  ) ?), any differences might be hard to quantify accurately.

 

> Native 'spices' were pretty much NOT used in noble cookery, SFAIK.

 

Native European spices would include, among others, caraway, mustard,

fennel, anise, and cumin, and while they may not rate the spiff factor

that grains of paradise enjoy, they are used with fair frequency, and I

gather the proliferation of Dark Ages/early medieval literary references

to dishes of chicken in cumin sauce would suggest the domestic spices

_might_ have rated higher in early period than they did later. I read

this in a book by Richard Barber, I forget which, but it seems sensible

that in, say, the reign of Charlemagne, for example, when the spices

from the far East seem to have been somewhat more difficult to come by

than in later years, the slack might have been taken up by domestic

products.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 10:48:48 -0500

From: "Richard Kappler II" <rkappler  at home.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Comparitives: East vs West

 

>> << what spices flowed through to Western Europe,

>> before about 1300?  I am talking here of exotic spices, not the native

>> spices , if there were any (were there?). >>

 

Cassia and cinnamon were mentioned by St. Isidore, Archbishop of Seville.

In a grant made to a monastery in 716 by Chilperic II, cinnamon and cumin

were included.  In 745, Gemmulus, a Roman deacon, sent pepper and cinnamon

to Boniface, Archbishop of Mayence.  In the 9th century, cloves, pepper,

cinnamon as well as local indigenous plants were used in a monastery in

Switzerland for seasoning fish.  In Charlemagne's royal gardens you would

find fennel and fenugreek.  By the end of the 12th century nutmeg and mace

were to be found in Northern Europe.  Also mentioned in this time period was

coriander.

 

regards, Puck

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 12:28:22 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Comparitives: East vs West

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<< Not to pick nits, but are you looking at a source "before about 1300"? >>

 

Trait de Cuisine is c. 1300 which would seem to indicate that the recipes

were used somewhat pre-1300. They list the usual spices that came from the

Orient. It is from this that I made my preliminary list in my former post. Is

there some indication that Trait is actually later than noted? Seasonings

listed include pepper, ginger, parsley, sage, white garlic, mustard, green

garlic, cinnamon, cumin, long pepper, sugar, 'hot' pepper (?), 'a leaf of

some sort', cypress root, saffron, lavender, cloves, salt, sour pepper (?),

verjuice, malt (vinegar (?)), cider, sour wine, grain verjuice, onion and an

unknown ingredient called 'ciconant.' Thyme, marjoram, rosemary, chives,

shallots, sorrel, oregano and bay laurel are not mentioned although I would

suspect that they might come under the general term 'herbs' although this

supposition lends little credible support to any theory that they were

'widely' or 'commonly' used in noble households.

 

An Old Icelandic Medical Miscellany, although from a 15th century CE

manuscript is most likely a copy of a manuscript dating from the 1200s CE,

seasonings listed in this manuscript include salt, saffron, cloves, mace,

cardamom (surprisingly), pepper, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seed, vinegar,

cumin, nutmeg, ginger, parsley, garlic, wild thyme, sage, and mint. 'Common'

herbs such as Bay laurel, oregano, rosemary and marjoram are not mentioned.

 

An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the Thirteenth Century is very much

pre-1300s and is also European (e.g., Spain) which clearly shows that the

spices I mentioned were very much in use in Western Europe pre-1300s CE. In

fact, Spain is further west than even England. :-) Seasonings listed are

pepper, coriander seed, lavender, cinnamon, cilantro,  mint, onion,  garlic,

vinegar, saffron, cumin,  ginger,  cloves, rue, celery leaves,  citron

leaves, lemon leaves, thyme, fennel seed and flowers, Chinese cinnamon,

powdered sugar, butter, camphor, rosewater, lemon, rosepetal jam, cilantro

juice, galinale, clove basil, celery juice, fennel stalks, caraway, pine

nuts, bee balm, musk, etc. (I ended my quest in this manuscript on page 14 of

49 pages. Up to that point I found no mention of bay laurel, rosemary,

oregano, chives or marjoram.

 

I also found no mention of grains of paradise in any of the 3 cited pre-1300

CE manuscripts. Please forgive me that small mistake. :-) I also did not

include listings in any of several manuscripts from the Middle east dating

back to the 900s CE although, as the location of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, it

would have been technically an area of Western Europe. :-)

 

I am not disputing your claim that several local 'spices' were ordered to be

grown in Charlemagne's gardens but whether these were used in noble cookery

or as medicinals still is to be answered.

 

Yours in Service of the Dream and the Kingdom of Aethelmearc,

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 09:24:48 -0800

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss  at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - mustard recipes

 

hiya from Anne-Marie

Ras sez:

><< just how fine can an

> underpaid and underappreciated powderer scullery get them?

>Very fine. With use of bolting cloths in particular. Also remember that in

>large household, manor houses and castles scullery persons would unlikely

>have been powdering spices. This task was often accomplished by wandering

>'spice grinders'. Another thing to think about would have been the purchase

>of the ground seed at the apothecaries. Many tasks that we assume were done

>in the kitchen were not done any more in the middle ages than they are now.

 

I've never seen a reference to them being wandering, only that they were a

special job. cool!

 

I also have seen in le menagier an admonition that one should buy spices

whole, which suggests that it is possible to buy them ground, but that its

not a good idea (at least according to one middle aged Parisian :))

 

as for the scullery crack, I was referring to myself, of course!

 

- --AM

 

 

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: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 19:04:35 CEST

From: "Christina van Tets" <cjvt  at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - spice substituting

 

Earlier I spoke about a text I am working on which specifies where you can

and can't substitute. Thought you might be interested.

 

Herewith the promised recipes:

 

6. To make kimmeneye of chickens.  Take cumin and bread.  Grind it together

and drive it through a strainer with a thin broth.  Then you shall let it

cook together until the chickens are cooked enough.  Then take yolks of eggs

with saffron crushed with wine.  Let this simmer or boil very little in

order that it may bind only a little.

 

9. Item.  You should know that one puts no spice in any kimmeneye other than

cumin and saffron.

 

This is fairly clear, I think, about what you could legitimately get away

with in the confines of the recipe.  Kimmeneye is also spelt kimmeneyde, if

that's any use.

 

11. To make another jeleye. Take fish and cut then in pieces according to

whether you want them small or large, but it must be washed very clean, then

it must be dried very well from the water.  Then take the half [of that]

quantity in wine, and the third [of that] quantity in vinegar.  You will

boil the aforesaid fish well in this, and see that you skim it clean, and

remove all the scum so that you take off all the white and there is none

left, and let it boil until it is enough. So take it out of the water and

let itdrain well in a colander or on a wooden mat which will drain it well.  

Then take spices that are strong.  That is, lots of galingale - some do not

put galingale, but other spices - much saffron, nutmegs, ginger, cardamom,

mace and grind it up small in a mortareach by itself or all together, to a

powder, and put it through a strainer with the broth in which the fish was

boiled. Whoever also wants to, takes the scales or the skin of the fish,

one part, and cuts it up and puts it into the broth and one must let that

simmer until it is reduced to a third or less.  And when it is boiled lay

the fish in dishes as they ought to lie.  That is, with their scales/skin on

the bottom and with the insides outwards.  Then take as many dishes as you

want to make and fill them with fish.  Then you shall pour the sauce over

them and let them cool and so they will set when they are allowed to cool.

 

These recipes are all from Een Notabel Boecxken van Cokeryen, by Thomas

vander Noot, printed in Brussels about 1514.

 

Sorry the recipes are long, but I thought it wouldn't be fair to send you

half a recipe just to illustrate a point.  As you can see, the first recipe

states very clearly that you _may not_ substitute in this dish, whereas the

second is much more relaxed about what goes into it, as long as the spices

are strong.

 

In short, I don't think there can be one simple rule about substituting.

 

Cairistiona

 

 

Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 14:04:23 CEST

From: "Christina van Tets" <cjvt  at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - sp[r]ice

 

M (of 007 fame??) asked:

>Since when was rice become a spice?

 

According to a fantastic book I have in front of me, entitled 'History

Source Books:  The Elizabethan Age:  The Queen, Nobles and Gentry' (it's a

school text, going almost entirely from primary sources which it presents

for the kids - heh heh, I'm indoctrinating my English students), the steward

of Ingatestone Hall (and therefore possibly others too?) called anything

which came from a hot country a spice.  Among the list of 'spices' here are

currants, rice, almonds, prunes, dates and raisins.  Maybe this is a key?

 

Cairistiona

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 10:25:23 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC -spice and economics

 

"Decker, Terry D." wrote:

> This point is open to question.  In 716, Chilperic II the King of Neustria,

> abated the taxes on one pound of cinnamon, two pounds of cloves and 30

> pounds of pepper for the monastery of Corbie in Normandy.  And in 745, the

> archbishop of Mainz, Wynfrith Boniface, received a gift of pepper from the

> Roman deacon Gemmulus.

>

> There are a number of references which suggest the spice trade did not

> disappear, but continued through Byzantium into Europe at a slower and more

> costly pace.

>

> Bear

 

I'm inclined to agree. I think there's a good case to be made for the

diminution of eastern spice supplies reaching Europe, with a

concommitant rise in the use of domestic spices such as cumin, anise,

mustard and caraway, but I'm not aware of the emergence of a spiceless

cuisine among those classes that were accustomed to having them. At

least not the most basic imported spices like pepper.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 20:05:32 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - transporting ingredients

 

If you look at the import duties of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, spices

delivered by sea paid a higher duty than spice delivered by caravan.  This

suggests that spices shipped by sea via India and the Red Sea were more

potent and valuable than those brought overland.

 

Spices shipped by sea would have been sealed in containers which would

protect them from water.  This would also help protect them from the air.

 

Bear

 

> One thing you may have noticed:  when quatities of spices *are* mentioned

> in period recipes, it looks like a ridiculously large amount.  It is.

> Their spices weren't very potent. (this is corroborated by explorers'

> surprise at the flavors when they reached the Spice Islands)  As a friend

> once told me, "These things were put in hide bags and transported on the

> back of an animal for months, then put on a leaky boat for more months.

> Care to guess what happened to the essential oils?"

>

> If you want everything to taste good, worry less about how they

> transported it and look instead at the physical conditions you have to

> deal with--heat, humidity, wind, rain, marauding drunks.  Screw top jars

> are fine and medieval people would have killed for them.  Come to think

> of it, they'd kill for our quality of spices.

>

> Morgana

 

 

Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 15:22:16 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler  at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: SC - transporting ingredients

 

By the way, on the subject of storage, I have found that my spices last longer

when stored in colored bottles.  To that end, (and with a great deal of protest

from my lord) I have used Mickey beer bottles (barrel-shaped, large mouth, green

in color) and found corks to fit the mouths.  They really have worked well over

the years.  Phillip keeps asking me if I don't need more!

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 15:05:44 -0700

From: lilinah  at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - transporting ingredients

 

> The spice shelf in my kitchen

>smells sooo good that I can hardly bring myself to transfer the spices from

>their paper bags to their jars.

>Gwynydd

 

Best to do so, though, if you want them to retain their fine

flavorful and aromatic essential oils. Regardless of how they were

kept in Medieval times. You'll get to enjoy them longer. If you

really like it, you could take a small amount of your favorite and

put them in a little cloth pouch like a sachet and keep it in the

cupboard to remind you of what you are protecting.

 

Although i now have most of my medieval herbs and spices in smallish

glass jars, light is also hazardous to spices and herbs and if you're

spices are kept in a standard kitchen spice rack most of the time,

many will loose their color as well.

 

Furthermore, heat causes the essential oils to volatilize - thus the

flavor is gradually lost into the air, even in a closed jar - it

isn't hermetically sealed, after all (unless you have one of those

vacuum sealing machines i saw on the shopping channel at my mom's

house) - so the volatile oils will seep out.

 

So, if you want to preserve their flavor and appearance, i recommend

that you keep you herbs and spices in a cool place, not over or near

your stove and/or oven, and either use the brown jars (but then you

can't see as easily what's inside) or keep your jars in a dark place.

 

Anahita

just discovered my galangal has lost its flavor so i need a new

batch, but my 25 year old cubebs are still amazingly fragrant.

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 04:28:07 EDT

From: CBlackwill  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - transporting ingredients

 

ekoogler at chesapeake.net writes:

> By the way, on the subject of storage, I have found that my spices last  longer when stored in colored bottles.  To that end, (and with a great deal of protest from my lord) I have used Mickey beer bottles (barrel-shaped, large mouth, green in color) and found corks to fit the mouths.  They really have worked well over the years.  Phillip keeps asking me if I don't need more! <

 

You may want to consider changing the bottles you store your spices in, and

see if a brown bottle doesn't keep them longer... It is my experience that

when sunlight passes through green glass, it can cause some kind of reaction.

I know this to be the case with beer (from scholarly research only, you

understand, and never any practical experience with the stuff).  My

coriander, powdered ginger and cardamom pods all went rancid after about a

week in green glass.

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 08:21:07 -0400

From: grizly  at mindspring.com

Subject: Re: Re: SC - transporting ingredients

 

As with hops, I suspect that the volitiles are susceptible to the blue range of the visible light spectrum.  The photoreactive materials in the spice are going to fire off in the presence of full spetrum white light as well as any portion with the blue range.  Therefore, green glass will let it pass while brown will block most/all of it.  You might try using some tinted contact paper if you don't have resources for all new glass jars.  

 

I also find that the freezer is my friend.  Spices will last years in the freeze that would og in months on the shelf.  A few small ball jars and I'm off to the races.

 

niccolo

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 18:28:13 -0400

From: Darice Moore <magistra  at tampabay.rr.com>

Subject: Re: SC -spice and economics

 

"Decker, Terry D." wrote:

>> This point is open to question.  In 716, Chilperic II the King of Neustria,

>> abated the taxes on one pound of cinnamon, two pounds of cloves and 30

>> pounds of pepper for the monastery of Corbie in Normandy.  And in 745, the

>> archbishop of Mainz, Wynfrith Boniface, received a gift of pepper from the

>> Roman deacon Gemmulus.

>> 

>> There are a number of references which suggest the spice trade did not

>> disappear, but continued through Byzantium into Europe at a slower and more

>> costly pace.

 

I've been doing quite a bit of research on the Franks (my persona is

Frankish) and I recall from one book that throughout the Merovingian

era, there was quite a lot of squabbling among the Frankish kings as to

who would "get" Provence included in their holdings.  Provence was the

import/export center, and whoever controlled it received the extensive

importation duties on such items as silk, spices, et al.  Importation

continued, though it may not have been practiced as frequently as

before.

 

- - Clotild

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 21:40:00 -0400

From: "Siegfried Heydrich" <baronsig  at peganet.com>

Subject: SC - neat spice site

 

   Got this from Netsurfer, and it's something you'll like. Clipped is the

copy, and the URL. Been there, looked at it, Sieggy sez check it out!

 

Spice World

 

Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages provide the ultimate reference for serious spice

users. If bland doesn't suit your palate, learn what you can use to enhance

your meals. The site centers around 113 (at press time) spices covered in

the fullest detail, from characteristics to uses to history to cultural

importance. A cross-index in numerous languages lists over 4,200 terms and

words relating to the 113. No matter how exotic a spice's name in a recipe,

you can find its English or German equivalent quickly and easily. This tasty

Web site is easy to navigate and attractive, and will only improve, we

suppose, when Digiscents goes gold.

Spices: http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

DigiScents: http://www.digiscents.com/

 

   Sieggy

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 09:04:21 EDT

From: ChannonM  at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Fennel from Platina

 

People have asked for the recipe so here is my rendition. Please note that

Platina describes oil as having warming properties and salt drying ones. I

have considered also that he describes food to be eaten in the first course

 

(P)What should be eaten first

There is an order to be observed in taking food, since everything that moves

the bowels and whatever is of light and slight nourishment, like aples and

pears, is more safely and pleasantly eaten in the first course. I even add

lettuce and whatever is served with vinegar and oil, raw or cooked. Then

there are eggs, especially the soft-cooked kind, and certain sweets we call

bellaria, seasond with spices and ine nuts or honey or sugar. These are

served very appropriately to guests.

 

 

Recipe

Roasted Fennel- basted with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper, roasted

on a fire if the weather permits, if not, then served raw, sliced very thin

with a light sprinkling of red wine vinegar.

 

(P) Book 3 # 18

 

Pliny calls fennel ferulaceum because it grows out of rods [feruli] just as

many others do. It has warm and dry force but yet is not simple, for its

taste reveals that bitterness is mixed in it. It has been said that snakes,

to which fennel is very pleasant, shed age upon eating this herb and lay

aside weakness of eyesight, which they contract by a long stay in

subterranean places, by rubbing their heads on fennel-stalks.

 

We use this vegetable both raw and cooked, not without reason, for it

generates good humors, helps the chest, and opens the clogged courses of

veins.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 13:16:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: Angus <angus  at iamawitch.com>

Subject: Re: SC - grains of paradise vs black cardamom

 

- --- "Christina van Tets" <cjvt  at hotmail.com> wrote:

>Have been going over Francesco's marvellous description of grains of

>paradise again.  So are these the same thing that my Nepali friends here

>have been waving around as black cardamom?

>Cairistiona

 

According to Gernot Katzer's spice pages

(http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html)

 

they have the following characteristics:

*used part:

GoP --- Seed. The seeds have approximately the size and the shape of cardamom seeds (3 mm), but are reddish-brown in colour.

 

BC --- Seeds. Normally, the large (typically, 3 cm), brown pods are sold as a whole.

 

*Plant family:

GoP --- Zingiberaceae (ginger family).

BC --- Zingiberaceae (ginger family).

 

*Sensoric quality:

GoP --- Spicy, hot and warm, a little bitter.

BC --- Black cardamom has a fresh and aromatic, but also smoked aroma. Camphor is easily discernable in its odour.

 

*Main Constituents:

GoP --- In the acetone extract of Ghanese grains or paradise, the following hydroxyphenylalkanones were found:

1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-decan-3-one (called (6)-paradole),1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3-hendecan-3-one (called (7)-paradole) and 1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3-hendeca-4-ene-3-one (called (6)-shoagole) in approximately equal parts. (Phytochemistry, 14, 853, 1975).

   Other work reports (6)-paradole and (6)-gingerole (5-hydroxy-(6)-paradole).

 

BC --- The seeds contain 3% of an essential oil, which is dominated by 1,8-cineol (more that 70%). Smaller and variable amounts of limonene, terpinene, terpineol, terpinyl acetate and sabinene have also been reported (Phytochemistry, 9, 665, 1970)

 

*Origin:

GoP --- West Africa (Nigeria to Ghana). Most imports stem from Ghana. In the countries of origin, the seeds are used not only to flavour food, but they are also chewed on cold days to warm the body.

 

BC --- Several species of the genus Amomum are distributed all over the mountainous area from the Himalayas to Southern China. Furthermore, some   African cardamoms (genus Aframomum, in Madagaskar, Somalia and Kameroon) have a similar taste and appear sporadically on the Western market.

 

*Etymology:

GoP ---In the Middle Ages, the spice was termed graines of paradise because of its high value. Guinea and Malagetta refer to the region of origin.

About the elements -amomum in the genus name see cardamom.

 

BC ---  For the botanical genus name Amomum and for cardamom, see cardamom. The botanical species name subulatum derives from Latin subula "awl", referring probably to the awl-shaped and pointed leaves.

 

About the genus Amomum:

I am not sure on the origin of the old genus name Amomum and the modern form Cardamomum. The Greek name k·rdamon is recorded for a plant of probably Persian origin, but this seems more probably refer to a kind of cress.

In the New Testament (which was largely written in Greek), the name ·moomon appears in reference to an aromatic plant. This could be derived (and some books state so) from the adjective ·moomos "blameless, without reproach"; given, however, that ·moomos is a regional and poetic form, this seems less probable than (what other books state) the derivation from Aramaic hemama (of whose origin I know nothing).

 

The modern genus name Elettaria is derived from the local name in a South East Asian tongue (cf. Hindi elaichi).

 

The sensoric qualities and main constituents of Grains of Paradise and Black Cardamom are totally different so it's not the same spice =(.  (otherwise I would have raided a nearby store a long time ago, the sell black cardamom at a good price.

 

/Angus MacIomhair

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 21:50:40 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

Subject: Re: SC - grains of paradise

 

Cairistiona asked:

>Have been going over Francesco's marvellous description of grains of

>paradise again.  So are these the same thing that my Nepali friends here

>have been waving around as black cardamom?

 

No, they are different spices. Grains of Paradise are *Aframomum

meleguetta*, and come from West Africa; Black Cardamon is *Amomum subulatum*

and comes from northern India. As you may tell by the botanical names, they

are related, but less so than, for example, black pepper and cubebs. They

are not only different species but different (albeit close) genera. It's

notoriously hard to describe tastes, but one might say that grains of

paradise taste like a very much hotter, more peppery cardamom, while black

cardamon taste like a rougher cardamom, a little musty.

 

Francesco Sirene, Spicer / sirene  at silk.net

Visit our Website at http://www.silk.net/sirene/

 

 

Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 12:16:40 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne  at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Herb blends for soft cheeses--a question

 

> Sorry, I don't have any documentation.  I do think I'll look into the

> origins of black caraway.  They are used quite a bit in Russian, Greek and

> Middle Eastern foods, not so much in the new world.

 

Nigella (black cumin or black caraway) is alleged by Sophie Hodorowicz

Knab and by Maria Dembinska to be period as used in Polish _breads_.

Interestingly enough, there is very little documentation on cheeses and

milk products in the (secondary) sources on eastern europe that I have.

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          jenne  at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 09:12:29 -0400

From: "Jen Conrad" <tjconrad  at earthlink.net>

Subject: SC - Fw: Ian Hemphill's _Spice Notes_

 

From the rec.food.historic newsgroup.

 

Luveday

 

> Those of you not visiting Australia may miss out on a new compendium of

> herbs and spices. It is _Spice Notes_ by Ian Hemphill and can be ordered

> from

> http://www.herbies.com.au/

> I have no connection whatsoever with Hemphill, except that I have just

> bought a copy of the book.

> For each item there is a list of names in other languages, a general

> introduction, origin and history, processing, buying and storage, and

> use. Some 2 to 10 pages are devoted to each item.

> Items covered are:

> Ajowan, Alexanders, Allspice, Amchur, Angelica, Aniseed, Annatto Seed,

> Asafoetida, Balm, Barberry, Basil, Bay Leaves, Bergamot, Black Limes,

> Borage, Brown Cardamom, Bush Tomato, Calamus, Candle Nut, Caper,

> Caraway, Cardamom, Celery Seed, Chervil, Chicory, Chilli, Chives,

> Cinnamon and Cassia, Cloves, Coriander, Cress, Cumin, Curry Leaf, Dill,

> Elder, Epazote, Fennel, Fenugreek, FilÈ Powder, Galangal, Garlic,

> Ginger, Grains of Paradise, Horseradish, Juniper, Kaffir Lime Leaves,

> Kokam, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon, Myrtle, Lemon Verbena, Licorice

> Root, Lovage, Mahlab, Mastic, Mint, Mustard, Nigella, Nutmeg and Mace,

> Oregano and Marjoram, Orris Root, Pandan Leaf, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper

> - Mountain, Pepper - Pink, Schinus, Pepper - Szechwan, Pepper-Vine,

> Pomegranate, Poppy Seed, Purslane, Rocket, Rosemary, Safflower, Saffron,

> Sage, Salad Burnet, Salt, Savory, Sesame, Sorrel, Star Anise, Sumac,

> Sweet Cicely, Tamarind, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric, Vanilla, Vietnamese

> Mint, Wattleseed, Zedoary.

> A final section in this 497 page book deals with the art of combining

> spices into curry powders, etc..

> Don't buy the book for its illustrations - there aren't any!

> The text is light but scholarly.

> Richard Wright

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 22:21:21 -0000

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

Subject: Re: SC - Steamed Pudding Recipes - 2nd installment

 

[about comments that pimento = allspice]

 

Kiri wrote:

>All right.  Now I'm confused.  When I think "pimento", I think of a reddish

>pepper sort of thing that's sweet that I mix with mayo and cheddar cheese to

>make pimento cheese.  Surely this isn't what you're talking about!  The pimento

>I know is definitely a new world thing, and I've never seen it any way but in a

>small glass jar.

>So please, 'splain!

 

"...when Spanish explorers encountered the plant in Jamaica at the beginning

of the 16th century, they thought the berries resembled those of the pepper

and gave them names such as "Jamaica pepper", and "pimento" (from pimienta,

the Spanish word for peppercorn).

 

As for the peppers, pim(i)ento was originally used as a term to cover all

peppers. I¥ve read somewhere that the Spaniards (presumably a different set

of Spaniards from those who encountered the allspice berries) thought that

since this new spice was hotter and more potent than pepper (pimienta, which

is female), it had to be a male version, so they called it pimiento (male).

I have no idea if that is true.

 

Allspice is called pepper in many languages (Jamaica pepper, Nelkenpfeffer,

kryddpeppar, poivre de la jamaique, etc.), pimenta in others, but some names

also refer to its taste and aroma, which often seem like a blend of several

spices (in Icelandic, it is called allrahanda, which means "all sorts"; this

term is also used for mixed spice blends of the type I described in my

earlier post and sometimes you have no idea which of these things the term

refers to in a recipe.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 21:22:30 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Steamed Pudding Recipes - 2nd installment

 

Nanna RˆgnvaldardÛttir wrote:

> Allspice is called pepper in many languages (Jamaica pepper, Nelkenpfeffer,

> kryddpeppar, poivre de la jamaique, etc.), pimenta in others, but some names

> also refer to its taste and aroma, which often seem like a blend of several

> spices (in Icelandic, it is called allrahanda, which means "all sorts"; this

> term is also used for mixed spice blends of the type I described in my

> earlier post and sometimes you have no idea which of these things the term

> refers to in a recipe.

 

To add to the confusion, some French cooks refer to allspice as

quatre-epice, regardless of the fact that they also use an actual blend

of four spices (pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon) for a largely

similar purpose.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 11:44:45 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne  at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - orris/iris root

 

> After taking a closer look at a bottle of 'Bombay Sapphire' (gin) I came across a spice/herb I haven't heard of. All spices used in the gin are listed and one of them is orris.  On the label it says 'Orris (Iris root), from Italy'.

> I checked the spice pages at

> http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

> but couldn't find any info.  Anyone out there who could enlighten me ?

 

Um. Orris root is the rhizome from the Florentine Iris. These Irises have

a rhizome (sort of like a root, rather than a bulb: ginger, galangal, and

tumeric are all rhizomes), which is dried and powdered and sold as 'Orris

root'; also, the essential oil is extracted and sold as 'orris oil'.

Freshly ground Orris has a violet scent and I've read that it was

the primary ingredient in violet powder, along with oil of Parma violet.

 

It isn't generally used in cooking, though the Encyclopedia Britannica

does note that it is used in some gin.

 

If you want to make a period-style body powder or sachet, Orris powder

makes a good base.

--

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          jenne  at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 21:02:50 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: Re: Saumon Gentil (was: SC - Re: SC-  Turkish Food)

 

jenne at mail.browser.net writes:

<< Uh-- guys, where did the Gillyflowers go? And where the did the cloves come from?  >>

 

Gilliyflower being used to mean carnations is a later meaning of the word original the term meant cloves.

 

From Miriam-Webster:

gil*ly*flow*er (noun)[by folk etymology from Middle English gilofre clove, from Middle French girofle, gilofre, from Latin caryophyllum, from Greek karyophyllon, from karyon nut + phyllon leaf -- more at CAREEN, BLADE]First appeared 1551 : CARNATION 2

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 08:53:28 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne  at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - figs

 

> There's another ingredient here that I think you may need to be

> concerned with if you want the ingredients to be period for pre-1600

> Europe and I think that is the allspice.

> It was my understanding that allspice is a New World spice. I'm not

> sure when it became commonplace in Europe, especially in England.

 

Yup, you would be right, Stefan. The Encyclopedia Britannica sez, "The first record of its import to Europe is from 1601."

 

However, replacing allspice is relatively trivial, since the taste is a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Add some grated nutmeg, a bit more cinnamon & cloves, and omit the allspice.

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise          jenne  at mail.browser.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 10:27:45 -0700 (PDT)

From: Chris Stanifer <jugglethis  at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] False Cubeb Alert

 

During my search for a reliable cubeb source, I came

across this information, which I decided to post "just

in case"...

 

"Description : Among numerous false cubebs, the fruits

of Piper Crassipes are probably the best known. And

since they occur so frequently in commercial lots of

cubeb that they am often distilled with true cubeb, or

even distilled as true cubeb by unexperienced

distillers. The fruits of Piper Crassipes are

generally smaller than true cubebs and when crushed

between the fingers or in a mortar, they emit a sweet,

cineole type odor, in contrast to the spicy warm,

aromatic woody odor of true cubebs. The color of Piper

Crassipes fruits is grayish, while true cubebs are

brown or reddish brown in color. Oil of Piper

Crassipes is a greenish yellow, somewhat viscous

liquid of faint, but fresh medicinal odor, slightly

reminiscent of niaouli oil and with a dryout of a

clove terpene type odor or cedrela odorata type odor."

 

Is there a danger of getting "false cubeb" when we

order cubebs from our suppliers?  I don't know... but

now that we know the difference, we can keep an eye

out for it.

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 14:59:39 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ruth Frey <ruthf  at uidaho.edu>

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] More on cubebs.

 

> From: Chris Stanifer <jugglethis  at yahoo.com>

> In the previous site, the author advises that "true

> cubebs" can be differentiated from "false cubebs" by

> an examination of color.  True cubebs are a reddish

> brown, while false cubebs are more gray...

> However, in this site the author indicates cubebs are

> grayish in color.... hmmnn..

 

      Interesting. I recently came upon a possible

cubeb confusion myself, doing some research.  Most

modern sources say that "cubeb pepper" and "tailed

pepper" are the same thing; however Gerard (1633 ed.)

clearly differentiates between the two.  He has an

entry on tailed pepper, which he describes as being

similar to, but not the same as, cubebs.  However,

he doesn't seem to have an entry on cubebs (though

I have found a few glitches in his index before, and

that's a biiiiig book to page through looking for one

entry -- I might be wrong).

      FWIW, the "cubebs" I have on hand (ordered

from Seattle Spice Merchants, good company) are

definitely a dark reddish brown.  They have an excellent

spicy flavor that works well in marinades for meats.

Whatever they are, I like 'em!  :)

      For those interested, Seattle Spice Merchants

can be found at:

 

      http://www.worldspice.com

 

      Good prices, rare stuff, fast service (in my

experience, but then I live in the NW), and very

trusting -- order the spice via email, they send it

to you with an invoice, and then you send them a check.

I didn't know anyone still did business that way! :)

 

            -- Ruth Freebourne

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 13:09:29 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ruth Frey <ruthf  at uidaho.edu>

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] "Pleyn Delyt"

 

> In one recipe, the second edition calls for allspice. Allspice is not

> documented as being used in period (some sources say that Columbus

> brought it back, others that it was not imported until 1601), I'd

> advise using a different spice.

 

      I don't have the book at hand, and can't look up the

recipe you refer to, but one frequent modern substitution I've

seen recommended is the use of 1/2 allspice and 1/2 pepper to

simulate cubebs, for those who can't find them.  It actually

seems a reasonable substitution, flavor-wise, and I'm sure it

can make a big difference for someone just starting out who

really wants to try the flavors but might not have a full

spice cabinet yet.

      Not that real cubebs aren't more Period, and very

tasty, besides!  I would vastly prefer to use them.

      FWIW, the other, similar substitutions I've seen are

1/2 pepper and 1/2 cardamom for Grains of Paradise, and 1/2

pepper and 1/2 ginger for galangal.  Again, neither is as

satisfactory as the Real Thing, but they're a start.

 

            -- Ruth

 

 

From: "=?Windows-1252?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar  at isholf.is>

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cardamon

Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 02:54:06 -0000

 

From: Ron Rispoli <rispoli  at gte.net>

>Could someone tell me the differences between white, green

>and black cardamon?

 

White and green are the same, the white has just been bleached. Black or

brown is a different species (actually several species) and is usually

thought to be inferior, although it isn't neccessarily, it is just used

differently (tends to be used more in meat dishes and such, not in sweet

dishes).

 

Nanna

 

 

From: grizly  at mindspring.com

Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 23:08:24 -0400

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cardamon

 

sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org wrote:

> Hail the list,Could someone tell me the differences between white, green

and black cardamon? thanks. >>

 

On researching Gernot Katzer's spice pages, I found this link for you:

http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

 

Green and Black cardamom can be found in the index under 'C' for cardamom.

White is right out.  No reference

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 11:27:05 -0700

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

To: sca-cooks <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>, Iron Chef <ironchef  at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Spice website

 

I've just been turned on to a pretty awesome website listing a whole

world full of spices, their uses, their names in every language I can

think of and many I can't, etc.

 

<http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/spice_large.html>;

 

Selene Sue

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 12:29:59 +1000

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] garam marsala

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

Organization: Airservices Australia

 

""Two questions.

""

""How does one get the cardamom out of the pods? (I always buy mine

""already free and clear of the little pod)

 

Use a fingernail to split the pod and gently invert.  The seeds are

loose inside.  I always buy pods if I can get then as they keep the

seeds fresher.

 

""and

""WHAT is a cinnamon quill? I have heard of cinnamon "sticks", even cassia

""sticks, but never quills.

 

Quill, stick.  It's the same thing...

 

Drake.

 

""Micaylah

 

 

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 03:59:01 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] spices question

From: Morgana Abbey <morgana.abbey  at juno.com>

 

Nigella seeds:  nifty little black seeds, mildly onion-like flavour.

Related to the ornamental "love-in-a-mist."  Used in pastries, especially

Indian ones.

 

Morgana

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] spices question

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 06:26:35 -0600

 

>> Nigella seeds

>What are Nigella seeds and where are they used?

>--

>THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

IIRC, they are the seeds of wild fennel, which is several plants in the

genus Nigella.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 09:28:44 -0800

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

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] spices question

 

Morgana Abbey wrote:

> Nigella seeds:  nifty little black seeds, mildly onion-like flavour.

> Related to the ornamental "love-in-a-mist."  Used in pastries, especially

> Indian ones.

 

They are also known as "black caraway" although I am not sure they are

closely related to the familiar brown caraway.  I discovered them first in

real Armenian string cheese, not the pale American version, this stuff comes

in skeins, you could practically tat with it.  I seem to remember seeing a

mention of them in Russian rye bread, which sounds really nice.

 

Selene, Caid

 

 

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Iron Chef Medieval Persian...

From: "Christina L Biles" <bilescl at okstate.edu>

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 08:30:17 -0600

 

Anahita wrote:

>>>Of course i couldn't find musk flavoring either, which was supposed

to be in the dates and in the syrup... Anyone know where i can find

some? I hear they have musk flavored life-savers in Australia...

anyway to get some musk flavoring?

 

There is an herb - musk seed, musk mallow, Egyptian alcee, target-leaved

hibiscus, Ambrette Seed, Hibiscus abelmoschus - which is used as a musk

substitute.  Specifically, an oil prepared from the seeds is used.

 

So, you might try looking for ambrette oil.

 

-Magdalena

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] vanilla beans

Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 06:26:11 -0600

 

>Vanilla is New World. I can't think of any late period recipes using

>them, but I don't know the late period sources that well.

>Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

According to my notes, the first recorded appearance of vanilla in English

is in Indian Nectar (1662), where it is described as a flavoring agent for

chocolate.  A couple of sources place its arrival in Europe as 1527 with the

return of Hernando Cortez.  I have nothing suggesting vanilla was actually

used prior to 1600. If there is, it is most likely in Spanish sources.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 10:57:12 -0500

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] vanilla beans

 

"Then, in 1602, Hugh Morgan, apothecary to

Queen Elizabeth I, suggested that vanilla

could be used as a flavoring all by itself,

and the versatility of the exotic bean was finally uncovered."

http://www.nielsenmassey.com/historyofvanilla.htm

[note the source of the story]

This story is repeated in the Florilegium, but cites

another flavouring company.

 

Oddly, enough Andrew Dalby repeats "It was Hugh Morgan,

apothecary to Oueen Elizabeth I, who is said to have

suggested the use of vanilla as a flavouring for other foods."

Dangerous Tastes, p.148.

 

If the Hugh Morgan connection is true, then the uses seem

to have been medicinal. It may well occur in medicinal recipes

in the 17th century, but there don't seem to be other recorded

instances or recipes in the literature to support the claim.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 11:11:02 -0500

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] vanilla beans

 

One more source on vanilla---

There are recipes for chocolate that

use vanilla published in France by M

St. Disdier in 1692.

See Sophie and Michael Coe's The True

History of Chocolate. pp.162-164.

 

She mentions Hernandez's account of an

Aztec recipe for chocolate that inflames the

venereal appetites on pages 90-94. It also

includes mention of vanilla.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

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

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

Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 12:43:22 -0600

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cloves and possible addition to the glossary

 

> original stuff.  Also, I wasn't sure what powdour gylofre

> (cloves) until AFTER I made the first batch.

> --Artemesia

 

You're running up against Norman English.  Glyofre is the clove tree

(Syzygium aromaticum).  The term "clove" means "nail" and it derives from

the Latin "clavus" through the Old French "clou (de girofle)" or "nail (of

the clove tree)."

 

Using the term nail to mean a whole clove is fairly common.  In German

recipes, you will find them referred to as "neglein" or "naegelen" or

"gewuertz naegelen."  Modernly, they are "Gewuertz Nelke" or "spice nails."

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 21:57:24 -0500

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

From: Angie Malone <alm4 at cornell.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] encyclopedia of spices

 

I found an interesting site that included a spice encyclopedia.  I think it

is actually a place that sells spices but the encyclopedia looked useful.

 

Here's the URL:    http://www.theepicentre.com/index.html

 

      Angeline

 

 

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

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 21:57:56 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] encyclopedia of spices

 

Interesting site.  For spice and herb information, I rather like Gernot

Katzer's Spice Pages:

http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy  at silk.net>

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Blattes de Bysance" in the Baghdad cookery book

Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 23:38:04 -0700

 

The direct meaning of the "blattes de Byzance" is the operculum or

shell-hinge of a species of mollusc, used in perfumery. However, Arberry's

translation was confused because the editor of the Arabic version of the

text, not finding the actual word used in his modern Arabic dictionaries,

had altered the spelling to what he guessed it might be, and so got the

wrong word. I include below a bit out a survey of spice mixes which I am

working on, which should give you an idea of the real thing

 

Francesco Sirene

 

ATRAF AT-TIB ("PARTICLES OF PERFUME")

 

This is the spice mix most often called for in the Wusla; in the Kitab

al-tabikh it appears in eight recipes, including meat stew, fish dishes,

savory relishes, and sauces. [Arberry, "Baghdad Cookery-Book", pp. 36, 203,

205-207. Arberry's confusion about the name and composition of this

seasoning, which he translates as "blattes de Bysance" (an odiferous

substance, the operculums of the shells of Strombus lentigosus, which is

used in perfumery), is corrected in Rodinson, "Recherches", p. 132.]

 

" . . .definition of "atraf at-tib"; it is a spice mixture very often used

in cooking; this mixture includes lavender, areca (betel) nut, bay leaves,

nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves, rosebuds, beechnuts, ginger and pepper, this

last being previously ground separately." [Rodinson, "Recherches", pp. 132,

152. My translation from the French.]

 

Considering the complexity and types of ingredients in this mixture, it

seems to be an ancestor of the modern Moroccan mixture called ras el hanout

("top (or head) of the shop"), perhaps because it is the finest and best the

spice merchant has to offer. Ras el hanout will include anywhere from ten

spices upwards to perhaps more than a hundred ingredients.

 

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

>Does anyone who what this mystery ingredient is?  Our cook's

>guild is doing Middle Eastern for the next meeting, so I've been

>reading through the Anonymous Andalusian and al-Baghdadi.  The

>literal translation seems to be "cockroaches of Byzantium".  I

>thought I'd seen this discussed somewhere, but a Google search

>isn't turning anything up.

>Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

 

 

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

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 09:56:54 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Marzipan

 

On 27 Jul 2002, at 1:24, Patricia Collum wrote:

> May I ask- what is sanders?

> Cecily

 

Sanders is the powdered bark of red sandalwood.  It was used as a

food coloring in the Middle Ages.  It can be ordered from specialty

spice dealers.  Alternatively, you could use a small amount of red

food coloring.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

rcmann4 at earthlink.net

 

 

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

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

Subject: Nigella was (Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for an sources of:)

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 12:37:19 -0600

 

Nigella is the seed of Nigella sativa (also known as fennel flower or wild

fennel). Nigella is also referred to as black caraway, black cumin and

black onion seed.  Chernushka (or charnushka) is the Russian name.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:05:12 -0800

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah  at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Nigella, was Looking for an sources of:

 

Some additional information on nigella (Nigella sativa):

 

Nigella was used by the Romans, according to one web site - and we

all know how trustworthy the web is in general :-0 Can anyone verify

or expand on this?

 

It is currently used in Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey, as well as

Armenia, North India, and Pakistan.

 

Nigella is known as kalonji in Indian markets and sometimes "black

onion seeds", although it isn't an onion. Nigella is in the

Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family.

 

I've found some inaccurate attributions. Nigella is NOT black cumin

and it is NOT black caraway.

 

Black cumin is also known as kala jira, kala jeera, and kala zeera.

Botanically it is Bunium persicum. It is related to the "light" cumin

we commonly use. The seed called black caraway is usually just black

cumin.

 

Both cumin and black cumin and caraway are in Apiaceae (parsley

family). Nigella is not an Apiaceae and is therefore not related to

any cumin or caraway.

 

Another confusing seed is known in North India as ajwan, ajowan,

ajwain. Botanically it can be called Carum ajowan, Trachyspermum

ammi, Ptychotis ajowan, or Trachyspermum copticum, according to

Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages - and i trust him. He has done amazing

research. I've corresponded with him and he really wants good

information. Ajwan, too, is in the Parsley family (Apiaceae), along

with cumin, black, cumin, and caraway.

 

Anyway, ajwan is colored and shaped like cumin, but a bit shorter and

rounder. It is sometimes called lovage seed, but Gernot Katzer thinks

this is a misnomer. Lovage is also in the Apiaceae family but it is

botanically Levisticum officinale.

 

Other Apiaceae are anise, asafoetida, celery, chervil, coriander,

dill, fennel - along with cumin, caraway, lovage, and ajwan... and

the long lost silphium.

 

For good information on nigella, see:

http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/generic_frame.html?Buni_per.html

 

This site is an excellent source of information on a huge range of

herbs and spices. He gives botanical names, pharmaceutical names,

names in a really wide range of languages, and historical, sensory,

and culinary information.

http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/generic_frame.html?spice_welcome.html

 

The site is written in frames (and well written) but Gernot gives you

the option of not using frames, if you prefer.

 

Anahita

 

 

From: jenne  at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 18:35:00 -0500 (EST)

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] UCLA Medicinal Spices Exhibit

 

Very cool site reviewed in LIIWEEK:

 

Spices: Exotic Flavors and Medicines

     Contains basic facts, photographs, and illustrations of

     nearly thirty herbs and spices. Explores the importance of

     spices, culinary aspects, perfumes and incense, and the

     use of spices as aphrodisiacs and medicines. Includes a

     timeline history of the spice trade, and a chart measuring

     the hotness of various spices. Searchable and browsable.

     From the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of

     California, Los Angeles.

     http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa   jenne  at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 10:56:25 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Anniversary of Amore

From: Daniel Myers <doc  at medievalcookery.com>

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

 

On Friday, January 24, 2003, at 02:40 PM, CorwynWdwd  at aol.com wrote:

> [ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]

> In a message dated 1/23/2003 10:35:39 PM Eastern Standard Time,

> kattratt  at charter.net writes:

>> Sandalwood is edible isn't it?  Corwyn?  I think I have seen it in

>> recipes... I know that Vanilla and Sandalwood together are a great

>> aphrodisiac....

> RED Sandalwood was (and sometimes still is) used as a food coloring.

> While I

> don't know if the standard yellow stuff is food safe, I'd assume so...

> probably tastes yucky, but in the amounts you'd use it probably

> wouldn't kill

> you... I think I'd use some food grade musk with some rose maybe...

 

Yikes! No, yellow sandalwood is *NOT* food safe.

 

Yellow Sandalwood (Santalum album) is a completely different plant from

Red Sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus).

 

One site selling Yellow Sandalwood has this warning:   "Not for use by

persons with diseases of the parenchyma of the kidney. Do not use for

more than six weeks in succession without consulting a physician."

 

Another site notes:  "Some people may experience mild skin irritation

from topical application of sandalwood oil.  Persons with kidney

disease should not use sandalwood internally.  Until more is known,

sandalwood oil should be avoided for internal use during pregnancy and

lactation.=A0 Infants and children should not take sandalwood oil

internally."

 

Also note that most sites advocating its use recommend something in the

range of 1 to 2 grams for *external* use.

 

So while a very small amount would probably not be harmful, its use in

larger amounts is not advisable, and it should not be given to anyone

unawares.

 

Red Sandalwood on the other hand is essentially harmless - if used in

too great a quantity however, your food will taste like sawdust.

 

- Doc

 

Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

http://www.medievalcookery.com/

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 23:10:27 -0700

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5  at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

At 09:20 PM 10/16/2003,Barbara Benson said something like:

> I have come across some one else providing a suggestion for a Cubeb

> substitution. They said that a combination of black pepper and allspice

> would be a good substitute.

> This is a sub that I have not come across, and I am having a hard time

> envisioning the flavor combination.

> Anybody have 2 cents worth?

> I know allspice isn't period, but in a crunch this might be useful.

> Serena da Riva

 

Yes, thats about the flavor of a cubeb, if you had to fake it with

something else.

 

There is a recipe somewhere, is it losyns? that calls for cubebs to be

crushed and put in.

 

In the Joy of Cooking, so I hear, is a noodle recipe similar to losyns,

with the noodles, cheese, etc .. and it calls for pepper and alllspice?

nutmeg? to be sprinkled over.   Just yet another giggle as to how a  

recipe is slowly adapted for modern use.

 

Maggie MacD.

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 05:54:32 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat  at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

> I have come across some one else providing a suggestion for a Cubeb

> substitution. They said that a combination of black pepper and allspice

> would be a good substitute.

 

Yeah, that's not actually too far from a sorta-flavor match.

Cubebs aren't that hard to find, if you need some, though.  I betcha the

Pepperers' Guild (link off His Grace's website was working last time I

checked) sells them.  Heck, I can even get them locally.

 

--maire

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 09:09:15 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne  at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

> I have come across some one else providing a suggestion for a Cubeb

> substitution. They said that a combination of black pepper and allspice

> would be a good substitute.

> This is a sub that I have not come across, and I am having a hard time

> envisioning the flavor combination.

> Anybody have 2 cents worth?

 

Hm... a little allspice in with the peppers should work. However, I would

think that in period a different substitution would be used-- I read

somewhere that juniper berries were sometimes used when you couldn't

afford cubeb, or you might use pepper by itself.

 

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

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 08:28:41 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <dailleurs  at liripipe.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

>>>>> 

Hm... a little allspice in with the peppers should work. However, I would

think that in period a different substitution would be used-- I read

somewhere that juniper berries were sometimes used when you couldn't

afford cubeb, or you might use pepper by itself.

 

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

<<<<<< 

 

Hmm! I wouldn't consider juniper berries a match in flavor at all, in

spite of them being vaguely the same shape (round) and same color

(black) ;).

 

If you don't have cubeb, I'd use pepper and a tetch of ginger. If you

don't even have ginger, you could just use pepper. The flavor of cubebs

is a little more "interesting" than that, but a good tellicherry

peppercorn might come sorta close.

 

You can buy cubebs from worldspice at www.worldspice.com. Tell Tony hiya

from Anne-Marie :)

 

--AM

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 11:41:36 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne  at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

> Hmm! I wouldn't consider juniper berries a match in flavor at all, in

> spite of them being vaguely the same shape (round) and same color

> (black) ;).

 

Oh no, definitely not a match in flavor. I just mentioned them because

I've seen references to them being used _in period_ in dishes in place of

cubebs.

 

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

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 17:40:24 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne  at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] juniper as pepper substitute

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

 

Dalby mentions juniper as a cheap pepper substitute on p. 133 of

_Dangerous Tastes_

 

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

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 02:49:31 -0400

From: Alex Clark <alexbclark  at pennswoods.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question on Cubebs

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

 

At 12:20 AM 10/17/2003 -0400, Serena da Riva wrote:

>I have come across some one else providing a suggestion for a Cubeb

>substitution. They said that a combination of black pepper and allspice

>would be a good substitute.

>. . .

>I know allspice isn't period, but in a crunch this might be useful.

 

Having just bitten a whole cubeb and a whole allspice berry, I don't think

they're all that similar (other than in size, shape, and color). Cubebs

taste at least about as much like caraway seeds as like allspice.

 

I suspect that this suggested substitution only works to the extent that

allspice is similar to a lot of other spices, as its name suggests. Of

course it's also different from each of the others, but often not as

distinctively different as some other spices are. This makes it an obvious

(though not always suitable) choice for many substitutions.

 

As a practical substitute, I'd suggest using a much smaller amount of

freshly ground black pepper. The flavor is similar, though pepper is

hotter. But the ideal solution would be to keep up a supply of cubebs. :-)

 

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 13:01:31 -0400

From: "Barbara Benson" <vox8  at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT:  milled pinks

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

 

The flower dianthus, in period known as a "Pink" has leaves that are clove

scented and flavored. They were used in period as a cheap clove substitute.

I don't know anything about Animal Horn, but the Pink (or Gillyflower) would

give you the clove scent and flavor.

As with Phlip, I have no clue about this tidbit of information in relation

to your question, but I think it might be relavent.

 

Serena da Riva

 

> > Does anyone know what milled pinks are?

> >

> > I have a German cookie recipe which calls for "a little milled pinks"

> > which I want to try.

> >

> > Marina

> Phlip:

> Margali said that last year, we were discussing leavening agents, of the

> more exotic variety, ground pinks refers to ground animal horn, and that in

> the modern version of the recipe, Germans use ground cloves to get the same

> sharpness of flavor in the dough. This is from her German friend, Christian-

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 16:52:09 -0600

From: "KarenO" <karen_ostrowski  at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] juniper berries in period recipes?

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

 

> On 10/21/2003 , Harris Mark.S-rsve60 wrote:

>> Marina answered me with:  They are also very nice mixed with white  

>> wine in a marinade for roast pork.(also not period) <<<

>> 

>> So, do you put them in whole or crush them?

>> Stefan

 

My spice book says that the berries were used by enterprising Romans to

adultarate pepper, and were burned in the Middle Ages to clean the air  

of pestilence. They are a natural foil for game & fatty foods.

 

Actually the berries crush very easily -- I use them often for marinades &

as an addition for my pepper mix.  They go well with beef, apples, cabbage,

game pork,  & goose;  and they combine well with bay, caraway, celery,

garlic, rosemary, savory, thyme, & marojam.

 

Andrew Dalby writes: "Their use in Roman cookery is really one more

indication of the popularity of pepper, because juniper berries served  

as a cheap pepper substitute."

 

Caointiarn

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 08:06:48 -0500

From: James May <james.may  at mchsi.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Need some Help with Spanish Recipes....

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

 

> what are grains of paradise?

> Angharad ferch Iorwerth; MKA Vicki Shaw

 

  A good site to bookmark is

http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

 

You can find most spices listed with some history, alternate language

spelling, botanical info, uses, and sources.

 

Jehan Yves

 

 

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 20:33:28 -0600

From: Thebard thebard3  at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malabathrum and unrelated Penzey's paprika

      recall

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

 

Sharon Gordon wrote:

> Does anyone know of a source in the US for the spice malabathrum or

> for a live plant?

> I checked the florilegium, where it's listed as an ingredient in a

> recipe, but no discussion of a source.

 

Looked a few of my more esoteric sources and from what I’ve found out

it’s almost impossible to find outside of N. India. But was told that if

you're lucky, and near a large city, you can sometimes find them in

ethnic markets labeled Indian Bay (Cinnammum tejpata).

 

But I’ve had a few people tell me that Boldo leaves (Boldu boldus) from

S. America can be used as a substitute, if you can find them, but they

are slightly bitter. I was told that you could also use a small piece of

cinnamon bark as well.

 

Sorry I couldn't find anything more useful, hope this helps a little

though.

 

 

Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 22:20:38 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <edouard  at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malabathrum and unrelated Penzey's paprika

      recall

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

 

I've found one source so far - IndoMerchant.com - that is selling them

as "Daun Salam"

 

      http://www.indomerchant.com/inbayeavdau.html

 

Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages describe them as a member of the Laurel

family, specifically Cinnamomum tamala (it also states that the

plant's bark can be used as an inferior substitute for cinnamon or

cassia).

 

The Cook's Thesaurus [ http://ww.foodsubs.com/HerbsAsian.html ]

suggests using curry leaves or bay leaves as a substitute.

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 10:46:06 -0400

From: "Kirsten Houseknecht" <kirsten  at faricdragon.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fw: Link to spice page

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

 

my hubby found this.......

it lists the history and origin o a lot of spices (where from, etc)

and i thought it might be useful.

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

 

Kirsten Houseknecht

Fabric Dragon

kirsten  at fabricdragon.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 14:33:34 -0400

From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse  at one.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Spice:The History of a Temptation

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

 

New book:

Spice : The History of a Temptation

 

by JACK TURNER

Publication date: August 10, 2004

Publisher: Knopf

Binding: Hardcover

ISBN: 0375407219

Amazon Rnk: 404

 

Info about book

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0375407219/ref=pe_al_s_e9/104-3015165-0070345?v=glance&;s=books

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 14:00:05 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Anise v. Star Anise Re: [Sca-cooks] Herby things

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

 

> Aniseed could probably be substituted for star anise, but I would taste

> carefully because it is strong stuff!  I have only found star anise for

> sale pre-ground in a Chinese market.

 

Bear in mind that period European recipes that call for anise or aniseed

are calling for Pimpinella anisum, regular anise. Star anise does not

appear to have been imported to Europe in the period covered by the SCA.

--

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

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 14:14:16 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Herby things

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

 

Susan Fox-Davis wrote:

> Aniseed could probably be substituted for star anise, but I would

> taste carefully because it is strong stuff!  I have only found star

> anise for sale pre-ground in a Chinese market.

 

I got the actual stars from Penzey's...and I wouldn't substitute

aniseed...I think the flavors are somewhat different.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 13:49:30 -0800 (PST)

From: Samrah <auntie_samrah at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cardamom (was rosewater)

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

 

With all due respect, I will have to disagree with Jadwiga on this one.

Not getting uppity or snippy here, my herbalist soul craves whole

and/or fresh anything whenever available, and cardamom is my favorite

spice ;o)  My family has used both ground and whole cardamom for

generations.

 

Yes, the ground stuff does lose its potency faster than whole spice.  

All spices do. (I never use ground nutmeg, always grate whole myself.)  

But if you start with a fresh ground cardamom, preferably from an

Indian market, it will be fine for several months.  Then you can add

more spice or purchase new spice.

 

I paid $8 for 7 oz whole, and about $3.50 for 3-1/2 oz. ground in the

beginning of December.  Both are still in good shape.  The prices at

regular (ie, non-ethnic) markets for cardamom can be outrageous, even

wholesale. And, in my experience, the quality is not as nice, even

from the "high-class" type suppliers/establishments.  Much better to

deal with Indian markets if you can find one.

 

Samrah

(in mostly sunny Wintermist, Caid, mka Bakersfield, California)

 

PS. I have also used essential oil of cardamom as a flavoring.  It is

expensive, but very nice.

 

Thus spaketh Jadwiga, honourable herbalist and cardamom-lover:

> Ground cardamom does NOT keep effectively. Getting whole cardamom and

> grinding it when you need it is the ONLY way to go. Ok, so I love

> cardamom and I'm an herbalist so I'm a little emphatic. But really,

> ground cardamom loses most of its essential oils in a week to a month

> and it just isn't worth it.

 

 

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 03:29:02 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cardamom (was rosewater)

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

 

My East Indian friends recommend the green cardamom (colour of shell)

over the black, so that's what I buy.  In my opinion, worth every

penny to get the whole stuff and mortar it before use.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:25:20 -0500

From: "Martin G. Diehl" <mdiehl at nac.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Books for Cooks at British Library

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

 

Daniel Myers wrote:

> On Mar 10, 2005, at 12:09 PM, JohnnaHolloway wrote:

>> British Library has an online display up on Books for Cooks

>> http://www.bllearning.co.uk/live/text/cookery/

> Aaarrrggh!

> "Food was flavoured with as many spices as could be

> afforded,  just to disguise the flavour of salt,

> pickling vinegar or putridness."

> *sigh*

> - Doc

 

Here is a different spin on that ...

 

"The Consumption of Spices and Their Costs in Late-Medieval

and Early-Modern Europe: Luxuries or Necessities?";

http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/SPICES1.tm

 

Vincenzo

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 18:01:26 -0400

From: "The Borg" <The_Borg1 at comcast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] New site

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

 

I just found this lecture The Consumption of Spices and Their Costs in  

Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Europe: Luxuries or Necessities? by  

Prof. John Munro of University of Torornto.

 

I thought you all might be interested.

 

http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/SPICES1.htm

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 15:14:03 -0700 (PDT)

From: Samrah <auntie_samrah at yahoo.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] nibbles: fennel docs

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

 

kingstaste at mindspring.com wrote:

Fennel seeds as well. I have a reference but don't know where it came from,

about keeping fennel seeds in one's pockets to nibble on during long church

services. It sweetens the breath and is an appetite suppressant.

 

Christianna

<<< 

 

Just in case anybody needs docs on this stuff.  It is probably easier  

for me to look it up than many folks ;o)  If anybody actually needs  

full-on bibliography, please let me know, otherwise I just list IBSN.

 

I remember the reference to munching on fennel seeds during boring  

church sermons, but can't seem to find the source either.

 

Fennel is mentioned in Gerard, p. 242, (my copy is IBSN 1 85958 0513),  

but I hate Gerard as a source.  He knew their were 1500 errors in his  

herbal and had the dern thing published anyway--much less how much info  

we have now found to be incorrect!

 

Lathrop, Herbs How to Select, Grow & Enjoy, IBSN 0-89586077-5, p. 67,  

dates fennel to 490 BC in Greece.  Sunset Herbs an Illustrated Guide  

IBSN 0-376-03324-X, p. 56, states "In continental Europe, the spread of  

fennel was furthered by the decree of Charlemagne, who specified its  

cultivation on the imperial plantations."

 

Fennel is also an excellent diuretic (Lawless, Enc. of Essential Oils,  

IBSN 1-85230-311-5, p. 97), and from personal experience.  Many of you  

probably know this, but it is used as a seasoning in Italian sausage so  

quite often around here we order pizza for swollen feet, etc.  Usual  

disclaimers: I'm not an M.D., not prescribing, consult your health  

care professionals, etc., just sayin' occasionally we order Italian  

sausage pizza....

 

Samrah

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 07:44:21 -0800

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] An interesting proposal...

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

 

It's worth mentioning for the benefit of USAians that what most of Europe

calls "pimento" is what we call "allspice" rather than the sliced mild

red peppers in a jar that we usually see labeled "pimentoes".

 

Dame Selene Colfox

 

 

Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 07:59:14 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Outlandish Seige contest - further thoughts

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

 

I love nigella seeds.  They are not really "peppery" so much as mild but

pleasant. Mostly we see them imbedded in Armenian string cheese, the

kind that looks like a real braid of yarn;  and on top of Afgan flat

bread. I might strew them over a salad or creamy soup like a Vichyssoise

some time. They are often labeled as "Black Caraway" but are actually

unrelated.

 

Cheers, Selene

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 09:28:06 EDT

From: Devra at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spice Islands

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

This month's Saveur Magazine has an article on food  of the Spice Islands. A

prime example of change in food (almost every recipe  includes large numbers

of Thai chilie peppers) the article has something very  nice: photos of whole

fresh nutmegs in their fleshy casings, fresh galangale,  and fresh tumeric.

Their comments on the shelf life of spices are also very  -um- enlightening.

 

   Devra

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 08:16:34 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spice Islands

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

 

The book to read that they don't mention is Giles Milton's

Nathaniel's Nutmeg which came out in 1999. It's all about the

17th century battle over Run.

 

Johnnae

 

Devra at aol.com wrote:

> This month's Saveur Magazine has an article on food  of the Spice Islands. A

> prime example of change in food (almost every recipe  includes large numbers

> of Thai chilie peppers) the article has something very  nice: photos of whole

> fresh nutmegs in their fleshy casings, fresh galangale,  and fresh tumeric.

> Their comments on the shelf life of spices are also very  -um- enlightening.

>    Devra

 

 

Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 11:06:25 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] filet powder

To: <hlaislinn at earthlink.net>,   "Cooks within the SCA"

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

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

Does anyone know exactly what is in filet powder? It shouldn't be hard to

make our own.

 

~Aislinn~

Et si omnes ego non.> > > > > > >

 

Powdered sassafrass leves.  See

http://www.foodreference.com/html/artfilegumbo.html to wit:

 

FILE (GUMBO FILE)

File, or as it is also known because of its association with gumbo, gumbo

file, is the powdered dried leaves of the sassafras tree. The Choctaw

Indians (Mississippi and Alabama) first used this seasoning. It has a flavor

resembling that of root beer. It is an essential flavoring and thickening

ingredient of gumbo and other Creole dishes. File is generally added after

cooking, when the dish has been removed from the heat, but still hot,

because it becomes stringy with cooking.

 

Buy in small quantities, file powder loses its flavor when stored for long

periods.

 

Store in a cool dry place for 3-4 months.

1 pound = 6 cups.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 23:11:59 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Green cardamom?

To: "Christiane" <christianetrue at earthlink.net>,   "Cooks within the

      SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Cardomom appears in the writings of Pliny and Dioscorides and it appears to

have been a popular spice in Rome.  It's original introduction into Europe

was probably in the 4th Century BCE to the Greeks.  The problem is we can't

tell from the writing what type of cardomom was being used.

 

There is also a question as to whether cardomom was substituted for grains

of paradise or vice-versa, which generated an extensive debate on the list.

You should be able to find it in the Florilegium.

 

Bear

 

> I picked up some green cardamom yesterday at an Indian grocery (whole pods

> with seeds). I know of its use and versatility in Indian cooking, but I am

> curious as to its historical use, in Western medieval and Middle Eastern

> medieval cooking.

> Gianotta

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 10:35:57 -0600 (GMT-06:00)

From: smcclune at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cubebs, was Recipe(s) Request

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

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

> From: "Caointiarn" <caointiarn1 at bresnan.net>

> Where did you find cubebs??!!   I'm done to a measly small number, and need

> to find more!  I'm teaching a spice class for the Kingdom Collegium, and

> would like to get more.

<<< 

 

Umm ... if I may ... while I wholeheartedly support doing business  

with SCA merchants, if you just can't find them that way ...

 

Amazon.com has them for $16.33 for a 1-lb. bag:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Blessac-The-European-importer-spices/dp/

B000CER5K2/ref=sr_1_4/104-0684337-9427949?ie=UTF8&s=gourmet-

food&qid=1177603015&sr=8-4

 

or

 

http://tinyurl.com/2am2rd

 

Interestingly, they say that people who bought cubebs also bought  

Grains of Paradise and Long Pepper.  Ya think?!?

 

Arwen Southernwood

Outlands

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 09:01:37 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Setting up a new kitchen

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

 

One easy way to think about this is to take a look at

Doc's site http://www.medievalcookery.com/index.shtm

 

There's a section there on spices based on how often they appear

in medieval cookbooks.

http://www.medievalcookery.com/spices.shtm

 

You might find that helpful as you can browse the list and see what  

appears.

 

Johnnae

 

> Snipped --what would you recommend as essential to own for

> someone new to period cooking?  What spices are essential, what

> pantry items so necessary that you'd hate to be without?  (Bonus

> points for sources to purchase :) ).

> --Brygyt Strangewayes

> (mka Juliann)

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:01:20 -0400

From: Jehan Yves de Chateau Thiery <jehan.yves at signofthetiger.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Photos of Spices

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

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

At 01:20 PM 10/18/2007, you wrote:

> Greetings!  For anyone who doesn't know what a cubeb, long pepper or mace

> look like, go to tudorcook.blogspot.com/ where some lovely closeup photos

> appear.  There also are great photos of garlic and nutmeg.  The blog is for

> the Tudor Cooks at Hampton Court, in case you have not heard of this

> fascinating web page.

> Alys Katharine

 

         Another good site for almost any spice in existence is

Gernot Katzer's Spice pages at:

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/index.html

 

He gives "history, chemical constituents, and the etymology of their

names. Last but not least, there are numerous photos featuring the

live plants or the dried spices."

 

JehanYves

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 20:27:31 +1030

From: "David & Sue Carter" <sjcarter at dove.net.au>

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

Subject: Nice Spice Book

 

I have recently purchased this book, and wish to recommend it to list

members:

 

Ian Hemphill

"Spice Notes: A cooks compendium of herbs and spices"

Pan Macmillan Australia ISBN 0 7329 1052 8 Hardback, first published 2000

 

Ian is the son of Rosemary and John Hemphill, well known Australian

authorities on spices, who have published numerous excellent books. Ian and

his wife, as second generation Hemphills, have a specialty spice shop in

Sydney.

 

This book is 500 pages of detailed information, designed to be a cooks

reference book. There is a current trend for such books at the moment and

this is one of the better ones in that it actually info on ingredients

history in it, not just promised on the cover. However, I would have

preferred better citation of the facts, despite the comprehensive

Bibliography.

The book has 3 main sections

The first is the shortest and is a general how to purchase and store spices.

The second part is a A-Z . It has most any herb or spice you could want.

For each on it gives other common names, the botanical name, names in other

languages, weight per teaspoon (VERY useful), and some suggestions for

quantities, complementary foods, combinations etc: and all this is in the

margin notes. The text gives you origin and history, description, how it is

processed, form and storage, tips for usage. Many of the entries have a full

recipe (mundane).  All the SCA relevant herbs and spices are here, including

a good description of the different sorts of pepper, and a good account of

how mastic is sourced. Asafoetida, grains of paradise, galangal etc are also

here.

The third section considers the art of combining spices, and while useful in

its discussion of regional varieties, and its recipes for classic spice

mixes, it is less SCA relevant than the other two sections.

 

At $50.00 AUS, its not cheap (well, not for us Aussies, but anyone in the US

or UK can do the math into their own currency and have a nice surprise), but

my copy already has thumb marks and I learnt three new things just leafing

through it in the book shop.

 

Yours,

Esla

(Sue Carter)

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 06:59:33 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking Costus...

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

 

Costus or costum is believed to be the root of Saussurea lappa and is sometimes carried in health food stores under the names costus, kut, kut root or kushtha. A couple of other common names are saw wort and snow lotus, but they are used rather loosely when referring to various members of the genus (containing 300 or so members).

 

Bear

 

> I'd love to get some of the root variously called Costus and Costum

> in most of the books i've read, and also called putchuk and kusht in

> "Flavours of Byzantium" by Andrew Dalby.

> We have an excellent spice shop in town, called "Lhasa Karnak", which

> carries lots of seasoning and medicinal herbs and spices, but they

> don't have it - heck, for reasons i don't know, they don't carry long

> pepper - i have to get it at, of all places, "Whole Foods".

> I did a web search, but didn't turn up anyone selling it. Has anyone

> come across it for sale?

> --

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

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 10:23:07 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Book opinion request

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

 

Christina Nevin wrote:

> Has anyone seen this book:

> The Spice Route: A History, by John Keay. Berkeley: University of

> California Press, 2006, [first published by John Murray Ltd., London]

> Opinions please? MTIA,

> Lucrezia

 

There are so many of these spice trade and spice route books out there

that it's hard to say

which brings what to the table and how useful any single title would be

to any given person.

 

In the past few years we have had:

Jack Turner's *Spice: The History of a Temptation.

*Michael Krondl's* **The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the

Three Great Cities of Spice

*John Keay's* The Spice Route: A History

*Andrew Dalby's* **Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices

*Charles Corn's* **The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade

*Wolfgang Schivelbusch's *Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of

Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants

 

*Next month* **Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination *by

Paul Freedman is coming.

 

Add in the various handbooks, guides, and encyclopedias of spices and

herbs, and cookbooks like

*Where Flavor Was Born: Recipes and Culinary Travels Along the Indian

Ocean Spice Route *and* *one has dozens of titles to choose from.

 

There's a full description of John Keay's book at

http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10668.html

I will say that he emphasizes the routes and the trade and less on the

product. It does include footnotes

and a bibliography. I have to admit that I have not read all of this one

yet.

It's certainly worth looking at though and you might well like it and

want it for the shelves at home. I would try and see it from a library

first or

maybe you can come across it in a larger bookstore. Check it out before

purchase unless it's cheap enough to buy

sight unseen.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 13:04:36 -0800

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book opinion request

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Johnna Holloway wrote:

> There are so many of these spice trade and spice route books out there

> that it's hard to say which brings what to the table and how useful  

> any single title would be to any given person.

> In the past few years we have had:

> Jack Turner's "Spice: The History of a Temptation"

> Michael Krondl's "The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the

> Three Great Cities of Spice"

> John Keay's "The Spice Route: A History"

> Andrew Dalby's "Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices"

> Charles Corn's "The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade"

> Wolfgang Schivelbusch's "Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of

> Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants"

> Next month: "Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination"

> by Paul Freedman is coming.

> Add in the various handbooks, guides, and encyclopedias of spices and

> herbs, and cookbooks like "Where Flavor Was Born: Recipes and Culinary

> Travels Along the Indian Ocean Spice Route" and one has dozens of

> titles to choose from.

 

I have and have read Keay, Dalby, and Schivelbusch. I loved Dalby,

enjoyed Keay, and found Schivelbusch a great disappointment.

 

Anyone have any comments on any of the other books? I know  a couple

have been mentioned before...

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:19:24 -0800

From: Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The benefits of Anise

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

 

V A wrote:

> Hey, cool -- another folk remedy gets verified by modern  

> science. ;-)  In

> Lebanon, anise "tea" (just whole aniseseeds steeped in hot water)  

> is used as

> a panacea for headaches, stomachaches, cramps, and whatever else  

> ails you.

> My mom used to make it for me as a kid whenever I had a cold.  When  

> I got to college I discovered it worked on hangovers too. ;-)

> Now the question for us is, what did medieval people think about the

> curative properties of anise...?

---------------- End original message. ---------------------

 

Anise has been used for a long time as a digestive aid. With

Artemesia absinthum (Common Wormwood) it is one of the two primary

flavoring ingredients in absinthe which was originally used as a

digestive aid and anti-parasite tonic. It is used in a lot of other

liqueurs that started out as tonics and curatives, including pastis,

anisette, ouzo, and Chartreuse, all of which date from period. I know

it is also used for soothing coughs.

 

I know that there are references to it in medical texts from

classical times but I don't think Culpeper mentions it.

 

Dragon

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 18:43:08 -0600 (CST)

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The benefits of Anise

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

 

> Now the question for us is, what did medieval people think about the

> curative properties of anise...?

 

Excerpt from my "Local Spices: Savory Seeds" class notes:

Anise (Pimpinella anisum)

This is the favorite digestive/carminative of the period. Anise was one of

the comfit seeds mentioned by Rumpolt.It was used in mustards and other

sauces. Apparently anise seed was added to the doubly-baked breads or

rusks called binavice or biscotum which were called "soldier's bread" by

Syrennius, who "noted that anise seed was normally added not so much for

the flavor as for health reasons" (Dembinska, Food and Drink of Medieval

Poland). Banckes' Herbal suggests it to treat gas, induce sweating, and as

diuretic and/or laxative, but says, "And the seed must be parched or

roasted in all manner medicines; then it will work the rather." William

Turner (16th cent): "Anyse maketh the breath sweeter and swagethe payne."

The Roman Pliny mentioned it in bread. Edward IV of England reputedly had

sachets of anise and orris root to perfume his linen.(Clarkson)  Humorally,

it is considered hot in the second degree and dry in the second degree.

Candied anise seed shows up as a garnish on top of puddings such as the

plum puree called Erboles, also.

--

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:16:16 -0600

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Anise and Bread - Pliny Re:  The benefits of

      Anise

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

 

> The Roman Pliny mentioned it in bread.

> --

> -- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

More precisely, "...seeing that the seed is held in esteem as a most

agreeable seasoning for bread."

 

Pliny, The Natural History, Book XX chap. 71

 

And, "Both green and dried, it is held in high repute, as an ingredient in

all seasonings and sauces, and we find it placed beneath the undercrust of bread."

 

Pliny, The Natural History, Book XX chap. 72

 

While it may have been in the bread, as caraway in rye, I think it likely

this was on the crust in the manner of poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 20:27:27 -0500

From: euriol <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Anise and Bread - Pliny Re:  The benefits of

      Anise

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

 

I found another reference for a bread recipe with anise in the  

bread... I only have an english translation:

 

Translation: by Andrew Dalby

White Bread Bread made from wheat is the best and most nutritious of all

foods. Particularly if white, with a moderate use of yeast and salt, the

dough kneaded midway between dryness and rawness, and with a little anise,

fennel seed and mastic, it is very fine indeed. One with a hot constitution

should include sesame in the dough. If wishing to add more moistness to the

bread, knead in some almond oil.

-Dalby, Andrew, Flavours of Byzantium, Great Britain: Prospect Books,  

2003

 

I have yet to find a transliteration of the original recipe. I tried this

the first time with caraway, because I didn't have anise or fennel in my

cabinet and I just wanted to give a try. I found the caraway too strong a

flavor against the use of the white flour. I had not had come across a

recipe before for mastic either, and after my first time trying this recipe

looked for a source. Now I have some mastic, is it supposed to be ground to

a powder or possibly dissolved in something? I've never used this

ingredient before. But, I do look forward to playing with this recipe  

more.

 

Euriol

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 16:44:01 -0700

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] roman feast

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

cailte wrote:

> yeah, i can see a lot of spin on the ingredients and how

> they are cooked (in both senses of the word) in the

> vehling.  but it's fascinating reading.

> except for the cumin.  never did like cumin.  boy, did i

> transplant to the wrong part of the country!

 

Have you tried pan roasting/dry frying whole cumin seeds before

grinding them? While i generally have no problem with cumin, i find

it has a much more agreeable flavor after it has been "roasted".

(there has got to be a better word... Adamantius? anyone?)

 

When i made the Apician Peach Patina with Cumin Sauce (Cuminatum in

Patina de Persicis : Patina of Peaches in Cumin Sauce [Apicius, Book

IV, Chapter II, Recipe 34 in F&R]) for my Greco-Roman feast, i

roasted the cumin seeds before making the dish (peaches in a sauce of

lovage, parsley, mint, cumin, black pepper, honey, fish sauce, wine

vinegar). The peaches were absolutely superb and the dish was

fabulously yummy, as weird as the ingredients may sound to some. I

had no precedent for this in Roman cooking and i confess i did it

only to improve the flavor of the dish.

 

The recipes doesn't specify exactly which cumin sauce to use. There

are quite a few in the book. Besides cumin, nearly all include black

pepper, fish sauce, and wine vinegar. Most include mint, lovage,

parsley, rue, and honey. And a few include bay leaf, malabathrum,

coriander, or old wine.

 

Faas in his book "Around the Roman Table" included the Peach Patina

recipe and one of many cumin sauces (p. 242), but did not bother to

"redact" the recipe, merely commenting, "This is a curious recipe.

Boiled peaches in perfumed olive oil sounds fine - but with cumin

sauce? A challenge to the chef."

 

Side Bar:

According to Gernot Katzer's terrific spice pages,

Malabathrum/malabathron is the leaf of Cinnamomum tamala and

Cinnamomum tejapata, and also called tejpat and Indian bay-leaf

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cinn_tam.html

Unfortunately, in my haunting of the many local Indian/Pakistani

markets, all i've found is that ordinary bay leaves are sold as

tejpat :-(

 

Has anyone actually found *real* tejpat?

 

Anyway, back to cumin and roasted spices:

In "Cooking Apicius", Sally Grainger's companion book to her husband,

Christopher Grocock's book "Apicis" (long title snipped but recently

much mentioned on this list), she recommends roasting various spice

seeds, although not peppercorns (p. 21-22). She doesn't give a

clearly Roman reason, however. She says, "With the exception of

peppercorn, spices benefit from the release of their fragrance by

roasting before they are ground."

 

In any case, i suggest giving a try to dry roasting the whole cumin

seeds before grinding them and seeing if it makes cumin more

palatable to you.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 10:14:44 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Long Pepper

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

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

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

 

Be warned, however, that Frontier Herbs doesn't carry medieval cubeb any

longer. As far as I and Alexandra from the Pepperer's Guild can tell,

commercial sources of medieval cubeb were wiped out during the 2004 Tsunami.

 

Peyton   > > > > >

 

I have called them and spoken with their "large Order" person.  They DO

carry the amounts in the small grinder gadgets for resale packaging.  I was

not able to secure any quantity of bulk spice, though.  I tried to get

anywhere from 10kg to 50kg.  I was told the simply do not stock that sort of

volume in bulk.

 

The only sources I had found for quantity involved shipping from Idonesia or

India, and I simply could not figure out customs and shipping hurdles

involved. It is so not my line of competence.  I could find simple FedEx

shipping methods, but it ended up with prices similar or greater than simple

retail online pricing.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 13:12:12 -0500

From: "Kingstaste" <kingstaste at comcast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] More on packing lunches and food safety

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

      "'Gayle-home'" <honnoria at thescorre.org>

 

Reading up on the food safety issues of packing lunches in hot weather here:

http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/08/food-safety-for-packed-lunches-updated/

 

I found an interesting list of antibacterial foods:

 

"New USDA- and NSF-funded research on foods with antibacterial properties

has yielded a number of foods that fit nicely in the world food lunchbox.

The strongest antibacterial foods (killing all bacteria) are evidently

garlic, onion, allspice and oregano. The second strongest (killing up to 80%

of bacteria) include thyme, cinnamon, tarragon, cumin (and lemongrass). The

third strongest (killing up to 75% of bacteria) are capsicums, including

chilies and hot peppers. The fourth strongest (killing 25% of bacteria)

include white and black pepper, ginger, anise seed, celery seed, and lemon

or lime juice. Honey has antibacterial properties, and the dodecenal

compound in cilantro/coriander (both fresh leaves and seeds) is evidently

one of the stronger antibacterials as well."

 

I knew about cinnamon and of course vinegars, but it is interesting to see

them ranked like this.

 

Christianna

 

 

Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 14:35:02 -0500 (EST)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coriander Juice???

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

 

Malkin wrote:

<<< I can buy onion juice in bottle at Smith's Food and Drug local.  

in the spice aisle. >>>

 

Last fall i made a recipe from the 13th c. anonymous Andalusian cookbook that called for onion juice.

 

I put a very coarsely chopped onion in the food processor. They're so moist they don't need water the way herb leaves do. Then i poured out the liquid into a measuring cup and squeezed the remaining pulp to get all the onion juice out.

--

Urtatim (that's urr-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:52:00 -0600

From: Kihe Blackeagle <kihebard at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Allspice

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

 

<<< What would you say is the closest period equivalent to allspice?

i.e., If you had a recipe that called for allspice and you only had

access to period spices, what would you replace it with?

 

-Kean >>>

 

Amra in pedantic mode:  allspice was not only known to but also used as a spice by Europeans prior to 1601ce, hence it is actually "period".  Europe includes Spain last time I checked the maps and geographies . . .

 

No, it wasn't used widely (I just found a reference online claiming the first significant imports to England in 1737).

 

Yes, it was misleadingly named by the Spanish who did find it.  (Multiple references to Columbus being credited with the European discovery of allspice; multiple references to 'pimento de jamaica' or similar approximations.)

 

Yes, it is considered by some to be the "only" exclusively New World spice, largely becauses attempts to establish plantings in the Old World (including areas generally known for spice growing) never really "caught".

 

Yes, prior to the introduction to the English in the 18th century the primary / most important use of allspice in cookery was associated with New World dishes, particularly the cookery of the Maya if I can trust the online source just referenced.  Columbus established the foundations of Spanish trade with the New World before 1500; at least one of the spices he brought back during his pre-1500 voyages was allspice misidentified as black pepper.

 

Yes, if I'm trying to recreate an Old World dish of pre-1500 records I will avoid use of allspice if at all possible.  However, were I to (hypothetically) find a Spanish manuscript of 1577 that references 'pimento de jamaica' or some other odd form of 'pimento' which is not clearly East Indian pepper or chile or whatever other forms are known to associate to non-allspice spices, I'd gladly [and admittedly gleefully] use allspice -- and back up my usage with the appropriate documentation in the formal redaction, at least in submitting it and / or the dish concerned for inspection to any audience willing to accept that New World spices and foodstuffs did indeed enter European cookery prior to January 1st, 1601ce.

 

Amra,

Kitchen Idiot AND Curmudgeon-in-Training

 

Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

 

Mike C. Baker / Kihe Blackeagle

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:59:09 -0600

From: Kihe Blackeagle <kihebard at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Allspice

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

 

<<< Okay I confess to confusion- is Allspice a single botanical product or a

blend of many (all-Spice)? >>>

 

Single botanical source, the seed of a New World tree that -- according to sources I just referenced in a short online search, reproduced from memory here -- was "discovered" by Columbus and promptly misidentified as black pepper. Two seeds are present in the fruit that is harvested.  European over-harvesting almost obliterated all of the wild trees; the Jamaican wild trees appear to be attributed to the good graces of bats spreading the seeds.

 

The allspice name refers to the nature, which is to the human senses like a blend of other (Old World) spices.

 

Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

 

Mike C. Baker / Kihe Blackeagle

SCA: al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra, F.O.B, OSCA

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 00:02:25 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Allspice

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

 

The Cook's Thesaurus (a lovely website) suggests several spice

combinations to substitute for Allspice.  Equal parts, ground:

 

cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg

cinnamon/cloves

cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg/black pepper

 

http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceUniv.html

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

My NEW email is rcarrollmann at gmail.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 11:02:47 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Allspice

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

 

Allspice are the berries of Pimenta dioica, a New World evergreen.  It is

also referred to as pimento, a term also used for a type of sweet pepper.

 

Bear

 

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

From: "betsy" <betsy at softwareinnovation.com>

<<< Okay I confess to confusion- is Allspice a single botanical product or a

blend of many (all-Spice)? >>>

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 23:41:59 -0400 (EDT)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bukenade

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

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< ...I can imagine doing this with spices.  

Roasting them is often done in recipes, although I'm not sure if it  

was done in period. >>>

 

Pan toasting with no oil is called for in some recipes in some Arabic language recipes. I'll have to look to see which cookbook.

 

In Isfanah Mutajjan the ground spices are fried in oil, but there are no herbs in the recipe, well, other than the spinach. So this doesn't address the issue of frying herbs in hot oil.

 

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 07:45:14 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bukenade

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

 

On Jul 12, 2009, at 11:03 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

 

--On Thursday, July 09, 2009 4:53 PM -0400 Barbara Benson

<voxeight at gmail.com> wrote:

I think in this specific recipe the thing that intrigues me the most

is the "erbes ystewed in grees" which I read as herbs stewed in

grease. In my mind if you are stewing something in grease then it is

being fried, at least that is how I would interpret the phrase.

 

Does anyone else get that?

 

<Stefan> Yes, I saw that last week and wondered about this.

 

<<< I had the same thought -- make sense, heating/frying the  

aromatics before

adding to the stew.

 

toodles, margaret  >>>

 

<Stefan> But why does it make sense? I can imagine doing this with spices.  

Roasting them is often done in recipes, although I'm not sure if it  

was done in period.

 

But wouldn't frying herbs in grease just give you wilted leaves and  

some grease? Can someone tell this inexperienced cook (me) what this  

does for you? This is done with spinach, right? But that's a texture  

thing, correct?

===========

 

Yes. As Bear and Urtatim, and possibly others, have discussed, the  

technique appears pretty frequently in various Middle Eastern and  

Asian cuisines, and can have various effects. One is to actually  

change the flavor and aroma profile of the spices by toasting or  

caramelizing them. Another is to blend the volatile essential oils in  

the spices with other oil (where oil is used) to blend the flavor of  

the spices with the flavors of the food. A third possibility is that  

when whole spices have been stored for a while, they may acquire a  

small percentage of off flavors due to oxidation, minor surface  

rancidity, bacterial activity, whatever. Gentle heating seems to bring out the flavors from the interior, which may be more intense and more, if I can borrow the expression, like what God intended.

 

Examples of this practice include the dry toasting of spices before  

grinding into a curry powder or garam masala, say, or the caramelized  

"masalas" that can be cooked down for hours in the case of some  

southeast Asian dishes (I had my son's Burmese young lady friend tell  

me the other day that the prawn curry I had made was nothing like the  

way her mother makes it... rather it was like the way her grandmother  

makes it, which apparently is the real deal, so I was pronounced The  

O.G.). Some Southern Chinese cooks fry ginger, shallots, garlic and  

sometimes chiles until _almost_ burnt, to flavor the oil before stir-

frying meats or vegetables.

 

I suspect, though, that the frying of the herbs in bukkenade is more  

about counteracting a tendency of the herbs to harbor cold, moist  

humors. I'm guessing that the reason this dish always seems to be  

prepared with a white or sort of juvenile meat (veal, kid, rabbit,  

chicken, etc.), in the way it is usually prepared, is that for some  

reason somebody is looking to avoid the warm and dry qualities one  

might find, say, in roast venison, but adding the herbs, especially  

after boiling the meat, might go too far in the direction of cooling.  

So why include the herbs at all? Presumably for sharpness of flavor to offset the richness of veal and egg yolks.

 

Not trying to pretend this isn't a complete mystery to me, mind you...

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2009 17:40:05 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spices, Spice Names

 

You could of course just use Doc's list at

 

http://www.medievalcookery.com/spices.html

 

Page down and there is an A-Z list of the spices and herbs and in which

cookbooks they appear and which are handily included already in his index.

Plus who carries which spice is also listed.

It's like one stop shopping.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Johnnae

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote: snipped

<<< Has anyone complied a list of period and modern spice names for any

cookbook? I know some cooks on this list specialize in one culture, so

i thought maybe a few of you might have made a list of spices with

their original and modern English names from your favorite cookbook.

I'm not asking someone to do all the work. But i figured if i can get

a few lists, it will give me a bit of a head start and i won't have to

go through dozens of cookbooks from scratch.

Thanks for any help. >>>

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 11:54:39 -0400

From: "Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps" <dephelps at embarqmail.com>

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Regards a Pungent Spice Discussed Previously

 

The "Devil's Dung" spice fights the flu.

http://www.livescience.com/health/090910-flu-remedy.html

 

Daniel

 

 

 

Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 14:48:57 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book about Spices

 

<<< It is a book about spices, "Spices: A Global History" by Fred Czarra. I

don't know how good, bad or indifferent it is, but the description sounded

pretty interesting.

 

Kiri >>>

 

I have it. It shares the same problem as all the books in this series as they are way too short. They are very brief introductory books. Good but not exhaustive. Certainly not everything wants to know about the spice trade.

(The historic worldwide spice trade in particular is such a huge subject; it cannot be done justice in just 176 pages in a reduced volume size. These are  

pocket volumes.)

 

Others are better. I like the volume on the Hamburger and then there's Andy Smith's volume on the Hot Dog. I think the series is going to be 15 volumes.

They are, however very cheap as they are heavily discounted through Amazon.

Good for presents and gifts.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 23:31:15 -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] Real Cubebs?

 

Possibly Piper guineense, West African Pepper or Guinea Pepper AKA False

Cubeb.  To quote Wikipedia, "prolate-elliptically shaped, smaller and

smoother than Cubeb pepper in appearance and generally bear a reddish

tinge."  The taste is milder and less bitter than cubeb and it is commonly

used as a substitute for cubeb.

 

Bear

 

<<< I buy a lot of spices at Lhasa Karnak, in Berkeley, which is generally

reliable. But a few years ago there was a problem with cubebs (I forget

which, a disease or insect infestation). Since then LK has been selling as

cubebs something that definitely is not cubeb. They are tinier than

cubebs, have no tail, and pretty much no flavor. The wrinkled black skin

slips off easily revealing a red-brown smoothly skinned sphere.

--

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

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 15:36:52 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Graters?

 

"I would be interested to discover what they used in period to grate

nutmegs...it would be extremely difficult to reduce a nutmeg to powder

using a mortar and pestle."

 

Actually, I have tried this as part of a project where I made a

variety of spice mixes. I pounded cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, rose

petals, and many other spices with them. My kids took turns doing the

same (they wanted a chance to play with the mortars and pestles). It

really was not that difficult even with the relatively small mortars

that I use. I doubt someone working with a larger mortar would have

much trouble at all.

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Sat, 7 May 2011 10:24:17 -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] Gluten Free Dijon Mustard

 

Turmeric is the ground rhyzome of Cucurma domestica (or similar from related

plants).  The primary use is for yellow food coloring.  The word turmeric

derives from the Middle English "termeryte" which derives from Old French

"terra-merite" and is in turn derived from Latin.  The word means "saffron."

It's use in English cookery appears to date from the early 16th Century.

 

Bear

 

<<< I know much of the "ballpark"  mustard is

probably colored with turmeric but I'm surprised to see it being used

this early. At least I don't remember turmeric being that common in

medieval recipes, so is this a post-period recipe, or have I simply

missed turmeric in medieval recipes?

 

 Stefan >>>

 

<the end>



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