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vanilla-msg – 10/20/07

 

Use of the vanilla bean in late-period Europe.

 

NOTE: See also these files: chocolate-msg, fd-Spain-msg, Spain-msg, herbs-msg,  spices-msg, merch-spices-msg, sugar-msg, cinnamon-msg, p-herbals-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

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

 

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 20:46:09 -0500

From: Ian Gourdon <agincort  at raex.com>

Subject: SC - vanilla

 

I've been trying to find commentary on vanilla for my lady's cordial entry.

Doubtless you all know about vanilla in period, but I don't. It doesn't

appear in the commentaries of Medieval spices I've seen. Apparently with

reason. Is there anything in the Spanish recipes, etc?

These tertiary sources may not stand up to our more rigorous source standards,

but I found it interesting. Requesting correction. Ian Gourdon

 

vanilla (v-nl)

  1.Any of various tropical American vines of the genus Vanilla in the

orchid family, especially V. planifolia, cultivated for its long narrow seedpods from which a flavoring agent is obtained.

"Vanilla \Va*nil"la\, n. [NL., fr. Sp. vainilla, dim. of Sp. vaina a sheath, a pod, L. vagina; because its grains, or seeds, are contained in little pods.] 1. (Bot.) A genus of climbing orchidaceous plants, natives of tropical America.

 

2. The long podlike capsules of Vanilla planifolia, and V. claviculata,

remarkable for their delicate and agreeable odor, for the volatile, odoriferous oil extracted from them; also, the flavoring extract made from the capsules, extensively used in confectionery, perfumery, etc.

Note: As a medicine, vanilla is supposed to possess powers analogous to

valerian, while, at the same time, it is far more grateful." -online dictionary

....................

"When the Spanish conquistadores led by Hernan Cortes were in Mexico in 1520, one of their officers, Bernal Diaz, observed that the emperor Montezuma was

drinking chocolatl, a beverage consisting of powdered cocoa beans and ground

corn, flavoured with tlilxochitl (ground black vanilla pods) and honey.

For more than three centuries after this, Mexico was the leading vanilla-producing country in the world despite attempts to plant the vines elsewhere."

- - http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm:1104/lectures/vanilla.html

by Dr. Robert J. Lancashire, The Department of Chemistry, University of

the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica. - Feb 1995  

.....................

"Its use by the Aztecs was recorded by the Spanish conquistadors. Correll (1953) states the "Bernal Diaz, a Spanish officer under Hernando Cortes, was perhaps

the first white man to take note of this spice when he observed Montezuma, the intrepid Aztec emperor, drink "chocolatl", a beverage prepared from pulverized seeds of the cacao tree, flavored with ground vanilla beans which the Aztecs call "tlilxochitl", derived from "tlilli", meaning "black", and from "xochitl" interpreted here as meaning "pod". Vanilla beans were considered to be among the rarer tributes paid to the Aztec emperor by his subject tribes. Legend has it that Cortes in 1520 was given chocolate flavored with vanilla by Montezuma, served in golden goblets.

 

Bernardino de Sehagun, a Franciscan friar, who arrived in Mexico in 1529, wrote about vanilla, saying the the Aztecs used it in cocoa, sweetened with honey,

and sold the spice in their markets, but his work, originally written in the Aztec language, was not published until 1829-1830. The Spaniards early imported vanilla beans into Spain, where factories were established in the second half of the sixteenth century for the manufacture of chocolate flavored with vanilla.

 

Francicso Hernandez, who was sent to Mexico by Philip II of Spain, gave an illustrated account of vanilla in his Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus,

which was first published in Rome in 1651. In it he translated "tlilxochitl" as

"black flowers', a fallacy which Correll (1953) say remained in the literature for many years, although the flowers are greenish yellow in color.

 

Hugh Morgan, apothecary to Queen Elizabeth I of England, suggested vanilla as a

flavoring in its own right. He gave some cured beans to the Flemish botanist, Carolas Clusius, in 1602 and the latter describes them in his Exoticorum Libri

Decem of 1605. William Dampier observed vanilla growing in 1626 in the Bay of Campeche in southern Mexico and in 1681 at Boco-Toro in Costa Rica. Formerly, vanilla was used in medicine, as a nerve stimulant, and along with other spices had a reputation as an aphrodisiac. It was also used for scenting tobacco."

- - Shank's Extracts 1-800-346-3135

shanks  at shanks.com -- http://www.shanks.com/aboutvanilla/history.htm

- --

Ian Gourdon of Glen Awe, OP

Known as a forester of the Greenwood, Midrealm

http://web.raex.com/~agincort

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 21:49:56 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper  at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - vanilla

 

And it came to pass on 18 Feb 00,, that Ian Gourdon wrote:

> I've been trying to find commentary on vanilla for my lady's cordial entry.

> Doubtless you all know about vanilla in period, but I don't. It doesn't

> appear in the commentaries of Medieval spices I've seen. Apparently with

> reason. Is there anything in the Spanish recipes, etc? These tertiary

> sources may not stand up to our more rigorous source standards, but I

> found it interesting. Requesting correction. Ian Gourdon

 

I have not seen any mention of it in the 16th and early 17th century

Spanish cookbooks that I have perused.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

From: "Jeanne Papanastasiou" <jeanne  at atasteofcreole.com>

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

Date: Sun, 25 May 2003 10:19:15 -0400

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla beans, vanilla extracts, gift baskets, body care, recipes, vanilla awar

 

  http://www.vanilla.com/index.shtml

 

Soffya Appollonia Tudja

 

 

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

 

 

Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2003 09:50:50 -0400

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

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Vanilla was Castellan Feast, 2003

 

Jadwiga's right in that Vanilla did not come into

common usuage until the 19th century, but vanilla was

known and used in the production of chocolate in the

17th century.

 

I did a long summary of research on vanilla back in January

of this year in answer to a thread and queries on MK-Cooks.

I sent the long version into Stefan for the Florilegium and maybe

one of these days the material will appear in that under vanilla.

 

From that posting---

 

Vanilla

 

OED lists this as the earliest quotation

1662 H. Stubbe  Indian Nectar ii. 11

They added..the Vaynillas [to the chocolate] for the like ends, and to

strengthen the brain.

 

[No one on this list mentioned some of the more unusual aspects about the naming   of the plant. SCA-Cooks would have leaped upon and spent days on the fact that   the name is connected to the word vaina (:-L. va gi na  vagina) meaning 'sheath'

.    Mark Morton's book Cupboard Love goes into the background of the word for those interested.]

 

Anyway the date of 1662 would go along with C. Anne Wilson's comment in Food and Drink in Britain that it came into use in England with the preparation of chocolate as a drink. Through EEBO I looked at the 1662 copy of Henry Stubbe's The Indian nectar, or, A discourse concerning chocolata the nature of cacao-nut and the other ingredients of that composition is examined and stated according   to the judgment and experience of the Indian and Spanish writers. It's the Harvard copy of 180 plus pages that is available online.

 

This does have recipes in English for making the drink using vanilla as an ingredient. Stubbe cites several recipes including one recipe as that being used by Antonio Colmenero de Ledefina which includes vanilla. One thing that is valuable about this discourse is that he describes and discusses all the ingredients that go into making the drink.

 

On page 52 he writes:

"The next ingredient of Chocolate is Tlilxochitl (or as some write   it Tlixochil) or, as the Spaniards call it, banillas olorofas, or Vaynillas=85. their smell is admirable, they which have parallei'd it with Ambergrise, Musk,   or Balsame, failed in their Character for it hath a peculiar mildness, and delicacy in it, not to be found in those other." Stubbe goes on to fully describe the plant, the pod, and the seeds saying that "Whosoever shall try these Vaynillas by the strength and pentratingness of their smell, and perhaps by the vigour of their effects, performing what nothing of European, or East-Indy growth, of a less Degree in heat and dryness, then the third, doth; will rank them with those of that sort but here who shall consult his   Senses, and observe the mild delicacy in these American Products, and particularly   in the Vaynillas, which is inconsistent with so much heat, and dryness and shall   consider, that his tongue feels nothing parallel to what happens upon the tasting of a grain of Chili, or red Pepper (which yet is placed as hot in the third degree) he will by many degrees separate and distinguish the former from the latter=85." He concludes, "for to use Cloves instead of Vainillas is a ridiculous mockage, and hurtful to several complexions in Chocolota."

 

Another earlier work that mentions vanilla is A Curious Treatise of the Nature   and Quality of Chocolate. It is given as being written in Spanish by Antonio   Colmenero and put into English by Diego de Vades-forte. It was published in English in 1640. It too lists recipes for the drink. Listed among the other ingredients that go into "this confection" is "another which they call Vinecaxtli, which in the Spanish they call Orejuelas, which sweet smelling Flowers, Aromaticall and hot." Page 14

 

This answers the question: can we find recipes in English from before 1650? Well, yes we can. I would also point out that by 1683 recipes featuring chocolate with vanilla are being recorded in household manuscripts. See Brears' The Gentlewoman's Kitchen for examples. Do not be fooled however by the infamous "chocolate cr=E8me" featured in Fettiplace. It does not date from 1604.

 

One really weird place that vanilla can be found in a 17th century recipe for   something other than a drink involving chocolate is in a book of ices. Today   it seems second nature to think about vanilla ice cream, but in the 17th century?  Actually yes!!! Elizabeth David notes that she owned a copy of an Italian work (undated but definitely 17th century) entitled Brieve e Nuova Modo da Farsi ogni sorte di Sorbette con facilta. In Harvest of the Cold Months, David writes on page 150: "An unexpected one, given the period, is vanilla, which evidently came early to Naples via its Spanish overloads and their colony of Peru. A vanilla ice in those days was not custard based but simply an infusion of 1 large bean pulverized with sugar and immersed in 10 goblets of boiling water."

 

Should anyone want to pursue the topic, there are some books that might be sought out.

   Une orchid=E9e qu'on appela Vanille : description v=E9ritable de l'histoire,   des tribulations & vertus d'une plante aromatique, 1535-1998 by Nicolas Bouvier.1998.   This is a French publication of  119 pages. Gen=E8ve : Editions Metropolis, ISBN: 2883400601 .

 

14 libraries in the world are listed as owning it as according to OCLC. With only the University of Chicago having it in the Midrealm.

 

Even rarer are these books-

Vanilla; its botany, history, cultivation and economic import

  by Donovan S. Correll.  New York : Society for Economic Botany, 1953

And

The Culture History of Mexican Vanilla by Henry Bruman which was

published in 1948.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis    Johnna Holloway

 

 

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

To: <sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP: Vanilla Extract

Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 21:42:12 -0500

 

First reference, Bernardino de Sahagun, General History of the Things of New Spain (1560), wherein he reports that the Aztecs mixed vanilla (tlixochitl) with choclate.  I believe Clusius references it in his Herbal of 1602(?).

 

Vanilla first appears in English in the 17th Century and it's first

reference in cookery appears in Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery (1756).

 

Vanilla extract seems to date from around 1875 (although it may be earlier) with the first of the vanilla substitutes.  Synthetic vanilla is first processed about 1929.

 

Bear

 

 

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 23:53:22 -0400

Subject: Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP: Vanilla Extract

From: Morgana Abbey <morgana.abbey  at juno.com>

 

I remember reading something that mentioned Elizabeth Tudor keeping a

bottle of vanilla extract (more likely vanilla steeped in some brandy)

on her table and sprinkling it on her food.

 

I've tried putting a vanilla bean in a bottle of cognac.  It's quite

nice.

 

Morgana

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 21:43:53 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract

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

 

Vanilla extract is produced by alcohol extraction from aged vanilla beans.

The FDA requires that pure vanilla extract be 35 per cent alcohol (with

13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of 35 per cent solution).  The FDA

also permits sugar, corn syrup, caramel, colors and stabilizers to be added

to the extract.  When these additional items appear on the label, the

extract is most likely unaged.  Fresh vanilla extract tends to be harsh

tasting and adding 20 per cent or more sugar smoothes the taste while

caramels, colors and stabilizers give the product an aged appearance.  Top

quality vanilla extract has only vanilla, alcohol and water for ingredients

and its smooth flavor and dark rich color are the result of aging the

product between one and two years.  Aging costs money.

 

Bear

 

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

When did  they

start putting corn syrup in vanilla extract?  I have found such in the

Publix store brand, in the McCormick brand, and in the Nielsen-Massey brand

at the gourmet shop. The only kind that didn't have corn syrup was the Spice

Islands brand but, at $11.99 for two ounces, it's three or four times more

expensive. Was there a problem with the vanilla crop? Is home-made vanilla

extract just as good?

 

Isabella

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 13:17:05 +0000

From: "Holly Stockley" <hollyvandenberg at hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

A two ounce bottle seems like such a waste of time for me. ;-)  I burn

through enough that I generally buy a couple 8 oz bottles at a time.  I'd

get the 16 oz, but I generally keep Mexican, Madacasgar, and Tahitian on

hand for variety.

 

There have been some price issues.  One of last years hurricanes had

potential to do a lot of damage to a crop that takes a LOONNNGGG time to

bring to market.  This was followed by Coca-cola buying up futures and a

resulting price spike.  Some of the companies have since come back down,

others not.

 

I've bought vanilla from all three of these suppliers:

 

This one is the most artisanal of the bunch, BUT the last time I bought this

extract it was about 1/2 this price - I don't think it will drop again at

this point.  Good stuff, though.

 

http://www.baldwinextracts.com/index.html

 

This is my economy source.  If you want sugarless extract, you'll get an

opportunity to specify at the end.  I've had both, and don't find the

sugarless to be particularly harsh.

 

http://www.saffron.com/

 

And this is my favorite source for Tahitian extract. Again, options are

available for sugarless extracts, which I've usually had and don't find to

be any more harsh than their sugar versions.  I don't usually buy the

concentrated forms - because I'm more inclined to dump than to measure.

 

http://www.icdc.com/~vanilla/product2.htm

 

I recommend finding a baking friend and putting in an order together to save

on shipping.

 

Femke

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 11:13:00 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract

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

 

I buy Penzeys by mail order. Ok, it's expensive

and a major investment, but I just buy  the pint.

It keeps in the dark for an extended period of time.

http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysvanilla.html

has their take on the market.

They list sugar as their ingredient.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 09:52:03 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Isabella wrote:

> When did they start putting corn syrup in vanilla extract?  I have

> found such in the Publix store brand, in the McCormick brand, and in

> the Nielsen-Massey brand at the gourmet shop. The only kind that

> didn't have corn syrup was the Spice Islands brand but, at $11.99

> for two ounces, it's three or four times more expensive. Was there a

> problem with the vanilla crop? Is home-made vanilla extract just as

> good?

 

Wild... i've never bought vanilla with corn syrup listed on it.

 

My bottle of Nielsen-Massey Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla

Extract says:

Ingredients: 100% Organic:

Water, Organic Alcohol, Organic Vanilla Bean Extractives

 

But Nielsen-Massey produces a number of different vanillas, so maybe

they have corn syrup in some but not others.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 18:29:31 -0500

From: "Carol Smith" <Eskesmith at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract - how to

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

 

Corn syrup is one of the permitted additives for Pure Vanilla Extract  

(CFR 31. 161 or 165, I believe) and has always been one of the  

alternatives to cane sugar used in making many flavors. The industry  

began using it as a cost-cutting measure several years ago.

To make homemade pure vanilla extract, you will need the equivalent  

of 13.35 av oz vanilla bean/ gallon of 35-40% alcohol (70 - 80  

proof).  If you wish to add a little sugar to it, you will have to  

start with a higher alcohol content, because the sugar will bring the  

alcohol down.  Steep the chopped bean in the alcohol for a minimum of  

10 days, decant, adjust as necessary, and use.  The bean should still  

be useful to some extent for vanilla sugar, but it will probably have  

a woody taste rather than the sweet vanillin taste you expect.

Flavor will probably vary more, batch to batch, if you do it  

yourself, depending on the quality of bean available. Bourbon beans  

are supposed to be the best, and they should be shiny and black, with  

small white crystals visible on their exteriors for highest quality.  

But drying beans naturally is labor intensive, and is rarely done any  

more.

 

Brekke

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 18:51:23 -0500

From: "Carol Smith" <Eskesmith at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT OOP Vanilla Extract

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

 

Permitted additives, per CFR 21.169.175, are, and I quote:

 

(1) Glycerin.

(2)  Propylene glycol.

(3) Sugar (including invert sugar).

(4) Dextrose.

(5) Corn sirup. [sic]

 

These are the ONLY additions permitted for Pure Vanilla Extract.  

Anything else should be called "flavor", "with color", or have some  

other modifier to indicate that it is not strictly pure vanilla  

extract.  There's a whole story on the importance of bean moisture,  

too, that goes along with this ruling.

 

Brekke

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 18:15:07 EST

From: CorwynWdwd at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla Extract --Thank you!

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Lady Isabella de la Gryffin writes:

>>>

How many of you have tried making your own extract? I remember two replies,

one said age it for a year or two, the other said ten days. Does that mean

that you  would get an acceptable product in the shorter amount of time, but if

you  could put it up to age, you'd get a really great one?

<<<

 

As a rule, and understand I've made it but I'm not an expert by any means,

the longer it sits the better it gets, but I've turned out an acceptable

product  in less then six months.

 

>>>

Do you  have to take the vanilla bean(s) out, or can you leave them  

in the alcohol  solution? Would it get bitter?

<<<

 

I leave the beans in and add a bit more alcohol after use, and shake  

well. I've never had it get detectably bitter.

 

>>>

Would rum, vodka, brandy, or Everclear (190 proof, 95% alcohol) cut to the

proper strength work best? I can probably find a source of lab-grade distilled

water  if I want to try the last.

<<<

 

Brandy works best IMO, but I tend to use brandy for most extracts,  

unless it's like a haroka, then I use vodka for the cost.

 

>>>

Should I  use a brown glass container, or a clear one kept in a dark

place?(Easier to  judge the concentration of the extract with a clear  

container, I should think)

<<<

 

I always used a clear bottle and kept it in a dark corner, you can  

do  that or use the dark bottle, the idea is light degrades it.

 

Corwyn

 

 

Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 14:56:51 -0200

From: "Lady Ro" <ladyro at comcast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] RE: VAnilla Extract

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I make my own.  12 oz of the best vodka I can afford, one (1) REAL  

Vanilla bean, slit up the middle (butterflied).

 

I put it in a tall, clear glass bottle, and age it 4 months.  Thereafter I

top it up at the 1/2 to 3/4 mark, and keep it in my spice cabinet.

 

'Swonderful.... even if I am bragging on myself.  There are a few  

things I do very well.  This is one.

 

Ro

Bright Hills

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 19:17:30 -0500

From: "Carol Smith" <Eskesmith at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla Extract --Thank you, and some

      answers.

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

 

As for aging vanilla, the original extraction takes about 10 days at  

a slightly elevated temperature (about 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit).  

It should then be aged in charred oak casks, but is generally aged in  

stainless steel these days for proper sanitation.  The beans are  

removed after the 10-day percolation/maceration period, the alcohol  

tested, and the aging process then starts.  It's very similar to  

making good whiskey.  If you're doing the extraction at room  

temperature, I'd leave the bean in the alcoholic solution for another  

5 days, but that's just a guess.  You may prefer to use either vodka  

or the everclear cut to 35% alcohol as closest to the regular  

vanilla, but using rum or brandy will provide other sweet notes you  

won't get in regular vanilla extract.  The vanilla flavor will mellow  

out over time, even without the oak cask, just as your cordials blend  

with sitting.

 

Brekke

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 19:23:39 -0500

From: "Carol Smith" <Eskesmith at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla Extract --Thank you!

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

 

It's Tonkin extract that has the coumarin, and coumarin's now banned  

worldwide.  It used to be an additive to vanilla extracts, before food laws.

Mexican vanilla (as sold in the United States, at least) contains  

only vanilla beans as the flavoring these days, as required by law.

 

Regards,

Brekke

   ----- Original Message -----

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

>  Daniel used to have some Mexican vanilla extract,

 

   Some Mexican vanilla does not contain vanilla or is vanilla

   "contaminated" with some coumarin-containing substance. Coumarin

   smells like vanilla (many natural vanilla-scented plants contain

   coumarin), but it's not good for the liver.

 

   Despite the fact that vanilla originated in Mexico, I just wouldn't

   trust Mexican vanilla.

 

   Perhaps they have improved industry oversight and i am just fear-

mongering.

   --

   Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:30:06 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla [was: Sweet chocolate,  Modican

      chocolate (OOP -- maybe)]

To: "Christiane" <christianetrue at earthlink.net>,      "Cooks within the

      SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Do you know, or does anyone know, how quickly did

> vanilla show up in recipes?

>

> Gianotta

 

To my knowledge, the earliest recipe reference to vanilla is in Hanna

Glasse's Art of Cookery (1756).

 

One of the earliest (if not the earliest) reference to the use of vanilla is

in Bernardino de Sahagun's General History of the Things of New Spain.

Carolus Clusius obtained a specimen from the English Royal apothecary in

1602.  The name "vanilla" appears to be first used by Willem Piso in 1658,

becoming widespread afterwards.  All of this suggests that vanilla was

available as a curiosity in Europe during the latter half of the 16th

Century, but general acceptance and use probably occurred about a  

century later.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 19:06:27 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla [was: Sweet chocolate, Modican

      chocolate (OOP -- maybe)]

To: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

  I did a long summary of research on vanilla back in January 2003

in answer to a thread and queries on MK-Cooks.

 

The Hugh Morgan association is very suspect, even if it appear on the

web and is repeated in the Florilegium.

 

"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.

 

  From another posting---  Vanilla

 

OED lists this as the earliest quotation

1662 H. Stubbe  Indian Nectar ii. 11

 

They added..the Vaynillas [to the chocolate] for the like ends, and to

strengthen the brain.

 

[No one on this list mentioned some of the more unusual aspects about

the naming   of the plant. SCA-Cooks would have leaped upon and spent

days on the fact that the name is connected to the word vaina (:-L. va

gi na  vagina) meaning 'sheath'.

 

Mark Morton's book Cupboard Love goes into the background of the

word for those interested.]

 

Anyway the date of 1662 would go along with C. Anne Wilson's comment in

Food and Drink in Britain that it came into use in England with the

preparation of chocolate as a drink. Through EEBO I looked at the 1662

copy of Henry Stubbe's The Indian nectar, or, A discourse concerning

chocolata the nature of cacao-nut and the other ingredients of that

composition is examined and stated according   to the judgment and

experience of the Indian and Spanish writers. It's the Harvard copy of

180 plus pages that is available online.

 

This does have recipes in English for making the drink using vanilla as

an ingredient. Stubbe cites several recipes including one recipe as that

being used by Antonio Colmenero de Ledefina which includes vanilla. One

thing that is valuable about this discourse is that he describes and

discusses all the ingredients that go into making the drink.

 

On page 52 he writes:

 

"The next ingredient of Chocolate is Tlilxochitl (or as some write   it

Tlixochil) or, as the Spaniards call it, banillas olorofas, or

Vaynillas. their smell is admirable, they which have parallei'd it

with Ambergrise, Musk,   or Balsame, failed in their Character for it

hath a peculiar mildness, and delicacy in it, not to be found in those

other." Stubbe goes on to fully describe the plant, the pod, and the

seeds saying that "Whosoever shall try these Vaynillas by the strength

and pentratingness of their smell, and perhaps by the vigour of their

effects, performing what nothing of European, or East-Indy growth, of a

less Degree in heat and dryness, then the third, doth; will rank them

with those of that sort but here who shall consult his   Senses, and

observe the mild delicacy in these American Products, and particularly

in the Vaynillas, which is inconsistent with so much heat, and dryness

and shall   consider, that his tongue feels nothing parallel to what

happens upon the tasting of a grain of Chili, or red Pepper (which yet

is placed as hot in the third degree) he will by many degrees separate

and distinguish the former from the latter=85." He concludes, "for to

use Cloves instead of Vainillas is a ridiculous mockage, and hurtful to

several complexions in Chocolota."

 

Another earlier work that mentions vanilla is A Curious Treatise of the

Nature   and Quality of Chocolate. It is given as being written in

Spanish by Antonio   Colmenero and put into English by Diego de

Vades-forte. It was published in English in 1640. It too lists recipes

for the drink. Listed among the other ingredients that go into "this

confection" is "another which they call Vinecaxtli, which in the Spanish

they call Orejuelas, which sweet smelling Flowers, Aromaticall and hot."

Page 14

 

This answers the question: can we find recipes in English from before

1650? Well, yes we can. I would also point out that by 1683 recipes

featuring chocolate with vanilla are being recorded in household

manuscripts. See Brears' The Gentlewoman's Kitchen for examples. Do not

be fooled however by the infamous "chocolate creme" featured in

Fettiplace. It does not date from 1604.

 

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.

 

One really weird place that vanilla can be found in a 17th century

recipe for something other than a drink involving chocolate is in a

book of ices. Today   it seems second nature to think about vanilla ice

cream, but in the 17th century?  Actually yes!!! Elizabeth David notes

that she owned a copy of an Italian work (undated but definitely 17th

century) entitled Brieve e Nuova Modo da Farsi ogni sorte di Sorbette

con facilta. In Harvest of the Cold Months, David writes on page 150:

"An unexpected one, given the period, is vanilla, which evidently came

early to Naples via its Spanish overloads and their colony of Peru. A

vanilla ice in those days was not custard based but simply an infusion

of 1 large bean pulverized with sugar and immersed in 10 goblets of

boiling water."

 

Should anyone want to pursue the topic, there are some books that might

be sought out.

 

    Une orchide qu'on appela Vanille : description veritable de

l'histoire, des tribulations & vertus d'une plante aromatique,

1535-1998 by Nicolas Bouvier.1998.  This is a French publication

of  119 pages. Gen=E8ve : Editions Metropolis, ISBN: 2883400601 .

 

  14 libraries in the world are listed as owning it as according to  

OCLC.  With only the University of Chicago having it in the Midrealm.

 

Even rarer are these books-

 

Vanilla; its botany, history, cultivation and economic import by Donovan S. Correll.  New York : Society for Economic Botany, 1953

 

And

 

The Culture History of Mexican Vanilla by Henry Bruman which was

published in 1948.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis    Johnna Holloway

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 19:39:56 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vanilla 2007 additional notes

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

 

I just checked EEBO-TCP and "vanilla" only appears in

The manner of making of coffee, tea, and chocolate as it is used in most

parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, with their vertues

Author: Dufour, Philippe Sylvestre, 1622-1687. London : Printed for

William Crook ..., 1685.

 

<http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?

c=eebo;cc=eebo;q1=vanilla;rgn=full%20text;view=toc;idno=A36763.0001.001>

 

? ...r Pimiento, half an ounce of Cloves, three lit|tle Straws or

Vanilla's de Campeche, or for want thereof, as much Annis-seed a ...

? ...Mexicans; but this Wood has nothing of affinity with our Vanilla's

which are used in making the Chocolate, the which are very pleasant to th ...

? ...Alexandria, vulgarly called pale Roses, a little Bean Cod or

Vanilla de Campeche, two drams of Cinnamon, a dozen of Almonds, and as ...

 

So that source really offers us nothing more than it did in 2003.

 

Of course if one searches in it under "Vinecaxtli" one can read that recipe as given in A curious treatise of the nature and quality of chocolate. VVritten in

Spanish by Antonio Colmenero, doctor in physicke and chirurgery. And put

into English by Don Diego de Vades-forte.

Author: Colmenero de Ledesma, Antonio. Imprinted at London : By I. Okes,

dwelling in Little St. Bartholomewes, 1640.

 

"There are also other ingredients, which are used in this Confection.

One called Mechasuchil; and another which they call Vinecaxtli, which in

the Spanish they call Orejuelas, which are sweet smelling Flowers,

Aromaticall and hot. And the Mechasuchil hath a Purgative quality; for

in the Indies they make a purging potion of it. In stead of this, in

Spaine they put into the Confection, powder of Roses of Alexandria, for

opening the Belly.

I have spoken of all these Ingredients, that every one may make choise

of those which please him best, or are most pro|per for his

infirmities." page 14

 

There are two modern books that are available:

 

Ecott, Tim. Vanilla. Travels in search of the Ice Cream Orchid. 2004.

Rain, Patricia. Vanilla. The Cultural History of the World's Favorite

Flavor and Fragrance. 2004

 

Both were published after our initial conversations on the topic.

Neither is indexed or footnoted as to sources.

 

Johnnae

 

<the end>



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