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travel-foods-msg - 8/19/12


Period travel foods. Foods mentioned to take along on a journey.


NOTE: See also the files: p-tourism-art, travel-msg, pilgrimages-msg, med-ships-art, ships-msg, Lrds-Salt-Exp-art, drying-foods-msg, campfood-msg, Balled-Mustrd-art.





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, 13 Nov 1998 20:54:35 -0800

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

Subject: SC: travellers food was... Re: SC - Stuff inside bread (was: Bread

Soup Bowls)


we are asked about items as travellers food (ie the medieval equivalent of

gyros, tortilla wraps, sandwiches, etc).


According to Alexander Neckam, a wandering clerk of the 12th century, He

would buy his food in the town he was bedding down in. The inn would cook

it (a chicken, some bread, etc). He would have some for dinner and the next

day would set off down the road again, the leftovers in his pocket or

wallet. (check out _Daily Living in the 12th Century_ by Urban Tigner

Holmes, Jr.). Lunch was taken by the side of the road.


we also have pictures of peasants taking simple meals in the fields, a bowl

of something (soup? beer?), bread, cheese.


The SCA custom of filling breadbowls with chili, forcemeat, brie and

mushrooms, etc and calling them rastons appears to have nothing to do with

medieval European cuisine (alas!). Its interesting that there's a middle

eastern version, though, and apparently a very late Spanish one. Hmmm!


- --AM



Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 22:02:27 -0500

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

Subject: SC - Convenience foods


It's interesting to note that medieval folks had their own convenience

foods. There's a recipe in Granado for "hordiate" (barley gruel, often

served to invalids) that one can take on the road.  You start out by

making the basic gruel -- boiling barley in water until it begins to

dissolve, then straining out the solids.  The portable version is made by

putting a thin layer of hordiate in a pan, baking it until dry, and grinding

the dehydrated gruel into a powder which can be carried in boxes or

leather pouches.  On the road, one then reconstitutes the hordiate by

soaking the powder in some lean chicken broth and adds sugar (sugar

is a health food, you know).


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)



Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 19:22:12 -0500

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

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: [Sca-cooks]travelling foods


I purchased a copy from Devra (Poison Pen)

of Tender Meat under the Saddle, which talks

about what the conquerng Hungarians and

Nomadic Peoples ate. I haven't had time to read

it yet, what with the holidays and working on my

presentation for Colorado, plus doing some research

for a couple of upcoming feasts. Oxford did "Food

on the Move" in 1996 which has all sorts of articles

in it on travel and food. What did you have in mind?


Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

(actually the more interesting food question might

be what do Society folk eat while on the road?)


"Laura C. Minnick" wrote:

> Sooo... for our Obligatory Food Content, what do we know about

> travelling foods in period? They didn't nosh while doing 65+ on the

> interstate, but what might one eat while on the road to Canterbury,

> perhaps? Inbetween inns?> 'Lainie



Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 08:08:46 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] travel foods


Hais is described (in al-Baghdadi) as "excellent for travellers."

Barmakiya is described (in Manuscrito Anonimo) as "very good for







Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 00:23:52 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Patrick Levesque <pleves1 at po-box.mcgill.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Field Rations



I have a question . . . What can we document as being actual field rations in period? Dried meats, sausages, hard cheeses, parched grains, journey cakes / breads of various types would have been carried along, supplemented with whatever they could obtain by foraging. I realize that Kings & Nobles had a higher living standard in the field than the average levy, but when things got tough, they didn't eat all that much better, I suspect.


  I'm thinking of doing a field ration package for Pennsic that would be as

documentable as possible while still being palatable. Input?





I never thought much about the question, but Henry Marks in 'Byzantine

Cuisine' mentions the Krivani ("domed metal or pottery top [...] cooks

bread faster and more evenly).


Voukellon is a thin, double baked bread used by the armies of Byzantium;

the bread is soaked in liquid prior to consumption to soften it (and

probably to add some flavor, depending on the liquid used).


Unleavened bread in both cases.


Organized armies did travel with large groups of camp-followers; presumably

they would have included butchers/bakers and people to cook for a bunch of

hungry soldiers, but I have not researched this.





Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2003 23:34:32 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Field Rations



I have a question . . . What can we document as being actual field rations in period? Dried meats, sausages, hard cheeses, parched grains, journey cakes / breads of various types would have been carried along, supplemented with whatever they could obtain by foraging. I realize that Kings & Nobles had a higher living standard in the field than the average levy, but when things got tough, they didn't eat all that much better, I suspect.


  I'm thinking of doing a field ration package for Pennsic that would be as

documentable as possible while still being palatable. Input?





The one thing that occurs to me is Froissart's mention of Scottish

troops carrying a bag of oat meal and using it to make oat cakes. My

conjectural reconstruction is in the Miscellany.






Date: Fri,  9 Apr 2004 11:20:19 -0400

From: "Jeff Gedney" <gedney1 at iconn.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Requirements for a Laurel

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


I created a recipe for "ships biscuit" reconstructed from

numerous sources, including the analysis of existing biscuit

survivals from the Mary Rose wreck.


In Elizabethan England, the Wheat flour was very often extended

with cheaper barley and rye flours and bean and pea meal, as the

purer flours were saved for the nobility. There are a number of

complaints in the Admiralty records about the substandard flour

used in biscuit supplied to the ships in the Armada blockade,

as well as during the 1540's campaigns in which the Mary Rose

sunk. Sometimes Rice or barley hulls were tossed in to extend

it further (you can get rice hulls from some Brewer supply

stores) Spent malt after brewing the brewing process is a good

additive, and sweetens the flavor a little, but while period

was not often used in ship's biscuit, it was more valuable to

save for livestock feed than to waste on common sailors!


So to make a period sort of biscuit (there are no existing

recipes), that would have been eaten on, say the Golden Hind:


3 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup dark Rye flour

4 teaspoons salt

2-2 1/4 cups water



replace one cup flour with

3/4 cup dried peas, and

1/4 cup Dried Fava beans, hulled, crushed, and processed as

fine as possible in a blender

(and add a pinch more salt as the starches in the beans will

offset the salt a little).


Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees. (if you have a Pizza stone, or

quarry tiles for baking use them,. you'll get a more "period" effect.

Mix dry ingredients, and then gradually knead in enough water to

make a dough. It should not stick to hands and rolling pins.

Roll to 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick ( no more than twice the thickness

of a pie crust), and, using an empty coffee can, cut out dough into rounds.

Using the end of a wooden spoon, press six or seven holes all

the way through the dough, one in the center, and the rest

evenly in a circle around that (half way from the center to the

edges). place directly on the hot oven stone, or on an

ungreased cookie sheets, into hot oven. And bake 20 - thirty minutes.

They should not burn on the bottom.

Take them out and let them cool a little on a rack or on towels,

while the rest of the batch bakes.

Put racks back in oven, and set the temperature down to 250-255

Cook a one to two hours or until the biscuit is evenly light brown

all the way through.

It should not be crumbly, but dry as the captain's humor, and hard

as a bosun's fist.


Place twenty or so to a burlap sack, and tie shut, and stuff as

many sacks as you can into clean drycasks, and seal.


According to the results of some experiments done with this

recipe, the result is best described as "wheat jerky", and even

after soaking the texture is pretty close to wet leather.




Capt Elias Gedney



Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 11:19:40 -0700

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pennsic on a shoestring

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


The Finnish travel bread, kalakukko, is reputed to last for two weeks.

Here's a recipe.  When I've served this at feasts, people have been known

to argue that there was no fish in it at all.

here's a recipe for it:


Finnish Fish in Bread



          The literal translation of Kalakukko is fish-cock. It is a

        speciality of the provinces of Karelia and Savo, in the eastern

        part of Finland. It was traditionally baked in hot ashes or on

        grids above a hearth fire. This recipe is corrected for oven

        use. The finished pastry is hard on the outside, like the

        American beaten biscuit, tender within.




        2 cup sifted all-purpose flour   1/2 cup water

        2 cup sifted rye flour           1/2 cup milk

        1 tsp. salt                      4 Tbsps. cold butter

        1 tsp. sugar                     flour to roll out dough




        1 3/4 to 2 lbs fresh or frozen   1/2 lb. fresh ground pork

          fish fillet (pref. salmon)     1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

        1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic          1/4 tsp. ground allspice

        1/4 tsp. chopped chives


          Sift the dry ingredients together twice. Stir the mixed milk

        and water in and beat in the butter. Beat thoroughly. Then

        knead the dough till it is tough and elastic. Roll it out to

        1/2-inch thickness and oval in shpe. On half of it sprinkle a

        very little flour.


          For the filling, cut the fillets in small pieces.  Then lay a

        layer of fish on one half of the dough, season with half the

        garlic and chives, lay the ground pork out atop this, season

        with the pepper and allspice, cover with the rest of the fish

        and season that with remaining garlic and chives.  Fold the

        other half of the pastry over the filling, brush the edges of

        pastry with water and press firmly together.


          Bake is a low oven (250 F.) 3 hrs. Brush the top with a little

        butter or fat occasionally. When done, remove from the oven,

        wrap the hot roll in a clean cloth to soften the crust. To

        serve, cut in slices as you would a loaf of bread.  Butter each

        well. Serve warm.


        4 to 6 servings





Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2012 13:26:58 -0500

From: Sharon Palmer <ranvaig at columbus.rr.com>

To: "Cat ." <tgrcat2001 at yahoo.com>,    Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] travelers fare


<<< I am looking for travelers fare.  Food that could be carried and

eaten on pilgrimages or other trips.

Sources or recipes would be appreciated. >>>


Rumpolt has several sausage recipes that might be appropriate, but

this one mentions traveling.


Hirsch 25.  To make Italian Zurwanada (Italian sausage) from the

deer.  Take the wide meat from the hind quarter/ cut it small with a

knife/ take pork from the hindleg/ that is fatty/ chop with the

venison/ and take the largest and strongest/ wash it out clean/ and

before you reverse it/ then pick the fat completely away from the

deer/ leave not even a poppy seed large on it/ because otherwise it

quickly becomes rancid/  Then turn it inside out/ and clean the slime

out/ and dry it out well with a cloth/ that no drop of water comes in

there/ neither outside nor inside/ Then take salt/ put it in a pan/

make it dry and warm/ put it in a mortar/ and pound it well small/

then take it out/ take whole pepper/ put it in a mortar/ beat it a

just a little/ that the kernels drop apart/ take the pepper/ and mix

it with the salt/ rub the meat/ that you have chopped small/ with it/

that it becomes well salted and spiced. Anyway see/ that you do not

put completely to much salt in there/ that it is not over salted.

The Italians take everything according to the weight/ but it shows

itself quickly/ if there is too much or too little/ one has too much

to do/ that one should always carry weights and balance with him.

Take the meat/ and stuff it in the intestines/ and press it firmly/

and when you see that the intestine develops bubbles/ and the meat

does not come over each other/ then tamp the intestine with a needle

point or a bodkin/ then it goes even sooner over each other/ and

becomes firm/ Tie the sausage closed/ and hang the sausage in smoke/

yet not in a chimney/ that no heat comes to it/ that it only becomes

dry/ the longer you let it hang in there/ the better and redder it

becomes/ and it keeps a year and a day. However if you are in a crew

(or army)/ then spread it with olive oil/ and enclose in barrels/

then they keep a year or three.  Such sausages are also good to make

with beef and pork/ that no fat says on the intestines/ then it does

not become rancid/ And such sausages you can well make from clean

pork or beef/ with bacon that is not salted/ and the meat/ that

belongs in such intestines/ you must not lay it in water/ but rather

as it was gutted/ because it is spoiled from the water/ and becomes

stinking.  If you do not have any intestines/ then take the bladder/

then the sausages become that much thicker and larger/ and when you

cook them/ and they are small/ then you should let them simmer an

hour or two.  When they are thick and large/ then you must let them

simmer an hour four or five/ however that you do not over cook them/

let them become cool/ then you can eat them/ and you can also keep

them a week six or seven/ especially in winter/ when you travel over

the land/ you can cut a piece from it and eat it anytime/ then you

taste it after a good drink.  And such sausages one must make in

winter/ the colder it is/ the better it is.  Is also good for a poor

soldier/ that must be in the field a year and a day/ because the

pepper and salt conserve it/ becomes good and well tasting.  They can

also be given for a salad/ and when you carve them/ then pull the

skin off/ then you will see the pepper corns between the red meat/

makes one pleased to eat.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org