[Sca-cooks] artichokes vs cardoon

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 15:52:21 PDT 2008

Lilinah wrote:
> It is possible that artichokes (Cynara scolymus) 
> did not exist in 13th C. al-Andalus, and the 
> cookbook may call for their relative and 
> predecessor, the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), 
> whose stalks (not leaves) were eaten steamed or 
> braised and which are said to taste rather like 
> artichokes. On the other hand, the wikipedia 
> article on artichokes says they were developed in 
> the Maghrib and introduced to Italy from there 
> around the 9th C. There's citation for [Watson, 
> Andrew. Agricultural innovation in the early 
> Islamic world. Cambridge University Press. p.64] 
> but that may just point to the development of the 
> artichoke in the Muslim world.
> Perry worked from the original Arabic, not from Huici's Spanish, and in his 
> translation he points out some spots where Huici 
> erred. . .
> Cardoons show up in only two recipes:
> 266. Preparing a Dish With Cardoon, and 267. 
> Preparing a Dish of Cardoons with Meat.
> There's a footnote for the word "cardoon":
> [104] A giant thistle with edible stalks from 
> which the artichoke was developed, almost 
> certainly in Andalusia (our word artichoke 
> ultimately comes from "al kharshuf," which is a 
> diminutive of "kharshaf.") Since the recipes say 
> nothing about leaves, choke or calyx, I think we 
> should assume that cardoon is really what is 
> being called for here; probably the artichoke had 
> not been developed yet. (CP)
    Huici like Perry translated from the Hispano Arabic text, not 
Arabic. As la Granja points out in Fadalat these texts are not easy 
going see: 
www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/idxfood-manuscripts.html . 
Perry is quite critical of Huici and I am sure if Huici (1879-1973) had 
had the opportunity to review Perry's text he would have been just as 
critical. Further I see Huici and la Granja studying Moroccan/Maghrib 
Arabic while Perry seems to be more involved with Persian Arabic.
    Now if we have the artichoke in the Sicily/Naples area in the 9th C, 
why cannot we have it in southern Spain in the 13th?
    I don't question you but I do question Perry.

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