[Sca-cooks] Wheat starch (was Re: roman feast / Apicius)

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Thu Mar 20 18:17:06 PDT 2008

On Thu, March 20, 2008 15:28, Lilinah wrote:
> Both F&R and G&G use "cornflour" (what in the US is "corn starch")
> where the Romans used amulum, wheat starch. I tried to find wheat
> starch for my Ottoman feast in November and failed. I went to
> ordinary supermarkets, high end supermarkets, natural food stores,
> and Chinese and pan-Asian markets. I found corn starch, potato
> starch, tapioca starch, and rice flour, but no wheat starch. Any
> other suggestions where to find some wheat starch?

Well... The Prophet of Google says:

>From the first few hits on that search, it looks like it gets use in
Indian and Turkish cooking. If you don't want to mail order, you could
check any local Indian or Middle Eastern or Turkish markets (assuming you
have such).

Before I did the search, I was going to suggest that you could make your
own. Though it is really a pain and labor intensive. It's done by kneading
a lump of wheat dough until it is elastic and then kneading it under water
for a long time. This separates the gluten from the starch, the lump left
in your hand is the gluten, the milky white stuff suspended in the water
is the starch. It's best to do this with a low protein, very fine flour to
get the best yield.

After all the interminable kneading, you then set the liquid aside to
settle. Most of the starch will settle to the bottom and you can then pour
off the excess water after a few hours. I don't really know if it is worth
the effort or if there is some way to mechanize the process that would
work for somebody on a small scale without special equipment. I'd
personally rather order it online.

  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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