HERB - Sweeteners

lilinah@earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 10 22:43:30 PDT 2001

Beatriz <bjofnz at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
>Very early period practice in Europe appears to
>indicate that honey was almost exclusively used for
>sweetening foods. Cane sugar was known, but rather
>rare in Europe, and would more or less have come under
>the heading of a pharmaceutical.

You neglect to add that sugar cane was grown in Islamic countries who 
made the refined sugar which was imported into Europe. It was used in 
Spain before the Crusades, since much of Spain was a Muslim region 
beginning in 711 and parts of Spain were Muslim until 1492.

>Around the time of
>the first Crusade, the Crusaders returned to Europe
>with a taste for many of the foods that we now
>associate with medieval European cooking
>Concentrated grape juice was used in classical roman ,
>medieval and modern middle eastern cookery
>(Unripened grapes were used to make Verjuice, a
>vinegar flavoured alternative)

Verjus or Verjuice is not "vinegar flavored". The grape verjus i have 
used tastes nothing like vinegar. It is a sour juice, which could be 
made from crab apples and other sour fruits as well as grapes. Some 
Medieval recipes call for verjuice alone, some in combination with 
wine, with vinegar, or with both. For the sake of brevity, you can 
say: "(Unripened grapes and other sour fruits were used to make 
Verjuice, a vinegar alternative)", although this is not quite 

>Sugar substitutes, that may have been used  are a sort
>of molasses made from dates. In itís solid form,

The possessive form of "it" is "its" - no apostrophe

"it's" is a contraction of "it is", which is not what you mean here.

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