[Sca-cooks] Favorite Healthy period dishes

Anne-Marie Rousseau dailleurs at liripipe.com
Mon Aug 14 17:13:39 PDT 2006

On why fat is in a recipe in period:

I think Adamantius has a couple good ideas:

1. flavor. Now, marrow doesn't have a lot of flavor (at least not that
I've noticed) but suet does. Less than butter, granted, but still
there's a beefy flavor to it. Lard is different... fats also allow the
flavors to meld nicely. Many spices are fat soluble and without the fat,
you don't get the same flavors.

2. texture. Definitely. Especially suet, which would re-solidify nicely.
Better than butter, even. Marrow? I have to admit I've never let
anything with marrow sit long enough to cool to find out ;). And cutting
the fat would seriously change the "mouthfeel" of the dish. Not
necessarily a bad thing from the modern mindset, but our medieval
counterparts would definitely notice (whether they would prefer it or
not I'm not sure)

3. consistency of the final product. I still think this is the biggest
reason. Less fat makes a crumbly product, difficult to eat and you end
up with a bit of meat and then a bit of fruit. Not the fun meat/fruit
bite all in one. Definitely a different end product.

4. preservation. You can use fat to reduce exposure to the air and
thereby protect the contents from spoilage. This is the same process
that is used in potted meats, pates, etc. reducing the fat would
seriously reduce the shelf life of the product.

Can anyone think of other reasons?


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