[Sca-cooks] Camphor in medicinal recipes

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Sat Nov 18 11:28:05 PST 2006

	I think Bear now has us cooking. I was getting a little worried about how people in non-third world countries get so up tight about food quality but looking down the street one sees that few worry about the quantity. As camphor was considered a medicine I think we must accept that fact and that it couldn't be as bad as painted in previous messages.
	Before leaving this subject I would like to correct a gross error of mine. I don't know where I got the idea that Huici translated a recipe for "Camphor from Basil," No. CXVI on page 141. I must have been off my rocker when I wrote that. Huici's translation of Recipe CXVI is on page 80 and it is a 'Green dish stuffed with almonds', no camphor is called for. As a matter of fact basil is not included either but cilantro juice for coloring. Recipes on page 141 are chicken dishes which do not call for camphor either.   
	The only recipes calling for camphor are those I mentioned in Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 7, Issue 35 on Nov 14, except for a couple of typo errors on the page numbers. All of Huici's translations call for camphor dissolved in rose water as Perry's making it obvious that the camphor tree existed in Southern Spain or it was imported from Italy - which I doubt as the Islams had a tendency to plant what they could of the products they imported to Spain as seen with rice, sugar, citrons, bananas, artichokes etc.     

Lilinah or Bear wrote:
I came across a few interesting tidbits concerning camphor.  There are a couple of studies that show synthetic camphor is 25% more toxic than natural camphor. 80% of the world's natural camphor comes from Formosa.  And that volatile oils increase the solubility of camphor in water (about 1 gm per 800 in pure water), which is a possible reason for specifying dissolving
>it in rosewater in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.

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