[Sca-cooks] Period?, was Tomatoes
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Fri Oct 6 06:23:10 PDT 2006
On Oct 6, 2006, at 8:35 AM, Sandragood at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 10/5/2006 6:17:50 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
> lilinah at earthlink.net writes:
> I can imagine an outfit composed of shoes
> from one time and place, "pants" from another, a tunic from still a
> third, topped with a cap or coif from yet a fourth , and the wearer
> saying the outfit is period, because each of the parts is, although
> the parts are all from different times and places
> This is exactly the point I made in my post about redacting which
> was in
> response to the "stewed tomatoes vs. ketchup" thread. Redacting
> without a
> recipe is more than finding a list of ingredients (like in a
> household receipt
> book) and putting them together. Just because you have the
> ingredients doesn't
> mean they were used together in that time and place in a manner we
> would use
> them today, i.e. my Reuben sandwich example.
> Finding that the ingredients were used in a particular manner is
> the key.
> We know that sweeteners, thickening agents, vinegars, and tomatoes
> were found
> in Spain. However, we only have accounts of tomatoes being eaten
> vinegar, not of a sauce being made from them.
According to Gerard (if he can be considered reliable on contemporary
Spanish practices, and I'm paraphrasing from memory here), the
Spaniards fry tomatoes in oil, add vinegar or verjuice to taste, and
salt, and that is their sauce, as the English use mustard.
> Until you can solidly justify,
> prove, or document with period sources that they would have made a
> "sauce" from
> tomatoes, ketchup would remain controversial.
Tomato ketchup appears to be an American invention of the 18th or
19th century. I, in extreme shorthand mode, referred to the alleged
Spanish practice mentioned by Gerard as "vinegar-stewed tomatoes", as
in tomatoes cooked down in a pan with vinegar. (Incidentally, for
those who have issued with this above and beyond the ketchup scope,
you can get canned, diced tomatoes which are essentially stewed, with
balsamic vinegar added). The only reason for mentioning ketchup (for
which tomatoes become the default main ingredient in places like the
US quite late in its history) is that it contains both tomatoes and
vinegar. Yes, it also contains sugar and/or corn syrup, and spices,
but most modern commercial versions contain little in the way of spice.
I don't think anyone is asserting that tomato ketchup is a period thing.
> Someone mentioned a book about the history of ketchup. I am
> unfamiliar with
> the book, but if the author states that ketchup has a history
> linked to our
> (SCA) time period, does he give his sources? Are they period
> sources, or
> just someone else's opinion on the matter? I'm curious.
As I say, Andrew F. Smith is, or was, a frequent poster to the
UseNet newsgroup rec.food.historic, and has left a lot of spoor on
the Internet -- anybody looking for examples of his writing should
have no trouble finding it. As far as I know, he makes no claims
regarding the periodicity of tomato ketchup, although fish or soy
ketchup may be another matter entirely.
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