[Sca-cooks] Interpretation question was: Period? was Tomatoes
t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Fri Oct 6 21:20:41 PDT 2006
The tomato was first described in extensive detail in Rembert Dodoens
Cruydeboek (1554). Gerard took most of his information from the Latin
translation of Dodoens (1574, IIRC, or possibly from a later Latin edition
in 1583). A more extensive quote of Gerard (I believe from the 1597 edition
of the Herball) is: "Apples of Love...goodly apples, chamfered, uneven and
bunched out in many places; of a bright shining red colour, and bignesse of
a goose egge or a large pippen...the whole Plant is of a ranke and stinking
savour. There hath happened into my hands another sort.the fruit hereof was
yellow of colour....Apples of Love grow in Spain, Italie, and such hot
Countries.In Spaine and those hot Regions they use to eat the Apples
prepared and boiled with pepper, salt, and oile: but they yeeld very little
nourishment to the bodie, and the same nought and corrupt."
An edition of Gerard's Herball edited by Thomas Johnson and published in
1633 cotains the following, "Poma Amoris. Apples of Love....In Spaine and
those hot Regions they vse to eat the Apples prepared and boiled with
pepper, salt, and oile: but they yeeld very little nourishment to the bodie,
and the same nought and corrupt. Likewise they doe eat the Apples with oile,
vineger and pepper mixed together for sauce to their meate, euen as we in
these cold Countries doe Mustard."
Given the differences between the quotes, it is possible that the use of the
tomato in a meat sauce is early 17th Century rather than late 16th Century.
Since I haven't seen either edition in its entirety, I can not be certain
this is the case.
I have recently found a quote from an unfinished herbal by Leonard Fuchs
(Vienna Codex, 1560) translated in Myers's The Great Herbal of Leonard
Fuchs, 1999, which is of interest. "Malus aurea: its color usually
resembles the color of gold.its fruit is not always of one color, but also
occurs in other colors. Three kinds of this apple.are known to us. The
first, either gold or saffron in color, and striped, is round and shaped
like the others.The French call it pomme d; amour. A second kind.is a
different color, for instance, red. A third, with size and shape like the
preceeding ones, but in color saffron, or a whitish yellow, differs even
more from the others, and has an oblong fruit."This may be the earliest
description of what has come to be known as the Roma type fruit. It seems
to be used solely as an ornamental as Fuchsobserves: "The whole plant,
indeed, gives off a heavy and quite disgusting odor. It should be
cultivated here in gardens and in "pleasure gardens'.
> I'm really missing having direct access to the Gerard herbal..;o( I will
> so glad when I can get moved and can get my library back on bookshelves
> instead of in boxes...
> The Italian source that references the eating of them fried with salt and
> pepper is the one I have been drawing from memory. I wasn't familiar with
> Gerard reference until it was mentioned in posts earlier when this string
> started, but missed the text of his reference if it was posted.
> Here's an interpretation question for you, because I love redacting and I
> love hearing other points of views. From what I'm finding online, the
> from Gerard show two preparations. The first being boiled with salt,
> and oil which seams to be simple enough. The second one, being "they doe
> the Apples with oile, vineger and pepper mixed together for sauce to
> meat, euen as we in these cold Countries doe Mustard", requires more
> Would you take this to be a cooked down sauce (more toward a rustic
> ketchup), or something similar to the chopped "stewed" tomatoes with
> vinegar as
> mentioned, or something more along the lines of a fresh or pickled tomato
> served over the meat? I think it depends on where you put the focus. Do
> put it on the "mixed together..." or on the "as we do mustard..."?
> If you place the focus on the "mixed together" it would appear to be a
> or "chopped stewed tomatoes". The second would probably be closer if you
> focus on the fact that the two sources (Gerard and the Italian) both show
> "apples" being eaten in a cooked form. Is there a source that states
> they were
> eaten raw? That would add to the possibilities.
> If you place the focus on the "as we do mustard" do you take this to mean
> the consistency of the dish? Or, do you take it as a simple statement
> that they
> used this preparation on meat as the English used mustard on their meats?
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