[Sca-cooks] New PPC Articles

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Mon Aug 13 09:54:37 PDT 2007

Greetings!  The new Petits Propos Culinaires journal (#83) arrived during
Pennsic and there are several articles of interest.  "Dining at King's
College in the Fifteenth Century" by Francois Soyer lists the foodstuffs
that were purchased for two different years (20 years apart - 1447/48 and
1466/67) that were written in the "Commons Books" of the College.  Soyer
notes that there are no fruits or vegetables listed and surmises that
perhaps these were grown in the College gardens, hence not being purchased.
The lists include meats, fish, condiments, spices.  He notes that the
amounts and types of foods didn't vary much between the years he studied,
even though the College's income fell by half for the second year he

The next article was of particular interest to me: "Recipes for 'Turnsole'
in Sloane MS 122" by Constance B. Hieatt and Brenda M. Hosington.  I'd been
scouring Pennsic for a period blue food coloring and came up empty-handed. 
The authors search out all the variations of ingredients for "turnsole",
listing several plants that are possible, as well as variations on
colorings derived from the plants - blue, red, yellow, green!

Sally Grainger has a scholarly exploration of liquamen/garum in "A New
Approach to Roman Fish Sauce", tackling the various names given to the
sauce(s), how they might have been made and used, and the confusion that
even the period folk had between the different sauces.

Books reviewed include Ken Albala's "The Banquet: Dining in the Great
Courts of Late Renaissance Europe", University of Illinois, 2007, 22.99
pounds sterling which would be about $45 US.  

And, there's a lengthy review of Joan Thirsk's "Food in Early Modern
England:, 2007, 396 pages, 30 pounds (US $60 or so).  While much of the
book is past SCA period, the scene-setting chapter is food before 1500. 
The next six chronological chapters go up to 1760 in about 50 years per
chapter.  There appears to be enough material on pre-1650 foods that
SCAdians might be interested.

The back cover of PPC notes some soon-to-be-published books.  First (to
me!) is Peter Brear's "Cooking & Dining in Medieval England" which is
slated for printing around Christmas (30 pounds/$60 or so).  Mark Grant's
translation of Anthimus is back in print; 12 pounds/$24) and Sally
Butcher's "Persia in Peckham", Persian cookery in South London, is
scheduled for September.  I doubt that it is "period", but might help give
some insights if one is interested in this type of cookery.  Cost is
roughly 18 pounds or about $36 US.

There is also mention of Stuart Peachey of Stuart Press
(www.stuart-hmaltd.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk) who publishes books on 16th- and
17th-century English life.  He's reconstructing and restoring a
17th-century farm on the Welsh borders.

Alys Katharine

Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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