[Sca-cooks] 12th Night 2007 Stories

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sun Jan 7 08:05:28 PST 2007

"Littiu" is the Early Irish form of "lit" and essentially means porridge. 
It is related to the Welsh, "llith" which means mash.  It is perfectly 
reasonable that an Early Irish persona would use the term for whatever 
recipe of porridge they chose to make.

While there are a number of literary references, the one I remember most 
commonly mentioned is from the Tain Bo Chulainn to the effect that it is the 
porridge of the little boy that has made such a great warrior of the man. 
The Irish lived on their cattle and the common grains in Ireland were oats 
and barley, so oat and milk porridge would likely be common in Ancient 
Ireland.  As oats are the highest in protein of any of the cereals, a 
porridge of oats and milk would be a very nutritional dish suitable for the 
sons of kings.

I would suspect that the recipe is a derivation from various sources and 
that the accuracy depends on the quality of the research.


> This is interesting. Oats have been eaten in semi-solidified form for
> thousands of years, and I gather from looking at the stuff saved in
> the Florilegium that this is just oats and milk, cooked as a thick
> porridge and allowed to cool somewhat, so I'm not questioning this as
> a dish, per se. But if our knowledge of what this is/consists of is
> sorta sketchy, why use this obviously Celtic name? Is it just an
> Irish word for oats? Why is it not just oatmeal or porridge, or
> flummery, or what distinguishes it from them? Is it that the name has
> emerged from Irish poetry and people have felt the need to come up
> with a functional "recipe" to match it, and this is what it is?
> Just trying to understand the reasoning process...
> Adamantius

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