[Sca-cooks] Burger battle (Tallan Family)

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 20 16:57:37 PST 2007

On Jan 20, 2007, at 7:22 PM, Suey wrote:

>  Tallan Family wrote:
>> That may be a very early "ground beef patty" recipe, but I'm not sure
>> it qualifies as a "hamburger".
>> David Tallan (SCA Thomas)
>> Re Persian origen of the hamburger imported to Al Andalus  
>> (711-1492)as per Barajas-Benavides.
>     I thought a retired Zionist Prof from Columbia an excellant critic
> of my stuff but you guys are better as historical food is your field
> although at times you help me so much I become so frustrated when you
> call me on my crap that I tear my hair.

Are you familiar with the English expression that goes something  
like, "Ouch! That hurts! But it feels so good when I stop..." In this  
case, if everyone here agrees that your reasoning process is  
flawless, you probably should take it as a compliment.

>   Barajas-Benavides is an old
> fashion Spaniard who never cites his matter.

Is this a currently active scholar? I ask because there are several  
fields I'm aware of in which there appears to be little or no  
unilateral standard for good research versus bad, good versus bad  
logic, etc. Look at some 19th-century English books on arms and  
armor, with their endless babble about bronze rapiers, or Gibbon's  
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". It's not that these are  
miserable scholars; it's just that in some cases or in some fields,  
professional standards have risen, and nobody could say some of the  
things that some of those books contain without being challenged by  
modern scholars with more research material available, and a more  
standardized approach to science. You might also enjoy some of  
Charles Fort's deceptively sane critiques of the state of science and  
scholarship as recently as the 1930's. He never actually says he  
believes in The Hollow Earth, alien visitors, teleportation,  
telepathy, the Bermuda Triangle, and rains of frogs. In fact, he says  
he doesn't believe the accounts. What he does say is that many of the  
scientists of his generation could not be trusted to effectively  
disprove reports of such phemonena.

Another possibility (and one which appears may be more applicable  
here) is that we're dealing with a modern, comparative non-scholar  
making scholarly assertions. Remember Vehling's adaptation of  
Apicius, or read Madeline Kammen's recent claim that Taillevent calls  
for chili peppers in his Viandier (she simply didn't know what long  
pepper was). Unfortunately, most people don't want to follow an  
author's reasoning process -- they don't want to be bothered with  
learning anything, they just want to read it and "know" it, so most  
authors can make all sorts of outrageous claims and few people will  
challenge them on them.

> Personally Charles Perry,
> David Friedman and ofcourse you Mark have helped me so much trying  
> help
> to document my stuff because due to Dr. Jew I started me trying to do
> that 300 pages after the fact.
> Many thanks for all your help.
> Susan

An old Russian Jewish lady who wound up in Brooklyn once taught me to  
make hamburgers by mixing in raw, chopped onion with the beef,  
coating the patties with bread crumbs, and frying them in oil. An  
excellent, but highly unusual approach. I've never encountered them  
in that form anywhere else. It's possible she also was simply  
applying the known term "hamburger" to something she knew all her  
life under another name... but I very much doubt her, or your  
professor friend's, ethnicity or religion had anything to do with  
their potential for annoyance ;-). Since these are subjects in which  
it is painfully easy to be misunderstood, it's generally considered  
best not to discuss them in forums like this.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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