[Sca-cooks] Hispano-Muslim Desserts

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jul 3 18:47:42 PDT 2007

On Jul 3, 2007, at 7:54 PM, Suey wrote:

> Phil answered to my blancmange message:
>> Well, what _does_ become a dessert prior to the 17th century, unless
>> perhaps you mean wafers, confits and hippocras? ;-)
> Ever hear of marchipan, pastries, fritters, fried milk, fruits, olives
> and a whole list that could be medieval a dictionary filled with
> desserts which I do have 12 years in the making by the way!

Yes to all of them, but please define "dessert". Are you referring to  
sweet dishes (which might include anything from just about any fried  
food, up to roast, stuffed, chicken), or are you referring to sweets  
eaten as a separate course at the close of a meal? My point was that  
sweet dishes don't necessarily serve the role they did in the Middle  

The later incarnations of blancmange (the primarily almond-and-sugar- 
based versions, or the even later still custard-like versions) seem  
to emerge on things like 17th-century banquet tables (more like a  
dessert sideboard at that time, than like a modern dinner table). My  
point was that these versions of blankmanger are more like what we'd  
recognize as desserts; the pottage versions, even the sweetened ones,  
perhaps not so much.

However: something to consider -- you may find that there are French  
menus from the 14th or 15th centuries which list blankmanger as an  
entremet, served as a fancy dish between the regular courses. It's  
possible this may have contributed to the idea of a sweet dessert- 
type course on a feast day.


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