[Sca-cooks] garnishes

Barbara Benson voxeight at gmail.com
Sat Jul 14 06:48:28 PDT 2007


I have done a bit of research into period garnishing, and as Master A
stated, I have not found any manuscripts yet that specifically address
the garnishing of foods. But, by analyzing period culinary manuscripts
I have found a fairly substantial amount of evidence that garnishing
of the the non-illusion food dishes was fairly common.

If you would like to take a look at the handout from the class I teach
on the subject click here:

And while my modern opinion very much falls in line with the idea that
the garnish should be made up of something that indicates the
ingredients of the dish, my analysis of period examples shows that the
garnish is more frequently something that is not an ingredient in the

If you are really interested in this, I have a huge excel spreadsheet
that breaks down the analysis by time period, region, garnish, primary
ingredients in the dish and (speculative) color of the dish ** I
haven't cooked all of the dishes so I looked at the recipe and tried
to guess what color they would come out.

Glad Tidings,
Serena da Riva
> > What are your views on garnishing SCA food.  Many of the garnishes
> > I've seen at feast appear very modern to me.
> >
> > Ranvaig

Master A>  From the illustrations of feasts I've seen, there don't seem to be
> too many elaborate garnishes used. Some, perhaps, but beyond the food
> itself and perhaps entremets between courses, I suspect the bulk of
> . A number of 14th and 15th century English recipes specify various
> things to be sprinkled on top of dishes, such as onions fried brown,
> almond slices or shreds browned (or just blanched), cloves (the
> spice), cloves (the flowers, possibly), various spice powders, grated
> or pounded sugar, pomegranite kernels, and confited (candied) spices
> or perhaps candied nuts. You've also got the various glazing and
> gilding processes used for meats, and the particolored dishes such as
> vert desyre and blanc desyre, served together on one platter.

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