[Sca-cooks] TI Article on Peas

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Thu Jul 19 14:14:03 PDT 2007

My Summer issue of TI came today, so I have now seen the article.
I checked the sources and what jumped out at me is the use of
James Trager's The Food Chronology. That's probably where she got the idea
that Catherine de Medici  in 1533 is responsible for introducing 
"smaller Italian peas
to France as well as the habit of eating them fresh and raw."
A quick look at Savoring the Past by Barbara Wheaton reveals that the real
hysteria over green peas at the French Court was in the 1660's.
There's also an odd note that "and when famine struck in 1555, the 
English poor
joined the French elite in realizing that green (fresh) peas tasted 
quite as good as dried peas."
??? I would have recommended using several other sources. C. Anne 
Wilson, Peter
Brears, and a number of others come to mind. There is also of course 
that famous article
in Food History News that goes into all the myths regarding Catherine de 
and food. It ought to be required reading before ever mentioning 
Catherine in connection with
anything in terms of food history.


> On Jul 16, 2007, at 6:12 PM, Barbara Benson wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I was wondering if anyone had received and read their TI yet.
>> If so, does anyone have any thoughts on the article about peas?
> On the whole I thought it was ok.  It mostly seemed to be a light  
> history and "how to" piece.  I personally would have been more  
> interested in something on how peas were cooked and served in period  
> in different regions.
> I also would have liked more reliance on primary sources.  I don't  
> have it in front of me, but I think the closest they had to a primary  
> source was "A Medieval Home Companion", which consists of translated  
> excerpts from Menagier.snipped
> - Doc (cubicle farmer)

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