[Sca-cooks] Obleys, wafers, barquillos and nieules

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 17 11:46:19 PDT 2007

Okay... To add to the roiling confusion... Suey wrote:

>The point is what would be the proper name for barquillos in English?
>Now a Spaniard just reminded me that in church we are given 
>'ostias' during communion and we eat ostias or barquillos in the home 
>with ice cream in particular today which are store bought and most 
>popularly known as barquillos. What are wafers in Spanish she queried? I 
>just looked it up they are: barquillos or ostias as per my Cassell's 
>bilingual dictionary! Neither obleys nor ostias appear in that dictionary.
>A Spanish recipe for ostias consists of one kilo of flour mixed with 
>lots of water to make a very runny batter. Drop one tablespoon on the 
>iron and press until toasted. Now why doesn't the church make wafers 
>like that? Oops now you caught again. I can't say wafers anymore without 
>abusing the Queen's English?
>(Now just to add confusion to all this in Nola's original Castellan 
>translation we have a recipe for Ostias with an accent on the i. Lady 
>Brighid translates that as oysters. Iranzo in her modern translation 
>into Castellan is more definite in her index saying ostias from the sea. 
>Dog gone it I was so excited when I saw the word ostias.)

"Barquillo" (both Cassell and Velazquez) is defined as "a thin rolled
wafer".  "Barquilla" is the conical mould for wafers, among other
definitions.  Going backwards from English to Spanish, "wafer" is "oblea",
"hostia" or "barquillo", according to Velazquez and Cassell.  Since the "h"
is silent in Spanish, it might be "misspelled" as "ostia", no accent mark. 
There is no entry for "ostia" because the word should be "hostia".  (Think

 "Oyster" is "ostra", not "ostia", unless there was an ancient spelling
that doesn't appear in modern Spanish dictionaries.  "Ostio'n" (accent mark
on the "o") is a "large oyster".  "Ostra" is Catalan for oyster, as well. 
(It also means "bloody h*ll" as well!)  I cannot find any "osti'a" at all. 
That doesn't mean that it didn't exist in the Middle Ages, but maybe it was
someone's misspelling???

>Now I think we are cooking Sent Sovi and Nola use the words neules, 
>nelles in their recipes which I have been calling wafers as per Lady 
>Brighid in her translation of Nola's recipe: 91. 

My Catalan-English dictionary gives "neula" as "rolled wafer biscuit".  It
is possible that in our time period that it could have been spelled
differently as cited above.

Alys Katharine

Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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