[Sca-cooks] medieval caviar

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Mar 2 20:27:00 PST 2007

On Mar 2, 2007, at 10:42 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> So does anyone have any other mentions or period recipes of caviar?

There's a rather critical poem from period (I think) which mentions  
"cavialle", which I gather to be more like modern botargo, a pressed,  
dried roe (generally today it would be mullet or cod, sometimes carp,  
but since caviar specifically refers to sturgeon, I assume that's  
what they meant then) I _think_ it's Italian, but translated into  
English early on, but the gist of it is that whoever eats caviar had  
better like sh*t, dirt and flies. You can still get pressed caviar  
that is a pretty similar product; the lightly salted stuff you can  
get now really only becomes the worldwide default form in the era of  
refrigeration and high-speed food transport.

I don't remember the details offhand, but do have this secondhand  
memory of the reference. Anybody else remember this?


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread, you have 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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