[Sca-cooks] Horchata - Barley Water
lilinah at earthlink.net
Sat May 19 10:20:02 PDT 2007
G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:
> Suey wrote:
>> "Someone asked about horchata being barley water or
>> something like that. The word horchata (orgeat in
>> English), comes from the Latin: hordeata (made with
>> barley) fr. hordeum (barley). Yes originally is was
>> cooling drink made with barley. Later nuts of various
>> types were used. It was a common drink among
>> Hispano-Arabs, especially in Cordova by the 10th C at
>> least. In 15th C. Castile, it was made from orange
>> flower water and barley, almonds or other nuts. Later,
>> Valencias substituted barley for rice. It was not
>> until the late 17th C that the earthnut was used to
>> make the orgeat that known there today."
> What I'm wondering is whether the earthnut referred to above is the
> modern groundnut, or what Americans call peanuts...
Nope, definitely not peanuts. It's a different critter. Apparently
these can sometimes be found in Asian markets... I suspect that
almonds replaced the pignuts/earthnuts.
Here's what Epicurious says:
Earthnuts, see Chufa
Chufa; chufa nuts
Actually the tiny, tuberous roots of an African plant of the sedge
family, chufa "nuts" are immensely popular in Spain and Mexico,
primarily as a base for the refreshing drink, HORCHATA. They have a
brown, bumpy skin and a sweet, chestnutlike flavor. Dried chufas are
available in bags in many Latin markets and health-food stores. Store
them, tightly wrapped, in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
Besides their use in horchatas, chufas make an excellent snack.
They're also known as earth almonds, earthnuts and tiger nuts.
Articles Archive.net says:
Earthnuts or Pignuts (Conopodium Majus)
An edible tuber common in British woodlands.
Although these tasty tubers are beloved of pigs (hence the name) they
are a most unusual and rewarding woodland snack and there was a time
when they were a popular nibble for country children on their way to
and from school. The fern like leaves appear along with the Lesser
Celandine in the spring. During May and July they develop umbellifer
heads with white flowers not unlike Cow Parsley. According to Gerard
and others the Dutch once ate them 'boiled and buttered, as we do
parseneps and carrots'.
Unearthing a pignut is a delicate operation. The root disconnects
from the tuber very easily, which can be several inches from where
the stem appears above ground.
Follow the stem under the earth using careful scraping with a twig,
fingernail or knife. Eventually you will reach the pignut, which is
covered with a chestnut coloured skin. If you can wash the nut at
this stage it avoids getting muddy fingernails while peeling. Scrape
off the papery outer coating to reveal the Earthnut.
The older name for Earthnuts is 'Earth Chestnuts' and this gives you
a clue to their taste - a chestnut texture but with a more earthy
There's nothing like carefully digging one of these up during a walk
in the woods. Do it with your fingernails. As the earthy taste hits
the senses you are drawn more completely into contact with the nature
around you. A true 'pomme de terre'.
Gerard's Herbal mentions that 'There is a Plaister made of the seeds
hereof, whereof to write in this place were impertinent to our
historie'....Probably witches again!
Earthnuts also get a mention in Shakespeare's 'Tempest', from Caliban
as he promises:
"I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow;
And with my long nails I will dig thee pignuts".
From: A FIRST WILD HERBAL by Simon Mitchell
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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