[Sca-cooks] Horchata - Barley Water - galingale

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Tue May 22 18:26:10 PDT 2007

Adamantius wrote that I said:
>> At that point used only the word chufa in my replies to avoid  
>> . . .
> Occasionally we've had occasion here to mention an alternate usage for "galingale", we dance around a bit, Stefan asks if this is Alpina  Officinalis, we say no, it's just a plant known in some folk herbal traditions as galingale, it's related to sedge, etc., etc.
    Stefan knows as well as I ginger is substituted for galingale when 
not available but there is no real substitute for it. No way Cyperus 
esculentis, chufa, has nothing to do with galingale.  There are two 
types of galingale,  Alpinia galangal, is also called Laos ginger, 
Siamese ginger and Thai ginger and Lesser galangale, Kaempheria galanga, 
that is smaller galingale and has an reddish-orangey flesh outside and 
almost white inside.
    Stefan must be bluffing you! He is a great tease!
> It appears that what you're calling "chufa" is known in England,  
> France, and elsewhere, under an assortment of names, but "earthnut" has never been one of the ones I've heard used. I believe I, and perhaps some others, thought it sounded sufficiently similar to "groundnut", which is another name for what we call peanuts, to ask for a little clarification. BTW, as I recall, there's a lovely photo of a plate of cooked "galingale" (which in this case is probably Cyperus esculentis and not Alpina officinalis) in any of several editions of the Larousse Gastronomique.
Look I believe Font Quer called chufa an earthnut but can't get to the 
National Library right now to confirm whether he or Usher stated this. I 
think Font first published in 1888 when few were bilingual or trilingual 
in Spain but those who were very good. Today names of fish translated 
from Spanish to English for example are totally unreliable at times. 
Give Font or Usher a break if this is mistake. Font above all  is much 
more reliable than today's fishy authors so far.
    Mind you this is part of my thing to confirm technicalities in 
translation and I appreciate ever so much you challenging my info and 
correcting me or them when due.
    I have no idea what BTW is or I remember a plate of 'galingale'; in 
Larousse Gastronomique of chufa incorrectly labeled as you indicate. 
    Thanks to all your queries I have found that the chufa did make its 
way into Mexico at least. France and England obviously knew about 
chufas. They could have tried to grow them if and when the area is not 
subject to frost during the planting season and where sandy soil et al. 
was available. In England at least we have many attempts at importing 
Spanish or Mediterranean plants such as saffron, almonds etc and in 
spite of their odds they were successful on a limited basis as the 
Berkeley family records relate for example.

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