[Sca-cooks] good herbs

otsisto otsisto at socket.net
Sat Sep 22 16:06:12 PDT 2007

What I have is a translation and not the original for Walnut bread.
One says that it is a 13th century recipe called Pane Di Noxi. The other is
Helwyse's translation

"LVIII Marvelous and good walnut bread (taken from Helwyse's site)
If you want to make a bread of walnuts.  Take walnuts and peel and grind
them, and take good herbs, a little grated suet, sweet and strong
spices and a little sugar.  Put these in a mortar with the walnuts and make
a paste.  Then take wheat flour and make a sheet in the way (that one makes)
lasagna, large and wide and thin.  Put this (nut) paste within and knead all
this together in the same way that one makes bread.  Take the dough, when it
has become soft like a cake, and put it
to cookin the oven, and when it is cooked pull it out and let it cool.

I found the Florilegiun site on this and am reviewing it but extra input is


-----Original Message-----
It all depends on the source of the recipe.  The "good herbs" readily
available to a cook in, say, 15th c. London, would probably be different
from those available to his counterpart in Rome.  It also depends on the
season, the temperament of the cook, and the preferences of the master for
whom he is cooking. :-)

Some herbs that appear frequently in Western European cookery books of our
period: Parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, basil (the latter
two don't seem to have been nearly as common as they are today).  In
Andalusia and the Near East cilantro/fresh coriander was also in frequent
use, and dill is occasionally called for in extant recipes.  Furthermore,
"herb" and its variants don't refer strictly to aromatics, but also to the
leafy greens that we treat as vegetables -- spinach, arugula, various
chicories and endives, and the like.  "Herbs" can also be unfamiliar (to
some modern palates, at least) parts of familiar plants we eat, like the
leafy green fronds of the fennel (as distinct from the bulb), celery leaves,
or grapevine tendrils.

If you tell us which recipe translation is calling for "good herbs," someone
on this list should be able to give you a more specific answer. :-)


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