[Sca-cooks] Beverage experiments

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 14 14:15:21 PST 2008

Re ice in beverages...

Several books i have (i will have to look for titles this evening) 
mention that ice was brought down from the mountains and stored in 
ice cellars *for the noble, wealthy, and privileged* in places like 
Persia - i will assume here that this was to cities near mountains 
and not the humid southern gulf coast - as well as 'Abbasid Baghdad 
in its heyday (9th-11th C.) and Ottoman Istanbul in the 16th century.

One book at least (again i'll have to find the reference) mentions 
the use of straw-lined boxes to carry ice down from the mountains. 
Again, this wouldn't be served in your drink just anywhere, but for 
the rulers and similarly well-placed families.

And i recall on another list re-enactors in Europe mentioning storing 
foodstuffs that need to be kept cold in holes dug in the ground lined 
with packed straw for insulation. This is modern as well as 
traditional, although i'm not claiming it goes back to SCA period in 
Europe. So at least it's a technology that works, even if it wasn't 
widespread or widely available.

Additionally one book i have on technology in the Medieval Middle 
East describes a sort of Medieval "swamp cooler", although i don't 
recall if it was in 'Abbasid Baghdad or in Persia. In this case, the 
walls of one room are partly hollowed and stored ice was packed into 
the space. In the room is a "sail", a large piece of cotton or linen 
cloth operated by a "servant" to circulate the air as the ice chills 
the wall.

I know that references are required, and i'll look for them this 
evening. I do not recall reading about this in Europe beyond Istanbul 
or in other lands bordering the Mediterranean, but it could just be 
that my recollecting facilities are not dredging up the info.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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