[Sca-cooks] Bohemian Baba

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Sun Jan 20 14:17:36 PST 2008

>White peas are Lathyrus sativus AKA white vetch, Indian pea, Indian vetch,
>almorte (Sp.), alverjon (Sp.), cicerchia (It.), pisello bretonne (It.),
>khesari (In.), batura (In.), gesette (Fr.), etc., etc. etc.  They are one of
>the legumes that was largely replaced by the New World beans after 1492.
>Modernly, they are still used in Italy and a few of the Mediterranean
>countries, but are more likely to be found in Africa and some parts of Asia.
Looking at pictures on the net of Lathyrus savitus, this does not appear to be what I bought.  They Lathyrus seeds are quite irregular, and these just look like ordinary peas.  The whole dry peas were a pale grey, but when cooked and hulled they were the golden yellow of ordinary yellow split peas.  They cooked a drier and less mushy though.  They had a nice texture in the dish, which turned out quite well, IMO.

Rumpolt calls them "Erbeß", there are also references in other recipes to "grüne Erbeß", which could mean fresh peas rather than green colored ones.  It was the resulting dish that was white.  Is there really any reason to think he didn't mean common peas?

The recipes call  for putting them through a "Durchschlag", which the dictionaries say is a strainer.  I was using a wire sieve and found it quite difficult.  It really needed a food mill.  Is there any evidence for food mills in period?  Perhaps the kind shaped like a cone, with a wooden pestle which my mother used for applesauce.


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