[Sca-cooks] Just one of those weird little questions...

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jul 1 18:08:02 PDT 2008

Hullo, the list!

I've been a little under the weather lately and spending a fair amount  
of time reading an assortment of more or less foodie books (the hopper  
includes, among others, the second edition of The Oxford Companion To  
Food, Joan Alcock's  --not yet established if any relation to Leslie  
Alcock-- book on food in Roman Britain, a wonderful book on the  
emergence of French cuisine as a socio-cultural icon -- a lovely gift  
from Johnnae, and for the urban slob in me, a history of that great  
cathedral to simple seafood cookery, F.W.I.L. Lundy Bros., of  
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. With recipes, of course).

Then piéce de resistance, though, is the new Brears book on Cooking  
and Dining in medieval England, about which I'll probably have more to  
say shortly, but I ran across something in it that just made me  
realize this was one of those little topics about which I knew little  
to nothing, and I wondered if anyone else here had just happened to  
have run across some deliberate, reasoned explanation of the  
phenomenon in question.

Brears mentions a recipe, I forget which and it hardly matters at this  
point, which can be prepared in different versions for flesh, fish,  
and lent days. The meat day version includes a small amount of honey,  
and, if I remember rightly, the fish day version sugar. I forget what  
was significant about the Lenten version.

My question is, apart from the obvious reality of where honey comes  
from, has anyone run across any specific reference to honey being a  
flesh-day, animal-type product to be avoided on other days? Again,  
obviously that's just what it is, but every so often the logic doesn't  
quite make sense to us, and we can't just assume that it would be  
regarded as forbidden on fish days.

So, does anyone have any hard facts to back this up, or are we all,  
including Brears, just saying, well, it stands to reason...

I had thought to look in Fast and Feast, but of course it is buried  
under twelve million other books.

Anybody? Anything?

Many thanks!


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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