[Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?
t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Jul 5 17:33:34 PDT 2008
>I don't own a book on the history of citrus, which i understand can
> be difficult to study because of the ease with which all citrus plants
> hybridize/cross-breed with others, since they both self- and
> cross-pollinate, and they develop spontaneous mutations (e.g. the navel
> So i was mystified when some historical sources mentioned that limes were
> taken to the Caribbean by the Spanish in the early 1500s. Mystified
> because i don't recall coming across any recipes for limes in my reading
> of SCA-period European recipes, although there are enough calling for
Any idea of the precise wording in the original text and whether or not it
was badly translated?
I suspect the source for the 1500 date may be Oviedo, y Valdez, Gonzales
Fernandes de, "Historia general y natural de las
Indies, Islas y Tierra-Firma del Mar Oceano"; Toledo, 1526. No hard
evidence, but this is a primary source for a lot of the dates concerning
food stuffs in the New World.
The words lime and lemon both seem to derive from a Persian, so the fruit
probably moved into the Mediterranean basin no later than 1000 CE. In my
opinion there is a high probability that they were there quite some time
before that. I also think that they would have been early transplants to
the Spanish New World.
> I wonder if this could be because the name for lemon and lime are very
> similar, both in Arabic and in most European languages, so limes may have
> been substitute in recipes calling for lemons.
> Can anyone clarify this mystery and alleviate my confusion?
> Does anyone know of any specific recipes calling for limes?
> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
> the persona formerly known as Anahita
I know of no specific recipes calling for limes. The confusion about the
similarity in the names appears to go back to the Persian roots.
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