[Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?
lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 8 21:23:05 PDT 2008
I appreciate all the comments, so far. But before we get wrapped up
in Shakespeare, i'm still hoping someone can find an actual
food-related mention of limes within SCA-period.
Limes, the fruit, are mentioned in five recipes in the Manuel de Mugeres:
For the thorns of the face
Take a sweet lime and cut the top off, and put a little salt inside
it and put it to cook over the embers. And it cooks until it is soft.
And to remove the thorns, you will wet yourself with this juice. And
put powdered ginger on top.
Remedy to prevent hair growth
The juice of sweet limes beaten with egg whites. Comb the hair, put
(the mixture) on (the hair), and powder it with powdered ginger. At
three or four times that this is done it will not return to grow any
Recipe to make bile for the face
Take four cow galls, and an escudilla of the juice of sweet limes,
and another escudilla of water of dirty fleece; and four maraveds of
myrrh, and four (maraveds) of tincal, one of rock solimn; the
well-washed and crushed root of a white lily, another root of an arum
lily, a little raw honey. Boil all this in a glass pot until it is
thick. And take heed that the myrrh, and the tincal, and the solimn
and the honey will finish after having boiled with the other things.
And after it has thickened, strain it with a linen cloth. And put it
in a flask, putting in it four maraveds of camphor.
Tallow for the hands
Two layers of kidney-fat of a goat and one of a sheep, cut into
pieces. Soak it in water for nine days, stirring the water every day.
After washing it very well, and the water has been well-purified,
melt it in a glass pot and throw in a little sweet lime juice. And
afterwards strain it, and make the loaves in your escudillas on sweet
lime juice. And after it solidifies, make the loaves into pieces, and
again melt them in a vessel of silver or glass. And put with it
scented oil, whichever you like and the quantity you desire, and then
make your little loaves.
Water to wash the face
Put in a new stew-pot an azumbre of white wine, and another (azumbre)
of water; and put with it borax, clarimente, camphor, verdigris, rock
solimn, strong southernwood resin, black chick-peas, sea beans, a
small mound of white lead, green dragon, opium poppies, gourd seeds,
bitter almonds: a maraved of each of these things. And grind each of
these things by itself. And put also a little washed turpentine, and
six cleaned and quartered sweet limes. And lid the pot very well, and
put it to the fire. And cook it until it has diminished by three
fingers' breadth. And then put the lid on it and cover it with cloth
and leave it to be a good while so that it rests. And then add into
it four crumbled eggs with the shells and all. And beat it well with
a stick, and again put the cloth back on and leave it two or three
days. And when the three days have passed, strain that water and keep
it in a flask to wash your face with it.
(there are several items she didn't translate from the 16th C.
Spanish: rock solimn, clarimente, tincal... anyone have any idea what
these are in modern English?)
I know the names for lemon and lime are very similar both in Arabic
and in most European languages, as others have remarked. And thanks
for that OED information, Huette, although it only speaks to English
and not when the fruits were differentiated in other places.
So given the linguistic confusion between lemons and limes, if limes
were really being grown in Europe, then i wonder if they may have
been used interchangeably with lemons in cuisine. Does this sound
Or were they only used medicinally?
Interestingly (well, to me anyway), that article that Bridgit pointed
out indicates that not only were bitter oranges (naranias), lemons
(limones), limes (limas), and citrons (toronias) grown in al-Andalus
and hence SCA-period Spain, but pummelos, too! as "azamboos", from
the Arabic zanbu. Not sure how they were being used, though...
Next question: Has anyone substituted limes in SCA-period recipes
calling for lemons? If so, what has been successful?
I love limeade... maybe next time i make sharbat bi-laimun, i'll use
limes instead of lemons. BTW the Berkeley Bowl has a citrus that
looks like a lemon but isn't sour - IIRC, they're called Palestine
limes... or lemons... i'm now confused :-)
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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