[Sca-cooks] Pulled Sugar Penydes was SCA 50th Anniversary Challenge

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 22 11:48:53 PDT 2008

Stefan wrote:
>Brighid ni Chiarain said:
>  > Johnnae, you probably know about this already -- there are pulled
>  > sugar recipes in the 13th c. Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.
>Thank you for posting this. I will add this to my pulled-sugar-msg
>file. This is the earliest date I have for this.
>It definitely looks like pulled sugar, even without Brighid's
>addition here is period. I think the point of contention was whether
>some of the other techniques such as sugar blowing and spun sugar was
>period or not. I guess in my mind I was lumping all of these as
>"pulled sugar" which they aren't, although they all deal with
>manipulating sugar in it's semi-molten state.

A type of pulled sugar candy called fanidh is mentioned a number of 
times in "al-Kitab al-Tabikh" by ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, the 10th C. 
collection of 9th and 10th c. recipes (and in other books). In her 
expansive Glossary, Nasrallah mentions that these candies are usually 
in rounds and there are a number of different kinds, from both white 
and red sugar. Unfortunately, there's no recipe for fanidh in 
al-Warraq and i didn't find a recipe last night in a couple other 

"al-Kitab al-Tabikh" of al-Baghdadi, date 1226, which i think is 
earlier than the anonymous Andalusian cookbook, has a recipe for 
Halwa Yabisa, in Chapter 9, p. 98, in Charles Perry's recent new 

Halwa Yabisa. The way to make it is to take sugar, dissolve it with 
water, and boil it until it thickens. Then take it out of the dist* 
and put it on a smooth floor tile* until its heat subsides. Then 
pound an iron peg with a smooth head (into the wall), and throw (the 
candy) on it, and stretch it with the hand unceasingly. Return it to 
the peg like that until it turns white. Then throw it on the tile and 
knead pistachios with it, and cut it into strips and triangles. If 
you want, color it with saffron or cinnabar*. Some of it may be 
rolled (or kneaded) with peeled almonds, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds.

My Notes:
- A dist is a copper pot that is wider than it is high.
- Tiles are useful - i think the sugar is being put not directly on 
the *floor*, but on a clean tile, reserved for culinary purposes.
- Cinnabar is red mercury - do NOT use it to color your food.

A more detailed recipe was inserted in the marginalia of 
al-Baghdadi's book next to the above recipe. It was taken from ibn 
Jazla's book "Minhaj al-Bayan", an 11th century medical dictionary:
Halwa Uabisa Sukkariyya. It has many varieties. It is that you take 
sugar and put a quarter of a pound of water on a mann (two pounds) of 
it. Dissolve it and put it on a quiet fire until it becomes thick. 
When you take some of it and put it in the mouth or in mater, it will 
be chewy. If it does not become chewy, leave it (on the fire) a 
little more. Then take it up, throw it on a stone, and knead it with 
clipped crushed peeled almonds, about two ounces. Roll it out and 
leave it to dry, and take it up. If you want to put some saffron in 
it, let it be before it comes down from the fire. You might pound 
almonds fine and mix them with it. --- Perry's trans., pp. 98-99

In her Glossary to al-Warraq, Nasrallah mentions that there's a 
recipe for a pulled honey candy in "al-Fadalat al-Khiwan fi Tayybat 
al-Ta'am wa'l-Alwan" by ibn Razin al-Tujibi, dated 1230, from 
al-Andalus, although i think we don't yet have that particular recipe 
in translation. Nawal Nasrallah told me she intends to translate it, 
so we may have the whole book in someday.
I haven't noticed any spun or blown sugar in Arabic-language sources. 
But i don't always read the sweet recipes as carefully as i read meat 
and vegetable recipes.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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