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

Susan Fox selene at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 22 12:12:53 PDT 2008

Have I told you how much I appreciate you, Urtatim?  Thank you for this.

I certainly have marble slabs reserved for culinary use only.  I even 
have room to use them now, yay!

I've been going over the YouTube videos of the "dragon hair" candies 
lately, and darned if this doesn't look much like it.  The Chinese seem 
to roll up chopped peanuts in the candy but surely they have not been 
doing that for much more than one century. 

With gratitude, Selene
> First
> 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 books.
> Second
> "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 translation.
> 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.
> Third
> 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
> Finally
> 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.

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