[Sca-cooks] elderflowers & Currants

Kerri Martinsen kerri.martinsen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 07:20:48 PDT 2008

I would like to disagree about the currants.

The red currant was first *cultivated* in Scandanavia, appearing in London
markets at the end of the 16th century.(1)

Rumpolt refers to "36. Turten von Johannesbeer." as opposed to "schwartze
Weinbeer" refered to in recipe #5 (both in the Turten section (
Weinbeer is a grape (schwartze=black) so a black grape would mostlikely be a
zante currant. (also seen in Sabina)

Modernly, *Johannisbeere* referes to "*fruit of shrubs of the genus Ribes
[rubrum or nigrum]".  *When used without a color identifier it refers to red
currants by default.
An alterate modern word would be Ribisel (austria dialect).

The genus is native to Western Europe (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands,
Northern Italy, France)(2) and includes Gooseberries (referred to in #13.
Nim*b* *Grosselbeer*/ mach sie mit Zucker vnnd schwartzen Weinbeern).
Obviously a different fruit than the Weinbeern.

(side note:  *"Grosselbeer." Stachelbeere (Ribes grossularia). Auf der
Rückseite: "Wegdornbeer." Purgier-Kreuzdorn (Rhamnus cathartica). 2
Darstellungen auf 1 Blatt.
*Altkolorierte Holzschnitte auf ganzer Textseite von David Kandel aus
Hieronymus Bock "Kreüter Buch" 1595. 32x20 cm. Blattgrösse.
Its sounds like an intersting book within our period - source:

Sabina refers to white currants in #72, at least in the title (weisße
eipersberlen) as translated by David Friedman (3).

(1) http://www.luvnpeas.org/edibility/edible4.html source:
Willis, F. Roy. *From Ancient Times Through the Seventeenth Century* 2nd ed.
Vol. 1 of Western Civilization: An Urban Perspective. Lexington: DC Heath &
Co., 1977. An enjoyable history text, of no particular horticultural value.

(2) http://www.uga.edu/fruit/ribes.html (brief history - not sourced)
(3) http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html

*note to self, more research......
This abstract might be worth buying ($25):


On 6/3/08, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net>
> Also, I've found references to currants but not the colors in recipes,
>> anyone know if the black ones are periodish or should I just save the red
>> ones  for
>> my SCA recipes?
> The extreme likelihood is that most of the currant references in medieval
> recipes are to Raisins of Corinth, a.k.a. Zante currants, which are really a
> small, dried grape. I won't try to rule out the use of red or black
> berry-type currants, but it does seem like they're vastly outnumbered by
> Raisins of Corinth.
> Adamantius

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