[Sca-cooks] elderflowers & Currants
lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 4 09:47:19 PDT 2008
While actual currants/Ribes show up in some recipes, i think
Adamantius is right in saying
> 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.
While Ribes/currants do show up in some SCA-period recipes. But
that's in a much smaller number of recipes than currants = raisins
made of grapes of Corinth, which are exceedingly common.
Don't get me wrong, i'm a fan of real currants.
In 1967 when i moved to Manhattan to go to Barnard College, i
discovered Haagen-Dazs ice cream, back when they only made about 5 or
6 flavors (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and rum-raisin ice creams, and
boysenberry sherbet) and were strictly local (i bought it at
Gristides, when their shops were fairly small). I also discovered
currant juice, imported from Germany. And i used to make a beverage
involving a scoop of Haagen-Dazs boysenberry sherbet, currant juice,
and fizzy water - that's when all i could cook was tuna salad and
Now, for the SCA i make syrups of currant juice, usually black
currant, but sometimes red, to take to events, along with other
syrups made of lemon, pomegranate, and cherry juices (individual
flavors), and sometimes peach.
But in most recipes in the English, French, Spanish, Italian, and
Middle Eastern corpus (corpi?), the currants being called for are
those little dried raisins of Corinth. So i concur with Adamantius
when he said:
> 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.
Since "real" currants are only useful in season, and to the best of
my knowledge cannot be dried for later use, the recipes using them
would be limited to when they would be fresh. I'm not questioning the
German sources that Vitha posted, and i'm glad to know about them,
since the Berkeley Bowl sells fresh currants/Ribes when in season
(but i haven't really memorized when that is - and when it is in
California may not quite be when it is in North Western Europe).
Also, back to elderflowers, i got some elderflower syrup from IKEA
for the purpose of making that elderflower "cheesecake", since i have
no idea where to get elderflowers. Haven't done it yet, but at least
i can when i get a round to it...
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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