[Sca-cooks] Butter

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jun 24 05:56:51 PDT 2008

On Jun 24, 2008, at 7:23 AM, Volker Bach wrote:

> --- Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net>  
> schrieb am Di, 24.6.2008:
>>>> --- Kerri Martinsen
>> <kerrimart at mindspring.com> wrote:
>>>>> *Butter for health purposes* was left in the
>>>>> sunlight for 12-14 days, this
>>>>> bleaches it and removes the Vitamin A, whilst
>> adding
>>>>> Vitamin D. This was
>>>>> given to children to help prevent rickets.
>>> I've seen a period recipe like this, it's
>> really bugging me that I
>>> can't remember where. (I'll remember just
>> _after_ I send the email.)
>>> It was called something like "May butter"
>> I also remember a May butter reference, but, also, was
>> trying to
>> remember where I'd seen it, and didn't have a
>> chance to go digging for
>> it.
> There is something in Meister Eberhard, but it requires rose petals  
> to be infused in May butter hung up in the sun for a few weeks. The  
> ingredient is may butter, not the result. Could that have been it?
> Giano

It sounds like what other people have referred to as May butter, but  
I'm probably remembering some secondary source, somebody like Reay  
Tannahill or C. Anne Wilson or one of those people...

Okay, here we go:

"In early summer May butter was prepared for the benefit of children.  
Thomas Cogan described how it was made by setting new, unsalted butter  
out on open platters out in the sun for twelve to fourteen days. This  
bleached out the colour and much of the vitamin A, and made the butter  
very rancid. But, it acquired extra vitamin D from exposure to the  
sun's rays, and thus had some curative power for children with rickets  
or pains in the joints. [21]"

"Ch. 5, 21: 	Cogan, p. 156; Sir J.C. Drummond and A. Wilbraham, 'The  
Englishman's Food' (1939), p. 83."

The above quotes are from C. Anne Wilson's "Food and Drink in  
Britain", c. 1973 C. Anne Wilson, Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago,  

It doesn't seem like there's a really good way to prove conclusively  
that this was done, but for those concerned with rancidity, it might  
be worth noting that some people do consume rancid butter by choice.  
The yak butter swirled into Tibetan tea, for example, is, IIRC,  
traditionally used in a slightly rancid state. Of course, if it should  
turn out that I read that in a book by C. Anne Wlson, I could be in  
trouble... ;-)


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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