[Sca-cooks] Butter

Doc edoard at medievalcookery.com
Tue Jun 24 06:43:38 PDT 2008

--- "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"
<adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:
> On Jun 24, 2008, at 7:23 AM, Volker Bach wrote:
> >
> > 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?

I did a quick search through Eberhard and didn't find
any recipes for making May Butter.  There was one
recipe that called for it, but no details on the
butter itself.

The only recipe I could find called "May Butter" was
the one in Ouverture that Johnnae already posted.  It
sounds more like a dessert than preserved butter, and
says nothing about ageing it in the sun.

> 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,  
> 1991.

So what we have here is a tertiary source (Wilson)
quoting another tertiary source (Drummond).  What's
more, "The Englishman's Food" is one of the root
sources for the Moldy-Meat-Myth.  Again, since vitamin
D was unknown before the 20th century (along with any
connection to rickets), and since butter can only
*lose* vitamin D over time, Drummond's statement is
certainly completely fabricated.

When I get home I'll check through my copy of Drummond
and see if he has any sources at all to back it up. 
I'll be really surprised if he does.  I'm used to
expecting fluff in Drummond's book.  Unfortunately
this makes me have to double check "facts" in Wilson's
book as well.

- Doc


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