[Sca-cooks] Butter

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 24 12:42:30 PDT 2008

I've been enjoying the education about butter, clarified butter, and ghee. 

On a non-period note, a friend of mine back in college used to put marijuana in ghee and let it steep, then strain it and use the infused ghee on toast. Getting high AND attending to the munchies at the same time! ;-)

Period-wise, and in relation to my own personal obsession, medieval Sicily, here's some notes about the use of butter in the island's cuisine from Clifford Wright: http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/bycategory.php/recipe_id/886/id/15/. (That recipe looks yummy, too; wish my husband was not lactose intolerant.)

I like the note about the use of butter during the festivals for the Erycinian Venus (Eryx is the modern-day town of Erice). Also the bit about the use of butter as a cheese substitute in Corleone. One thing my Sicilian grandmother always did was use butter instead of olive oil for her garlic bread. My Italian teacher in college, who was from Rome, was surprised when I told her that. Apparently that's not a common practice on the mainland and especially in Rome. I've wondered if the use of butter in this case was a holdover from the distant past, since she was from Corleone.


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