[Sca-cooks] Period Ingredients, was Historical Apples

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 31 14:16:24 PDT 2008

I wrote:
>  How about fruits and vegetables? Do we trace the heritage of the
>  seedless raisins we put into a dish? Were seedless raisins even
>  common in period? In the 15th c. Ottoman cookbook, for example, there
>  are frequently instructions for taking the seeds out of raisins. Same
>  goes for turnips, celery (which we all know is totally unlike period
>  celery),

Stefan replied:
>What is the same for turnips? removing the seeds? Something else that
>is different? How is today's celery totally unlike period celery?
>Okay some of this has probably been discussed here. It may even be in
>the Florilegium. :-)  But I, for one, don't know this.

I was not talking about seeds in turnips (they'd develop in the 
flowers, not the roots :-), but rather the likelihood that turnips 
today are not what they were 500 to 1400 years ago.

For most if not all of period, celery did not have thick, crispy, 
moist, crunchy, bland stalks we know today. Instead celery was mostly 
like the top of a bunch of modern celery (if it hasn't been cut off - 
which it mostly is). Celery was a bunch of short, thin, stringy, 
tough, bitter stalks which were not used in cooking - it was the 
large flavorful leaves that were used.

But the point i was trying to make was not about a few individual 
items. It was how much just about every commercial type of fruit and 
vegetable available in most markets today is different from the 
produce of the past.

So, must we address how *each ingredient* differs in our 
documentation? Because it is not enough just to say, "Turnips were 
different back in the day, but i can only get modern turnips at the 
market," because that does not address *how* they differ. And 
frankly, it's not easy to figure out the differences for all 

There's no way i can fit a run-down of every ingredient, plus 
everything else that needs to be discussed in cooking documentation, 
onto 2 or 3 pages.

The judging form used in the Kingdom and the Principalities of the 
Mists and Cynagua can be found at:

As i've mentioned, around here most people look at the "Spoons" as an 
entry into historical cooking, and not a test of the pinnacle of 
expertise, as far as i can tell.

How long is documentation in cooking competitions supposed to be in 
other places in the SCA? As long as you need? A very few pages? Does 
it vary with the competition?
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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