[Sca-cooks] ISO carbonado references.

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Sep 2 13:16:34 PDT 2008

On Sep 2, 2008, at 12:24 PM, Ginny Beatty wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm working on my article for Artes Draconis on
> carbonadoes/carbonados/charbonados. Markham (English Housewife)  
> states that
> this particular cooking technique is French in its origin.
> However, the only French reference I've been able to find is a list  
> of foods
> in a Francois Rabelais story from 1532.

There's an article in Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food, in which  
the author states that the name may be derived from French, but the  
dish, perhaps, is not. He describes both French and Flemish carbonades  
(which is a stew with onions and beer, good stuff) and includes our  
Markham-based carbonadoes as being etymologically related, and goes on  
to quote a 19th-century English text which states the broiled dish is  
purely English and unrelated to anything French, Spanish, or Italian,  
or any of those suspect Continental origins.

Davidson goes on to state that in the interest of a fusion theory  
where everybody is right (yeah, that always works out!), he says he  
expects the name is derived from first the browning process applied to  
meat before braising (which he suggests would have been over  
charcoal), and later to meat being browned in a pan before braising,  
and only later to the stewing process overall.

I don't really buy this theory, especially since I think it's far more  
likely something charcoal burners cooked over a slow-burning fire  
(nobody suggests spaghetti carbonara is grilled over charcoal, do  

Sometimes there simply aren't any simple, logical answers that are  
consistent with all the other answers. Sorry, Stefan ;-).


"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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