[Sca-cooks] period pickles and preserves

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 3 18:41:40 PDT 2008

>The recipe for Na'an Mukhallal in "In
>a Caliph's Kitchen"

That's Na'na', which is Arabic for mint.

>which consists of period recipes edited/translated by
>David Waine might be useful.

Alas, "In a Caliph's Kitchen" is long out of print and very difficult 
to locate. However, this recipe is from al-Baghdadi' book of recipes 
- and although not credited, all the al-Baghdadi recipes in the book 
by David Waines appear to be taken directly from A.J. Arberry's 
groundbreaking 1937 translation.

>It is a vinegar mint sauce which also appears
>to have been used to pickle garlic?

As this recipe is in al-Baghdadi's cookbook, one can refer to (1) 
A.J. Arberry's original ground breaking but problematic version from 
the 1930s, (2) the version in "Medieval Arab Cookery" annotated by 
Charles Perry, or (3) Charles Perry's completely new translation.

There are also recipes for pickled cucumbers, pickled turnips, 
pickled raisins, etc. in the Arabic language cookbooks.

Some of these recipes first salt the vegetables, let them stand for 
an allotted period of time, then rinse them and put them in vinegar.

I've also used a mix of brine and vinegar to pickle cucumbers with 
mint - period Arabic language recipes suggest other possible herbs as 
well, such as tarragon.

There are more recipes for pickled things in European cookbooks.

I've made pickled mushrooms by combining these two recipes:

Lady Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book, 16th century
To Pickle Mushrooms. Take your Buttons, clean ym with a sponge & put 
ym in cold water as you clean ym, then put ym dry in a stewpan & 
shake a handful of salt over ym, yn stew ym in their own liquor till 
they are a little tender; then strain ym from ye liquor & put ym upon 
a cloath to dry till they are quite cold. Make your Pickle before you 
do your mushrooms, yt may be quite cold before you put ym in. The 
Pickle must be made with White-Wine, White-Pepper, quarter's Nutmeg, 
a Blade of Mace & a Race of ginger.

Sir Kenelme Digbie's The Closet Opened, 17th century
Pickled Champignons. Cut the great ones into halves or quarters, 
seeing carefully there be no worms in them; and peel off their upper 
skin on the tips: the little ones, peel whole. As you peel them, 
throw them into a basin of fair-water, which preserves them white.
      Then put them into a pipkin or possnet of Copper (no Iron) and 
put a very little water to them, and a large proportion of Salt. If 
you have a pottle of Mushrooms, you may put to them ten or twelve 
spoonfuls of water, and two or three of Salt. Boil them with a pretty 
quick-fire, and scum them well all the while, taking away a great 
deal of foulness, that will rise. They will shrink into a very little 
room. When they are sufficiently parboiled to be tender, and well 
cleansed of their scum, (which will be in about a quarter of an 
hour,) take them out, and put them into a Colander, that all the 
moisture may drain from them.
      In the mean time make your pickle thus: Take a quart of pure 
sharp white Wine Vinegar (elder-Vinegar is best) put two or three 
spoonfuls of whole Pepper to it, twenty or thirty Cloves, one Nutmeg 
quartered, two or three flakes of Mace, three Bay-leaves; (some like 
Lemon-Thyme and Rosemary; but then it must be a very little of each) 
boil all these together, till the Vinegar be well impregnated with 
the Ingredients, which will be in about half an hour. Then take it 
from the fire, and let it cool.
      When the pickle is quite cold, and the Mushrooms also quite 
cold, and drained from all moisture: put them into the Liquor (with 
all the Ingredients in it) which you must be sure, be enough to cover 
them. In ten or twelve days, they will have taken into them the full 
taste of the pickle, and will keep very good half a year. If you have 
much supernatant Liquor, you may parboil more Mushrooms the next day, 
and put them to the first. If you have not gathered at once enough 
for a dressing, you may keep them all night in water to preserve them 
white, and gather more the next day, to joyn to them.

There's also this in Marx Rumpolt, Ein New Kochbuch, 1581
Rote Ruben [Red Roots]:
Red beets preserved with finely cut horseradish, anise, coriander, 
and a little caraway, special if the beets are marinated in half wine 
and half vinegar.

Ein Buch von Guter Spise, mid-14th C.
48. Ein condimentlin
A condiment. Flavor with caraway seeds and anise, with pepper and 
with vinegar and with honey. And make it gold with saffron. And add 
thereto mustard. In this condiment you may make sulze (pickled or 
marinated) parsley, and small preserved fruit and vegetables, or 
beets, which(ever) you want.

I used two variations to prepare cucumbers and cabbage. I altered the 
seasonings so they wouldn't taste the same.
-- For the cucumbers: whole caraway seeds, whole fennel seeds, whole 
dill seed, whole peppercorns, ground mustard seeds, salt, saffron, 
honey, white wine vinegar
-- For the cabbage: whole caraway seeds, whole anise, whole 
peppercorns, salt, honey, red wine vinegar

For more fun and games with pickles:

And, of course, there's "Compost" which is a relish rather like 
"chutney" (for some definition of chutney - but not the mango kind 
:-) It contains pears, carrots, turnips, home-made mustard, lots of 
spices, vinegar, etc. When made right it's really yummy.
See Stefan's Florilegium again:
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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