[Sca-cooks] Riddle was oatcakes
t.d.decker at att.net
Tue Apr 7 21:29:36 PDT 2009
> Terry Decker wrote:
>> Interesting word. A riddle is a coarse sieve used to seperate grain from
>> chaff. The two common forms of riddle appear to be a plate with holes
>> drilled in it or a wooden rim strung with a coarse wire mesh. From the
>> usage, a riddle cake appears to be an oatcake made from coarse grain
>> rather than from cut or milled oats. And yes it is the source of the
>> term, "riddle with bullets," from an earlier term, "to make a riddle of."
> This made me think of funnel cakes. If you put a medium thick batter in a
> plate with holes it would drop down in spots, making a thin, lacy, crispy
> cake on a griddle. The drops of batter should spread into each other. I
> have not read enough period oatcake recipes to know if this is plausible,
> so I could be way off, but I am trying to think 'outside the box' of
> modern cooking and to have fewer pre-conceived notions about how is
> should/must be. So it is just a thought I am throwing out there.
This particular dough isn't very batter-like, being too heavy to run
effectively. There is a variant of the riddlecake from the early 19th
Century where the dough is forced through a riddle onto a board then
transferred to a griddle to bake, so your speculation has merit. On the
otherhand, most of the few other descriptions I've seen make riddlecakes out
to be a regular shaped oatcake.
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