[Sca-cooks] Period substitute for tomatoes?

Judith Epstein judith at ipstenu.org
Fri Aug 21 06:10:29 PDT 2009

I was a vegetarian for over a decade, and frequently cooked for vegan  
friends as well. I've kept kosher for about eight years now. I  
frequently host friends with Celiac disease, and cook gluten-free for  
them. You don't even want to KNOW how complicated my Passover menu  
plans can get, honoring kosher Celiac vegetarians.

Now I'm looking not just at religious or health-related restrictions,  
but also at Period-correct cooking. I know tomatoes couldn't be found  
in use until VERY late in Period, and even then, only for a handful of  
areas. My cooking styles are Persian, Arab, Indian, and Mediterranean  
(my persona is a traveller, and would certainly have wanted to try her  
hand at local cuisines, since among other things, her family trades in  
spices -- she'd want to know how the locals would be using them).

Anyone got an idea of what to substitute for tomatoes in things like  
tabbouleh, Jerusalem salad (entirely made of cucumbers, tomatoes, and  
onions, plus oil and spices), or the various biryanis and other Indian  
cooking which heavily features tomatoes or tomato paste? Tomatoes make  
up such a big part of my modern diet that I'm having trouble figuring  
out how to do without them in my medieval life.

Judith / no SCA name yet

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