[Sca-cooks] Period substitute for tomatoes?

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Fri Aug 21 06:33:22 PDT 2009

You are starting backwards. Don't take your modern dishes into the past--
research actual medieval dishes and make them in your kitchen today.
(It's almost always a failure to take a modern 21st century recipe and 
to think that by removing the New World tomatoes, & red peppers, you'll
end up with something that tastes ok.)

We have actual pre-1600 recipes for a number of countries and ethnicities.
Take a look at what is offered at:

One book you might like is The Original Mediterranean Cuisine by Barbara 
It covers those areas of interest and has appropriate recipes and a 


Judith Epstein wrote:
> 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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