[Sca-cooks] Period substitute for tomatoes?
t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Aug 21 12:14:26 PDT 2009
> That does indeed put the correct complexion on the problem. Where would I
> go to look up the recipes from my area of interest (Near East, North
> Africa, Arabian Peninsula, and India) that were the first to incorporate
> tomatoes and potatoes?
> Judith / no SCA name yet
If you're looking for period recipes in those regions, forget about it.
Tomatoes don't show up in recipes until the mid-18th Century, although Grewe
makes a case for their use prior to that date. While I'm fairly certain
tomatoes were eaten in Spain and Italy before 1600, their use3 was almost
The Irish potato doesn't show up as a foodstuff until 1570 and knowledge of
the plant is extremely limited. Gerard doesn't receive samples until 1586
and Carolus Clusius, who was the premier botanist of the period, only
recieves a specimen in 1587. We do know that potatoes were eaten in 1591
boiled in water then peeled(?) and cooked in butter. The source is a letter
from Landgraf Wilhelm IV von Hesse to Kurfu:rst Christian I von Sachsen,
which suggests that it was a culinary experiment with samples from the
Landgraf's botanical garden.
What you are more likely to find are recipes for sweet potatoes, which the
Portuguese spread to Africa and Asia during the first quarter of the 16th
Century. Unlike sweet potatoes, maize, turkeys, chili peppers and squash;
tomatoes and white potatoes seem to have been late in getting spread around
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