[Sca-cooks] Yams was Substitute for Potatoes?

Anne-Marie Rousseau dailleurs at liripipe.com
Tue Aug 25 09:40:38 PDT 2009

Hello! My apologies for giving the simplistic explaination.

The original text in casteau describes several recipes for "tartoufles". The
word in medieval Italian (I was told) meant "truffle" but the recipes made
no sense to be truffles....(stewed in red wine and butter?  Roasted as one
does chestnuts and served with sauce? )

In 1604, Olivier de Serres published his "theatre d'agriculture et mesange
des champs". Therein he says "this plant, called cartoufle, bears fruits of
the same name resembling truffles and so called by some"  this can be paired
with a botanical drawing by another artist, clearly showing a potato vine
and its roots(A History of Food, Toussaint-Samat)

Cotgrave does not give the word tartufle, as written by Casteau. He does
however give the word Cartoufle (described as "a shrub that bears a
mushroom-like fruit, also the fruit itselfe") and a separate entry for
"truffe", which describes  "a most daintie kind of round and russet root, or
rootie excrescence, which growes in forests, or dry and sandie grounds, but
without any stalke, leafe or fiber annexed unto it"

We therefore can reach the conclusion that tartufle does NOT mean truffle
(an item that had its own entry) and that cartufle based on cotgraves
description meant potatoes. De Serre says that cartufles are sometimes
called truffles by some (perhaps the Italians?) and there you go.

Definite proof? No, of course not, but a logical conjecture based on several
independent contemporary sources.

Fun stuff, at least I think so :)

--Anne-Marie, who is a total geek sometimes :)

-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces+dailleurs=liripipe.com at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces+dailleurs=liripipe.com at lists.ansteorra.org] On
Behalf Of dmyers at medievalcookery.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:01 AM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Yams was Substitute for Potatoes?

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <dailleurs at liripipe.com>
> Casteaus Ovverature de Cuisine (1604) has recipes for "tartufles". there
is some discussion on if that is 
> truffle or potato, but Cotgraves contemporary French:English dictionary
describes them as as potatoes.

I just looked through Cotgraves and didn't find it.  Was it spelled

- Doc

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