[Sca-cooks] Substitute for Potatoes?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 25 14:37:20 PDT 2009

Judith Epstein wrote:
>The part I think is amazing is that people need BOOKS just to COOK. If
>I were putting on a documented Period feast, I would worry about that,
>because I'd be assuming I was in charge of feeding royals and nobles
>-- people who could afford to give books to their servants (cooks).
>But for the general populace, good grief. I never owned or used a
>single cookbook till I was about thirty and someone gave me one,
>thinking it was such a shocking thing that I didn't own any cook
>books. I assure you, though, I did cook, I never went hungry, and to
>this day it doesn't occur to me to consult anything in writing if I'm
>cooking for my family. I really find it hard to believe that I'm THAT
>different from our ancestors.

Ah, but you are! And so is the food you eat.

If we want to eat historical food, we refer to a wide variety of 
documents telling us what and how people ate in the past.

If we just make it up, it will be modern food. We do not think like 
they did, we do not use the same combinations of ingredients.

After a similar discussion a year or two ago i posted a period recipe 
that actually DID list substitutions, but withheld them. Out of 
dozens of guesses, only one person got it right. Those guessing were 
for the most part very experienced historical cooks, even some 

We just don't think the same way about food. If you invent dishes, or 
just leave out the blatantly New World or modern ingredients, what 
you will end up with is still modern food.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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