[Sca-cooks] Shakespeare, suckets, ambergris etc

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Fri Aug 28 13:10:23 PDT 2009

Alys mentioned a items and I thought I'd make a few, diverse comments.

<<< I'd almost add, if you want something actually Shakespearean, buy
something else.  I didn't look closely at the "food" recipes, but I did
look at the sugar/dessert ones.  The first thing I saw was that the
authors say that sugar paste is a combination of sugar and almonds.
What??!?? >>>

Wonder if they were thinking of marzipan?
marzipan-msg      (98K)  1/ 9/08    Use of marzipan (almond paste) in  
Sugar-Paste-art   (20K)  8/23/06    "Sugar Paste: A Cook's 'Play  
Dough'" by Dame
                                        Alys Katharine, O.L., O.P.
sugar-paste-msg  (126K)  1/ 9/08  Making sugar paste sotelties.

Here is some more info on food actually mentioned by Sharkespeare.
fd-n-Shkspear-msg (10K) 12/23/08    Mentions of food in Shakespeare's  

<<< They also equate "comfits" with "suckets" and have the potential  
making sugared orange peel (crisp, no less), and sticking it upright
into marchpanes. >>>

I've seen a fair amount, most commercial, candied orange peel which  
was stiff enough to stand up when stuck into cookies or whatever.
candied-peels-art (16K)  3/21/06    "Candied Fruit Peel" by Dame Alys  
candied-peels-msg (58K)  2/ 2/07    Candied fruit peels. A late period  

Even on this list we've tended to talk a lot more about comfits than  
suckets, as these two files indicate.
suckets-msg        (7K)  4/ 1/02    Spices, fruit or fruit peel in a  
sugar syrup
comfits-msg       (62K)  2/16/08    Period candied spices and seeds.  
Smooth-Cmfits-art (12K)  5/30/07    "Historic Comfits Using Modern  
Equipment" by
                                        Dame Alys Katharine, O.L., O.P.

<<< I noticed ambergris.  They mentioned that
it came from whales and that it was unavailable today so that if you
were making a recipe with it, leave it out.  Then, why o why did they
put it *in* the modern version??  (Yes, I know ambergris can be obtained
on the internet in other countries.) >>>

Lol. Hence the perennial question that continues to come up here about  
if I substitute for something in a medieval recipe is it still a  
medieval recipe? And if I do substitute, what is and is not an  
acceptable substitution. And if I can't obtain something, should I  
just skip that particular recipe and pick something else I do have all  
the ingredients for? And if I do have the ingredients, just how close  
do they resemble the named ingredients in period? etc, etc. :-)

ambergris-msg      (8K)  2/12/08    Use of ambergris in period.

My apologies if this is too many Florilegium references. However, I  
know there are a number of newer people here who have probably missed  
our earlier discussions on these topics and perhaps they, like I was,  
aren't familiar with some of these items at all. Or I was/am more  
ignorant than most. :-)

It's also interesting to note how many of the above articles were  
written by Alys Katherine. :-)

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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