[Sca-cooks] Spices, Spice Names

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 29 13:54:51 PDT 2009

On a "Social Networking Site" for SCA cooks, someone asked
>  > I have found sources for spices used in the middle ages but found 
>it be confusing. So I
>  > figured I'd ask here and maybe we could come up with a easy to 
>read and to understand
>  > list.

I asked:
>  What is it that you find confusing? Middle English names? Spices 
>not commonly used today? > If i had some idea, perhaps i could come 
>up with something that you found less
>  confusing...

They replied:
>  > I want just a list with modern names of the medieval spice that 
>we use in our cooking,
>  > so I can keep my spice racks stocked, and also try find one I 
>can't get locally. Period
>  > Names for spices are nice to know. Maybe something like this:
>  > Period Name = Modern Name
>  >    ? = Cinnamon
>  >
>  > Does that give you an idea what I'm looking for.

I replied:
>  Yes.
>  However, period names vary from one language to another and from 
>one time period to
>  another as spellings change and become more standardized. Which 
>culture are you most
>  interested in? Roman? Italian? French? English? German? Arabic?

They replied:
>  > I'm just looking for a simple list of Medieval/Period spice in 
>modern names from A to Z.
>  > I want this list to be easy for anyone just starting to cook in 
>the SCA. Thank you for your
>  > help. :)

I'm not getting much help from them as to the culture or time period 
they're interested in, no matter how or how much i ask. There's no 
such thing as a simple list that covers all times and cultures, and 
they just don't seem to get it... I think if i ask again i'll seem 

Has anyone complied a list of period and modern spice names for any 
cookbook? I know some cooks on this list specialize in one culture, 
so i thought maybe a few of you might have made a list of spices with 
their original and modern English names from your favorite cookbook.

I'm not asking someone to do all the work. But i figured if i can get 
a few lists, it will give me a bit of a head start and i won't have 
to go through dozens of cookbooks from scratch.

Thanks for any help.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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