[Sca-cooks] 16th Century recipes for Chocolate
Guenievre de Monmarche
guenievre at erminespot.com
Tue Dec 8 08:28:22 PST 2009
There's a fairly interesting page on Spanish chocolate drinking here,
focusing mostly on a Spanish recipe from about 1631 - not QUITE pre-1600,
but still interesting:
On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Craig Daniel <teucer at pobox.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 3:28 AM, Stefan li Rous
> <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> > Craig Daniel (Sorry, I don't remember your persona name, and you didn't
> > your message) said:
> No worries.
> (Though, for the curious, my SCA name - albeit not yet registered - is
> Jaume de Monçó. I'm 16th-century Catalan.)
> > <<< That said, I love me some Chocolate or an Indian Drinke, which is the
> > first recipe I know of for something that is documentably late period
> > but missing actual pre-1600 recipes. >>>
> > We do have some recipes for chocolate drinks from before 1600 CE. We have
> > more from the 17th century, but we do have some from the 16th.
> Really? Excellent! Wadsworth's "Indian Drinke" version is the closest
> I'd ever even heard mentioned, and I'd heard it was the earliest, but
> maybe that's just because it's the best known old one.
> I know what I'm drinking as the winter grows colder...
> > The seller of fine chocolate is one who grinds,
> > who provides people with drink, with repasts.
> > She grinds cacao; she crushes, breaks, pulverizes them.
> > She chooses, selects, separates them.
> > She drenches, soaks, steeps them.
> > She adds water sparingly, conservatively;
> > aerates it, filters it, strains it, pours it back and forth, aerates it;
> > She makes it form a head, makes it foam;
> > She removes the head, makes it thicken;
> > makes it dry, pours water in, stirs water into it.
> Question: is she making unsweetened baking chocolate here, or coming
> reasonably close thereto? Because this sure sounds like she's
> thoroughly drying the pods, extracting the nibs, then liquifying them
> (using as little water as necessary to do so), stirring the result
> smooth, and drying it. But there's a lot of water going in at several
> stages along the way, and that confuses me somewhat.
> > She sells good, superior, potable [chocolate];
> > the privilege; the drink of nobles, or rulers
> > finely ground, soft, foamy, reddish, bitter;
> Random side note: The "reddish" color is quite strong in Wadsworth's
> recipe - he adds annatto.
> > [with] chile water, with flowers,
> The only chile water I'm familiar with is a Hawaiian condiment, which
> I'm guessing is not intended here. Maybe if I just steep the chiles in
> water I'll get something workable.
> > with uei uacaztli (Cymbopetalum penduliflorum),
> Hm. I've never even herd of this ingredient.
> > with mecaxochitl (Piper amalago),
> Wikipedia (not a great source, but an easily accessible one while I'm
> first collecting my thoughts about a recipe) informs me that
> mecaxochitl is hoja santa, an herb available in many Mexican
> groceries, as it's used in authentic Oaxacan cuisine - and WP tells me
> one of its uses modernly is to make chocolate. Unfortunately WP also
> tells me it's supposed to be Piper auritum.
> > with wild bee honey, with powdered aeromatic flowers.
> More unspecified flowers. Hm.
> > [Inferior chocolate has] maize flour and water; lime water;
> So, don't add tortilla meal to my chocolate. Heh.
> > [it is] pale; the [froth] bubbles burst.
> > [It is chocolate] with water added –
> > Chontal water
> > [fit for] water flies.
> > Barnardino de Sahagún, c.1500-1590, Franciscan missionary
> Unlike the 1652 version, this doesn't give quantities. But I could
> totally consult that for insight unless I find an older version that
> Once I get good results, I'll post a redaction.
> - Jaume
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