[Sca-cooks] Request for food info some OOP

Craig Daniel teucer at pobox.com
Tue Jan 6 13:21:36 PST 2009

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 4:15 PM, Lisa <ladyemp at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> 2. I'm doing some?vinegar research and I recall a friend gifting us with
>> something called "five thieves vinegar"? which had a story behind it dating
>> to possibly the black plague.? Does anyone have a recipe for this and/or a
>> source for the backstory?
>> -Ardenia
> I found this in one of my herb books, The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia:
> Four Thieves Vinegar or Marseilles Vinegar
>   This recipe was still used until the late 19th century, although without
> the camphor (a good idea, considering it can be toxic when taken internally)
> and rue.  Some versions even eliminated the garlic!.  Herbs can be used
> dried or fresh.
> 4 oz each:
> rosemary tops
> sage flowers,
> garlic, sliced
> 2 oz lavendar flowers
> 1 1/2 oz rue flowers (if available)
> 1 oz camphor
> 1 tsp cloves, ground
> 1 gallon wine vinegar
> combine all ingredients in a bottle and let stand 7 days, occasionally
> giving it a good shake.  Strain out the solid.

Given that I've normally heard it called "four thieves vinegar" (at
least in modern conjure) I'm guessing the garlicless version is
intended to make the ingredients in it correspond in number to the
name - four herbs, four thieves. Although a quick google turns up one
recipe that's nothing but wine vinegar and a very large quantity of

It's supposed to keep away disease, as well as being used to ward off
people who mean you harm. Despite the claims that it dates back to the
black death, I'm guessing any specific recipe you find doesn't have an
oral tradition more than about a hundred years older than the source
*if that* - magical formulas change rapidly, and always claim to be
older than they are. If somebody has a source establishing four/five
thieves vinegar as period, I'll be quite surprised.

 - Jaume

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