[Sca-cooks] serving unusual foods

Stefan li Rous stefanlirous at austin.rr.com
Sun May 10 22:39:45 PDT 2009

Urtatim mentioned getting a Japanese breakfast:

<<< She was beaming broadly as she brought us our fresh hot  
breakfast. Hot green tea. Lots of hot white rice. Bowls of miso soup  
(i LOVE miso soup). Dishes of uncooked nori (the flat seaweed sushi  
is wrapped in). Raw eggs.

Raw eggs? So the Japanese students who were hanging out with us  
showed us how to eat them. At the exact moment, take the steaming hot  
rice out of its covered dish, put it into one's rice bowl.  
IMMEDIATELY crack the raw egg over the rice, drop the shell aside,  
and stir, stir, stir. The rice is hot enough to "cook" the egg. >>>

What would you have done if you didn't have these Japanese students  
around to explain what to do with the egg? Do you think you would  
have figured it out on your own? It sounds like if you don't mix the  
egg in quick enough you might not get a good dish. Would you have  
broken it into the miso soup? Soft-boiled it in the shell in the miso  
soup? Would you have put the nori in the miso soup? Eaten the egg raw?

Unfortunately this is how I feel when in some different ethnic  
restaurants or in some ethnic food stores. Shelf upon shelf of  
unusual items that *might* be interesting in food or cooked or  
prepared somehow. But how?  There are some books now that help de- 
mystify the various ethnic groceries.

But do you ever serve some medieval dishes that might strike people  
the same way? What dishes?  How have you handled it at feasts you've  
cooked? Have you just expected the feasters to figure it out? Perhaps  
it's simply the matter of which sauce goes with which meat or food item?

Perhaps it is the matter of serving a whole, small bird. Not all  
feasters have been faced with figuring out how to eat such a thing  
before. Or eating a whole, or almost whole fish with most of its  
bones intact. Or sending a large chunk of bird or beast to the table  
and expecting those at the table to be able to portion it out? (Not  
to mention this is probably not a period way of doing it). How did  
you handle things?

In some places medieval foods/feasts have a bad reputation. Sometimes  
it is because the feasts in those areas have been inedible. Sometimes  
perhaps it has been something like this, the unfamiliar. What can be  
done to solve this?

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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