[Sca-cooks] Qi min yao shu, was: Making vinegar?

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 14 10:59:49 PST 2009

According to the Library of Congress, 'Qi min yao shu' is 6th Century AD.  Looking at the entries, not all of this work is cookery.  A lot deals with agriculture.  This record that I found was the first that gives 'cookery' as a subject

Jia, Sixie, 6th cent. 
  Qi min yao shu. Yin shi bu fen / Jia Sixie zhuan ; Shi Shenghan jin shi. 
Di 1 ban. Beijing : Zhongguo shang ye chu ban she, 1984. 
  222 p. ; 19 cm. 
Zhongguo peng ren gu ji cong kan 
Cookery, Chinese--Early works to 1800. 

Unfortunately, this book has not been translated.  The version that I have found translated, is about agriculture, not cookery:

Shi, Shenghan. 
  A preliminary survey of the book Chʻi min yao shu : an agricultural encyclopaedia of the 6th century /  Shih Sheng-han. 2d ed.  Peking : Science Press : distributed by Guozi Shudian, 1962, t.p. 1974. 
  x, 107 p. ;  21 cm. 
At head of title: Chʻi min yao shu kai lun. 
Passages quoted in Chinese with English translation. 
  Jia, Sijie, 6th cent.  Qi min yao shu. 
  Agriculture--Early works to 1800. 

So I am not sure how beneficial the English version would be to cookery.

Looking on WorldCat, I found that Washington State University, in Pullman, has an English version of this title, although not the same publisher.  It still is listed as being under 'Agriculture'.

The English translated version I listed above has a lot of copies in many universities.  

Univ. of Calif., Riverside; UCLA; UC Berkeley; UC Davis; Stanford Univ.; Calif. State Univ., Los Angeles; Claremont Colleges; San Francisco Public Library; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson; Brigham Young Univ.; Univ. of Utah;  St. Johns College, Santa Fe; Univ. of Oregon, Eugene; Portland State Univ.; Univ. of Colorago, Boulder; Univ. of Denver; Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver; Texas A&M; Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Univ. of Regina; Univ. of Saskatchewan; Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis; Washington Univ. St. Louis; Univ. of Iowa; Iowa State Univ.; Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Southern Illinois Univ.; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Carthage College; Indiana Univ.; Northwestern Univ.; Vanderbilt Univ.; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Miami Univ., Ohio; Cleveland Public Lib.; Univ. of Akron; Univ. of Kentucky; Michigan State Univ.; Univ. of
 Michigan, Ann Arbor; Buffalo Public Library; Univ. of Rochester; Cornell Univ.; SUNY Binghamton; Brooklyn Public Lib.; Columbia Univ.; New York State Lib.; New York City Pub. Lib.; McMaster University; Univ. of Pittsburg; Penn State Univ.; Univ. of Penn., Philadelphia; Duke Univ.; North Carolina State Univ.; Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; George Washington Univ.; Univ. of Delaware, Newark; Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Princeton Univ.; Univ. of Vermont, Burlington; Amherst College; Boston College; Brandais Unive.; Harvard Univ.;
Dartmouth College; Univ. of Connecticut; Yale Univ., Univ. of Rhode Island; Dalhousie Univ.; Univ. of Sheffield, UK; Cambridge Univ.; Oxford Univ.; Massey Univ. NZ; Latrobe Univ. Victoria, Australia; Australian National Univ. Camberra; State Lib. of South Australia; Univ. of Queensland; Univ. of Western Australia; Univ. of Melbourne.

I skipped some of the smaller American libraries, the European libraries, and the Asian libraries. I also skipped over all the Chinese language copies.

So, Thomas of Silverwood, there probably is a copy somewhere close to you.  I am just not sure that this English copy has the vinegar recipes in it, but not having seen this book, I cannot be sure.

The first book that I mentioned is not translated into English, but it does deal with cookery.  Perhaps Adamantius' wife or MIL could translate this for us?


--- On Sat, 11/14/09, David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com> wrote:

> From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making vinegar?
> To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: Saturday, November 14, 2009, 9:27 AM
> WOW What a great entry.
> Good luck. 
> Eduardo 
> On 11/13/09 11:17 PM, "Robert Dunn" <robert.arthur.dunn at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Glad to see I'm not alone in my madness of vinegar
> making!
> > 
> > There are a lot of sources for vinegar making from the
> 1700-1800
> > period, but prior to that I haven't had much luck with
> primary sources.
> > 
> > I found a French encyclopedia of mechanical processes
> from 1789(ish-
> > it's downstairs right now) which stated that 
> those who entered the
> > Corporatif du Maitres Vinegriers were sworn to
> secrecy.  So much for
> > getting first-hand accounts of the Orleans method.
> > 
> > There are several online sources in GoogleBooks that
> detail production
> > methods from Orleans to the Pasteur process.  Try
> searching for
> > "treatise vinegar manufacture."
> > 
> > There is however the Qi Min Yao Shu, a multi volume
> work from China in
> > the  3rd(?) century which contains methods for
> making 22 types of
> > vinegar.  I have yet to find a translation, later
> edition, etc near me.
> > 
> > 
> > I'm actually entering my first vinegar (alegar) today
> at the St.
> > Eligius event in Dragonship Haven, EK.
> > 
> > I made a brown ale based on a narrative from Digby, an
> alegar in an
> > oak cask (Orleans Method) from the brown ale, and a
> horseradish sauce
> > using the alegar I made instead of vinegar.
> > 
> > Bob
> > Thomas of Silverwood
> > 
> > 
> > On Nov 13, 2009, at 2:42 PM, Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > 
> >> 
> >> I'm thinking about learning to make vinegar.
> >> 
> >> Vinegar seems so essential to so many
> >> 
> >> cultures as a preservative and food but I don't
> >> 
> >> see many people making it, which is sad because
> >> 
> >> it is so much a part of pretty much any
> civilization.
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> Any sources on vinegar making? I'm thinking of
> >> 
> >> trying some when we get moved into the new house
> >> 
> >> and I have a garage.
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> Gunthar
> >> 
> >>
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