[Sca-cooks] Drizzle of Honey

Susan Fox selene at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 29 09:20:42 PDT 2009

That's the old dichotomy in SCA documentation, isn't it?  That which we 
know in our hearts vs. that which can be proven with external evidence.

Occasionally the heart can be wrong.  I finally won an argument with a 
friend who insisted that Mayonnaise was OK for SCA use because all the 
ingredients were known in pre-1600 Europe.  That may be so, but there 
was no written evidence of that kind of emulsified sauce being invented 
much before the 18th Century and that story about the chef of the Duc de 
Richelieu having invented it in 1756.  But she just would not let go.  
So, she being a costume maven, I took it into the costuming world and 
insisted that since cotton fabric, indigo dye and copper rivets were 
known in pre-1600 Europe, that it was OK for me to wear blue jeans.  
Even though we have a solid date as to their invention by Levi Strauss 
in California.  She shut up. 

Certainly we have a lot of non-cookbook writings about the lives of Jews 
and Conversos in late Medieval Spain.  We need to run those down for 
solid dating of certain practices and put them all in one place.  Even 
an article with annotations for the existing book would be helpful for 
SCA purposes... but maybe a new book would be valuable, not just for SCA 
researchers but anybody interested in Jewish cultural heritage in general.

Of course, Stefan's Florilegium has an article on Jewish food with some 
citations that I think would interest you. 

Selene Colfox

Susan Lin wrote:
> While the recipes may not be documentable I do not think they are all
> modern.  I believe (and people will argue and yell at me but it my opinion
> and I will stick to it) that some may be based upon historical information.
> Everyone who wishes only to cook from documentable sources is entirely
> welcome to dismiss this book but I did find the history interesting.  There
> is a large section of footnotes and bibliography in the book.
> I have made several of the recipes including some of the harosets.  I have
> read other Jewish history regarding the Conversos and how families turned on
> one another and how the secret Jews had to be very careful.  It is an
> interesting part of history.
> I am a firm believer that the "creative" part of our name should not be
> discounted.  It is not easy to find period sources (many if not most of
> which have already been discovered) and much of the food history of the
> world was passed down without written memorialization.  I love finding
> period recipes or redactions from which to cook but not everything that was
> available or done will ever be found because as we all know many things were
> not written down they were just "known".
> Feel free to tell me I'm wrong and that only period sources that are
> memorialized in writing are proper to be used.  I will listen and thank you
> and take it all under advisement.
> In service to the dream and not wishing to cause controversy but knowing
> that I will.
> Shoshanna
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