[Sca-cooks] Break the pot

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 13:52:08 PDT 2009

Hrefna wrote:
> Porous pots are not necessarily non-hygienic. Especially if you heat 
> them when you cook. There was also a lack of understanding of germ 
> theory in period, so this would not be a period reason to not re-use a 
> pot. The reason given for using new pots in certain recipes is that an 
> old pot would absorb flavors. In something like a tagine this is 
> considered a good thing, the flavors transfer from one dish to the next 
> and build on each other. In some dishes you would not want the flavor of 
> old food, so the instructions would include to use a new pot. Also, if 
> they used a new pot for everything, it would probably not be written 
> down in a few recipes, it would either be in every recipe or, more 
> likely, just assumed for each.
I have never seen a PS saying do not throw out a tagine cause one wants 
the flavors to transfer from on one dish to the next. I have only seen 
'break the pot'.
A curious point is that we have to break the pot in Spain where pots 
were clay or of other materials. During the Middle Ages, Spain was 
exporting clay pots to England. I do not recall any English recipes 
calling for breaking those pots. Do you?
Also I cannot find my reference but I clearly remember someone between 
the 13th C Al-Andalus MS and Nola saying that the cooks did not trust 
the dishwashers. They took the pots outside and lay them on the ground 
bottom side up so the pots acquired the bad elements from the earth!
When you publish that ditty make sure you quote me hey ;-) !

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list