[Sca-cooks] to break or not to break is the question
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Oct 31 12:53:49 PDT 2009
On Oct 31, 2009, at 2:19 PM, Cheri or Anne wrote:
> I'm just wondering if it would be akin to baking a chicken in clay
> on a fire?
> Just a thought.
Probably. My suspicion is that while ceramic pots, and even terra
cotta, are something of a fancy foodie commodity now, they were cheap,
plentiful, and easily replaced in many of the cultures our period
recipes represent. I STR Le Menagier speaks of throwing away burnt
pots (as well as the plethora of period references to putting foods
into a new, clean, "fair" pot).
Talk to anyone using or making period-type clay pots today, and within
minutes you get a dozen horror stories of pots that cracked when
improperly used, placed too near the coals, or through simple
Now note the Islamic recipes that speak of using a hot potshard as a
means of browning foods on the top without an oven or broiler; I
suspect broken clay pots were an everyday thing for these people,
rather like coming up with uses for stale bread.
Broken potshards also turn up as rubble for filling hollow wall
structures, for example.
If a recipe says to break the pot, my suspicion is that if the
translation is accurate, they probably mean exactly that; or at least
the seeming outlandishness of the statement to us is no reason to
assume the translation is wrong.
Well, back to fooling around with salmon heads and bones, and
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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