[Sca-cooks] Sesame Oil in 16th Century Ottoman Turkey
guillaumedep at gmail.com
Fri Aug 13 14:21:50 PDT 2010
"First, a question: Where was the author observing this taking place?"
My best guess is Constantinople as it is referred to in several previous
and subsequent passages. I have not had a chance to read through the
whole thing, so I am only familiar with a few passages.
"I realize that the masses of people do not eat like the Sultan, maybe,
instead of the butter (often clarified) so greatly used in the palace
Well, M. Belon notes that sesame oil is cheap, but so was butter, most
likely, from reading about a street stand in Constantinople that
specialized in dairy foods (both cow and sheep). Rich and poor alike
enjoyed the place because it was cheap. It had a menu including Melca
(Fresh Cheese Curds), Caimac (made of cream and in many different
styles. Greek: Aphrogala), and Oxygala. The author notes there was a lot
of Recuictte (Misitra / Mizithra -a cheese) used.
"On some other hand, given that the writer says flows soft as mustard, i
wonder if he is describing tahini."
From context, no. This seems pretty clear from the comparison with nut
and olive oils. It seems to me that the bit about mustard implies that
French mustard was pretty thin and runny.
"At the moment i am working on translating some 16th c. Persian recipes
from German into English (since i do not yet read 16th c. Persian). The
article was a pdf (mentioned here by Emilio) and i copied it into a text
program; it lost or confused various letters (esp. those with umlauts
and macrons), so i have had to compare the two texts side by side and
correct and amend and that takes a while."
Most word processing apps should have no problem with handling the
different characters. Notepad might, if you save it as ASCII rather than
Unicode. If I can be of help with this, please contact me off-list.
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