[Sca-cooks] Honey Sopapilla!

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sat Aug 21 18:53:40 PDT 2010

Sopapilla appears to derive from the Iberian Arabic "xopiapa" meaning "bread 
soaked in oil."  Wikipedia, BTW, suggests that the Arabic derives from the 
German "suppa."  This makes me wonder if the word may not derive from the 
Visigoths in North Africa.

As we know them, sopapillas have been around since the 18th Century and 
probably earlier, but they appear to be a New World dish.  The New Mexican 
style dessert sopapilla you are talking about is made with flour, salt, 
lard, and milk leavened with baking powder.  So, sopapillas are probably not 
in the Medieval/Rennaisance corpus.  The puff is from the frying.

As for deep frying not being period, what do you mean by deep?  Foot deep 
frying vats may not be period, but most deep frying can be done in an inch 
or two of oil.


> Recently on the Gleann Ahbann list they were talking about modern "fair 
> foods" like deep-fried candy bars and funnel cakes and turkey legs. In an 
> attempt to turn things in a more period direction, I pointed out that some 
> "fair foods" have medieval equivalents. and this reply got me to thinking.
> What I think this lady is talking about is a puffed, biscuit/pastry often 
> served in Tex-Mex restaurants that you put butter or honey on and eat. 
> I've seen it as a dessert as well as eaten along with a meal. I think it 
> could be period, at least from the ingredients. Is it?
> Does it use a rising agent or yeast? Or is does it puff up just from being 
> deep fried?  A while back I would have said it was unlikely to be period 
> because of the deep frying, but we do have some deep fried medieval 
> dishes, and it might not need to be deep fried, just fried. And no, I 
> haven't gone digging around on the web and looking at the modern recipes, 
> yet.
> I'd be interested in hearing from the experts here.
> Stefan
> ===============
> Honey Sopapilla!
> On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM, Stefan li Rous
> <stefanlirous at austin.rr.com>wrote:
>> "Churros, Funnel Cake, Barbecued turkey legs."
>> Are folks aware that there are period recipes for funnel cakes? And I
>> think, for the Churros as well?
>> fried-breads-msg (42K) 12/ 9/08 Period fried breads. Funnel cakes, 
>> donuts.
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/fried-breads-msg.html
>> Ital-Fnl-Caks-art (6K) 6/29/06 "Italian Funnel Cakes" by Mistress 
>> Helewyse
>> de Birkestad
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/Ital-Fnl-Caks-art.html
>> Pretzels are period as well, although I don't know if anyone has tracked
>> down a recipe, yet. The shape definitely is and can be seen in woodcuts
>> showing pretzel venders on the street.
>> pretzels-msg (66K) 6/10/07 Period pretzels and pretzel-like breads.
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/pretzels-msg.html
>> and a similar item, jumbles.
>> jumbals-msg (10K) 3/20/08 Knotted twists of dough similar to pretzels.
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/jumbals-msg.html
>> Even pizza appears to be period. Of course without tomato sauce.
>> pizza-msg (20K) 9/ 2/06 Period pizza and similar items.
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/pizza-msg.html
>> Is-it-Pizza-art (27K) 4/27/04 "When is a Pizza not a Pizza?" by Helewyse 
>> de
>> Birkestad
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/Is-it-Pizza-art.html
>> And of course fairs of all types are period:
>> fairs-msg (6K) 1/10/01 Medieval fairs. Trade fairs. SCA events.
>> http://www.florilegium.org/files/CELEBRATIONS/fairs-msg.html
>> Just some things to think about. Perhaps some food items for SCA taverns 
>> to
>> keep in mind?
>> Stefan
> --------
> THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
>   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas 
> StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
> **** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****
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