[Sca-cooks] bretzel, bread and lye oh my

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Wed Aug 25 11:52:26 PDT 2010

>>> This led me to wonder if the source for that statement was based on
>>> something in Alexander Neckam's lexicon.  Unfortunately, my latin is
>>> limited, and I didn't find an obvious list of bready type things (grains
>>> though!).  I did note that the master cook (archimacherus) had in his
>>> cabinet 'vel salem panem' along with the spices, amidum and aromatics.
>>> These sound cracker like to me, but the footnotes say 'sianum (all.
>>> semmel)' which I think at least later is a white bread roll. I wonder if
>>> it could be a pretzel? But alas, no word.  (Note to self - check Du
>>> Cange).  There's also a list of equipment in the kitchen that bears
>>> translating.
>> Semmel can be either fine wheat flour or a roll made from fine wheat
>> flour.
>> When your're dealing with Latin, it can mean anything made with fine 
>> wheat
>> flour.
>> Bear
> I am now wondering how salt was traded.  Could this be loaves of salt?  It
> might make more sense in terms of being in the spice cabinet.
> Katherine

Sea salt tends to be a powder because it is evaporated out of salt water, 
but mined salt might be in a block or in coarswe or fine powder.


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