[Sca-cooks] Experimentation results for Amidono d' amido, and clove problems

Honour Horne-Jaruk jarukcomp at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 13 11:29:47 PST 2010

Respected friends:

--- On Sat, 2/13/10, Raphaella DiContini <raphaellad at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Greetings, 
>    Thank you all so much for your feedback and help. (snip)
> (original) amounts:
> 6 oz Almond
> 3 oz Amido/ starch
> 1.5 oz sugar (I used superfine baker's sugar)
> 1.5 oz peeled pine nuts
> .5 oz cloves
> the clove was still much,
> much too overwhelming. I could definitely see it's potential
> as it was quite tasty if visually unappealing before the
> clove was added. 
> (snip)
> (second try):
> pine nuts, and a pinch of clove. 
> The result was very well received. My stunt non-foodie even
> asked for more and there was nothing left at the end! 
> My theory on the completely overwhelming cloves is that
> they would have been more garnish, and as the description
> was "scrapes of sugar and cloves" that they weren't ground
> which diffuses the flavor much more powerfully and might to
> some degree have been eaten around. 
> (snip)
> In joyous service, 
> Raffaella

     There is another reason why the cloves, even if powdered, would not have overwhelmed the dish in the proportions originally listed.
Cloves came from the spice islands. Even if sent by the fastest available routes (certainly not always the case; usually, the choice would be the cheapest routes) those cloves would arrive in France after nine months, with many deteriorating factors in play (Oxidation, exposure to sea salt, inadequate packing, high heat, and time). They might be up to four years old (all of the above plus mold, mildew and vermin infestation). Then you add the tendency to buy spices when the ship came in, and sell them perhaps years later. Then add the hoarding of spices, so that months or years might occur between the household's purchase of the spice and the use of the last of it.
     We, however, have cloves hermetically sealed in airtight, moisture-proof containers, arriving either by fast ship or plane-- as little as four weeks old, and completely un-deteriorated.
    I first saw the effects of this difference at a Carolingian feast long ago, when a young cook put the full recommended amount of pepper in the soup. The King flew into a rage. Not pretty. 
     I tend to start with one tenth the amount specified and work up from there. I've never made a dish yet that needed less than that, and many that needed more-- but I've never seen a recipe which needed spices at the originally specified level.
     However, herbs are different. Since they were usually locally grown, deterioration was not an issue.

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-
(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.
Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

If you're doing your best, and your best isn't very good, that's life. If you aren't doing your best, _that's cheating_.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list