[Sca-cooks] Le Menegier on carrots, Does anyone have documentation on Egyptian carrots
Stefan li Rous
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sun Feb 28 02:25:18 PST 2010
I forwarded Adamantius' reply about carrots in Menagier to John at the
Carrot Museum and here is his reply. He's also wanting to know if
anyone has documentation on carrots in ancient Egypt. Bear?
Again, his site has a lot of info on carrots. A lot that I haven't
seen discussed here on this list.
I'm pretty sure he'd appreciate any comments about the site or
additional info on carrots.
Yes I have studied Menagier and spoken to a couple of French friends
who agree with the translation given by Janet Higson, a respected
"Item, on All Saints, take carrots as many as you wish, and when they
are well cleaned and chopped in pieces, cook them like the turnips.
(Carrots are red roots which are sold at the Halles in baskets, and
each basket costs one blanc.)"
It is on line - Main page here: http://daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier_Contents.html
The carrots reference is the last in the list - various odds and ends.
As for paintings I tend to agree with Brandenberg - "Art works alone
are not considered to be good enough evidence as the colours used are
not always true to type, and artists use colour effects in arranging
their subjects. So in paintings the differences between yellow and
orange roots are due to artistic features rather than to differences
between cultivars. One can probably say with certainty that orange
varieties were grown in the Netherlands at this time but this does not
prove their origin in that locality. "
There is also some excellent carrot research done by Otto Banga in the
60's debating the Origin of the European Carrot Material.- "There is
some evidence that hybridisation (by the Dutch) did not play an
essential part in the genesis of the cultivated carrot and that there
is strong reason to believe that mutation followed by selection was
the main factor. (Banga 1963)"
By the way on a different tack - It is said (with no documentary
evidence) that the cultivated and edible carrot dates back about 5,000
years ago when the purple root was found to be growing in the area now
known as Afghanistan. Temple drawings from Egypt in 2000 BC show a
purple plant, which some Egyptologists believe could have been a
purple carrot. However Egyptian papyruses containing information about
treatments with seeds were found in pharaoh crypts but there is no
direct reference to carrot. (Ebers)
Do any of your colleagues have a lead on this Egyptian reference?
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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