[Sca-cooks] Scully's Neapolitan Recipe Collection and some queries

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Jan 22 18:04:03 PST 2010

On Jan 22, 2010, at 8:07 PM, David Friedman wrote:

> I've been looking at Scully's _Neapolitan Recipe Collection_ in the hope of finding answers to a few of the puzzled Rebecca encountered in translating a different southern Italian cookbook, and a few points struck me.
> 1. He repeatedly refers to "squash." My guess is he means the white flowered gourd, which unlike squash is old world.
> 2. He refers to kidney beans, which as I understand it are new world.

I think there's a precedent for calling small favas kidney beans. Is it possible the term was carried over to New World beans?
> 3. He thinks eggplant was a new introduction to Italian cooking in the 15th century. But it's common in Islamic cooking at least by the 10th century, and between then and the 15th a good deal of southern Italy was under islamic rule for a substantial length of time.

I STR that the eggplant illustrations in Tacuinum Sanitatis (14th centuery?) may be one of those cases of either unusual varieties or items the artist had never seen. As I recall the big purple eggplants we often see in the US are not what is illustrated. 
> Some other points ...  . Scully's manuscript has a recipe for figatelli, which are used as an ingredient in the cookbook Rebecca is translating. It uses mesentary, which I gather is also used in classical french cuisine and called "the crow." Any idea whether a modern butcher could supply it or what he would call it?

Caul fat or lace fat. Italian butchers sell it, and fine butcher shops, who cater to cooks who might make their own pates and terrines, would carry it. It's a clear, thin, stretchy membrane with lace-like veins of fat.

> The following are terms which Rebecca isn't sure of the meaning of; suggestions invited:
> Apolinos
> Barbari (Barbaro, barbare)

A bar is a bass in French... or maybe a barbel, which is a carplike fish with a distinctive chin-whisker?

> Battuto (need second meaning, other than beaten. Maybe batter?)Borvij
> Calcinelli (small shellfish. What kind?)
> Capricto
> Carus
> Cesame
> Civero
> Crepa

Crepe or crisp?

> Cumere


> Eucabam
> Locanica

I'm betting a sausage here. As in Luganiga, which comes from Apicius' Lucanian sausages and still used as a name for a sausage variety today.


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