[Sca-cooks] FW: Caudle spices

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jul 10 12:28:26 PDT 2010

On Jul 10, 2010, at 2:54 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

>> Gelofres is Cloves Gilofre. In some usages it may be the flower, a.k.a. the Clove Pink, but in this case it's probably the spice, cloves.
>> Flowre of Canelle is some form of cinnamon. Some may speculate that it's a reference to the flowers of cinnamon (Taillevent, for example, calls for cassia buds in some of his stuff), but in this case I think it's Ceylon, or "true" cinnamon ground to a fine "flour".
>> Adamantius
> The OED references this particular line as a usage for cloves.
> I would say you are correct in referencing flowre as being cinnamon ground fine.  The derivation is from the French "fleur de farine" meaning the finest part of the meal.  As a small aside (and recognizing that spelling is highly variable and that we are talking about at least two distinct manuscripts) the Two fifteenth Century Cookery Books uses the variant "flourys of vyolet" to describe actual violets in one recipe.

I admit that I'm a little confused by the rationale for asserting that clove pinks are somehow more likely an interpretation than spice cloves, in this case and some others; while they were used as a flavoring and garnish, it often seems like we're in such a hurry to assert that they are a possibility in several (and possibly all) cases, what we end up with is something that looks very much like a blanket assertion that the flower is what is being referenced in almost all cases. 

To which I respond, "Hul-lo, luxurious spices from the East being the basis for much of our collective Western culture, the drive to explore, expand, sometimes colonize, and build what passes for a modern world, why do all that when we can do it all with locally grown gillyflowers?"

Again, I'm not discounting the possibility of gillyflowers being used in recipes; I'm just not seeing compelling evidence for their being the default, as it sometimes seems to be a common assumption.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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