[Sca-cooks] A Sallet of all Kinds of Hearbes and Cucumbers

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jul 29 14:18:10 PDT 2010

Huette wrote:
 >Sugar: Again, whatever you prefer.? I used regular white sugar, but I 
 >thought that a light or golden brown sugar would be fine also. 
 >Elizabethans had both. ?I suppose that raw sugar could be used if you 
 >don't mind the added expense. ?All have slightly different tastes, but 
 >all are within period usage.

For the sake of argument and fussiness (OK, anal-retentive!) I would 
question whether brown sugar was used.  Modern brown sugar has some 
molasses put back into it and that wasn't what was available or used in 
period, AFAIK.  The refining process sometimes left the core of the 
sugar loaf with a liquid which hadn't crystalized.  Folk weren't too 
happy about finding that instead of the solid sugar that they'd paid for.

While most sugar wasn't a blinding white like what we purchase today, 
white sugar could be obtained and the richer you were, the whiter the 
sugar you wanted.  Beige-ish sugar could be processed more to get it 
whiter - animal blood was one of the things used.

So, I would say no to both light and golden brown sugar.  The texture is 
not correct.  Turbinado or raw sugar would possibly be used by people 
who couldn't afford to buy the more refined white sugar.  For your dish
which, based on the ingredients, could have been used by an upper middle 
class family, an off-white sugar might be fine.

The crystals of the sugar would probably have been bigger than what's in 
our 5-lb bags.  Period people needed to scrape chunks and crystals off 
the cone.  My opinion, such as it is, is that there was no need to have 
a finely-ground product for a salad.  Larger crystals such as are found 
in turbinado sugar (and I don't remember the name of the large-crystal 
UK product) would have added a nice glitter to the salad.  Modern sugar 
would dissolve on any wet surface and disappear.

Alys K., pontificating
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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