[Sca-cooks] More on sapa/saba

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Tue Jun 22 00:45:18 PDT 2010

We have apparently discussed sapa/saba at least once before. In looking through the Florilegium, I found this following message in the grapes-msg file. I will be moving it to the new sapa-msg file, though.

Hauviette seems to be saying that boiling the fresh wine gets you defrutum, while letting it evaporate gets you sapa/saba/sabba, at least according to Platina. I'm not sure that the result would be much different between boiling the juice or letting it evaporate.

"Must" is filtered grape juice, correct? Not smushed grapes, which would also include the skin and flesh and other bits.

Would you consider sapa/saba/sabba to be a condiment? Or an ingredient?  I'm trying to decide where to put this new file in the Florilegium.


Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 09:37:55 EDT
From: ChannonM at aol.com
Subject: SC - Re: Poppa's mustard- mighty morphin cookers(daa da da, da da) LONG

>  Scully says that must is grape juice that has been boiled down until
>  syrupy.  He uses undiluted frozen grape juice concentrate for his
>  redactions.  This might be a good thing to use for cooks not using
>  alcohol.  It was either Pliny or Cato that tossed the sealed bottles of
>  must into the fish pond to keep them from spoiling, which also argues
>  that must was not fermented. 

Platina says on Grapes (Milham translation pg141)

Ex uva concocta in aheno sapa sit, ex puro et expresso musto in defrutariis 
vasis defrutum. Mustum enim decoctum defrutum vocatur, unde et defrutare 
mustum coqure diciums; sapa tamen defruti vice nonnumquam utimur in 
condiendis pomis ac piris

"Condensed grape is made from grapes boiled down in a pot, while condensed 
must is made from pure must which has been condensed in special defrutum 
jars. Cooked-down must is called defrutum, from which we call to cook down 
must defrutare, however in seasoning apples and pears we sometimes use 
condensed grape in place of condensed must"

The translation "condensed must is made from pure must" leads me to believe 
there are two different musts, one that has already been condensed, the other 
not. In the recipe for Red mustard(according to Milham) 

"Sinampim, passulas, sandalos, buccellas panis tostas, cinnami parum, aut 
seorsum aut simul contertito, cvel molito. Trita cum acresta aut aceto cumque 
modico sapae dissolvito, in patinasque per setaceum transagito. Hoc minu 
praedicto concalefacit, ac sitim movet, nec incommode nutrit."

They key phrase is;
"Trita cum acresta aut aceto cumque modico sapae dissolvito
"When it is ground, soak with verjuice or vinegar and a bit of must"

The original recipe does not contain the word defrutum but contains the word 
"sapae" which when doing some morphological research (sounds more impressive 
than saying I'm looking in a dictionary ;), the word sapa (in lewis and short 
dictionary) defined as "must, new wine boiled thick". This does not convince 
me though that the original did intend defrutum as Platina indicates it is 
evaporation and not boiling that reduces the liquid to make defrutum. 

All of the following words are similar in meaning to sapa, so we have alot to 
work with.
1 siraeum 
2 hepsema 
3 mustulentus 
4 musteus
5 sacrima 
6 cortinale 
7 carenum  
8 mustus 
9 protropum  
10 dolium 
11 vinalis 

Anyone else want to give this a shot? Maybe some of our Latin language 
people? I'm almost hopeless.


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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