[Sca-cooks] A good source? was "period spice containers/storage"

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Wed Jul 6 11:47:12 PDT 2011

 From a quick look, it is not reliable. It gives what purport to be 
quotes from recipes but does not provide any source. It includes at 
least one false statement--that saffron was coming from non-European 
sources. Its origin was Asian, but it was being grown in Europe from 
classical antiquity on.

It has what look to me like wildly exaggerated claims about how much 
spice was used where. The recipe that starts "cook a large piece of 
pork ..." reads to me more like a modern redaction than an original.

And the author clearly has his own axe to grind, his explanation of 
why spices were important when.

>I did find the source again where they talked about passing a "spice 
>platter" around the table for guests to add more spices to their already 
>prepared meals.  I believe some folks corrected that information 
>saying  that it
>was not for putting on food but came in forms of sugar treats or what  not.
>Here is the source and the excerpt that I was referring to.
>Spices, or the Dawn of the Modern Age
>from Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices,  Stimulants, and
>by Wolfgang Schivelbusch
>published by  Vintage Books, A Division of Random House ISBN  0-679-74438-X
>"At especially refined tables spices became emancipated altogether from the
>  prepared food. They were passed around on a gold or silver tray- the spice
>  platter-during the meal or just after it. This platter was divided into
>various  compartments, each of which held a specific spice. Guests helped
>themselves,  adding spices as desired to the already seasoned dish, 
>or they used
>the tray as  a cheese or dessert platter. They consumed pepper, cinnamon,
>and nutmeg as we  nowadays might partake of a delicacy, a glass of sherry, or
>a cup of  coffee."
>I would very much appreciate knowing if this is not a good source for my 
>A&S project. 
>Thank you to all who offer their input.
>~Aine of Wyewood
>Sca-cooks mailing list
>Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

David Friedman

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