[Sca-cooks] Game for Your Feast
guillaumedep at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 06:04:35 PST 2011
To concatenate several replies:
> I'm happy to see that someone's working on this. Game tends to be one area where our feasts are conspicuously deficient. BTW, have you looked into sources for ingredients? I've found from shopping around that some kinds of game birds and beasts (even some that are wild caught) are available from farms or by web/mail order. There are more than a few "elk" farms where you can buy wapiti/American elk (Cervus canadensis, formerly known as C. elaphus/red deer), and there are several businesses selling wild boar/feral swine on the web.
> I have only ever used fish and once, quail. It is very difficult to get venison in Pennsylvania unless you have hunters in your group; venison is not permitted for sale to the public in this state. And locally, finding things like rabbit isn't very easy either, although it can be done in some places.
> I especially recommend wild boar/feral swine, as it is an invasive species and a serious pest, and it is also relatively easy (due to its size) to arrange to have the slaughter of each individual animal inspected and approved.
In the various states I have lived, game processing businesses are not
allowed to sell game meat for a profit. However, they can recoup their
losses when a customer fails to pick up an order after having dropped
it off. In other words, it is often possible to get deer et cetera for
the price of processing. The meat is processed in an inspected
facility, though there is obviously less control of the conditions in
which the animal was killed. There are typically different
requirements for processing different animals. I have personally
relied on this method for acquiring deer. Other animals I have bought
were farm raised. While I enjoy hunting and fishing, I do not get out
enough to count on supplying game for more than a small gathering.
> BTW, one little quibble: I doubt that turkey was served in the middle ages. Maybe in the Renaissance, certainly thereafter, but I think not before.
I was rather imprecise in my original statement, if only for the sake
of brevity. "Medieval" is much more compact than "the period of
interest of the SCA." Generally, I look at this as being 600 to 1600,
although others do not necessarily adhere to this. But this does bring
up a several points. What is game today was not necessarily game
centuries ago in Europe. I mentioned rabbits earlier as an example.
Some period recipes I have encountered differentiate between the wild
and domestic versions of various animals (goose, pig, pigeon).
Likewise, deer in game parks were managed much in the way domestic
animals were. In some cases there is a marked difference in the animal
because of this, while in others, not enough to matter. Also, I am
interested in what was served and eaten by Europeans outside of Europe
as they were travelers and colonizers. While I do not believe "false
advertising" to be a good thing in the context of the SCA, having the
context of foods outside of Europe included in this project, in as
much as there are works to reference for this, is of interest.
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