[Sca-cooks] Intent or Interpretation

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Mar 4 04:05:28 PST 2011

On Mar 4, 2011, at 2:06 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> This works in Spain, which I think Brighid did take pains to specify. Further north olive oil would not have been as available.

Depends on what you mean by "as available". Olives weren't locally grown in England or Copenhagen; both have written recipes suggesting frying in olive oil. 

> This "olive oil is okay to use in Lent but the Church won't let us use butter. We don't have olive oil" did cause some controversy in northern Europe. Of course, the Church was headquartered in southern Europe and they had easy access to olive oil.

That is a problem, but it does seem evident that people with some money did have at least some access to olive oil, and then the other big kicker: they didn't have to fry foods all year 'round, any more than they had to have spring lamb all year 'round. The menu would be seasonally based to a larger extent than we are accustomed to, and the most obvious solution to Lenten frying issues is to bake, roast, or boil your food.

> What are the "flash points"? burning temperatures? for olive oil vs. butter vs. animal fats? I suspect you can always cook a higher temperature oil at the lower temperature, but substituting the other way may change how things fry. We've discussed how different plant oils burn at different temperatures. I seem to remember olive oil being rather low compared to nut oils and others.

EV Olive oil is lower than some nut oils, but not all. Other, more highly processed olive oils have higher smoke and flash points than EV OO. Whole butter has a similar, relatively low burn point compared to clarified butter, which has a reasonably high burning point. 


"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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