[Sca-cooks] Quince juice

wheezul at canby.com wheezul at canby.com
Fri Oct 14 10:11:46 PDT 2011

> Thanks to all those who replied to my question.  I'm pretty sure that
> whatever I end up using should be "raw" quince juice, since the recipe
> explicitly states "freshly pressed."  Someone had asked whether there were
> any other recipes calling for quince juice.  I looked up every indexed
> occurrence of the word "quince," but I didn't find any others.  Many
> things that have quince in them, including several drinks, but only one
> food using the juice.  For those who are interested, here's the recipe,
> which I'm going to try this weekend:
> Zirbaja with quince by Ibn al-Mahdi. He used to call it muslihat al-ma'ida
> (the stomach fixer) and burmat al-ma'ida (the soapstone pot of the
> stomach):
> Disjoint plump pullets and put them in a clean pot along with a piece of
> galangal, a handful of skinned soaked chickpeas, 1 ratl (1 pound) whole
> skinned onions, and a little salt.  Pour enough water to cover the meat
> and add 3 uqiyyas (1/3 cup) olive oil.  Let the pot cook fire until onions
> are done.  Take out all onions and discard them.
> Pour into the pot 1/4 ratl (1/2 cup) vinegar and let it boil until until
> vinegar is cooked. Add 1/2 ratl (1 cup) quince juice freshly pressed.  Add
> as well 1/2 uqiyya (15 grams) coriander seeds, 1/2 dirham (1 1/2 grams)
> black pepper, 1/2 dirham (1 1/2 grams) spikenard, 3 dirhams (9 grams)
> cumin, and 20 dirhams (2 oz) breadcrumbs.  Put the pot away from heat and
> wipe clean the inner sides of the pot.  Wait until it rests and serve it,
> God willing.
> From Annals of the Caliphs Kitchen, p. 275.

Perhaps the difference is in the interpretation of 'freshly' pressed.  How
are quinces themselves prepared in this culture?  Could they have been
milled?  Or maybe it means quince juice extracted from cooked quinces but
not sweetened for preservation if this was the practice?

Just thinking about the language - it's hard to tell if there might be
other nuances to the words in the original recipe.


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