[Sca-cooks] Early Period varieties of vegetables

Tre trekatz at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 25 21:07:39 PDT 2012

Hmm...thanks. I may rethink the purple carrots then, and just use parsnips instead, as part of my research is showing that carrots and parsnips were almost interchangeable for a while, since they were very similar. I'll do further research first, though, as I keep finding conflicting information. (Currently I'm looking up information specifically on the history of carrots.)

Thanks for the guess about the onions, too. I may try using shallots. I may actually be able to find something close to a wild onion, though. A yellow onion, though, seems to be the flavor I'm looking for.

If head cabbages were available...what KIND of head cabbage? I've found pointy ones, round ones, and ones with dark, veiny leaves... and the red ones. It's the same problem I have with onions. "Cabbage" is a wide term, and the flavors and textures vary greatly.

 From: Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net>
To: Tre <trekatz at yahoo.com>; Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:32 PM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Early Period varieties of vegetables
Purple carrots are an Asiatic varietal and are wrong for Viking/Anglo-Saxon. The European carrot of the day was the white carrot, Queen Anne's Lace. Colored carrots enter Europe from Spain several hundred years after.

For onion, I would suggest a small yellow, as wild onions are near impossible to find, or shallots.  Don't worry too much about varieties.

Kale is fine, but head cabbages were also available.

For digging out the information try starting with:  The Cambridge World History of Food, The Oxford Companion to Food, and Pliny's Natural Histories.


> I looked in the florilegium and didn't see anything...but I may have missed it.
> I'm trying to find varieties of several vegetables that would be at least close to the viking/anglo-saxon varieties.
> I already found a source for purple carrots, so plan to use those.
> I'm looking at Cabbage, and thinking of possibly using kale instead of modern cabbage, as some of what I'm seeing says that early cabbage was more leafy and less head.
> I know several of my recipes call specifically for leeks, and that isn't a problem, but other recipes call for onions, and I was wondering what variety might be closest to what was available.
> Has anyone done research into this, or have any ideas as to where I could find the information?

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list