[Sca-cooks] Spirit of the Earth by Beverly Cox

Betsy Marshall betsy at softwareinnovation.com
Sun Aug 12 10:27:41 PDT 2012

Please also remember this is 'Pennsic season'; what you may think is an
attack could just be a lame attempt at a joke; let's be generous to each

-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Terry Decker
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2012 5:14 PM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spirit of the Earth by Beverly Cox

I would say the comments are facetious rather than sarcastic.

You're thinking of the Mayan codices of which there are three legible that
are known to exist.  There is a fourth which may be a good forgery.  A
handful from gravesites that may or may not be preseved and made readable. 
And many forgeries.  None, to my knowledge, have any recipes.  Most of what
we know about native cuisine comes from European texts written in 16th

Sopie Coe's work in culinary historical anthropology mixes historical
description, archeological information, and anthropological study of region
to produce a very rational and thorough examination of the culinary
practices of the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the Incans.  She was a professor of
anthropology and a translator (from Russian) of at least one text on the
Mayan language.  Her husband Michael is an eminent archeologist of
Pre-Columbian societies.  Her book, America's First Cuisines, is a superior
example of the work you are describing.

I think I'll go with Coe rather than Cox for pre-Columbian historical


> Can't tell if this is sarcasm. Pre- Colombus generally refers to the 
> Americas unless otherwise specified to be different. Pre Colombus in 
> the Americas you probably won't find recipes, though I do recall some 
> texts/manuscripts in Mayan that had some sort of recipes but i think 
> it is medical. You pretty much have through archeology the regional 
> veggies and critters with type of cooking. Then a comparison of 
> current home cuisine and cooking traditions, influence(Spanish 
> -Central and South Amer. and Spanish,French, Dutch, and English for 
> N.Amer.) and what is found through archeology which gets you a 
> possible basis for an very old recipe. It isn't very exact.
> -----Original Message-----
> Pre-Columbus cuisine!  Now with extra potatoes!
> Wait, did you mean European Pre-Columbus, or Americas Pre-Columbus?
> And for American, what would you quote as a source?  Mayan engravings?

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