[Sca-cooks] do someone know about the Greek mastic?
agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 18:06:56 PST 2012
Thank you to everyone helping me to try to understand the uses of mastic!
On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 10:47 PM, <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Ana Valdes asked about uses for mastic.
> Mastic is an important flavor component in Conditum Paradoxum. Below is an
> alcohol-free version i made for my Greco-Roman feast with 26 different
> dishes. That feast was something of a challenge because the Princess had
> several potentially deadly allergies, the Prince followed some specific
> dietary rules, and several attendees had fish allergies. We managed to pull
> it off without making anyone sick.
> I made a lamb version of lucanicae sausages for this feast, altered
> because the Prince did not eat pork and i also had ham in the same course.
> The night i was mixing the ingredients by hand at home, we had an
> earthquake - and there i was, up past my wrists in greasy meat and spices
> and unable to turn a doorknob...
> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
> -= Conditum Paradoxum - Spiced (White Grape Juice) Surprise =-
> Spiced Wine Surprise is made as follows: 15 lb. of honey are put in a
> metal vessel into which you have previously put 2 pints of wine, so as to
> boil down the wine while cooking the honey. It is heated over a slow fire
> of dry wood, stirring all the while with a stick; when it begins to boil
> over it is checked by adding [cold] wine; it also sinks when removed from
> the fire. When cool it is heated once more. This must be done a second and
> third time, and only then is it removed from the fire, and skimmed on the
> following day. Then take 4 oz. pepper, 3 scruples of pounded mastic, a
> handful each of aromatic leaf [a number of scholars believe this is
> malabathron/malabathrum - known in much of South Asia as tejpat] and
> saffron, 5 roasted date-stones, the dates softened in wine, having
> previously been soaked in wine of the right kind and quality, so as to
> produce a soft mash. These preparations completed, pour over 18 pints of
> sweet wine. In the end add coals, if it is too bitter.
> - - - - - Apicius, Book I, Chapter I, Recipe 1 (Flower & Rosenbaum trans.)
> My Version for 80
> 5-1/3 cans White Grape Juice Concentrate
> Water, enough to make 2 gallons of juice
> 10 fresh Dates, soaked in juice
> 3 lb. Honey
> 1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar
> 1/2 cup Verjus/Sour Green Grape Juice
> 1-1/2 Tb. ground Black Pepper
> 10 Bay Leaves,as substitute for Malabathron (Tejpat) Leaves
> 3/4 tsp. Saffron
> 3/4 tsp. Gum Mastic
> 1. Reconstitute juice.
> 2. Soak dates in a small amount of juice until soft.
> 3. When soft, put in blender with a bit more juice and blend until pureed
> and liquidy. 4. Mix 6 cups of juice with honey and bring to boil.
> 5. Add seasonings and dates and cook on medium-low heat for a while, until
> mastic melts, stirring occasionally.
> NOTE: The mastic never completely dissolved and some stuck to the bay
> 6. Add remainder of juice, then stir in vinegar and verjus to taste.
> 7. Let stand overnight.
> 8. Strain/decant. Some of the pepper settled out, and i intentionally left
> it behind when the juice was decanted. I like the bite it added but i was
> concerned many diners might find it unexpected and unpleasant.
> 9. Serve.
> 10. Dilute to taste with water, if desired.
> -- I really tried to find tejpat/malabathron/malabathrum leaves
> (Cinnamomum tamala). There is a significant South Asian community where i
> live and i went to South Asian markets and asked for them. I was shown some
> leaves that looked a lot like bay, and when i asked the proprietors they
> said that this is what they use in the US and it tastes a lot like the
> original. While I am not utterly convinced they taste the same, that's what
> i used.
> -- I skipped the roasted date stones.
> -- This should have been made with wine. However, SCA rules do not allow
> the purchase of wine or other alcohol for serving as beverages with
> organization moneys. Therefore I substituted white grape juice, spiked with
> Middle Eastern sour white grape juice so it wouldn't be too cloying.
> -- This was a surprise hit. Several folks who said they very much disliked
> white grape juice because it was too cloyingly sweet asked me for the
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