[Sca-cooks] Saint George and the Dragon

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Sat Feb 18 10:40:18 PST 2012

Mercy wrote:
 >What I am looking for are foods I can sculpt easily that were done in 
 >period. Clay-like foods. Almond paste/marzipan seems to be the best 
 >and that piece looked very cool. Any suggestions to something period 
 >would be appreciated. Thank you.

Gotta put word in for sugar paste.  I think you can get more detail with 
it and you can certainly paint on it better than on marzipan.

Chiquart (mid-1400s) in "On Cookery" says this about a complicated 
entremet.  (This is from Scully's translation)"...the moulded work of 
paste, that is to say, hares, brachet hounds, stags, wild boars, the 
huntsment with their horns, partridge, lobsters, dolphins, all this 
moulded work of pea- and bean-paste..."

Now, while this isn't almond paste or sugar paste, it gives an idea of 
what could be made from food-stuffs.  I would suspect that just about 
anything could be done in a food stuff, so unless you need specific 
proof that, say, a cart and horse was made, you should be able to use a 
reasonable imagination.  Some ideas are at

Peter Brears, "Cooking and Dining in Medieval England", writes: "At the 
enthronment of Archbishop Warham of Canterbury in 1504, the painting of 
his throne and the 'work of the Subtleties in sugar and wax'... Some 
subtleties were relatively straightforward...Bishop of Salisbury had the 
Agnus dei, a leopard and an eagle...The Bishop of London had devices 
including a castle standing in a broad custart, its centre having a 
wench and a demon drawing a green-robed doctor from his pulpit, a scroll 
on his head declaring 'in deo salutare meo'."  Brears continues listing 
various subtleties for several more pages.

Wax is mentioned several times, so unless you are determined to do food 
as a basis for sculpture, you could experiment with wax.

Alys K.
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com
alyskatharine at gmail.com

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