[Sca-cooks] Search for an Iberian Recipe

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 10 14:06:02 PDT 2012

This was posted on another list.  I thought that somebody here might 
have an answer.  I put the questioner's address at the end of the post 
in case someone wants to respond to him directly. Posted with permission:

I have been coming up empty so far, not having had much experience with 
period cookery, however, I recently finished reading Eric Rath's 
excellent Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan, which discusses a 
group of Portuguese-imported recipes collected in a Japanese source 
dating to 1641.

One of the recipes is for kasutera, also known as Pao de Castela or 
Bread of Castile, and Rath mentions the existence of this sweet bread 
(consisting of eggs, sugar and flour) in Japan as early as the 1570s, 
when a Japanese Christian opened a shop which made and sold the novelty 

I would love to find evidence of a surviving recipe in a Portuguese or 
Spanish source for comparison. Rath's translation from the Japanese is 
as follows:

"Knead together 10 eggs, 160 momme (600 grams) of sugar and 160 momme of
wheat flour. Spread paper in a pot and sprinkle it with flour. Place the 
dough on top of this. Place a heat source above and below to cook. There 
are oral instructions." (Note the heat-above-and-below instructions: 
oven baking was unknown in Japan at the time, so baking this confection 
involved placing a second pan filled with coals on top of the first, not 
unlike Dutch oven camp cooking.)  After a couple experimental batches, 
this recipe works nicely with 6 Grade A Large eggs, otherwise your 
"dough" turns into cake batter and the bread rises too much. We also 
discovered that several-day-old kasutera (read "stale") turns from a 
chewy dense bread into something more like biscotti.

Many thanks,

Saionji no Hana
West Kingdom
L Joseph <wodeford at yahoo.com>
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com
alyskatharine at gmail.com

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