[Sca-cooks] American Substitution and Translation

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Mon May 7 11:35:13 PDT 2012

Checking an English translation of Hildegard's Physica, I find several 
references to rye but none to rye soup, none to fermenting it, and none 
to kvass. Mostly it's being used in medical/magical contexts, to cure 

I don't know what the collection you are referring to is, but if it's 
modern I would not count on the recipes being period unless it actually 
quotes the original. There's a widely circulated recipe for what claim 
to be Hildegard's spice cookies that has almost nothing in common with 
the real thing.

There is a reference in Hildegard to the use of hops in beer, apparently 
the first such reference--is it possible that that's what your source is 
referring to?

On 5/7/12 7:33 AM, yaini0625 at yahoo.com wrote:
> I am unsure of the date on the actual recipe but it is in a cookbook collection that has been modeled on the writings of Hildegard of Bingen. The date given is 1098-1179. Her biography states that she wrote on the connection between nature, folk remedies and the use of food to balance the humors.
> Aelina
> Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Friedman<ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>
> Sender: sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Sun, 06 May 2012 21:58:49
> To: Cooks within the SCA<sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Reply-To: Cooks within the SCA<sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] American Substitution and Translation
> Do we actually have period recipes for it, or are you reconstructing a
> plausible guess at how they did it in period based on how it was done later?
> On 5/6/12 7:07 PM, Susan Lin wrote:
>> I have several recipes for kvass.  I did a Balkan to Baltic feast and one
>> of the brewers made several different kvass recipes that I gave her - they
>> are fairly easy to make - just takes some time.  It is a lightly alcoholic
>> beverage made in its basic form with old rye bread that then ferments.
>> On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Terry Decker<t.d.decker at att.net>   wrote:
>>>    Hej Hej!
>>>> I have a new cookbook that have many recipes requiring quark and kvass.
>>>> What is quark called in the United States? I don't want to use cottage
>>>> cheese. Any ideas for substitutions or recipes?
>>> Try looking for "farmer's cheese," a white colored cheese made without
>>> rennet.
>>>    As for kvass, the book calls it "bread soup" but I also know it as an
>>>> alcohol drink. Any ideas what this could be or use as a substitute?
>>>> Bless Bless
>>>> Aelina the Saami
>>> Unless your liquor store can get kvass from the Beaver Brewing Company of
>>> Beaver Falls, PA, try using a wheat beer.  While kvass is commonly made
>>> from rye bread, it is also made from wheat bread, so a wheat beer will
>>> probably give you the closest match OTC.
>>> Bear
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David Friedman

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