[Sca-cooks] Trdelnik query

Jim and Andi Houston jimandandi at cox.net
Thu May 31 17:05:40 PDT 2012

I want to go make that RIGHT NOW. How cool!!


-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of
lilinah at earthlink.net
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 6:58 PM
To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Trdelnik query

OK, i dragged the massive Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq to the cafe so i could enter
this for youse guys and guyettes. I think i removed all the special

>From Chapter 103 - Making Decoration and Ornamentations for Desserts

(p. 425 of Nasrallah's translation)
A recipe for halaqim (1) used for decorating desserts

Take as much as you like of dough made of pure fine samidh flour (high in
starch and bran free). Rub it very well with olive or sesame oil.

Prepare some yard-long reeds (qasab), scrape their outer layers and clean
them. Wrap the prepared dough around them(2), cut them into finger-long
pieces, and make decorative impressions on them with pincers (minqash). Then
color them red, yellow, green, and blue, using the dyes mentioned at the
beginning of the book, where it is explained how to produce them [Chapter

(1. The literal meaning of halaqim (sing. hulqum) is 'windpipe'.) (2.
Al-Warraq does not give details on how to wrap (laffa) the dough around the
reeds. A recipe on similar cookies, called qananit (tubes), in the anonymous
thirteenth-century Andalusian cookbook Anwa' al-Saydala mentions that the
dough is flattened into thin sheets, then would around the reeds (217))
[Urtatim sez: according to Nasrallah, "Anwa' al-Saydala fi Alwan al-At'ima"
is the actual title of the book we are all familiar with on Duke Cariadoc's
website as the anonymous Andalusian cookbook, translated from the Arabic by
Charles Perry]

Put the finished reeds in the tannur. When baked, remove the reeds, which
will leave you with [pastry] tubes (anabib mujawwafa). Fill them with a
mixture of pounded walnuts and sugar. (138v) Dip both ends of the reeds
[Urtatim sez: that is, the pastry tubes] in thick and sticky sugar syrup.
Sprinkle the ends with chips of Sulaymani sugar (hard sugar-candy) colored
with the dyes mentioned aove. They will look like a vivid orchard, Gold

Urtatim sez:
The colors in ch. 3 (p. 93) include blue made from lapis lazuli (NOT food
safe) or from indigo (may be food safe, i'm not certain), red from
mercury-containing vermillion (NOT food safe), yellow from saffron (food
safe). Green is either from a mix of lapis lazuli and saffron (NOT food
safe) or from chard juice (food safe), to obtain pistachio green or chard
green. There is also mention of a white made from lead-containing ceruse
(NOT food safe).

It also says that to obtain sky blue, mix ceruse with lapis lazuli or indigo
with ceruse (both NOT food safe). To obtain anemic red (ahmar faqir), i.e.,
pink [Urtatim sez: i just love that description], use the juice of bustan
abrawiz [Urtatim sez: Nasrallah says it's houseleek, but my research
indicated several other possible plants - scholars aren't united in their
interpretation] or gum lac. To obtain deep yellow [Urtatim sez: i.e.,
orange], mix saffron with gum lac or juice of bustan abrawiz.

Lac, or at least some lac reds (e.g., cochineal), are food safe, since they
are still used today in toothpastes, beverages, etc.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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