[Sca-cooks] Officially serving modern food at SCA events

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Tue Jan 29 20:34:27 PST 2013

These days I wonder if period potatoes are being served at feasts in the 
rural reaches of the Outlands.  I have had a presentation entitled "Batatas 
and Papas -- Potatoes and the SCA Feast,"  which is revised every couple of 
years as I find more sources and which contains late period recipes for 
sweet potatoes and white potatoes.  I presented the latest revision at the 
last Known World Cooks and Bards and had a couple of comments from some of 
the good rural folk that the local meat and potatoes crowd were going to be 
having a little more period feast in future.

At the same talk, Duke Cariadoc asked a very interesting question, "When did 
sweet potatoes reach the Islamic world?"  The answer so far, is that it 
appears sweet potatoes arrived in Moslem West Africa as part of the 
Portuguese slave trade early in the 16th Century.  Slightly later, they were 
introduced into India via the spice trade, such that by the early 19th 
Century, they were a major crop in Mughal India.  Introduction into North 
Africa and the Middle East is far more nebulous, but I suspect that it may 
have arrived via the Red Sea and Persian trade.  Other possibilities are by 
caravan from West Africa or via the spice trade from Italy.  I'll make this 
revision when I locate some solid references.


> Soups and roasts are as period as they generally want their food to be - 
> give them their potatoes and corn and they are happy. So, our fledgling 
> culinary guild has a lot of educating to do.
> Richenda

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