[Sca-cooks] Cicera fracta, farinata /Southern Fried Peacock?/mock capon

JIMCHEVAL at aol.com JIMCHEVAL at aol.com
Tue Jan 29 21:24:51 PST 2013

I don't think fracta here is split (or fractured or anything similar).  
Arnauld de Villeneuve talks about a drink made with "ossa fracta" and I don't  
think split bones would have gone down very well.  Also the Dictionnaire  
Gaffiot says that fractus means "broken, reduced to pieces".  Plus a word  in 
Provencal (faufrach), meaning a soup made of powdered broad beans, turns  
out to be derived from "faba fracta", which is said to mean "broken broad  

In  fairness, Dalby does translate the latter as "split beans", however.
Otherwise, the same document includes an intriguing recipe for peacock (or  
goose), which I read as:
"Of the great [most eminent] birds, first of peacocks and geese, roast  
goose or peacock well, and set the pan or another appropriate instrument under  
it to receive the flowing fat. And color it with saffron. Also have the 
juice of  small lemons [?] mixed with sugar, so that it is sweet and sour. 
Then, take a  little bread crumb fried with well beaten egg yolks, mix a little 
of the form  there together [sic], roll the above-said bread crumbs and fry 
them with fresh  bacon in a pan, and roll this bread in the said flavors, 
sprinkle good spices  well ground over it. Then order it set on the terrace in 
pieces. And give it to  eat for capon."
25. -- De avibus magnatum, primo de pavone et ansere: pavonem vel anserem  
assa bene; et patellam vel aliud instrumentum conveniens subtus pone, ad  
recipiendum pinguedinem fluentem. Et colora cum safrano. Habeas etiam succum 
de  limoncellis cum zucara mistum, ita quod sit acrum dulce. Deinde, habeas 
micam  panis parum assatam cum vitellis ovorum bene batutis, parum de forma 
ibidem  simul mixa; micam predicti panis involve et suffrige cum lardo 
recenti in  sartagine, et istum panem in predicto sapore involve, bonis speciebus 
bene  trittis desuper sparsis. Deinde ordinatim per solaria in cissorio 
pone. Et da  comedere pro caponibus.  

I can't figure if, despite the lack of a clear direction, the flavored  
bread crumbs are meant to somehow end up on the bird, in which case we would  
have an early mention of something like Souther Fried... Peacock? But maybe 
the  most surprising touch is that this rather expensive bird is supposed to 
be  offered up as the somewhat cheaper capon. (Which again suggests that it 
was  covered with the bread crumbs somehow.
Jim  Chevallier

Newly translated from Pierre Jean-Baptiste  Le Grand d'Aussy:
Eggs, Cheese and Butter in Old Regime France  

In a message dated 1/29/2013 11:36:38 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
christianetrue at earthlink.net writes:

And I  agree that the chickpeas are  split.

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