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4670RE: [Apicius] Non-Roman Foods

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  • Lucia Clark
    Oct 1, 2009
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      Celsus lists “Faba, Lenticula atque pisum”, Fava, lentils and peas. He also
      mentions, among the “weak” foods, anything that grows on soft stalks, like
      cucumbers and, we can surmise, fresh peas and fava. However, when I was in
      Perugia I was told that a local type of beans, quite small, the size of
      peas, is autochthonous of Umbria and we could possibly infer that the Romans
      knew about it. Not sure what the name is. Will look it up un November on my
      next trip.



      From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:35 PM
      To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Apicius] Non-Roman Foods

      > -- All Dried Beans, other than favas (there are other pulses, such as

      > garbanzos & lentils, but they aren't beans)

      The Romance languages distinguish between fava/fève/haba/etc, and
      faggiolo/haricot/frijol/etc. The Romans had the former, but not the
      latter... with the qualification that the latter set of terms comes from
      Latin "fasellus," which obviously meant something the Romans did have. Dalby
      identifies it with the black-eyed pea.

      > -- Sweet Potatoes - these is North American and was fairly quickly

      > adopted in 16th c. Europe (some Americans call yam, but it's a sweet

      > potato)

      Well, it's pointless to insist on the distinction between "sweet potato" and
      "yam" in this context, because they're *both* New World plants.

      > -- Allspice (called something else in Europe)

      Interesting. Wikipedia lists several alternate names, but says nothing about
      the distribution thereof. Any European anglophones want to clarify?

      > -- Citrus - some made it in Roman times, such as citron, but most

      > hadn't, and sweet oranges didn't exist until the 16th c.

      And, critically, the citron is not really edible.

      > -- Fresh green peas - dried field peas are European (i don't recall

      > if they're Roman), but tender fresh ones don't show up until the 16th

      > c.

      The Romans definitely had peas, though if they were different from ours I
      cannot say.

      But I'm confusd about the distinction you draw here and above between fresh
      legumes and dried legumes. I had thou
      ght this was was a difference of preparation, not of variety.

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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