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Re: [Apicius] Tracta

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  • pmzaret@aol.com
    Tracta was sheets (something like lasagna) of dried flour and water. It was broken up and dissolved as a thickener. The Romans had a wide variety of
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 17, 2004
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      Tracta was sheets (something like lasagna) of dried flour and water. It was
      broken up and dissolved as a thickener. The Romans had a wide variety of
      thickeners, since their main method of eating was to dip (with their fingers)
      bite-size pieces of food in a thickened sauce. Runny sauces were just too messy.
      Phil Z


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • RM
      Well, it was not always really dry since Apic. 5,1,3 tells us to dry it before use: tres orbiculos tractae siccas et confringis And it shouldn t be that
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 17, 2004
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        Well, it was not always really dry since Apic. 5,1,3 tells us to dry it
        before use: "tres orbiculos tractae siccas et confringis" And it shouldn't
        be that solid (not like lasagne!).
        Best regards
        RM

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <pmzaret@...>
        To: <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 1:47 PM
        Subject: Re: [Apicius] Tracta


        >
        > Tracta was sheets (something like lasagna) of dried flour and water. It
        was
        > broken up and dissolved as a thickener. The Romans had a wide variety of
        > thickeners, since their main method of eating was to dip (with their
        fingers)
        > bite-size pieces of food in a thickened sauce. Runny sauces were just too
        messy.
        > Phil Z
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Post message: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
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      • Marco Berni
        The solidity of lasagna comes from the presence of egg. Take out the egg and substitute water. Also considering that we would not be talking of durum wheat
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 17, 2004
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          The solidity of lasagna comes from the presence of egg.

          Take out the egg and substitute water. Also considering that we would
          not be talking of durum wheat semola but a simple flour and the texture
          would be much softer when 'fresh'.

          When dried however it would be quite stiff though not as brittle as
          today's dried pasta.

          Marco

          On Nov 17, 2004, at 2:22 PM, RM wrote:

          >
          > Well, it was not always really dry since Apic. 5,1,3 tells us to dry it
          > before use: "tres orbiculos tractae siccas et confringis" And it
          > shouldn't
          > be that solid (not like lasagne!).
          > Best regards
          > RM
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: <pmzaret@...>
          > To: <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 1:47 PM
          > Subject: Re: [Apicius] Tracta
          >
          >
          >>
          >> Tracta was sheets (something like lasagna) of dried flour and water.
          >> It
          > was
          >> broken up and dissolved as a thickener. The Romans had a wide variety
          >> of
          >> thickeners, since their main method of eating was to dip (with their
          > fingers)
          >> bite-size pieces of food in a thickened sauce. Runny sauces were just
          >> too
          > messy.
          >> Phil Z
          >>
          >>
          >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> Post message: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
          >> Unsubscribe: Apicius-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >> List owner: Apicius-owner@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >> Yahoo! Groups Links
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          >>
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          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • RM
          What I actually don t understand is why they didn t use flour directly to thicken sauces. Eventually tracta as used by Apicius is a bit similar to how Cato
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 17, 2004
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            What I actually don't understand is why they didn't use flour directly to
            thicken sauces. Eventually "tracta" as used by Apicius is a bit similar to
            how Cato said to prepare amulum (de agricultura XCVI / 87): "Amulum sic
            facito: siliginem purgato bene; postea in alueum indat, eo addat aquam bis
            in die. die decimo aquam exsiccato, exurgeto bene, in alueo puro misceto
            bene: facito tamquam faex fiat. ..."
            Best regards
            RM

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Marco Berni" <mberni@...>
            To: <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 2:32 PM
            Subject: Re: [Apicius] Tracta


            >
            > The solidity of lasagna comes from the presence of egg.
            >
            > Take out the egg and substitute water. Also considering that we would
            > not be talking of durum wheat semola but a simple flour and the texture
            > would be much softer when 'fresh'.
            >
            > When dried however it would be quite stiff though not as brittle as
            > today's dried pasta.
            >
            > Marco
            >
            > On Nov 17, 2004, at 2:22 PM, RM wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > Well, it was not always really dry since Apic. 5,1,3 tells us to dry it
            > > before use: "tres orbiculos tractae siccas et confringis" And it
            > > shouldn't
            > > be that solid (not like lasagne!).
            > > Best regards
            > > RM
            > >
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: <pmzaret@...>
            > > To: <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
            > > Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 1:47 PM
            > > Subject: Re: [Apicius] Tracta
            > >
            > >
            > >>
            > >> Tracta was sheets (something like lasagna) of dried flour and water.
            > >> It
            > > was
            > >> broken up and dissolved as a thickener. The Romans had a wide variety
            > >> of
            > >> thickeners, since their main method of eating was to dip (with their
            > > fingers)
            > >> bite-size pieces of food in a thickened sauce. Runny sauces were just
            > >> too
            > > messy.
            > >> Phil Z
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Post message: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
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            > >> List owner: Apicius-owner@yahoogroups.com
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            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Post message: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
            > > Unsubscribe: Apicius-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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            > >
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            > >
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            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
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            >
            >
            >
            > Post message: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
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          • pmzaret@aol.com
            The Romans had storage problems just as we do. Flour, though it appears dry, has some moisture, which can lead to spoilage, and is often infested by little
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 17, 2004
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              The Romans had storage problems just as we do. Flour, though it appears dry,
              has some moisture, which can lead to spoilage, and is often infested by little
              mites. Rock hard crackers - like hard tack - that have been dried and
              redried, and stored in a tight container, can resist the forces of nature for quite a
              while.
              Phil Z


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • ranvaig@columbus.rr.com
              ... (which seems to be tracta in the original Latin), You might find this article useful, Ranvaig
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 18, 2004
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                >
                >According to the recipie translations I've been looking at, some of
                >them (including Flower and Rosenbaum) mention cooking in pastry
                (which seems to be 'tracta' in the original Latin),

                You might find this article useful,
                Ranvaig

                http://www.ieha.asso.fr/revue_food_history/sommaires_et_resumes_d_articles/the_debate_about_ancient_tracta_evidence_from_the_talmud_article208.html
                THE DEBATE ABOUT ANCIENT TRACTA : EVIDENCE FROM THE TALMUD
              • ranvaig@columbus.rr.com
                ... Also in modern Greek cooking they use trahana a dried fermented dough with milk and eggs. I ve been kicking in the back corners of my brain for this
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 18, 2004
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                  >
                  >According to the recipie translations I've been looking at, some of
                  >them (including Flower and Rosenbaum) mention cooking in pastry
                  >(which seems to be 'tracta' in the original Latin),

                  Also in modern Greek cooking they use "trahana" a dried fermented
                  dough with milk and eggs. I've been kicking in the back corners of
                  my brain for this name since you posted... I knew it was somewhat
                  similar. I don't know if it is related, but it does make me wonder.

                  Ranvaig
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