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Barley again

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  • Weingarten
    Barley was certainly human food in the Mishnah and the Talmud. Mishnah Ketubot gives details of what was considered a basic minimum diet, to be provided by a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2007
      Barley was certainly human food in the Mishnah and the Talmud.
      Mishnah Ketubot gives details of what was considered a basic minimum diet, to be provided by a man to his separated wife. This includes either wheat or barley. The quantity of barley is double that of wheat. This proportion was the same in the Greco-Roman world, because barley bread had less gluten and wouldn't rise so well.
      Carobs were also the food of the poor - there are legendary accounts of holy men living on them which are presumably exaggerated reports but reflect some sort of reality, however unpalatable. Actually, freshly dry carobs picked up from under the trees are much more enjoyable than the years old things they sell abroad.

      Susan Weingarten

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Sheila Michaels
      To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 8:08 PM
      Subject: Re: [Apicius] Barley recipes

      That was what I thought that the rabbis said. My impression was that
      both barley & carob were considered food for animals in the Talmud:
      so in Rome's empire. They would only be eaten in straitened
      circumstances, & by the poorest people. Linear B has barley rations
      for slave women (& I think a little bit of wheat, sometimes). I'd
      have to go looking again, for that. Something tells me that's in
      Sumerian lists, too. I could be wrong. Journal of Near Eastern
      Studies had a piece--maybe five years ago-- about rules for men
      supervising women slave stevedores on the Euphrates boats & I thought
      they had barley rations. (Basically, if he didn't meet his
      production quotas, he was enslaved: not a desirable job.)

      I'm fond of barley & have never understood the problem. Perhaps
      there's too much grit if not properly hulled? It's certainly filling
      & may upset the stomach. And the bread will hardly rise without
      enormous patience & a lot of savvy. I know that it's monster to
      reap, because the awns are sharp & cut the skin. When I was in Korea
      in the mid-'70s, all rice had to be mixed with barley, for reasons of
      austerity. And that was at the time of the great boom's beginnings.
      But it reminded people that they were to make small sacrifices for
      the good of the nation. I was told that eyes were everywhere & even
      the wealthiest people feared being reported. I ate in a couple of
      fine restaurants, & I met the dowager Crown Princess & ate food from
      the palace kitchen & it was true.
      S h e i l a

      On Dec 28, 2006, at 9:47 PM, Lucia Clark wrote:

      > Well, I had a little time to look things up and I found the following:
      > http://books.google.com/books?id=LfRiXN5hhCUC&dq=food+of+the+roman
      > +army&pg=RA2-PA17&ots=vwwD3Z-
      > w2q&sig=uIfEcJFYvqF1RFLeRp2FK5YVXoY&prev=http://www.google.com/
      > search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dfood%2Bof%2Bthe%2Broman%2Barmy%26btnG%
      > 3DGoogle%2BSearch&sa=X&oi=print&ct=result&cd=2#PRA2-PA18,M1
      > The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C. - A.D.235) By
      > Jonathan P. Roth
      > Roth maintains that wheat, Frumentum, was the grain of choice, and
      > barley was used for the animals.
      > http://numbera.com/rome/people/food.aspx
      > This one is mostly on the food supply of the regular army, as in
      > cattle and smaller animals
      > , foraged food and even gardens in the army camps. The wheat is
      > called corn, a common thing.
      > http://www.roman-empire.net/army/army.html
      > Very comprehensive site about the Roman army. Here is an excerpt on
      > food rations:
      > A soldier's daily grain ration was the equivalent of 1.5 kg (ca. 3
      > lb 5 oz), which was generally supplemented with other foodstuff.
      > However, this meant that the total consumption of grain was around
      > 7500 kg a day. Together with up to 500 kg of fodder for the animals
      > this made a substantial amount of food.
      > In military bases, units were heavily involved in their own supply.
      > Land was set aside for the use of the military to plant crops and
      > graze their animals. These lands were referred to either as prata
      > (meadow), or simply as territorium (territory).
      > Herds of cattle were also kept, watched over by soldiers called
      > pecuarii (herdsmen). There are reports, particularly in the later
      > empire of large numbers of limitanei (frontier guardsmen) who acted
      > as soldier-farmers, charged with growing the crops for the troops.
      > There are lots of other sites. I just googled "food of the roman army"
      > Cheers
      > Lucia
      > At 08:07 AM 12/28/2006, you wrote:
      > >You know, I read in a series of novels by Jack Whyte (on the
      > >Arthurian saga) that the rations they had while on the march
      > >resembled, basically, granola. Your barley qualifies!
      > >Best
      > >Lucia
      > >Happy new year to all!
      > >
      > >At 12:16 AM 12/28/2006, you wrote:
      > >
      > > >I don't know if this qualifies, but this is how I approximate
      > > >"karpas" in the seder menu. I soak barley overnight (longer if I
      > can
      > > >keep it from spoiling), until it is plumped. Then I parch it in a
      > > >hot iron pan, or over the fire. This makes it rather nutty, both
      > > >crisp outside & softened inside. I encourage people to sprinkle it
      > > >on salad, as well as eating a spoonful as part of the Passover
      > seder.
      > > >S h e i l a
      > > >
      > > >On Dec 21, 2006, at 11:03 AM, P. Dominus Antonius wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Roman soldiers were disciplined by putting them on barley
      > rations.
      > > > > I am
      > > > > interested in recipes or advice on how to cook barley in
      > porridge,
      > > > > in bread,
      > > > > etc. As they were on discipline it is unlikely they would have
      > > > > access to
      > > > > items like honey and such to improve the taste. Apparently the
      > > > > barley was
      > > > > hated, so I doubt they were able to prepare anything terribly
      > > > > appealing.
      > > > >
      > > > > Any ideas anyone?
      > > > >
      > > > > --
      > > > > >|P. Dominus Antonius|<
      > > > > Tony Dah m
      > > > >
      > > > > Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius
      > > > > Mahometismus religio pacis, nex omnibus dissentint.
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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