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logical substitutions??

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  • asseri@aol.com
    Salvete all you good cooks and scholars, I want to make a gift to two couples in my little Roman group of a pamphlet = A Roman feast for two . I am and have
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 1 6:14 AM
      Salvete all you good cooks and scholars,

      I want to make a gift to two couples in my little Roman group of a pamphlet =
      "A Roman feast for two ." I am and have been rereading everything I own to
      get settled in to the proper mindset. I am looking for logical substitutions
      for ingredients that are not very common.

      I know they (my friends) would never use brains in any recipe but I got that
      figured out. But what about some of the Herbs? What do you use or do you just
      omit it?

      I have been dragging my copy of Vehling (because if it gets damaged I don't
      care) back and forth to my commute to work. I am a little confused about
      "Pumpkin" i know its not what I would refer to big fat and orange. I know some are
      cucumbers but what else can I experiment with. What have you used?


      I just got started on this project and I have to narrow down the recipes
      which I have not done yet . But any and all insight is welcome.

      Janet <BR><BR><BR>**************<BR>Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for
      fuel-efficient used cars.<BR> (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)</HTML>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lilinah
      ... There are only three i can remember having problems with. The first two are not generally available. I do not have access to a garden, so i can t plant
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 1 9:23 AM
        Janet wrote:
        >I know they (my friends) would never use brains in any recipe but I got that
        >figured out. But what about some of the Herbs? What do you use or do you just
        >omit it?

        There are only three i can remember having "problems" with. The first
        two are not generally available. I do not have access to a garden, so
        i can't plant them.

        1. Rue:
        I have no good substitute for rue, which is quite bitter. Perhaps
        someone else on the list can make a suggestion.

        2. Lovage:
        We have debated here whether what is being asked for is seeds or
        herb. Lovage is not difficult to grow if one has a garden, and i
        tasted some of the leaf in a friend's garden. To me it tasted much
        like celery leaves with a menthol aftertaste. So when i used them i
        bought a type of celery that doesn't have moist stalks, but rather
        tiny thin stalks (it was Asian - Chinese i think). Bear in mind that
        modern moist crunchy celery didn't exist

        3. Malabathron/Malabathrum:
        This is a leaf from a Indian tree more often called today "tejpat". I
        went to the local South Asian markets and found a bag of leaves
        labeled "tejpat", but i could see that they were bay leaves. I asked
        the proprietor and he said that is what they use as a substitute, at
        least here in California. So i have used bay leaves, but would love
        to taste actual tejpat.

        >I am a little confused about
        >"Pumpkin" i know its not what I would refer to big fat and orange. I
        >know some are
        >cucumbers but what else can I experiment with. What have you used?

        Pumpkin and all squashes are New World and unknown before the very
        end of the 15th c. or the 1st quarter of the 16th - various New World
        foods were found at different times, and while most were sent back to
        Spain, many were not readily adopted by Europeans.

        What was eaten in the Old World is young gourds. And young gourds are
        still eaten today in many parts of the Old World, especially Asia.

        While i don't know for certain what the Romans were using, i have
        found in local markets here in Northern California (where we have
        many people of South and East Asian descent) something that looks
        like what is illustrated in the Medieval "Tacuinum Sanitatis", a book
        that exists in several manuscripts, and based on an earlier Arabic
        text. All versions have textual descriptions based on humoral theory
        of various edibles and pictures. The type of gourd pictured is pale
        green, apparently smooth skinned, and of varying shapes.

        In my local markets i've found something called "opo", species
        Lagenaria siceraria, which is at least in the same family as other
        edible gourds. It is called cucuzza in Italian, and also calabash,
        white pumpkin, and bottle gourd. I gather that "opo" is the
        Philippine/Tagalog name. They are also eaten young in parts of Africa.

        I used them in a feast i did based on surviving 15th C. Ottoman
        recipes. They were quite pleasant. They had smooth, hairless, pale
        green skins, and were around 10 to 12 inches long. It was not heavy,
        watery, or a little bitter as zucchini can be (i think that's called
        vegetable marrow in the UK...). They insides was lighter in color,
        looked slightly "spongy" and had a hint of cucumber flavor. Some of
        the diners, who dislike zucchini (including me :-), said they enjoyed
        the opo.

        Here's a photo:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Lagenaria_siceraria_Clavata_Group1SHSU.jpg

        I have also used young luffa gourds, which are tender and pleasant,
        and not as moist as the various summer squashes.

        Photos of both opo and luffa, as well as other UNsuitable gourds, are at
        http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/research/AsianVeg/cucurbit.htm

        Here's a personal page by a gardener/farmer, complete with photos,
        discussing opo (including sliced opo) and luffa that i found amusing
        to read:
        http://www.liseed.org/rambl_oddsquash.html

        Outside of California, look in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East
        Asian markets, since these various young gourds are commonly eaten in
        those regions, or African markets, if you have them.

        Anyway, i'm going to use these more often in ordinary cooking, since
        i like them much better than zucchini.

        Good luck with your booklet!

        Anahita
      • Lilinah
        ... Sorry, i forgot to include this link to a helpful page about tejpat: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cinn_tam.html I am a HUGE FAN of this website,
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 1 9:27 AM
          I wrote:
          >3. Malabathron/Malabathrum:
          >This is a leaf from a Indian tree more often called today "tejpat".
          >I went to the local South Asian markets and found a bag of leaves
          >labeled "tejpat", but i could see that they were bay leaves. I asked
          >the proprietor and he said that is what they use as a substitute, at
          >least here in California. So i have used bay leaves, but would love
          >to taste actual tejpat.

          Sorry, i forgot to include this link to a helpful page about tejpat:
          http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cinn_tam.html

          I am a HUGE FAN of this website, which has amazing info - and color
          photos - of all sorts of herbs and spices.

          Anahita
        • Aurelia Rufinia
          ... I have used a blend of fresh sage and parsley as a substitute for fresh rue. ... I use celery leaves- and I think the chinese celery is something I m going
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 1 9:35 AM
            Janet wrote:
            >I know they (my friends) would never use brains in any recipe but I got that
            >figured out. But what about some of the Herbs? What do you use or do you just
            >omit it?


            > 1. Rue:
            > I have no good substitute for rue, which is quite bitter. Perhaps
            > someone else on the list can make a suggestion.

            I have used a blend of fresh sage and parsley as a substitute for fresh rue.


            > 2. Lovage:
            > We have debated here whether what is being asked for is seeds or
            > herb. Lovage is not difficult to grow if one has a garden, and i
            > tasted some of the leaf in a friend's garden. To me it tasted much
            > like celery leaves with a menthol aftertaste. So when i used them i
            > bought a type of celery that doesn't have moist stalks, but rather
            > tiny thin stalks (it was Asian - Chinese i think). Bear in mind that
            > modern moist crunchy celery didn't exist

            I use celery leaves- and I think the chinese celery is something I'm going to try to play with next (good idea!). It's close enough for government work.

            I don't like the idea of omitting anything- the ingredients are there for a reason, and omiting them because it's too hard to find, or just because it sounds "icky" bothers me.


            Rufinia
          • Tuxedo Moon
            I tried gourd and zucchini - the results were OK with the gourd. Indeed the origin of the pumpkin is the Americas - but the gourd comes from Africa. Tux
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 1 9:46 AM
              I tried gourd and zucchini - the results were OK with the gourd.

              Indeed the origin of the pumpkin is the Americas - but the gourd comes
              from Africa.

              Tux

              asseri@... wrote:
              >
              > Salvete all you good cooks and scholars,
              >
              > I want to make a gift to two couples in my little Roman group of a
              > pamphlet =
              > "A Roman feast for two ." I am and have been rereading everything I
              > own to
              > get settled in to the proper mindset. I am looking for logical
              > substitutions
              > for ingredients that are not very common.
              >
              > I know they (my friends) would never use brains in any recipe but I
              > got that
              > figured out. But what about some of the Herbs? What do you use or do
              > you just
              > omit it?
              >
              > I have been dragging my copy of Vehling (because if it gets damaged I
              > don't
              > care) back and forth to my commute to work. I am a little confused about
              > "Pumpkin" i know its not what I would refer to big fat and orange. I
              > know some are
              > cucumbers but what else can I experiment with. What have you used?
              >
              > I just got started on this project and I have to narrow down the recipes
              > which I have not done yet . But any and all insight is welcome.
              >
              > Janet <BR><BR><BR>**************<BR>Gas prices getting you down?
              > Search AOL Autos for
              > fuel-efficient used cars.<BR>
              > (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007
              > <http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007>)</HTML>
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
            • Alicia Roberts
              Rue- In the past i ve used Rosemary (a cousin of Rue) mixed with celery leaf for bitterness, but you can buy rue plants for the garden, and there are various
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 2 1:34 AM
                Rue- In the past i've used Rosemary (a cousin of Rue) mixed with celery leaf for bitterness, but you can buy rue plants for the garden, and there are various places on line that you can buy Dried Rue, which seems to do the trick in cooked recipes.

                Lovage- the same, it can be bought in dried form, from various online shops.

                Which country are you in?

                Alicia.


                To: Apicius@yahoogroups.comFrom: asseri@...: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 09:14:10 -0400Subject: [Apicius] logical substitutions??




                Salvete all you good cooks and scholars,I want to make a gift to two couples in my little Roman group of a pamphlet = "A Roman feast for two ." I am and have been rereading everything I own to get settled in to the proper mindset. I am looking for logical substitutions for ingredients that are not very common. I know they (my friends) would never use brains in any recipe but I got that figured out. But what about some of the Herbs? What do you use or do you just omit it?I have been dragging my copy of Vehling (because if it gets damaged I don't care) back and forth to my commute to work. I am a little confused about "Pumpkin" i know its not what I would refer to big fat and orange. I know some are cucumbers but what else can I experiment with. What have you used?I just got started on this project and I have to narrow down the recipes which I have not done yet . But any and all insight is welcome.Janet <BR><BR><BR>**************<BR>Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for fuel-efficient used cars.<BR> (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)</HTML>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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              • Gaylin Walli
                Others have spoken on the celery and pumpkin substitutions, but no one yet has commented on the rue issues and the reasons for the substitutions. Growing rue
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 2 5:47 AM
                  Others have spoken on the celery and pumpkin substitutions, but no one
                  yet has commented on the rue issues and the reasons for the
                  substitutions. Growing rue is ridiculously easy if you have the garden
                  space, but a quick google search will net you information on the
                  possibility of contact dermatitis when the plant is handled (luckily I
                  do not have this problem at all). The reason most people don't include
                  it in recreation recipes is not the dermatitis issue, but the
                  possibility of Rue acting as an abortificant. There is evidence to
                  suggest that pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should
                  avoid this plant completely.

                  That having been said, I do use it in my personal cooking for recipe
                  testing, so I can get a decent idea of the taste. My personal opinion
                  is that the leaves of radishes works the best. They give the herbally
                  green taste and the bitterness you're seeking. Rosemary or even celery
                  (which people have suggested in the past) don't even come close to
                  matching the taste of rue like radish greens do. Just remember to wash
                  them carefully. I personally think of it as a bonus. Most people toss
                  their radish greens without using them. This is the perfect way to use
                  everything!

                  Iasmin
                • Lilinah
                  ... Interesting, i ll have to give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion. OOP: When i was living in France, i STR learning to pan cook radish leaves as a green
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 2 12:56 PM
                    Iasmin wrote:
                    >That having been said, I do use it in my personal cooking for recipe
                    >testing, so I can get a decent idea of the taste. My personal opinion
                    >is that the leaves of radishes works the best. They give the herbally
                    >green taste and the bitterness you're seeking. Rosemary or even celery
                    >(which people have suggested in the past) don't even come close to
                    >matching the taste of rue like radish greens do. Just remember to wash
                    >them carefully. I personally think of it as a bonus. Most people toss
                    >their radish greens without using them. This is the perfect way to use
                    >everything!

                    Interesting, i'll have to give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

                    OOP: When i was living in France, i STR learning to pan cook radish
                    leaves as a green vegetable. Also, sauteing sliced radishes briefly
                    in butter. Not relevant to ancient Roman cooking, but just to add to
                    one's general cooking repertoire.

                    Anahita
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