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Re: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita

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  • Lori Tishgart
    Hello!You are so correct, while we all try to remain as authentic to the ingredients known to the Mediterranean at the time, we shouldn t forget that the
    Message 1 of 29 , May 27 11:15 AM
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      Hello!You are so correct, while we all try to remain as "authentic" to the ingredients known to the Mediterranean at the time, we shouldn't forget that the Roman Empire was huge and covered vastly different areas and their corresponding local food sources.  While many ingredients could be transported, Roman cooks had to apply their tastes to what food was available locally.  In Britain (Gaul, Germania etc.), so far north of Rome, they had to use local food.  It could be argued that there is no one single pure form of Ancient Roman cooking.
      What if their empire had extended to the New World?  How would the Romans approach and cook New World ingredients?
      There is a good book on more "everyday" military and civilian food in Roman Britain called:
      Food in Roman Britain by Joan P. Alcock
      Lori

      --- On Mon, 5/27/13, Correus <correus@...> wrote:

      From: Correus <correus@...>
      Subject: Re: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita
      To: "Apicius@yahoogroups.com" <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Monday, May 27, 2013, 8:34 AM
















       









      The only GOOD fresh figs I've had was when we were in Egypt.



      I ordered some from Harry & David - they were decent but the price per fig (when adding in S&H) were about $3 each and the one store in my area that might get them charge about $4 each.   I tried growing some that 'supposedly' would grow in Kansas - they were growing but a storm took them out.



      You will find recipes for items like "millet polenta" from sources like Pliney.



      pulteautem, non pane, vixisselongotempore Romanos manifestum. Pliny the Elder N.H. XVIII,83



      populumRomanumfarretantum e frumento CCC annisusumVerriustradit. Pliny the Elder N.H. XVIII, 62



      As you delve into Apicius you'll notice a lack of "common food for the common people" - but there are other sources out there - like Pliny the Elder.  The recipes in Apicius tend to be those for the rich and famous not masses.  Grant's book is a great source for common food as well as bread.  IIRC there are some porridge recipes in his book.

       



      As for "sausages in rolls with mustard" - been-there-done-that.   You will find a discussion about this in the archives that I started.  We know the Romans loved sausages and they were common at festivals, games, plays, etc.  I ran across a reference to stuffed buns and pastries and made the leap that this could include sausages in pastry or a sausage wrapped in bread. 



      So - don't worry about tossing ideas out here.  One of the things I like to do is "Romanize" modern food item!



      Vale - Correus



      ________________________________

      From: Ross <telamonian_teukros@...>

      To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com

      Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:50 AM

      Subject: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita





       



      --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Correus <correus@...> wrote:

      r>
      > Another issue I have is fresh figs - those things are incredibly rare in my area!!!! You'd think that in our day and age they would be easier to get.

      >



      You can get fresh figs in New York, but you know what, GOOD fresh figs are also incredibly rare!!! I've had fair fresh figs two or three times in my life, good fresh figs only once. The rest of the time, ehh.



      > I think creating dishes using Roman techniques and herb/spice combos is a lot of fun.  >



      I am mooting a "poor Roman's feast". Some recipes are not to be found in any classical source but at the same time they are incredibly obvious. For example, millet polenta:



      http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/most-ancient-romans-ate-like-animals/



      Terrible title IMO.



      And no millet polenta recipe is to be found in Apicius. Maybe because there was a stigma attached to millet? After all, only the poor people ate millet.



      And I know it is a slippery slope but I already have a lot of ideas (e.g. vine leaves stuffed with herbed garbanzo puree, kind of like a Roman patra). Just somebody stop me if I start to talk about sausages in rolls with mustard, and salted deep fried turnip chips :-)



      > > Vale ~

      > > Correus

      >

      >



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



























      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Correus
      Thanks!   I ll see if I can find this one - it looks familiar from one of the specialty shops. Correus ________________________________ From: Pamela Herbert
      Message 2 of 29 , May 27 4:12 PM
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        Thanks!   I'll see if I can find this one - it looks familiar from one of the specialty shops.

        Correus




        ________________________________
        From: Pamela Herbert <ldybrigitsca@...>
        To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:50 PM
        Subject: Re: [Apicius] Cucurbita


        Actually what you may be able to find is the Cucuzzi gourd.  It is listed
        as a variety of calabash on Wikipedia but is prepared more like zuccini or
        other summer squash.  I have seen them at my local farmer's auction and are
        very popular with Italian families from the NYC area where they are called
        cucuzza or googuzza.    I haven't cooked one but the ladies come back often
        to buy more.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabash

        Something else from these plants is tenerumi.  These are the tender shoots
        of the plant and are used in soups in Sicilian cooking.

        One thing about them is they must be picked and cooked while young. They
        can grow over two feet long and up to six inches in diameter, the larger
        they are the tougher the skin becomes and the seeds develop.  They need to
        be peeled and cored if harvested too late.    Kinda like a giant zuccini
        but the seeds are very different.

        Hope this helps,

        Brigit




        On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 10:02 PM, <lilinah@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > Correus wrote:
        > > When I looked for a substitute for the Chinese Bottle Gourd all the
        > sites
        > > suggested zucchini.
        >
        > [SNIP]
        >
        >
        > > I have used several different gourds/squash to make the various
        > Cucurbita recipes
        > > with Acorn squash and Zucchini being my favorite. I see no major issue
        > with using
        > > any gourd/squash you would like - however, if you are trying to be as
        > accurate as
        > > humanly possible I would suggest, as you and others have suggested, use
        > the bottle
        > > gourd, snake gourd, etc., IF you can ind them.
        >
        > Well, winter squashes like Acorn squash taste good, but they VERY FAR from
        > Old World gourds in color, flavor, cooking time, etc., and to me that makes
        > a great and significant difference - it's like substituting peaches for
        > oranges. If you can find young Luffa gourds, they are a suitable substitute
        > - yeah, Chinatown, probably - sorry it's so far from you.
        >
        > In my experience zucchini is much much more watery than young gourds; so
        > first there is a texture difference, and second, the amount of liquid
        > affects the cooking. Third there is flavor difference - the langenariai've
        > used have a light fresh flavor, and opo has a faint hint of cucumber, which
        > zucchinis lack - note i detest the typical cucumber sold in stupor markets
        > and prefer so-called "English" or "hot-house" cucumbers and Persian
        > cucumbers, which are MUCH less watery (and burp-y) than standard cukes;
        > plus the skins are not tough and the seeds are not so big and hard.
        >
        > Nonetheless, summer squashes are closer to langenaria than any winter
        > squash - winter squashes tend to have yellow or orange flesh, much more
        > natural sweetness, and a distinct flavor, besides being HARD and needing
        > longer cooking.
        >
        > If i were going to use a New World-descended squash to sub for opo, i
        > would go for pattypan squash, as being closer in texture and liquid
        > content. These are round and not quite flat, with a scalloped edge, and
        > color similar to opo. Here's a photo:
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattypan_squash
        >
        > Anahita
        >

        >



        --
        “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the
        affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even
        one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have
        succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

        The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you
        will make one.
            Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)


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



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      • Correus
        Thanks Anahita!!! I will be adding this one on my list to look for as well. Correus ________________________________ From: lilinah@earthlink.net
        Message 3 of 29 , May 27 4:49 PM
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          Thanks Anahita!!!

          I will be adding this one on my list to look for as well.

          Correus




          ________________________________
          From: "lilinah@..." <lilinah@...>
          To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 4:47 PM
          Subject: Re: [Apicius] Cucurbita



           
          Brigit wrote:
          > Actually what you may be able to find is the Cucuzzi gourd. It is listed
          > as a variety of calabash on Wikipedia but is prepared more like zuccini or
          > other summer squash. I have seen them at my local farmer's auction and are
          > very popular with Italian families from the NYC area where they are called
          > cucuzza or googuzza. I haven't cooked one but the ladies come back often
          > to buy more.
          >
          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabash

          That is the same as opo. The names just vary from one culture to another - and it's always good to know as many different names as possible. They are much more pleasant, in my opinion, than zucchini. AND this is pretty much what was used in Europe before the discovery of the "New World" and the adoption of New World food plants.

          Take a look at the illustrations in various copies of the Tacuinum Sanitatis. This plant, sometimes called white flower gourd, is included and in the paintings looks just like what you and i see in our markets.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacuinum_Sanitatis

          Sadly, no gourd on that webpage, but if you type:
          tacuinum sanitatis gourd
          into Gooogle, you'll get a number of illustrations of this plant and the gourds.

          Correus, if you have access to a garden, you might be able to grow your own. I got some seeds about a decade ago, but my landlord at the time told me i could not plant them - for no particularly good reason.

          Anahita



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Correus
          Thanks Lori!!!   I will be adding that book to my library. I think you are correct in what you ve said.  I actually ran across a couple articles that state
          Message 4 of 29 , May 27 5:12 PM
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            Thanks Lori!!!   I will be adding that book to my library.

            I think you are correct in what you've said.  I actually ran across a couple articles that state there is evidence that peoples from the New World to make it to the Old World in the Republican and Imperial Roman age and vise verse.  It also mentioned seeds reaching those areas as well due to ocean currents.

            Correus




            ________________________________
            From: Lori Tishgart <ltishgart@...>
            To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 1:15 PM
            Subject: Re: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita



             
            Hello!You are so correct, while we all try to remain as "authentic" to the ingredients known to the Mediterranean at the time, we shouldn't forget that the Roman Empire was huge and covered vastly different areas and their corresponding local food sources.  While many ingredients could be transported, Roman cooks had to apply their tastes to what food was available locally.  In Britain (Gaul, Germania etc.), so far north of Rome, they had to use local food.  It could be argued that there is no one single pure form of Ancient Roman cooking.
            What if their empire had extended to the New World?  How would the Romans approach and cook New World ingredients?
            There is a good book on more "everyday" military and civilian food in Roman Britain called:
            Food in Roman Britain by Joan P. Alcock
            Lori

            --- On Mon, 5/27/13, Correus <correus@...> wrote:

            From: Correus <correus@...>
            Subject: Re: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita
            To: "Apicius@yahoogroups.com" <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Monday, May 27, 2013, 8:34 AM

             

            The only GOOD fresh figs I've had was when we were in Egypt.

            I ordered some from Harry & David - they were decent but the price per fig (when adding in S&H) were about $3 each and the one store in my area that might get them charge about $4 each.   I tried growing some that 'supposedly' would grow in Kansas - they were growing but a storm took them out.

            You will find recipes for items like "millet polenta" from sources like Pliney.

            pulteautem, non pane, vixisselongotempore Romanos manifestum. Pliny the Elder N.H. XVIII,83

            populumRomanumfarretantum e frumento CCC annisusumVerriustradit. Pliny the Elder N.H. XVIII, 62

            As you delve into Apicius you'll notice a lack of "common food for the common people" - but there are other sources out there - like Pliny the Elder.  The recipes in Apicius tend to be those for the rich and famous not masses.  Grant's book is a great source for common food as well as bread.  IIRC there are some porridge recipes in his book.

             

            As for "sausages in rolls with mustard" - been-there-done-that.   You will find a discussion about this in the archives that I started.  We know the Romans loved sausages and they were common at festivals, games, plays, etc.  I ran across a reference to stuffed buns and pastries and made the leap that this could include sausages in pastry or a sausage wrapped in bread. 

            So - don't worry about tossing ideas out here.  One of the things I like to do is "Romanize" modern food item!

            Vale - Correus

            ________________________________

            From: Ross <telamonian_teukros@...>

            To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com

            Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:50 AM

            Subject: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita

             

            --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Correus <correus@...> wrote:

            r>
            > Another issue I have is fresh figs - those things are incredibly rare in my area!!!! You'd think that in our day and age they would be easier to get.

            >

            You can get fresh figs in New York, but you know what, GOOD fresh figs are also incredibly rare!!! I've had fair fresh figs two or three times in my life, good fresh figs only once. The rest of the time, ehh.

            > I think creating dishes using Roman techniques and herb/spice combos is a lot of fun.  >

            I am mooting a "poor Roman's feast". Some recipes are not to be found in any classical source but at the same time they are incredibly obvious. For example, millet polenta:

            http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/most-ancient-romans-ate-like-animals/

            Terrible title IMO.

            And no millet polenta recipe is to be found in Apicius. Maybe because there was a stigma attached to millet? After all, only the poor people ate millet.

            And I know it is a slippery slope but I already have a lot of ideas (e.g. vine leaves stuffed with herbed garbanzo puree, kind of like a Roman patra). Just somebody stop me if I start to talk about sausages in rolls with mustard, and salted deep fried turnip chips :-)

            > > Vale ~

            > > Correus

            >

            >

            [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]
          • Ross
            Thank s for the tip; I ordered this book last night. @ Correus: I have Grant, but oddly I wasn t that impressed with it. I ll definitely give it a second look,
            Message 5 of 29 , May 28 2:41 PM
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              Thank's for the tip; I ordered this book last night.

              @ Correus: I have Grant, but oddly I wasn't that impressed with it. I'll definitely give it a second look, especially for the non-Apicius recipes.

              --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, Lori Tishgart <ltishgart@...> wrote:
              >
              > There is a good book on more "everyday" military and civilian food in Roman Britain called:
              > Food in Roman Britain by Joan P. Alcock
              > Lori
            • Lucia Clark
              Well, here in Massachusetts I have a small fig bush on the patio with a dozen little figs on it. I cover it with mesh to protect it from the chipmunks. In the
              Message 6 of 29 , May 28 3:31 PM
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                Well, here in Massachusetts I have a small fig bush on the patio with a
                dozen little figs on it. I cover it with mesh to protect it from the
                chipmunks. In the fall I bring it inside in the solarium, but any cool room
                would do. Re sausages: In England we got used to “meat pasties.” Not a huge
                leap from panem depsticium with stuff rolled in it

                Valete



                _____

                From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                Correus
                Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 11:35 AM
                To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita





                The only GOOD fresh figs I've had was when we were in Egypt.

                I ordered some from Harry & David - they were decent but the price per fig
                (when adding in S&H) were about $3 each and the one store in my area that
                might get them charge about $4 each. I tried growing some that
                'supposedly' would grow in Kansas - they were growing but a storm took them
                out.

                You will find recipes for items like "millet polenta" from sources like
                Pliney.

                pulteautem, non pane, vixisselongotempore Romanos manifestum. Pliny the
                Elder N.H. XVIII,83

                populumRomanumfarretantum e frumento CCC annisusumVerriustradit. Pliny the
                Elder N.H. XVIII, 62

                As you delve into Apicius you'll notice a lack of "common food for the
                common people" - but there are other sources out there - like Pliny the
                Elder. The recipes in Apicius tend to be those for the rich and famous not
                masses. Grant's book is a great source for common food as well as bread.
                IIRC there are some porridge recipes in his book.


                As for "sausages in rolls with mustard" - been-there-done-that. You will
                find a discussion about this in the archives that I started. We know the
                Romans loved sausages and they were common at festivals, games, plays, etc.
                I ran across a reference to stuffed buns and pastries and made the leap that
                this could include sausages in pastry or a sausage wrapped in bread.

                So - don't worry about tossing ideas out here. One of the things I like to
                do is "Romanize" modern food item!

                Vale - Correus

                ________________________________
                From: Ross <telamonian_teukros@...
                <mailto:telamonian_teukros%40yahoo.com> >
                To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Apicius%40yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:50 AM
                Subject: [Apicius] Re: Cucurbita




                --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Apicius%40yahoogroups.com> , Correus
                <correus@...> wrote:

                > Another issue I have is fresh figs - those things are incredibly rare in
                my area!!!! You'd think that in our day and age they would be easier to
                get.
                >

                You can get fresh figs in New York, but you know what, GOOD fresh figs are
                also incredibly rare!!! I've had fair fresh figs two or three times in my
                life, good fresh figs only once. The rest of the time, ehh.

                > I think creating dishes using Roman techniques and herb/spice combos is a
                lot of fun. >

                I am mooting a "poor Roman's feast". Some recipes are not to be found in any
                classical source but at the same time they are incredibly obvious. For
                example, millet polenta:

                http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/most-ancient-romans-ate-like-an
                imals/

                Terrible title IMO.

                And no millet polenta recipe is to be found in Apicius. Maybe because there
                was a stigma attached to millet? After all, only the poor people ate millet.

                And I know it is a slippery slope but I already have a lot of ideas (e.g.
                vine leaves stuffed with herbed garbanzo puree, kind of like a Roman patra).
                Just somebody stop me if I start to talk about sausages in rolls with
                mustard, and salted deep fried turnip chips :-)

                > > Vale ~
                > > Correus
                >
                >

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





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