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any one know off the top of their heads?

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  • Kareina Talvi Tytär
    Hi, I ll be doing a feast at the end of the month, and a German cookbook from the late 1300 s includes rice, which is a nice easy starch. Does anyone know off
    Message 1 of 3 , May 3, 2006
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      Hi,

      I'll be doing a feast at the end of the month, and a German cookbook from
      the late 1300's includes rice, which is a nice easy starch. Does anyone
      know off the top of their heads what form the rice took
      there/then? Brown? White? Short, long, or medium grain?

      --Kareina, who has too much uni work she should be doing so will just ask
      in this one place, and if no one knows off the top of their heads will just
      go with what is on sale that day...


      --
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    • gedney@OPTONLINE.NET
      ... I think that the long grain American Style rices we are familiar with are a late hybrid. Most authorities on Rice indicate that Europe got the idea form
      Message 2 of 3 , May 3, 2006
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        > Hi,
        >
        > I'll be doing a feast at the end of the month, and a German
        > cookbook from
        > the late 1300's includes rice, which is a nice easy starch. Does
        > anyone
        > know off the top of their heads what form the rice took
        > there/then? Brown? White? Short, long, or medium grain?

        I think that the long grain American Style rices we are familiar with are a
        late hybrid.
        Most authorities on Rice indicate that Europe got the idea form the Romans, who
        seem to have picked up a south Asian cultivar from their conquests of former
        Persia (Persia got it from India).
        This is probably the same medium grain cultivar that is used in Arabic and North
        African (and therefore traditional Spanish) cuisine.

        So, I would go with a medium grain brown or white rice.
        (White would be for the wealthier set, as that takes a bit more processing.)

        Short grain (such as Japonica or Arborio) is also possible, but I would use it
        for mixed dishes where the rice is a thickener, not a main ingredient.

        IMHO, you'd be pretty safe to just stick with medium grain rice, brown or
        white.
        Goya tends to have medium grain rice on sale a lot. and you can get it in
        big bulk bags.


        Capt Elias Gedney
        Dragonship Haven, East
        (Stratford, CT, USA)
        Apprentice in the House of Silverwing

        -Renaissance Geek of the Cyber Seas
      • lilinah@earthlink.net
        ... True... ... That s not quite true. The Romans didn t get much rice. It was so rare it was not even considered to be a food. Like sugar, which was also very
        Message 3 of 3 , May 3, 2006
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          "Kareina Talvi Tytär" kareina@... wrote:
          > I'll be doing a feast at the end of the month, and a German
          > cookbook from the late 1300's includes rice, which is a
          >nice easy starch. Does anyone know off the top of their
          > heads what form the rice took there/then? Brown? White?
          > Short, long, or medium grain?

          "gedney@..." responded:
          >I think that the long grain American Style rices we are familiar with are a
          >late hybrid.

          True...

          >Most authorities on Rice indicate that Europe
          >got the idea form the Romans, who
          >seem to have picked up a south Asian cultivar from their conquests of former
          >Persia (Persia got it from India).

          That's not quite true. The Romans didn't get much
          rice. It was so rare it was not even considered
          to be a food. Like sugar, which was also very
          rare in Rome, it was considered to be a medicine.

          The oldest found evidence of rice cultivation is
          8500 BCE in the Yangtze River basin, but it may
          have been cultivated earlier. Because it can be
          tricky to grow, its cultivation moved slowly. By
          2000 BCE it had reached North India, South and
          Central China, and all of Southeast Asia. Rice
          moved slowly to Japan and the Middle East (i.e.,
          Southwest Asia), where it arrived sometime
          between 300 BC and 200 AD. At that time it was
          not considered a basic food stuff in the Middle
          East - it was still something of a luxury.

          Rice finally made it to Egypt in the 6th or 7th
          century CE. Muhammed considered it a favorite
          food and Muslims took rice cultivation with them
          as they moved westward, to Wesetern North Africa,
          and to Sicily and Spain.

          It was being imported into Europe by the 13th
          century. In the 15th century it was finally being
          grown in North Italy.

          The author of the article in The Oxford Companion
          to Food (D.E.) speculates that the Medieval
          Blancmange developed as a way to join two
          expensive luxury food items: rice and sugar

          >This is probably the same medium grain cultivar
          >that is used in Arabic and North
          >African (and therefore traditional Spanish) cuisine.

          I agree that a medium grain rice would be a good
          choice. According to the Oxford Companion to
          Food, however, it is not what is commonly grown
          in Spain - the preferred rice in Spain is a short
          grained rice marketed as "Bomba". The rice
          industry in Spain is very different today from
          what it was in SCA period. The Muslims brought
          wet rice cultivation (yes, there is such as thing
          as dry cultivation). But after the Christians
          completed their Reconquista at the end of the
          15th century, they gradually stopped cultivating
          rice because they noticed a correlation between
          wet rice cultivation and malaria, and most of it
          was stopped by the 18th century. The modern
          Spanish rice industry was rebuilt in the late
          19th and 20th century.

          I, too, would recommend staying away from short
          grain rice. It was less commonly grown than
          medium or long grain and in rather specific
          areas. Japanese table rice is short grain. It
          tends to be a bit stickier than medium or long
          grain. It is not what is or was eaten in the
          Middle East or the Near East and therefore not
          what would be grown in or imported into Europe.

          >So, I would go with a medium grain brown or white rice.
          >(White would be for the wealthier set, as that takes a bit more processing.)

          Brown rice would NOT be used. Brown rice was not
          even in common use in rice growing cultures.
          Brown rice is disdained and is only for people
          who are so poor they cannot afford to take their
          rice to a miller.

          Rice was an expensive luxury food in Europe if
          you didn't live in Muslim Spain or Muslim Sicily.
          Rice was for the wealthy. White rice.

          I won't recommend a particular brand, since i
          don't know what's available where you are - are
          you still in Tasmania? If you can't find medium
          grain, use long grain.
          --
          Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
          the persona formerly known as Anahita
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