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Re: [Authentic_SCA] any one know off the top of their heads?

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  • 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 1 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.


      >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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