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RE: [Authentic_SCA] Tomatoes was Re: Years covered by SCA

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  • Terri Morgan
    ... Recently I cooked a feast for our barony where our baron requested Meat and potatoes - I think just to pull my tail. But with the help of the SCA-Cook s
    Message 1 of 80 , Dec 30, 2008
      > > Gerard in his Herball, commonly available last editions
      >> from 1633 and 1636, discribes tomatoes (as apples of love)
      >> as being eaten in Spain boiled and salted and also "like
      >> we use mustard".

      > The earliest edition was 1597 but I've never seen it, it
      > might include tomatoes. Which makes an ambiguous answer
      > to considering the 1600 cut off date.
      > Agnes deLanvallei


      Recently I cooked a feast for our barony where our baron requested "Meat and
      potatoes" - I think just to pull my tail. But with the help of the
      SCA-Cook's list I was able to serve both potatoes and tomatoes without
      pulling my hair out. It was definitely 'cutting edge' so far as our time
      period is concerned. Here's what I saved from my serving notes (I had a
      little booklet at each table)"

      Tomatoes:
      The tomato was first described in extensive detail in Rembert Dodoens
      Cruydeboek (1554). John Gerald mentions the tomato rather famously and
      planted them at Holborn in the 1590's. It's mentioned in both editions of
      the Herball. In the 1597 Herball, he says that it was "boiled with pepper,
      salt, and oile."

      "Turkish" Squash (Variously identified as either pumpkin or acorn squash:
      To make various dishes with Turkish squash, Chapter 220, 2nd book, Scappi
      (Approx 1570)
      Take the Turkish squash in its season, which begins in the month of
      October and lasts through all of April, and clean it of the skin and of the
      innards. Cut it into pieces and parboil it, when it is parboiled chop it
      with a knife and put it to cook in good meat broth, thicken and enrich it
      with grated cheese and beaten eggs. One can also prepare it with onions in
      the same way that one prepares our squash as described above. Be aware that
      if the squash is firm it will be much better, and to store them one should
      put them in a dry and airy place.

      White Potatoes:
      There is definitely a recipe for potatoes in correspondence between
      Wilhelm IV von Hessen and Christian I von Sachsen in 1591. As translated by
      Thomas Gloning, it reads, "We also send to your Highness among other things
      a plant that we got from Italy some years ago, called Taratouphli (.) Below,
      at the root, there hand many tubers. If they are cooked these tubers are
      very good to eat. But you must first boil them in water, so that the outer
      shell (peeling?) gets off, then pour the cooking water away, and cook them
      to the point in butter."

      John Gerard's contacts with explorers Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake
      led to the acquisition of a Virginian potato plant for his own garden.
      Gerard called the plant a "Virginian potato" to distinguish it from the
      sweet potato. His picture of the potato was the first that most English
      people had ever seen. He wrote about them and tomatoes in his 1597 edition
      of Herball, Generall Historie of Plants. For many years, the potato was
      considered a delicacy to be enjoyed only by the rich. Not until the early
      1700s did the potato finally become a staple in the European diet. For this
      feast, I used a recipe found in the Anonymous Venetian Cookbook (14/15
      century) for turnips as Gerard said his potatoes were "cook'd in the same
      manner as turnip root".


      hope that helps,
      Hrothny
    • Katherine Throckmorton
      I ve been thinking for awhile about why I object to New World foods at feasts. It isn t the fact that they aren t period. Its more the fact that it seems
      Message 80 of 80 , Jan 5, 2009
        I've been thinking for awhile about why I object to New World foods at
        feasts. It isn't the fact that they aren't period. Its more the fact that
        it seems that when things like potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate and turkey were
        served, they would have been a novelty. These foods would have been new and
        exotic and serving them at a feast would have made a statement. Serving
        them as a ordinary part of a feast, with no effort to get people to think
        about how 16th century people would have seen these foods has the effect of
        pulling us into the modern world, where a dish of mashed potatoes is
        commonplace.

        -Katherine


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