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Re[4]: [sig] The Domostroi

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  • jenne@fiedlerfamily.net
    ... Well, without being able to look at menus from Russian secular feasts, we don t know. But we can t generalize, because in other areas of Europe where we DO
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 27, 2003
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      > >> You can't really use the monastic diet as a guide for secular eating habits.
      >
      > Really? Did that mean that HABITS were completely different?

      Well, without being able to look at menus from Russian secular feasts, we
      don't know. But we can't generalize, because in other areas of Europe
      where we DO have records, the habits between rich secular food and
      monastery food were very different.

      It has to do with mortification of the flesh, I believe, and from what the
      author of the Domostroi wrote, I would believe that the idea of
      mortification of the flesh wasn't foriegn to Russian religious thought.

      >The very issue of Russian orthodoxy was that they could not use lenten
      >food of the Near East and had to rely on home resources. They simply
      >couldn't use olive oil in same quantities, for example. But they really
      >used handsome quantities of fish, porridge and vegetables.

      But there is ample evidence for Lenten and fast food of Central Europe, we
      don't have to rely merely on conjecture for that.

      >And tell me please, if we have a well-known story about golden
      >spoons of prince Vladimir, and a line in a chronicle saying that prince
      >Alexander Nevsky held a Kasha in Toropets, does that mean porridge was
      >eaten by monks only?

      What it means is that there was a ceremonial something called a Kasha. It
      might be reasonable to assume that porridge was served there, but it could
      have been the ceremonial honoring of the dead that is described in
      connection with special types of porridge.

      Certainly, medieval food all across Europe consisted largely of items
      served in broth or stew, either with or without grain, and bread. So most
      medieval food could be eaten with a spoon, but much of it wasn't
      'porridge' in the sense of a grain dish.

      > Not THAT much as a barbarian from any fantasy or Obelix from a French
      >comics strip. Meat was eaten not every meal and sometimes not even every
      >day. Just remember what Herberstein said about Russian (nobleman!)
      >warrior diet in 1500s. Porridge was really what they had plenty of.

      Quote this please and give full citation. Certainly, in other cultures --
      including Central Europen Slavic ones! meat WAS eaten everyday by the rich
      and many of the less wealthy, according to the records we have!

      > In any case, tell me please why I shouldn't believe the monastic menu
      >comprise same type food that the secular table (Schi, porridge, etc) if
      >it is said so in later or earlier times.

      Is it said that everyone ate a diet similar to that of monks? Or is it
      said that certain people ate a monastic diet? There is a difference. For
      instance, St. Louis of France ate a monastic diet when he was king. But
      that didn't mean that everyone else ate like that!

      > Folklore gives that sort of trends, habits and background that no
      >historic document provides. When you get period cooked dishes and serve
      >them in the American/West European way, with second course in the focal
      >point of the dinner, soup somewhere between the fifth and the ninth
      >remove, no bread on the table, - that will be anything but a Russian
      >table.

      What are you talking about? This is NOT typical of period western european
      food or our SCA recreations of it. What you are describing, dear sir, is
      the food of the 1700s and 1800s in Europe!

      >And you will find that nowhere but in folk lore. No dish is
      >referred to in Russian tales & Bylinas as bread, porridge or Kvas being
      >second. Bread was respected as no other dish. Tell me, in what Domostroiu
      >will you read this?

      In the lists of types of bread and bread flour to keep on hand in the
      Domostroi. Also in the bread regulations. Also in Hakluyt. Bread is
      definitely attested.

      Gruel (grain porridge) however, is attested as food for servants, in the
      domostroi. Interesting, yes?

      -- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@...
      "What don't die can't live. What don't live can't change. What don't
      change can't learn." -- Terry Pratchett, _Lords and Ladies_
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