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Molasses

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  • Tracy Kremer
    Does anyone know if treacle or molasses predates its production in the new world? In other words, would they have used it in medieval europe? Eluned =====
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 14, 2004
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      Does anyone know if treacle or molasses predates its
      production in the new world? In other words, would
      they have used it in medieval europe?

      Eluned

      =====

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    • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
      Greetings! ... Can t imagine any sugar-containing vegetable juice or tree sap, as with maple in the US. Honey, and that s all. Thus, there could be honey-based
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 16, 2004
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        Greetings!

        > Does anyone know if treacle or molasses predates its
        > production in the new world? In other words, would
        > they have used it in medieval europe?

        Can't imagine any sugar-containing vegetable juice or tree sap, as with maple in the US. Honey, and that's all. Thus, there could be honey-based syrups but can't imagine any process that leaves some treacle (as it happens at making sugar) to consume. At least, before 15 century.


        Bye,
        Alex
      • Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise
        ... Why? Cane sugar is old world. Acording to Andrew Dalby (_Dangerous Tastes_) by the year 1000, [the growing of sugar] had reached the Middle East and the
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 16, 2004
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          > > Does anyone know if treacle or molasses predates its
          > > production in the new world? In other words, would
          > > they have used it in medieval europe?
          >
          > Can't imagine any sugar-containing vegetable juice or tree sap, as with maple in the US. Honey, and that's all. Thus, there could be honey-based syrups but can't imagine any process that leaves some treacle (as it happens at making sugar) to consume. At least, before 15 century.

          Why? Cane sugar is old world. Acording to Andrew Dalby (_Dangerous
          Tastes_) "by the year 1000, [the growing of sugar] had reached the
          Middle East and the coast of East Africa." Medieval sugar was dark
          brown, unless it had been refined and generally came molded into cones
          or blocks. Medieval and Renaissance writers give directions for
          refining/whitening sugar. Dishes described as 'Cypriot' usually included
          sugar. The Greek writer Dioscorides described sugar:

          "There is also a substance called sakkharon, a sort of crystallized
          honey, in India and Arabia. It is found in reeds; it is not unlike salt
          in its texture, and can be crunched between the teeth like salt. It is
          laxative, good to drink dissolved in water, beneficial in bladder
          disorders and for the kidneys; in eyedrops it helps with cataract."

          Now, to be fair, I have not heard of the use of molasses, just of sugar
          and honey. The term 'treacle' in period referred to a medicinal mixture
          that wasn't a type of sugar.

          I suspec that Molasses, etc. weren't widely used because they were
          difficult to transport from the sugar growing areas-- the Indies,
          the middle east, East Africa, and by 1500, Italy. Blocks of brown or
          white sugar are easier to transport than containers of molasses.

          --
          -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@...
          "I don't get the facts wrong. It's everything else I screw up."
          -- _The Librarian: Quest for the Spear_
        • Tracy Kremer
          Thank you very much for your informed reply, Jadwiga! I asked with period baking in mind. So, now I know that sugar _was_ available for delicacies (I had
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 20, 2004
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            Thank you very much for your informed reply, Jadwiga!
            I asked with "period" baking in mind.
            So, now I know that sugar _was_ available for
            delicacies (I had suspected it due to some recipes but
            not known it thru documentation), even if molasses was
            highly unlikely. Interesting that the word they use
            today in Britain for molasses was in use for something
            totally different back then...

            Sincerely,
            Eluned

            =====

            CONTACT ME FOR CUST0M NECKLACES! For SCA, New Age, and all lovers of amber and semiprecious stones...silver only, no gold.

            http://www.secfi.org/concarolinas for all you Southeastern science fiction fans!

            for good webcomics! http://www.schlockmercenary.com http://www.kevinandkell.com








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