Re: [sig] Molasses
> > Does anyone know if treacle or molasses predates itsWhy? Cane sugar is old world. Acording to Andrew Dalby (_Dangerous
> > 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.
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_
- 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...
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