Surprise foods

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Meg
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Surprise foods

Post by Meg »

Sparking off something the Pepperer mentioned in my 'carob' thread, I thought I'd start a new one:

What foods have surprised you by turning up in contexts you wouldn't have imagined? Badly phrased, but you know what I mean. When researching food I keep coming across things I hadn't expected, and I bet I'm not the only one!

I'll start off by pointing people in the direction of the Pepperer's reference to turmeric in 14thc England (I think, although it could have been Italy - must go back and check the thread!) - that really surprised me.

And what foods have surprised the public when they've seen you cooking/using them? I'm forever being asked why I'm cooking rice (14th c recipe for honey and almond rice pudding, which is to die for...), and lozenges/lasagne elicit a similar reaction.

Just curious...

And Grymm, yes, I know about the cockatrice :lol:

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

a1425 *MS Htrn.95 (Htrn 95) 194b/b: Cucurme: Turmeryte.

c1450 Burg.Practica (Rwl D.251) 214/29: For þe jandyes: Take [one-half dram] of safyrne, [one dram] of sugyr roset, [one dram] de succre violarum, [one dram] termeryte, and tempere al þes to-gedyr and ete here-of fyrst and last.

What really surprises me is the use of nearly everything that is a food as a medicine or other or vehicle for treatment.

ravioli - 15thc recipe
middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

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m300572
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Post by m300572 »

What really surprises me is the use of nearly everything that is a food as a medicine or other or vehicle for treatment.
The Scully reference earlier discusses this aspect of medieval cooking - the basic principles of medicine were that everyone had 'humours' which could be hot, cold, moist or dry. if your humours were unbalanced then you were 'out of humour' which could be anything from feeling a bit off to being dead.

Foods had the same properties as humours and so it was important to cook foods in such a way, or in a combination that kept the humours in balance. That's why a lot of recipes seem a bit medical.

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The Pepperer
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Post by The Pepperer »

I think you are right meg, in that, possibly the most suprising thing (for the "public" at least) about medieval food, is how familiar most of it actually is. Excepting the occasional cockatrice of course. :P

Andrew The Pepperer

http://www.pepperersguild.co.uk

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

m300572

ah yes that makes sense.

Believe it or not some paint pigments were used medicinally for similar sympathetic reasons.
middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

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m300572
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Post by m300572 »

Believe it or not some paint pigments were used medicinally for similar sympathetic reasons
I can well believe it - I have read a few bits on medieval medicine.

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Andy T
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Post by Andy T »

suprise foods-I thought you were after foods that you'd start eating it and all of a sudden it turns around and goes BOOO!

(check out Eraserhead for some speaking food moments.....)

btw isn't there an Italian or Spanish dish called 'jumps in mouth'? Salimbocca (sic)????? Is that what you're after?


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