Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Historical Cooking

History is something I've always found fascinating, but I find food and drink just as fascinating (if not more so, which is why I'm here). Some of you may already know of my tendency to eat military rations. But I decided to go a step further, and begin actually cooking instead of opening pouches and cans.

So today, I hereby present the historical food thread!



In this thread, we discuss and cook historical cuisine to earn a closer appreciation to what our ancestors had to put up with, from simple pottage and gritty bread to exquisite banquet meals that the 99% could only dream of laying eyes on. In doing so, we gain insight into what daily life would have been like when our predecessors sat down to eat. We also eat food and drink alcohol, which is literally never a bad thing.

When posting a recipe, make sure to include the original text whenever possible along with a plain English translation. Also, please try to stay as close to the original recipe as possible! I'm always incredibly frustrated by online historical recipes because so many people want to modify them for a modern palette, rather than truly experiencing the past. While some recreations may not be 100% possible (such as needing to use commercial fish sauce instead of making your own garum or an herb being literally extinct for a thousand years), I feel like it defeats the purpose of living history to try and modify it for our own sensibilities. If this means the final product kinda tastes like crap, so be it in the name of science.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



To Seeth Fresh Salmon

My first ever historical recipe, taken from The Good Huswives Handmaid of 16th century England. Recipe comes from All Gode Cookery.

quote:

To seeth Fresh Salmon. Take a little water, and as much Beere and salt, and put therto Parsley, Time and Rosemarie, and let all these boyle togeathere. Then put in your Salmon, and make your broth Sharpe with some Vinigar.

quote:

1 cup water
1 cup beer or ale
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. parsley flakes
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary leaves
4 Salmon steaks (or any variety of fish)

Combine all ingredients except fish in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer. Place fish in a shallow baking dish, then add enough of the beer mixture to immerse 2/3 of the fish. Cover baking dish, then place in a 400į F oven for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until fish becomes tender and flakes with a fork when pierced. Remove fish from baking dish & serve.

I chose this because out of all the All Gode Cookery recipes, this was one of the easiest. All you do is mix ingredients in a saucepan, boil it, then pour it onto salmon and let it sit in an oven for a while.



I chose Samuel Adams Cold Snap for the beer. Pickings at the local Publix were slim, but I figured the very low hop character and use of spices and citrus would more closely imitate medieval gruit beers.



This is basically a two-step meal, and step one is throwing everything but the salmon in a saucepan and letting it boil. Within minutes, you're hit with an absolutely wonderful smell from the spices intermingling. I could easily see a medieval kitchen being one of the best smelling places to work, in spite of the heat.





I had to try a few pans without pouring anything in to try and get the right depth, which is a lot harder than it seems, but I lucked upon the exact right size for all 4 salmon fillets and the 2 1/4 cups of liquid. I used a plastic spoon I had sitting in a drawer to try and even out the clumps of wet spices onto all the pieces. From there, it was into the oven for 20 minutes!





And the verdict?

Quite good, and not that far off from modern tastes! The strong smell isn't quite conveyed in the flavor, but you've still got it somewhere in there. The strongest flavor components are likely the beer and 1/4 cup of vinegar, and the salmon has a noticeable acidity not unlike if it had been given a squirt of lemon juice.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



JacquelineDempsey posted:

How "historic" is "historic" for the purposes of this thread? I've got a 1965 Czechoslovakian cookbook I inherited when my mom died, and I've been wanting to dig into it and try some more Foods of My People. It's only a little over 50 years old, but I figure 1960's Eastern Bloc recipes probably aren't far from their peasant-toiling-in-the-field roots.

Go for it! Anything that you didnít grow up eating because it predates you.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



http://medievalcookery.com/recipes/mawmeny.html

I'm looking at this as my next recipe, served over stale bread for authenticity.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Pham Nuwen posted:

I did some shopping this morning and picked up a whole chicken, some steaks, and some chicken breasts. I also have shrimp and fish (tilapia, I think, or maybe catfish) in the freezer, plus ground beef. Other ingredients kicking around: potatoes, onions, eggs, celery, turnips, beans, mushrooms.

Got any recommendations for an interesting recipe using one or more of these? I couldn't get mace or saffron at the store today but I have most other spices and some dried herbs.

I'm planning to try Townsend's baked beans recipe tonight, if you can really call it Townsend's recipe because it's just navy beans, molasses, salt pork (I'm using bacon ends), and onions. My cast iron pot is too big for the size of batch I'm making, so I'll probably cook it in a casserole in the oven instead of in the fire.

All Gode Cookery is probably the best resource for medieval recipes. They provide the original text and often convert it to a modern recipe with proper measurements and instructions.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Suspect Bucket posted:

Along with your trenchers the dogs didn't want to eat

The guy who made that mawmenny recipe said he poured it over rice and it reminded him of Indian food, but I'm going for authenticity and using really old stale bread.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I just bought the ingredients for mawmenny, and I'm on track to make it for dinner tonight. A lot of alcohol is involved, none of which is going into the dish. The trenchers will be day-old whole grain bread left out for over 24 hours.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014





I think a LOT more saffron is necessary for this much food.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Careful now, saffron is meant to be used sparingly and not to dominate the dish.

Iíll post the recipe in a bit, but the pinch suggested didnít add really anything to the flavor or color.

It came out very sweet, in fact. All of the other spices are equaled by the amount of sugar.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Liquid Communism posted:

Did you use unsweetened almond milk? The historical version was likely just pressed almonds, as sugar was somewhat expensive on its own.

I did, since I kept that in consideration when making purchases. I also served it on authentically stale whole grain bread, which Joey said tasted even better than the chicken after it was done soaking in.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



All right, here's the rest of the pictures and the recipe, from Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books 1430-1450.

quote:

Malmenye Furne. Take gode Milke of Almaundys, & flowre of Rys, & gode Wyne crete, or the brawn of a Capoune, other of Fesaunte, & Sugre, & pouder Gyngere, & Galyngale, & of Canelle, & boyle y-fere; & make it chargeaunt, & coloure it with Alkenade, other with Saunderys; & if it be Red, a-lye it with olkys of Eyroun; & make smal cofyns of dow, & coloure hem with-owte, & bake on an ovyn, & coloure with-ynne & wyth-oute; then haue Hony y-boylid hote, & take a dyssche, & wete thin dyssche in the hony, & with the wete dyssche ley the malmenye & the cofyns; & whan they ben bake, & thou dressest yn, caste a-boue blaunche pouder, Quybibe, mace, Gelofre; & thanne serue it forth.

quote:

1 pound chicken
2 cups almond milk
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. rice flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. galingale
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. mace
pinch saffron

Chop the chicken finely and place in a large pot. Whisk together almond milk, egg yolks, and rice flour and add to chicken. Add spices and bring to a low boil. Simmer until thick, and serve hot.



I only have a pic of most of the ingredients because Joey was mixing the almond milk, eggs, and rice flour behind me.





As you can see, a pinch of saffron wasn't quite enough to affect a pot of this size. The bread is Publix whole grain bread that I left out for 24 hours.

General verdict is "fine". The amount of spices is relatively small when mixed into such a large quantity of liquid, so you'd want either more spices or half the amount of mawmenny to flavor. It's gently sweet and has no vinegar, wine, or heavy spices like black pepper to balance it. Pairs well with nigori sake.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Soricidus posted:

Thereís wine in the medieval recipe but not in the modernisation for some reason. Lost in translation?

(Although I think wyne crete is sweet wine)

Ah, now I see it. I'm thinking "wyne crete" might be literal, as in wine from Crete. I did some looking and I think Crete really was just called Crete in English at the time despite being under Venetian rule. The index for the book has it listed separately from "swete wyne".

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Davin Valkri posted:

Saffron is pretty pricey outside of Asian markets today; it was probably even more so when the recipe was written. Is this dish just intended as a platform to show off a nobleman's spice rack?

Pretty much every wealthy manís dish from medieval times has at least 3 or 4 different spices and herbs, in addition to salt and possibly sugar.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I've reheated the remaining portion of mawmenny so I can give a more immediate perspective.

The strongest smells from the hot food are definitely the cinnamon and nutmeg (standing in for mace). It almost smells like a dessert more than an entree. The taste is sort of milky and cinnamony at first, followed by roast chicken as you finish biting into a piece.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



They at least sound good!

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Old medieval food always smells awesome because of the sheer amount of flavors you've got going on, but it's a toss-up how it'll end up tasting.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Zombie Dachshund posted:

Update on lucanica salami: it's done! (actually, it was done earlier in the summer, but I was too lazy to post)



Good flavor, glad I upped the % of fish sauce in the recipe. A little bit of funk, and I just love the cumin.

Next time I'll make two changes: first, go all the way and make it with 100% colatura di alici, and second, smoke it a little more. It could stand 2-3 overnight cold smoking sessions. In the meantime, it's a nice addition to a charcuterie plate.

Wish I could get a slice of that! I love charcuterie boards.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Tunicate posted:

The problem with eating things like cicadas and scorpions is that there's a surprisingly high chance that you're highly allergic to them.

Finally, something I might be allergic too!

I think my daring food habits might be due to having an iron stomach and no known food allergies.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Iíve decided that in November (once Iím home from a series of long trips) Iím going to start homebrewing and work up to recreating Sumerian beer from bappir bread.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Arrack punch sounds very cool! Iím getting supplies for some Jerry Thomas cocktails. I had an Improved Gin Cocktail made with Bols genever and it was nothing like youíve had before.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Iím stopping at Dead Rabbit in NYC. Itís got an internationally recognized bar program situated in a 19th century grocery store, so itís basically a must-do if youíre in the city.



They sell 18th century punches by the glass. This one, the Swedish Punsch, is made with Batavia arrack (a distilled liquor from Indonesia made from sugarcane and red rice) flavored with ginger, lemon, and lapsang souchong tea. Identical punches (yes, including the tea) were common from the 17th century into the 19th century, when cocktails and other individual drinks took precedence.

The arrack has a taste similar to a funky white rum, like a cross between rum and genever. I can easily see someone at a party downing 3 or 4 glasses.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014





Hereís all the kinds they currently have. Theyíre all radically different in flavor but equally easy to drink. The Usquaebach in particular definitely has anise in it.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Read Punch: The Delights (And Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl. Itís a history of distilled liquor and the development of punch in Europe, followed by a set of historical recipes.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I got some cask-conditioned ďreal aleĒ for the first time: Mayflower Porter served at the Blackmoore Kitchen & Bar in Charlestown, MA, served in a way that basically makes it a duplicate of 1870s working class Englishmanís beer.

The beer is entered into the cask unpasteurized and unfiltered. The yeast is settled with something like isinglass so itís at the bottom of the keg and the beer is pumped out with a hand pump. No CO2 or nitrogen, just mild natural carbonation from the secondary fermentation in the cask.

You need to be very careful with primitive serving like this. It goes bad within a week or two and starts losing flavor after just 48 hours, and it needs to be served around 55 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum flavor. Every cask is slightly different from the last and itís served ďwarmĒ and nearly flat, which makes it the polar opposite of cold, fizzy lagers like most people drink today.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



CzarChasm posted:

But was it any good?

I enjoyed it, but it would be very shocking to someone who isn't a beer snob like me! It has very little in common with the mass market idea of "beer" and your initial instinct is that it's been left lying out for a day or two before you got handed the glass. It's also really easy to gently caress up because of how delicate and perishable it is, so if the bar isn't familiar with how to handle cask-conditioned ales you can easily be handed something disgusting.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Phanatic posted:

Iíve had some in England at a CAMRA fest that were so underattenuated that you could taste barley hulls between your teeth. But really the worst thing you can call most of them is ďreally drinkable.Ē Stopping by a pub after an overnight flight to Heathrow and then a long cab ride to Portsmouth, it always took an effort of will not to just pound the full pint of whatever IPA they had in one swallow.

I've got a lot of will to never let an IPA near my mouth, actually.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Riptor posted:

Most English IPAs aren't anything like the ones made in the US

Yeah, I've had both. I find the style generally unbalanced in favor of hops, with a lot of American ones just completely overdoing it and making something almost undrinkably bitter.

I also hate beers that try to mix hop bitterness with sweet fruit or floral notes, because to my mouth it just ends up tasting like shampoo. Unibroue A Tout Le Monde is a big offender there.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I have plans for eventually doing the same thing, but using part of the bread to make beer Sumerian-style.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Having a normal one in ancient times eating an entire snake whole.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Click this link for all recipe threads with the "Authentic" tag on the Civil War Talk forum. It's their tag for recreating recipes right out of period cookbooks.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I'm getting back in the swing of things by making a Townsends recipe! Today it'll be steaks fried in ale from Hannah Glass's The Art of Cookery Made Plain And Easy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1EVhCTIJME

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014





I used Killian's Irish Red for my "not bitter ale". Let me tell you, it's very disconcerting when it foams up on a hot pan.





Despite this, the final product was a surprising success! I'd like to try it again using thinner steaks on a lower heat, as modern technology cooks way faster than a cast iron pan over a fire and even using thicker steaks than Townsends used risks burning the butter or the steak if you try to do the other prep work while the steaks cook. I'd also like to see how using a stronger beer would work, like a porter.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply