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Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:24 pm
Trying to follow a receipt from the late 16th / early 17th century and it suggests the use of vinegar. What would e a suitable modern substitute? I was thinking it would perhaps be more of a wine vinegar than a malt vinegar?
Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:11 am
Vinegar is a very versatile product that has been around for a very long time indeed - without a doubt for thousands of years. Because it is created by the action of bacteria on alcohol, vinegar pretty much makes itself, though the quality stuff is specifically made to be vinegar - the taste and clarity are likely to be that much better. Vinegar is also used as, among other things, a cleaning product, a medicine, a post-coital contraceptive, and a horticultural chemical.
Malt vinegar is made from barley, and is in effect a beer that is allowed to turn and is then aged, and has probably been around for as long as people have drunk beer. Sarsons, a British vinegar manufacturer, have been making malt vinegar to the same recipe (or so they claim) since the 1790s. Wine vinegar is, as you might expect, made from wine, and likewise cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice. Other types of vinegar (rice, date, coconut, cane, palm etc) are of course made from locally available products. Jesus was offered vinegar (or sour wine) while on the cross, and Cleopatra famously dissolved pearls into vinegar as an expensive tipple. Roman legionaries drank Posca, a vinegar-based beverage that probably had a lot to do with purifying the local water.
In terms of c.16th and c.17th cooking, it is perhaps best to use a vinegar that is available locally. If the region you are in has a history of apple production, then perhaps cider vinegar is the ingredient you need. If the area has a tradition of beer drinking, then malt vinegar may be your thing. If you are in a port or city, wine vinegars imported from abroad may be more readily available. More expensive, exotic, and higher quality vinegars in all likelihood graced the tables and supplemented the kitchens of those with enough cash to afford them.
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:11 am
From 15th-18thC cookbooks you get different sorts so when it calls for;
Vinegar, literally sour wine= what we refer to as 'wine' vineger
alegar= sour ale or malt vinager
aysel or other variations on that theme = cider vineger
So if the recipe says vinegar use wine vineger.
Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:19 am
As well as Alagoric I think it was apple vinegar. I know for sure that for example in Bulgary it was used in 14th century. Wine vinegar is more expensive and was not so widely spread.
Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:32 am
"Wine vinegar is more expensive and was not so widely spread."
Vinegar is very common in the recipes, however, the recipe books seem to be aimed at the wealthy. If you are following the book recipe then wine vinegar would be what is required otherwise it would not be a wealthy/high status dish. Wine was available for those that could afford it.
IMHO the key problem of following the cook books is reconciling them with non-high status living history or other reenactment.
Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:43 pm
All that poor folk ate was pottage
Now to see if they take the bait, MWAHAHAHAHA!
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:19 am
IIRC Styr it well has more prosaic recipes and some for sick people
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:00 pm
Not forgetting sticks and straw for roughage.
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:13 pm
Forme of Cury turns up in google book (The 18thC reprint)
also here http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/
Two fifteenth century cookbooks is worth looking for. I'm not a fan of modern redactions of historic recipes best read the originals and wing it from there, much more fun and with specialist spice and ingredient suppliers about it's easier to get grains of paradise and cubebs canelle and cinnamon, saunders, kid, veal gut for casings/puddings etc than it was even 10yrs ago.
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:16 pm
Still trying to work out fuddled eggs. "Take eggys, fuddle hem well and serve forth". Do you end up with scrambled egg or omelette? Great example of trying to work out exactly what the originals are talking about. If you keep fuddling while cooking you get scrambled, if you stop fuddling then cook, omelette... There will be some things which were obvious at the time but now leave us wondering.
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:40 pm
Where did that one come from?
Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:04 am
A drop of vinegar in a broth made with bones leeches the calcium out of the bones & into the broth.
Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:16 am
I would guess they mean scrambled
. I mean that's what I'd do when they tell me 'fuddle your eggs a bit
' (or I might misunderstand and do something unrelated to cooking
Yeah, otherwise I guess wine vinegar was expensive but then again I agree most of the cook books were probably aimed at the wealthy anyway, the others probably used apple or maybe didn't even have vinegar
Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:50 pm
Verjuice was very common from the middle ages onwards and can be used as a vinegar substitute in many dishes and sauces. Just find yourself a crab apple tree.
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:19 am
Chef re-invents of malt-vinegar, a recipe lost in the mists of time
.....or possibly an attempt to become a 'celebrity chef'?
http://gulfnews.com/life-style/people/c ... al_recipe_
* Ah thats why, "and is currently developing his own food range".