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Friday, May 18, 2018


Sprinkled with Salt and
Barded with Bacon, Egg and Flour
Photo by: Lord-Williams
espolvorear, to sprinkle, dust, scatter. Sembrar actually means to sow but Nola uses the verb to mean sprinkle.  [Nola. 1989:xx-2; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:171; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:210]

See blog titled “anda” published September 29, 2011 for Nola’s recipe xx-2 for “Armored Hen.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Hairy Woodpecker at Feeder #3
From: Clyde's Pics
suet, fat, hard solid grease extracted from lamb, beef, goat and other animals or fowl. Fatty areas without veins or arteries are heated to clarify until the fat liquefies. It is strained and left to harden. Hard, solid and crumbly fat is found around kidneys and loins of animals

This is melted down to make tallow candles and for cooking. Mutton fat was clarified with vinegar to remove the muttony taste. Lemon juice was added when warmed and creamed before serving. Suet is used to grease tins and griddles, in meat, poultry and fish dishes, in pie crusts and cake making. 

A Perfect Dish for Grand Occasions
Photo by: Pedro Pablo Montero

Avenzoar advised that suet from cranes is good for illnesses caused by cold. That of camels is the thickest, which gives the impression that it has solidified when hot. He also claims that hedgehog suet alleviates pain caused by cold. It is useful against tetanus and facial paralysis. He continues that if mixed with balm and rubbed on the penis, it will become excited. 

[AUT:III:1976:O:6:58; Hartley. 2003:63-64; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:52:56:82 etc; Nola. 1989:xxv-2;  and Trapiello. 1994:139]

For Nola's recipe xxv-2, Thick Gourds in Meat Broth,  see blog titled "novia," published November 11, 2016.

Monday, May 7, 2018


Fox mange
Photo from: Carl Monopoli

itch, mange or scabs. Avenzoar maintained it could be caused by the humors of old goats, cabbage, clay pots used more than once and earthenware pots used more than five times for cooking foods. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:56:84:148]

Monday, April 30, 2018


Blood Sucking
Photo from: Matt Tranter
1. unpleasant. 2. bleed. Sent Soví instructs that the peacocks, pheasants or capons being prepared for cooking should be bleed from a vein in the mouth instead of the ear at sunset. The Harleian MS4016 states to cut the swan’s month in the direction of the brain to let it bleed prior to cooking, to save the blood for giblet chowder and to bleed crane, heron and pheasant in the same way. 

It continues to state that goats were slit in the neck and left to bleed to death. Pigs’ aortas are severed to bleed them to death. Fresh lamprey were bleed to death in their own blood by placing them in a vessel and sticking two fingers into the naval. Kosher methods of the Jews included bleeding cows to death and removing all the blood from meats for consumption. Humans were bleed to balance the humours. [Anderson. 1962:78:81; Anón/Grewe. 1982:I:62]

Friday, April 27, 2018


Photo from: Becky Smeitzer
OCast badeha, Cat albudeca, Ar. al-buttáikha (dim of battíkha), watermelon in the Middle East, melon in North Africa), L. Citrullus vulgaris, Ar. sandiaor baithasindiya (from Sinnd), Fr. pastèque, Eng. watermelon. Watermelon is believed to be a native of Sind (now a province of Pakistain). By Biblical times, it was common in the Middle East as Isralites ate it in Egypt as a vegetable (Num. 11:15). 

As it was one of the most consumed fruits of medieval Arabs it was brought to Spain from Persia or Yemen. It is first mentioned in Rabbi Ben Zaid’s 13thC Latin version of the Calendar of Cordova, in which he mentioned that it was an August fruit. 

It is referred to as a vegetable in the Archpriest of Hita. Probably, this is because eating raw fruit was frowned upon in the Middle Ages. It was drunk as a refreshing juice. The Anón al-Andalus uses the seeds in his hyssop syrup recipe. Villena says nothing about cooking it and instructs that it should be cut lengthwise like melon. Avenzoar explains that it is colder and more humid than a cucumber; its nature is extremely heavy and the amount of yellow bile in it is so slight that if there is any in the stomach, it fights it. He recommends this to alleviate high fevers suffered by youths.[Anón/Huici.1966:505:275-276; Bolen. Cuisine. 1990:34; ES: Harper. May 15, 98; Gázquez. 2002:28; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:88; Villena/Calero. 2002:42b; and Villena/Saínz. 1969:162]

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


White Champaca<_ftnref1>[1]
<_ftnref1>Photo from: Andelo Facundo
L. Santalumalba, Eng white sandalwood, white sanders. White sandalwood, as it relatives, is a small tree, 20-30’ high, found mainly in India. It has oval leaves and small white flowers. The wood was used in cookery for its fragrance instead of aromatics, burned as incense and was drunk in infusions. The oil has been used to treat various diseases, as it is an astringent, disinfectant, expectorant, diuretic and stimulant. It is prescribed especially for bronchitis, inflammations, reducing fever and cleansing the blood.

The Anón Al-Andalus provides a recipe for an electuary of red sandalwood made with rosewater, sugar, bamboo shoots and rosewater. The author maintains that it reduced fever cause be jaundice, cut thirst, fortifies the liver, stomach and other organs. Further, after distilling the wood, it was used in soap, incense, candles, and potpourri, the odor, of which, lasts for years. See Idrisi, Al-. 

[Anón/Huici. 1965:496:271; ES: Alchemy. n/d; ES: “Herb.” 1988-2000; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:209]

See blog titled "Itericia," published June 12, 2013 for the Anón Al-Andalus recipe #496 for "How to Make Sandalwood Syrup ."

[1] Magnolia × alba, commonly known as the White Champaca, White Sandalwood, or White Jade Orchid Tree.

Monday, April 23, 2018


By: Evelyn Vincent
L. Santalum, Ar. şandal, Hisp. Ar. sandal, Fr. sandal, ME saundres, saundreys, sawnderys, sawndres, poudreofcolowre (coloring powder), Eng. sandalwood, the powdered wood of Pterocarpussantalin. In the Middle Ages, the term was applied especially to red sandal-wood, also referred to as red sanders used principally for coloring food. 

Physically, this tree looks like an oak. It has oval leaves, small flowers and a fruit similar to the cherry. The wood is brownish-yellow and when burnt it emits an excellent odor and has been used as incense.

It was so lauded by Al-Andalus poets that they used it as a metaphor as did Ibn ‘Ammar (1031-1086), the Sevillan governor, who flattered Muhammad Ibn Abbad, Poet King of Seville (1039-1095) by saying ‘No other perfume is necessary while you are referred to as the sandalwood that makes the brassier of my mind ardent.’ The tree is a native of the Indian coasts but obviously took root in Spain as Abu l-Jayr al-Isbili, 11th C Sevillian agronomist, author of Kitab al –Filaha (Book of Agriculture) states in the “nisba,”the section on the origin of trees that his sandalwood tree lived 150 years. 

On the Maldives Islands, in the Indian Ocean, now the Republic of Maldives, the oil was used frequently as an aromatic ointment referred to by Ibn Battuta (1304-1368), from Tangier, in his accounts of his travels, now in book form titled: "Rihla - My Travels." Spain imported the tree and made its own perfumes and oils from it and the roots from which they extracted yellow aromatic oil. 

According to Al-Idrisi, it was used with black nightshade juice or butcher’s broom to raise the spirits and with rosewater it is efficacious against heat. It was applied as a calming antiseptic for fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, respiratory problems, a mild astringent for oily skin and it softened dry skin. It was blended with benzoin, black pepper, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, lemon, myrrh, and ylang-ylang for these purposes. In England, it was a basic ingredient for Saracen sauce (definitely from Arab influence) and used in other sauces and desserts for coloring and as a spice. 

The Anón Al-Andalus provides a recipe for an electuary of red sandalwood made with rosewater and  sugar. The author maintains that it reduced fever cause be jaundice, cut thirst, fortifies the liver, stomach and other organs. Further, after distilling the wood, it was used in soap, incense, candles, and potpourri, the odor, of which, lasts for years. See Idrisi, Al-. 

[Anderson. 1962:12:33:51 etc; Anón/Huici. 1966:496:271:535:289; Curye. 1985:180; and ES: Shamsuddín. “Aromas.” Jul 23, 05]