Entradas populares

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]

Friday, April 20, 2018


Photo from: pj6a
the Feast Day of St. Peter, June 29, marking the beginning of the harvest season. It continues to be a great festival. St Peter, originally a fisherman, was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, who supposedly died on that day. He is known as the founder of the Roman Catholic Church and the first Bishop or Pope of Rome. It is also the feast of St. Paul. Traditionally, fish is eaten on this feast day as both St. Peter and St. Paul were fisherme

#358 OTRA CLASE DE LO MISMO, pp 196-197


2 lbs sardines, red mullet or other[1]
¾ c vinegar
1 tbsp murri
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp saffron mashed and dissolved
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp spikenard
1 tsp galingale
½ tsp mastic
3 citron leaves
6 prunes
½ c almonds
3 garlic cloves
sprigs of thyme
½ c oil


Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC

Scale and slice the fish. Dip it in boiling water. Remove imediately. Wash in cold water.

Put it in a frying pan. Pour vinegar with dissolved saffron, cinnamon, spikenard, galingale and a little mastic, citron leaves and chopped prunes soaked in vinegar over it.

Sprinkle this with chopped almonds and garlic cloves wrapped in sprigs of thyme. Pour plenty of oil over this. 

Put in a moderate oven and leave until the sauce is dries up and the top is browned. Turn off oven and let it sit about 20 minutes before serving. 

[1]St Peter’s fish, tilapia or Amnon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Grated Breadcrumbs
Photo by: Lord-Williams

semolina bread; grated crumbs presumably from semolina bread instead of wheat. [Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:94-95; ES: Anon/Perry.Sep 5, 00:117; and Gázquez.  Cocina. 2002:90]

See blog titled broca published April 27, 2012 for the Anón Al-Andalus recipe #396 for "Harisa Made with White Bread Crumbs or Samid Instead of Wheat," p 217.

Friday, April 13, 2018


Photo from: Mahesh Mishra
OCast soma, Eng. bran, branny outer layer of wheat. It is the coarsest outer layer of the husk covering wheat, barley, or other grains, which is separated from the flour after milling. 

"Royal Fava Beans"
Photo by: Lord-Williams
In the Middle Ages, the bran was removed before cooking the grain. The method for doing this is explained in Nola’s recipe for groats. 

In Al-Andalus, it was used to make couscous grains. Further north, in the days of Juan Ruíz, bran bread was one of the few foods shepherds took to the mountains with them while watching over their flocks. Too it was a grain fed to livestock to fatten them up for the slaughter. Further, it was squeezed into bath water to relieve insect bites.Wheat and other brans are consumed today for their dietary fiber, which prevent constipation or relieve chronic constipation. 

[Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:33; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:78:87; Nola. 1989:xxvi-2:lxxi-1; Nola/Pérez. 1994:209; OXF Dict. 1989:II:BBC:485; and Ruíz/Saínz. 1986:1031]

See blog titled "Cesto" published November 21, 2012 for Nola's recipe xxvi-2 "Rice with Meat Broth."

See blog titled "Judia" published July 24, 2015 for Nola's recipe lxxi-1titled "Royal Fava Beans." 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


From: Aaron Sp

Cat. donar ayguamans, Eng the ceremony of washing hands before and after meals. For this a ewer, basin and towels, normally perfumed with rosewater were used. In medieval Spain, washing hands was an important act for all. Even Ramón Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, asked for water to wash his hands when dining with el Cid, the legendary hero from Burgos who liberated Valencia from the Moors, at the end of the 11th C. See aguamaniles.[Alonso Luengo. 1994:41-42; and Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:66] 

Monday, April 9, 2018


"el beso"
The Kiss!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast. salua, MEng asay, Eng. 1. assay or tasting of food and drink for poisons performed by an official of the household, a very important ceremony to insure that the food and drink is not poisoned, performed to save the king or lord of the household. It indicated the high social standing of the lord and was symbolic of the act of eating. The head steward or wine steward tasted the liquids. In Spanish it is called “el beso,” the kiss. After the steward approved the item, it is served to his master.

Villena dedicates a chapter on personal hygiene of men and women, their clothing, jewels to be worn, food not to be eaten for producing bad breath, vigilating food colors and bad smells, and ointments to be used to prevent polluting the air and poisoning eaters. See señores de la salva. [Alonso Luengo. 41-42; Curye. 1985:170; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:171; Sas. 1976:562; and Villena/Calero. 2002:15-18:10b-12b]

Friday, April 6, 2018


Photo by: Lord-Williams
L. salsūgō, Eng. brine. Water strongly impregnated with salt; salinity, salt quantity. The term is used in reference to salmuera. See almorí de pescado andmuria. [Arjona. 1983:28; and Castro.Alimentación. 1996:176:306]

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Heating a Thin Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams

light or thin sauce. [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:glos; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:209]. 

Monday, April 2, 2018


Gravy Boat
Photo by: Lord-Williams

OCast sulcitras, Eng gravy boats; earthenware or metal sauceboats, a concave recipients for sauces in any of various shapes. [Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:146]

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Celery Soup,
which was called a sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
condiment, sauce, cooked dish, stew, marinade. Hygienists recommended honey and vinegar for most sauces but in general meat broth, vinegar wine, sharp spices such as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, anise, galingale roots, grains of paradise, red cedar berries and cubeb were used with various herbs like oregano, rocket and caraway. 

Sugar, salt and pepper were used in many dishes in winter. In summer acid fruit juices, like lemon, bitter pomegranate and orange, were added. Many sauces were named for the herb or spice used such as pepper, ginger and cumin. 

[Alonso Luengo. 1995:41; and Villena/Calero. 2002:114]

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


salsas de pavosalsas molidas, sharp saucespeacock sauces, ground sauces. These are spice blends. The spices may include, grains of paradise, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and mace. The only spice normally not included is saffron but there are exceptions. It should be noted that spices were weighed in apothecary ounces (i.e. 12 oz to 1 lb). Nola’s recipes can be confusing as he interchanges the word sauce with spice, when he actually means spice, as in his peacock sauce recipes. See onzas castellanas.. [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: glos; Nola. 1989. xi-2:xiii-2:xiii-3; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:209]

Monday, March 26, 2018


OCat joliuertadajurvertjulivertada, Cat julivert, MEng verde sawse, Eng green sauce. It is an emulsified sauce. In Spain this consists of herbs, vinegar and juice from the meat to accompany roe deer and veal. Sent Soví and Nola call it jurvert for the use of parsley to make it green. Nola’s is quite thick using bread as a thickener. 

Green Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
The English Curye recipe is very similar to Sent Soví and Nola’s calling for parsley, sage and mint with cinnamon, ginger, pepper, wine, vinegar. Sent Soví uses hazelnuts as a thinkener while Curye uses bread. Josef Martínez Llopis likens it to allioli but says it has more flavor. Vilanova recommends it for mutton. Hieatt explains that these recipes go back to Apicius at least who provides a similar recipe for a fish sauce. 

[Anón/Grewe. 1982:XXII:74:XXXXII:85:CLXVI:179-180:Ftn 1 etc; Apicius/Flower. 1958:IX:XI:215; Curye. 1985:IV:144:221;Martínez Llopis“Prólogo” 1982:18; Nola. 1989:liiii-1; and Villena/Calero. 2002:114]

See blog titled “manera, una” published February 24, 2016 for Nola’s recipe for a Parsley Dish and “cañarejo apio” for Sent Sovi’s recipe #CLXVI for a vinaigrette to accompany spit roasted mutton or goat published February 8, 2012. 



1 lb slices of beef[1]

1 c honey
1 tsp saffron
1 c parsley sauce[2]
salt to taste


Select slices of beef. If not available use goat. Grind well. Cover with honey mixed with saffron, mashed and diluted. Add parsley sauce and salt to taste.  

If the meat, which is to be used, is roasted on a spit, so not use slices of beef or veal but raw meat from a ram’s belly.

[1] If not available use goat.
[2] See blog titled "perejil" published Mar 15, '17 for recipe.


Friday, March 23, 2018


Picorillo, A Colorful Dish with a Vinaigrette
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ar. tahineh, vinegar sauce. Vinegar with oil and spices has been used to marinate meat and as a sauce when cooking meat. 

It was used in pharmaceutical preparations by mading into a syrup or mixing it with wild onions. Pure white vinegar is used with green grapes and added in sweet dishes; vinegar is necessary in dishes when a crust is formed. 

Vinegar does not damage the stomach. It gives strength and flavor to whatever is combined with it when used to relieve or to decrease fever. 

When vinegar is added to skigag, it reinforces the acidity a great deal, and it regulates acidity when used with sweets and greasy foods. It was combined with green grapes and used as a pure sauce, not mixed with water, for sweet dishes. [Anón/Huici.1966:14:21-22:16:23:129:88 etc; and Austin. 1964:77]

See blog title “picorillo” published April 24, 2017 for Huici’s recipe #14 A Vinaigrette and  blog titled “jato” published July 6, 2015 for #16 A Sweetened Vinaigrette.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


peacock sauce. With blancmange and mirrauste, Nola believed it was one of the three most important recipes a cook should know. It really was not a sauce but a dish in itself consisting of peacock, capon or hen livers, almonds and toasted bread soaked in vinegar or orange juice, ground and strained. It was seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, grains of paradise and saffron and sweetened with sugar. [Nola. 1989:xiii-3]

Ingredients (for 5 bowls)

1 lb toasted almonds
2 livers from peacocks, capons or hens
1 c toasted breadcrumbs
1 c orange juice or white vinegar
2 egg yolks for each bowl
salsa fina or mixed spice[1]



Mash almonds in a mortar. Cook livers and mash them in a mortar with the almonds. Soak breadcrumbs in orange juice or white vinegar.  Add them to the liver and almond mixture. Mash this and add egg yolks Add spices and strain the sauce. Put it in a pot with sugar. Taste the sauce. It should be somewhat bitter. Heat and pour into bowls. Garnish with sugar and cinnamon.

[1] 25 gr ginger, 5 gr cinnamon, 3.5 gr white pepper,  3.5 gr cloves, 0.750 gr mace,  0.750 gr nutmeg, 5 gr saffron.