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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Food, Recipes & Little Known Facts From The Past

A couple of weeks ago over at Cobwebs Of The Mind in an ongoing series of blog reviews about writers which I do from time to time, I reviewed Dr. Gillian Polack's Blog in this post: Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Review: Gillian Polack's "Even in a little thing". I also discovered while clicking on her links one of the strangest and interesting Blogs I ever came across called: Food History.

Food History seems to be Gillian's somewhat serious yet interesting hobby where she collects information and recipes about food that was prepared and eaten during the middle ages. Since Gillian did have a recipe for "Rosh Ha'Shanah" (Jewish New Year) meal used in the middle ages, I wrote and asked her where she got it. Until she answered and sent me an email thanking me for the review and sent me a "Latke" recipe for Hanukkah, I had no clue that this Australian also had a rich tradition in Judaism as well as in cooking.

So I am going to use this review of Food History to officially kick off some Hanukkah recipes which Gillian sent in as well as those from some others of our cooks out there. But first a little about this strange yet interesting blog - Food History.

Despite my introduction make no mistake. Food History is not about Jewish cooking (even though we eat a great deal!). It is about recipes and food information from a time long past where we can get a view as to how and what people ate and into the culture of the time. It is a serious anthropological endeavor into the collective past of humankind.

The post Medieval apples and pears for instance tells us in Gillian's typical humor and scholarship:

Apple varieties available in England and France around 1200 included the pearmain, the costard, the pomewater, the ricardon, the blaundrelle and the bittersweet.

Pear varieties included the regul, dreyes, sortells, cheysills, gold knopes, warden and the martins pear. The warden was very popular and the martins very expensive.

I don’t know if this information will change your life. It’s handy to know though. Very useful for dinner parties.
By reading and following various links such as in the post Apicius, Ancient Rome one can truly find educating and fascinating information provided by Gillian's scholarship. But make no mistake, Gillian is a cook within her own right, and certainly supplies all of us with recipes to use and love (though I will admit she has a special affinity for Apples!). Gingerbread in one such post which gives us a look into another link (which we would never have found) into a few Gingerbread recipes.

Food History is no doubt a fascinating look into the past, and Gillian keeps the posts short and to the point (not like moi!). I really give this blog 5 stars plus for excellence.


For those who visit Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen, and I proudly tell you that Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen statistics are growing day by day. It seems Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen is becoming a very popular blog for those interested in recipes or kosher cooking in general. (So link to us!)

I recommend Food History for anyone who just wants to add to their general knowledge, and certainly educate themselves on food, recipes and little tidbits of information about the collective past of humankind.

And now off to the world of Hanukkah, Sufganiot, Latkot, and the Miracle of Lights!

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1 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Gillian said...

I love being strange and interesting :). I have posted a post about your post ( http://www.foodpast.com/one-of-the-strangest-and-interesting-blogs-i-ever-came-across/ ) and also told other bloggers at the 451 site about it. Thank you - and may you enjoy the latke recipe :).