Clear Cakes, Pastes, Conserves and Tart Stuffs (Volume 72)
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Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
The Food and Cookery in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England series presents a systematic survey of existing records of ingredients and equipment employed in the period. In addition to concise explanations of how such items might have been used and how they might have been significantly different from what is implied by current terminology, they include citations from various period and later records to demonstrate the geographic and class distribution of everything from hops to decorative tankards.
From the introduction: "Clear cakes contained no flour or fat but were made from sugar and usually fruit of sometimes flowers and herbs. Their production method was very similar to pastes. Pastes and conserves were both a puree of fruit and sugar. Pastes were then desiccated while most conserves were stored wet in jars, although some conserves were kept in boxes like marmalades. Tartstuffs may be synonymous with conserves...or may be boiled a little thicker...As usual there is no consistency and considerable terminological variation."
Staplebound pamphlet. 56 pages.