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MetaFritter:“apple fritter is good hot, but the cold ye [should] not touch"
December 22, 2010 1:23 AM   Subscribe

What species of food is 2000 years old, has evolved copious adaptive variations, and still tastes delicious as ever?

"On the occasion of the feasts in honor of the god of Libero (called Liberalia), divinity devoted to the fertility of the crops, that took place on the 17th of March, the young Romans used to wear the virile robe therefore entering the civil society.

In the same day, the elderly women, crowned of ivy, named priestesses of Libero, used to prepare and sell in the streets some flour and honey pizza breads called libae or frictilia. Part of them was offered to the divinity while the remaining part was consumed between songs and dances."


ABOUT FRITTERS (from The Food Timeline [twitter; great foodbytes] explaining the deeal with airlinechicken [previously et al.])
Fritters (aka frytors, frytos) are deep-fried batters containing sweet (fruit & nuts) or savory (cheese, fish, vegetables) fillings.
"Apple fritters, strewn with sugar when it was available, were prehaps the best loved, but fritters of skirrets or parsnips were well liked too, because of their natural sweetness. The physicians condemned fritters as indigestible, but they remained irresistable to the layman and appeared regularly in medieval menus, usually as part of the last course. John Russell observed that "apple fritter is good hot, but the cold ye [should] not touch." Herb fritters, the batter aerated with a little yeast, and "fritters of milk" were made from curds and egg whites were two other popular versions."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Ann Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers:Chicago] 1991 (p. 143) [NOTE: the author is referencing Medieval English cuisine]
Fritter recipes through time:
  • 14th century--- frytour (several recipes with modern redactions)

  • 1803---good fritters, The Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter

  • 1884---fritter batter for oysters, clams or fruit, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln

  • Apple Fritter Poppers
    Frytour Blaunched
    A Fritur at Hatte Emeles
    Frytour of Erbes
    Fritter of Milk
    Fritter roll
    Zucchini fritters, 1, 2, 3, 4
    Eggplant fritters, 1, 2, 3
    Banana Fritters, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Apple Fritter with Custard
    Fried dough foods, 1, 2, around the world (previously).

    Friends and Relatives of the Fritter:
    Beignet
    Buñuelos 1
    Carimañola 1, 2
    Croquette 1, 2
    Cuchifritos
    Tempura, 1, 2
    Vada 1, 2
    Karen Hess makes this connection between fritters and french fries:
    "The earliest receipt that can unequivocally be identified as calling for the frying of sliced raw potatoes that I have found is one given in La Cuisiniere Republicaine. Among some thirty-five receipts for pommes de terre there is one for '[Pommes de terre] Enfriture", which involves the classic fritter method, that is, thin slices, dipped in batter and fried in deep fat, an ancient procedure recorded in medieval manuscripts, early making its way to English court cuisine as in this archetypical receipt for 'Fretoure' calling for making the batter, then 'take fayre Applys, & kut hem in man'er of Fretourys,' dipping the slices of apple in the batter and frying them in 'layre Oyle.' In short, a procedure already so established even in early fifteenth-century England that one is to 'kut hem in man'er of Fretourys,' that is, raw in slices, and so understood. Note that all the terms come directly from the French: Frire and friture always refer to frying in deep fat. Always. What we now know as French fries may have started out as potato fritters, but it would not have taken long for French cooks to realise that potatoes are starchy enough not to need the coating of batter to provide the attractive characterizing crust of deep fried foods; that may well have occurred long before 1795, given the historical lag between practice and the printed word. I note that La Cuisiniere Republicaine is thought to have been written by a woman, not a chef (the cover title, Paix au Chaumieres, salutes women who are out of work - an early feminist cookbook).3 Chefs had other worries in 1795, and many of them had already fled France, among them Louis Eustache Ude and very likely Honore Julien, who was to become chef de cuisine at the President's House."
    ---"French Fries," Petits Propos Culinaires, Number 68
    posted by infinite intimation (31 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

     
    For a moment I thought this would be about soup.

    Nice post. Now I'm hungry.
    posted by _Lasar at 1:50 AM on December 22, 2010


    A wonderful way to fritter away my time.

    Yes, I had to say it.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 1:54 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


    Every year, just before lent, the Anabaptists in the area make a ton of donuts. The rationalization is that they're doing it to get rid of all the lard and sugar in the house, and what with lent coming up, they don't want the temptation. So Shrove Tuesday becomes Fasnacht, or Donut Day. Here's me and my kids frying up some of our own.
    posted by Toekneesan at 2:13 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


    What species of food is 2000 years old, has evolved copious adaptive variations, and still tastes delicious as ever?

    Oddly enough, this very question came up at tonight's Trivia Competition. The Sgt. Major guessed "salt", much to the amusement of the rest of the team. Another team member, focusing perhaps more than necessary on the date, suggested "jesus". But after further debate our team settled on what I can only describe at the best answer.
    posted by twoleftfeet at 2:20 AM on December 22, 2010


    I'd have one with hummos, but it's much older than 2,000 years.
    posted by Astro Zombie at 2:50 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


    What species of food is 2000 years old, has evolved copious adaptive variations, and still tastes delicious as ever? Jesus.

    that is completely awesome, twoleftfeet. (I hope your team decided on that as the best possible answer). I mean, fritters are very, very good, but...
    posted by Auden at 2:52 AM on December 22, 2010


    A staple of my school dinners: spam fritters
    posted by vbfg at 3:07 AM on December 22, 2010


    This has left me jonesing for a good cuppa joe.
    posted by Toekneesan at 3:08 AM on December 22, 2010


    For full on decadence -- funnel cake, a donut-like batter the size of a plate, eaten with ice cream and whipped cream and fruit or chocolate.
    posted by jb at 3:38 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Also for any one in or passing through London: the cafe on the south west corner of the British library sells the most amazing fresh made churros, with chocolate dipping sauce.
    posted by jb at 3:45 AM on December 22, 2010


    Deep Frying, alway a great way to score some hi-fives among Mefites. Thanks!
    posted by ouke at 3:50 AM on December 22, 2010


    I would have said lettuce; if memory serves, both broccoli and brussel sprouts are adaptive varieties of the lettuce species.
    posted by The Confessor at 5:03 AM on December 22, 2010


    Awesome post! Thanks.

    But I just finished dinner, so it's really hard to read anything about food and I think I'll have to come back later..
    posted by Ahab at 5:06 AM on December 22, 2010


    This post is really making me deeply despise my celiac disease.
    posted by hecho de la basura at 5:17 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    I like fritters. Who else here likes fritters?
    posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:18 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    both broccoli and brussel sprouts are adaptive varieties of the lettuce species.

    They are derived from cabbage, which itself is derived from the mustard plant.
    posted by briank at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    i live just steps away from LED ZEPPOLE. it's painful to walk by it because, even though we are not celiac, i've raised my kids with a mostly gluten-free diet due to gastrointestinal and dermatological wheat sensitivities. so we have to leave eating it for very special occasions.

    there is nothing, and i mean, NOTHING worse than to have to gastronomically skirt around a world dominated by wheat. wheat is the culinary version of cancer or an STD only more delicious when mixed with eggs, butter and milk, deep fried in lard and powdered with sugar.
    posted by liza at 6:17 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    I'm regretting not eating breakfast now. Great post!
    posted by kryptondog at 6:17 AM on December 22, 2010


    lettuce

    cauliflower
    posted by unSane at 6:18 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


    The traditional Dutch New Year's treat is "oliebollen" (oil balls) which are quite like zeppoles: fried dough, often with raisins and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Every December, mobile oliebollenkramen (carts) set up shops in the twons to cater to those unable to make them at home. Another favorite is de appelflap: a slice of apple covered in dough and deep fried. As tasty as they are, oliebollen are hard to come by the rest of the year.
    posted by monospace at 6:29 AM on December 22, 2010


    What species of food is 2000 years old

    I would have said lettuce; if memory serves, both broccoli and brussel sprouts are adaptive varieties of the lettuce species.

    They are derived from cabbage, which itself is derived from the mustard plant.

    lettuce

    cauliflower


    Beignets are derived from choux pastry..

    (muahahahahaha.. the circle is complete.. It is complete!!!)
    posted by Ahab at 7:07 AM on December 22, 2010


    In Book 3 of Virgil's Aeneid, the harpy Celaeno curses the errant Trojans (on their way to found Rome) by saying that they will become so hungry that they will gnaw upon their tables.

    In Book 7, they arrive at the mouth of the Tiber and consume a meal in which they use wheaten flatbreads instead of plates. They eat the flatbreads as well as the rest of the meal, leading Ascanius (later Iulus -- Virgil's nod to the Julian line) to exclaim that they have been gnawing on their tables in "fulfillment" of the curse.
    posted by gauche at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2010


    I need to go find an apple fritter. Only because I want to better understand and appreciate history, of course.
    posted by missix at 8:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


    Candy apples, appled candies, candied whiskey, apple fritters. Anything you could ever want.
    posted by cirrostratus at 8:44 AM on December 22, 2010


    briank, ewwwwww (from your wikipedia link). It looks like a tumor or something.
    posted by Hoopo at 9:25 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


    Hoopo - usually that shit is boiled until everything is mushy and gray, but, yeah, eeewwww
    posted by briank at 9:32 AM on December 22, 2010


    They are derived from cabbage, which itself is derived from the a mustard plant.

    Specifically, from Brassica olerace. The mustard family's modern/official name is Brassicaceae (Cruciferae is the official (and still acceptable) Old School family name).

    Lettuce is in the Asteraceae (Old School: Compositae) family. Combining members of two different families into a new species would be on the same order of difficulty as finding civilization on Mars..
    posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 9:47 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


    clearly a plot to render time but ms. clav loves this post, tied for best post in dec. DU ii for the hour and a half adding to the indexs of Ms. clavs U. Eco-like recipe shelves (6)
    posted by clavdivs at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


    unSane:

    lettuce

    cauliflower

    squash

    (Did I do it right?)
    posted by IAmBroom at 5:12 AM on December 23, 2010


    At Black Hoof Café in Toronto last weekend.

    Had bone-marrow and strawberry jam beignets.

    Was delicious.
    posted by LMGM at 6:31 AM on December 23, 2010


    Had bone-marrow and strawberry jam beignets.

    In the same beignet or separate?
    posted by Toekneesan at 7:05 AM on December 23, 2010


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