White Potatoes DO fall within the SCA's recreation period (1000 to 1600), they were brought from South America by explorers to Spain in early 1570’s and to England in 1586.
By the end of the 1500’s potatoes were being eaten in several countries either as a delicacy or, more commonly, as peasant food: roasted, baked, boiled and “with mutton in the same manner as they do with turnips and the roots of carrots.”
Some cultures did refuse to eat the potato because they caused leprosy--actually, potatoes that have been stored improperly have an abundance of Solanine which, when consumed, can cause a skin rash that probably looked like the advent of leprosy!
I like to bake plain old white potatoes as a persona dish, just to remind people that the mundane is NOT always out of period!
Cooking: One interesting method of baking potatoes is to cut a slit on top of the raw potato and slip in a bay leaf, bake as is for a slightly flavored potato.
Serving: You can dress up the potato by making a couple of flavored butters, Mushrooms & Onions in Butter Sauce, or providing ‘non-standard’ toppings like chili, pasta sauce, mushroom soup, etc.
Lynnette (Debbie) | Unicorn Fiber Arts | Timotheus (Tim)
Copyright by Debbie & Tim Coyle