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 Dish of the Day - II

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 20 Oct 2017, 20:21

I wonder when the idea that the dish was named after the battle, or indeed it was renamed in honour of the battle, first occurred. The Greek port known in English as Navarino, is, in French, written Navarin … so exactly like the dish.

I did find one cooking website (in French) which specifically says (my translation):

" .... To celebrate the victory on the next day, Admiral de Rigny, the fleet commander, ordered the meal to be improved over the ordinary fare. The chief cook had the idea to replace the rice ration with a variety of vegetables in different colours, thus inventing a new recipe which took the name of the Greek port, Navarin."

… but there’s no citation for this bold statement and as you say the general consensus seems to favour the navet/turnip origin.

The French culinary bible, the 'Larouse Gastronomique', states that a navarin is a ragout (stew) of mutton, and explains it is made with small onions and potatoes - it doesn't mention turnips up front - only when it says "or with different vegetables … that can include carrots, turnips, small onions, new potatoes and green peas .... in which case it should be described as à la printanière", (in the fashion of spring). Thus it need not be made only in springtime (just as well if it's to commemorate a battle in October), but does need to be made with fresh, young, small vegetables, which is also just as well because you’d be lucky to get fresh turnips much before the end of May, even in southern France. Larousse says a navarin should strictly be made with mutton, but does allow the use of lamb "in exceptional cases". It also notes, but deplores, the use of the word navarin for dishes made with poultry or shellfish.

Mrs Beeton, in her 1861 'Book of Household Management', adds this:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 22 Oct 2017, 21:55

23 October 1707 – The Scillies naval disaster.

During the night of 22-23 October 1707, a fleet of 21 Royal Navy ships heading from Gibraltar to Portsmouth were driven by storms onto reefs off the Scilly Isles. Four of the ships were lost and about 1,500 seamen were killed, including the commanding officer, the rather splendidly-named Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in British history. The subsequent investigation found the main cause of the disaster to be the navigators' inability to accurately calculate their positions.

      

Admiral Sir Clousdesley Shovell ... and the demise of his flagship, HMS Association, off the Scillies.

The main cause of the catastrophe has often been portrayed as the navigators' inability to accurately calculate their longitude, and it is certainly true that the Scillies disaster spurred Parliament to take action on just this particular navigational issue. The Longitude Act was passed in 1714 which established the Board of Longitude and offered large financial rewards for anyone who could find a method of determining longitude accurately at sea. Eventually, after many years, the consequence of the Act was that accurate marine chronometers were produced, together with the development of the lunar distance method, both of which became used throughout the world for navigation at sea. See Dava Sobell’s excellent history 'Longitude'.

The method of establishing latitude - how far north or south one was - by determining the angular height of the sun at its noonday zenith (using a sextant or similar device) had been in widespread use since at least the 16th century. But establishing latitude – how far east or west one was – was considerably more problematic. Thus in the early 18th century navigation was still largely a matter of dead reckoning – calculating direction and speed, and hence the distance, from the last accurately-known, land-based, position.

However it is not certain that the navigational error that lead to the wrecking of Admiral Shovell's fleet, was simply one of longitude. On the night of the disaster the fleet was thought to be sailing safely west of Ushant off the coast of Brittany, but was actually almost due north of there in the vicinity of the Scilly Isles, so ostensibly an error of latitude rather than of longitude. During the subsequent enquiry there was little discussion relating to errors in longitude, rather it was the difficulty in ‘shooting the sun’ to determine latitude, as well as demonstrable errors in the ship’s compasses which were all found to be in poor state, that dominate the technical side of the investigation.



According to contemporary reports, on 21 October Shovell made an astronomical observation to try and determine his fleet's position - probably the first he had been able to take for many days due to the storms and cloud - as well as taking depth soundings. The next day the weather worsened and another storm struck the fleet. Shovell summoned the fleet’s sailing masters onboard his flagship, HMS Association, and consulted them as to the fleet's actual position. All were of the opinion that they were in the latitude of Ushant and near the coast of France … all that is except the sailing master of HMS Lenox, who judged they were further north nearer the Scillies and that three hours sail would bring them in sight of these islands.

Shovell understandably adopted the majority opinion and so the fleet then headed north-north-east (to be sure to be clear of the Cap de Finnistère) … only to find themselves a few hours later amongst the numerous rocks, shoals and islets to the south-west of the Isles of Scilly. Four ships were lost, two ships sustained damage but managed to get clear, and one ship was deliberately run ashore to save the crew. The flagship, HMS Association, went down in just a few minutes, taking her entire crew, including Sir Cloudesely Shovell, with her. His body washed up the next day in a cove on the island of St Mary’s, and, after temporary burial on the island, he ended up splendidly entombed in Westminster Abbey. The majority of his fellow crewmen, as well as most of the casualties from the other wrecked ships, are anonymous in a mass grave on the island of St Agnes.

In remembrance of the event, and with a nod to the astronomical/navigational problems at the heart of the disaster, I propose the traditional Cornish dish, a Stargazy Pie.

Here are Dorothy Hartley’s erudite words - and her accompanying drawing – about stargazy pies (from ‘Food in England’ , 1954).

"Stargazy pies. These are properly made of pilchards, and are a good example of structural design. …. When eatable pastry was used, it was wasteful to cover the uneatable fish-head – yet, if the fish-head was cut off, the rich oil in it was lost. Therefore, it was better to cook the fish whole, so that this oil could drain back into the meat (as marrow out of the bones internally bastes a roasting joint). So the cooks covered the body of the fish – but left the head sticking out.

Now note the structural design of an economic idea! It becomes possible to construct a communal pasty, and divide it into slices  with great exactitude. For family use, the circular pie-plate. For market stalls and meetings, the fish can be laid side by side along the first strip of pastry and covered over with the second, quickly pressed down between individual slices and sold – by the yard."




Stargazy pie originates from the Cornish fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced mow’zol). According to legend one winter had been particularly stormy, meaning that none of the fishing boats had been able to leave the harbour. As Christmas approached, the villagers, who relied on fish as their primary source of food, were facing starvation. On 23 December (the year is never specified, but, as is the way of legends, it is always at least several generations before the present) the local fisherman, Tom Bawcock, decided to brave the storms and went out in his fishing boat. Despite the stormy weather and the difficult seas, he managed to catch enough fish to feed the entire village. The entire catch - including seven types of fish - was baked into a pie, which had the fish heads poking through the crust to prove that there were indeed fish inside. Ever since then, the Tom Bawcock's Eve festival, including the baking of a great stargazy pie, is held on 23rd December in Mousehole.

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 25 Oct 2017, 21:07

What a fabulous account you have given us of stargazey pie and its origin. And also to remind us all of the great book by Dorothy Hartley, which I still have on my shelves. 

I read it avidly as a child, and have inherited that same battered tome from my mothers vast collection of loved books.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 31 Oct 2017, 20:05

Not quite up to MM's standard, I'm afraid, but this will have to do:





PS A date for MM's diary: at the beginning of Lent next year a sausage recipe would be nice to mark the Great Reformation Sausage Rebellion of 1522: the sausage incident involved Zwingli and his pals in Zurich.

Ulrich Zwingli was a pastor in Zurich, who was dedicated to the Reformation ideology of Martin Luther. His first rift with the established religious authorities in Switzerland came during the Lenten fast of 1522, when he was present during the eating of sausages at the house of Christoph Froschauer, a printer in the city...the Zurich sausage affair was interpreted as demonstration of Christian liberty...of similar importance for Switzerland as Martin Luther's 95 theses in Wittenberg for German reformation.

Zwingli admitted he was present, but apparently denied he had actually had a sausage. I don't believe him.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 09:47

I missed that - although I did do Luther's 'Farts with Farty-bread', on this date last year (Dish of the Day I - 31 Oct 2016).

This site, German Foods : Reformation Day Celebration gives a recipe for Luther Bread (Lutherbrodt) which is a round, sweet milk bread, similar to Christmas Stollen. This apparently is based on a very old recipe (don't they always say that) but I'm not sure how 'traditional' it really is. (In the same vein, that Lutherkuchen chocolate cake looks a bit suspect as chocolate was unknown in 1517 Germany). I had a quick look through Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, which was written in 1533, but while she has plenty of recipes for tarts, sweet fritters and puddings, I couldn't find a similar 16th century German cake recipe. Mind you Frau Welserin was from Augsburg in Swabia (Bavaria), while Martin Luther was originally from Thuringia, and Wittemberg where he nailed up his 95 Theses is even further away.

I've found a good recipe to mark your Sausage Rebellion but you'll have to wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:14

November 1st/2nd is the time of the "Day of the Dead" festival in Mexico.

This is a recipe for Pan de Muerto  (Dead Bread);

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 1 cup Cocoa Puffs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • cereal for decorating


Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine first three ingredients listed.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat milk, water and butter until just before boiling
  3. Add sauce mixture to dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  4. Add eggs and slowly add flour, one cup at a time and blending in between the cups.
  5. Fold in Cocoa Puffs.
  6. Knead the dough 10-15 minutes
  7. Allow dough to rest and rise for 60 minutes.
  8. Reshape dough how you wish and let rise additional 60 minutes.
  9. Decorate with cereal.
  10. Make an egg wash with the egg white and sugar and brush on top.
  11. Bake in 350 oven for 38-42 minutes.



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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 05 Nov 2017, 07:13

5 November 1605 - The Gunpowder Plot.

This seems appropriate ... it's from 'The Epicurean' by Charles Ranhofer (New York, 1894):
 
(3442). ROMAN BOMB
Add twelve ounces of sugar to one quart of cream; strain it through a sieve, freeze and work it briskly, adding gradually two gills of rum stirred with two ounces of sugar; incorporate two Italian meringue egg-whites (No.140). Coat a two quart bomb-shaped mold (Fig. 627) with pineapple ice cream (No.3451), fill it with the above, then cover, and pack it for two hours in salted ice. Take the mold from the salted ice, remove all drippings, and unmold on a folded napkin, garnishing around with strawberry lady bouchées (No.3376).





How to get the flaming bomb-like appearence is explained in recipe 3439 for Bomb à la Constantine:

Take  a special hinged mold, the same as for Fig.627; it must have a hollow on top, into which place a double mold filled with cotton and alcohol and set on fire when serving …

... Or there's always parkin.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 09 Nov 2017, 23:30

10 November 1871 – "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

The explorer and missionary David Livingstone had been on the move for almost six years after departing on an expedition to try and discover the source of the White Nile in January 1866. Since then little had been heard from him and there was widespread speculation he was held captive, lost or dead.  In 1869 George Bennett, owner of the New York Herald engaged the newspaper reporter Henry Morton Stanley to try and locate the missing explorer as part of a wider roving commission in Africa and the Middle East. Stanley finally arrived in Zanzibar early in March 1871, and here he hired over 100 porters before setting off into the jungle. Stanley’s horse died within just a few days from a bite of  the tsetse fly, and many of the porters either deserted or succumbed to tropical diseases, but 8 months and 1,100km later, he finally found Livingstone in the small lakeside village of Ujiji in what is now western Tanzania on 10th November 1871.

The Herald's own first account of the meeting, published 1st July 1872, reports how Stanley came across a 'white man with a grey beard' who was 'pale, wearied and wearing a bluish cap with a faded gold band, a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of grey tweed trousers'. Then, 'Preserving a calmness of exterior before the Arabs which was hard to simulate as he reached the group, Mr. Stanley said: – "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?" A smile lit up the features of the pale white man as he answered: "Yes, and I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you".'

Or maybe not … that particular page is torn out from Stanley’s diary and neither man mentioned what they'd actually said to each other in the letters they wrote at this time.



The usual story is that Stanley brought with him much-needed food and medicine, and so Livingstone soon recovered. But in reality, although Livingstone was seriously unwell, he certainly wasn’t ill-fed, nor ill-cared for. Stanley’s own published account ('How I found Livingstone - Travels, Adventures and Discoveries in Central Africa', published in 1895) makes it clear that Ujiji was a prosperous agricultural village, well-provided with food which they willingly supplied to Stanley’s own expedition, and in fact it was the Arab traders who were already living alongside Livingstone in Ujiji who brought the first food to celebrate Stanley and Livingstone’s meeting:

'Not long after …. a dishful of hot hashed-meat cakes was sent to us by Sayd bin Majid, and a curried chicken was received from Mohammed bin Sali, and Moeni Kheri sent a dishful of stewed goat meat and rice; and thus presents of food came in succession, and as fast as they were brought we set to. I had a healthy, stubborn digestion, the exercise I had taken had put it in prime order, but Livingstone—he had been complaining that he had no appetite, that his stomach refused everything but a cup of tea now and then—he ate also—ate like a vigorous, hungry man; and as he vied with me in demolishing the pancakes, he kept repeating, "You have brought me new life".'

But Stanley had brought something unobtainable in Ujiji … champagne from Fortnum and Mason’s, presumably warm and rather shaken up.

' "Oh, by George," I said, "I have forgotten something. Hasten, Selim, and bring that bottle; you know which; and bring me the silver goblets. I brought this bottle on purpose for this event, which I hoped would come to pass, though often it seemed useless to expect it."
Selim knew where the bottle was, and he soon returned with it—a bottle of Sillery champagne; and, handing the doctor a silver goblet brimful of the exhilarating wine, and pouring a small quantity into my own, I said: "Dr. Livingstone, to your very good health, sir."
"And to yours," he responded.
And the champagne I had treasured for this happy meeting was drank with hearty good wishes to each other.'

 
Together, the pair ventured to the northern reaches of Lake Tanganyika and Unyanyembe, 200 miles east of the Ujiji, and established that there was no connection between Tanganyika and the Nile. Stanley left for England on 14th March 1872 and Dr Livingstone, despite a further downturn in his health, continued to explore the Lualaba region before returning to Lake Bangweulu to search for possible connecting waterways. Then in May 1873, at Chitambo in what is now northern Zambia, he died.

Stanley received a mixed reception on his return to Britain. His reports were disbelieved by some, his methods were criticised by others, and episodes of previous un-gentlemanly behaviour were brought up. The British were probably simply offended that he had taken up American citizenship. However time re-gilds many tarnished reputations and by the 1890s he was on the equivalent of the speakers’ circuit. For example on 9th June 1890 he was banqueted by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the event being reported in detail the next day in 'The Scotsman'. There was "an influential company, numbering 120 gentlemen" – no ladies of course - and the theme was unashamedly African (apart from the obligatory Scottish pipers who played at intervals during the evening). Behind the chairman was "a miniature African forest, formed of tall palms and grasses, which had a fine appearance", and the menu "while including the usual dishes, had also a number suitable to such a gathering. There was, for example, White Nile soup, salmon with Red Sea sauce, Pigeon cutlets à la Congo, Zanzibar curry and rice, Egyptian quails and cresses, ivory jelly, Niam-Niam cream, and bananas à la Ruwenzori".

I cannot find out what any of these dishes actually were, but I’m pretty sure they were probably just the usual British fare, spiced up or decorated a bit, and then given suitably exotic names. I was though intrigued by the "Niam-Niam cream". In French, niam-niam, or more usually miam-miam, is the onomatpoeic, lip-smacking equivalent of the English yum-yum to denote something particularly tasty. I did therefore wonder if this was just used as a mock 'African' name, in much the same way that Gibert and Sullivan named the attractive female lead Yum-Yum, in their 1885 Japanese-based comic opera 'The Mikado'. But apparently in antiquity there was a legendary tribe called the Niam-Niam, who lived in "Ethiopia" and who all supposedly had tails, while in the 19th and early 20th century the term was used by Europeans as a general name for the Azande people of north-central Africa. The Niam-Niam name was said to derive from the word for 'meat' and to reflect their supposed, though untrue, cannibaliistic habits. Naturally these days the term is considered perjorative.

So as an alternative to the curried chicken, stewed goat and rice that were originally enjoyed by Livingstone and Stanley, and seeing that Niam-niam cream is now off the menu, I suggest something arrogantly Victorian and pseudo-African. Accordingly here are these two contemporary, 'African' recipes, although what connection they have with Africa, if any, is unclear.

Lamb Chops à l’Africaine.
Cut a lamb chop or cutlet, broil over a very sharp fire, turning it continually; when nearly done, season highly with salt and pepper and rub a spoonful of chutnee on both sides of each cutlet, put them again on the gridiron; broil for another minute and serve.


From ‘Dainty Dishes: receipts collected by Lady Harriet Elizabeth St. Clair’, (Edinburgh, 1866).

African Cakes.
Separate the yolks and whites of fifteen eggs, beat the yolks with 1lb. of caster sugar, and sift in 31 breakfast-cupfuls of flour; when quite smooth, whip the whites of the eggs, and stir them in with the yolks; put the mixture in a biscuit-bag with a funnel about fin. in diameter, and press out pieces of paste on to a buttered baking-sheet, making them about the size of a penny. Put them in the oven, and bake for half-an-hour. When they are done they should be of a light colour; take the Cakes off the tin and let them cool. Scoop a little out of the centre of each round, fill each hollow with a little sweetened vanilla-flavoured whipped cream, and put one Cake over another; when all are done this way, ice them over with chocolate icing, and serve when the icing is cold.


From 'The Encyclopedia of Cookery' by Theodore Garrett, (London, 1891).


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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sat 11 Nov 2017, 17:35

11 November 1918 –  End of WW1 in Europe - Armistice Day.

I've hesitated for some years now about directly marking Armistice Day with something as trivial as a Dish-of-the Day recipe ... but this one does seem appropriate. It’s the recipe for Christmas pudding given by the British Ministry of Food as released for publication in all magazines and newspapers just a few days later on 15th November 1918. As with so much else during the war it was actually recycled, being exactly the same as the previous year’s recipe but with a new name, "Peace Christmas Pudding". But while joyfully acknowledging the war’s end it admitted that the recipe still "could not aspire to pre-war richness".

Peace Christmas Pudding.
(large enough for six)
Ingredients:
4 oz flour, 4 oz soaked bread, 6 oz chopped suet, ½ teas salt, 1 dessert spoonful mixed spice, 4 oz sultanas, 2 oz mixed chopped peel, ½ lb apples, 2 oz grated carrot, 1 egg (dried), ½ gill milk, 2 oz treacle, grated rind and juice half a lemon
Method
Weigh out and measure all the ingredients. Prepare the dry materials and put them in a mixing bowl, stir all well together, then add the egg and milk. When thoroughly mixed, put the mixture into two well-greased basins, cover each with a cloth and boil or steam for fully three hours.


At the same time as this appeared the Ministry of Food made some concessions to the season, and announcements were made about some essential Christmas ingredients. A maximum price for all eggs "except plovers’ eggs and gulls’ eggs" was set, although the customer was reminded that "in most cases, dried eggs will have to be used". There was an increased sugar allowance and generally bread was to become whiter with a smaller substraction of the grain allowed. There was also to be an effort to import supplies of apples, oranges and other fruits and nuts, "so that [this year] Christmas may be a more agreeable festival", but though "about 12,500 tons of currants, raisins and sultanas will be released for Christmas", for practical purposes this translated to only a limited quantity of dried fruit per family. The pudding cook was however advised that "this dried fruit deficiency can, however, be made good by the addition of apples, of which there will shortly be a large quantity on the market", and anyway the official recipe still included  plenty of carrots to help the dried fruit deficiency.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 10:14

16 November 1793 – Pain d’égalité (equality bread) was introduced by the French Convention Government.

In France bread was the staff of life and its ready availability, quality and price had always been sensitive issues: bread shortages following a series of bad harvests had been one of the triggers for the rioting that had led to the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Therefore a priority for the new revolutionary government was making sure everyone got their daily bread. On this date (Brumaire 26, year II, by the revolutionary calendar) the Convention ordered that only one type of bread could legally be made for sale - pain d'égalité - the idea being that all classes should eat the same bread.

"La richesse et la pauvreté devant également disparaître du régime de l’égalité, il ne sera plus composé un pain de fleur de farine pour le riche et un pain de son pour le pauvre, et que tous les boulangers seront tenus, sous peine d’incarcération, de faire une seule et bonne espèce de pain, le pain de l’égalité."

"Richness and poverty must both disappear from the government of equality, it will no longer make a bread of wheat for the rich and a bread of bran for the poor, and so all bakers will be held, under the penalty of imprisonment, to make only one type of bread, le pain de l’égalité."


There was a common expectation amongst the poor, mentioned by many writers of the time, that with the overthrow of the monarchy they would all get white bread. But it was not to be. Rather than choosing a common but average bread, the Convention opted, not for the lowest common denominator, but for something slightly below it. By several accounts the result was equality in at least one sense: people of all classes hated it equally.

Having made the announcement on November 16, the General Council followed this up on November 26 (Frimaire 6) with specific instructions to take effect on December 6 (Frimaire 16):

Bakers will only cook a single type of bread.
The quality of this bread will be that resulting from a mix of three quarts of wheat and one quart of rye.
Bakers will cook loaves of 8 pounds, of 4 pounds and of one pound; they will not be allowed to use other divisions.
The price of equality bread is fixed as follows:
The 8 pound loaf, 1 livre.
The 4 pound loaf, 10 sols, 6 deniers
The one pound loaf, 3 sols.


That fact that subsequent legislation exempted the very old, the very young and the infirm from having to eat pain d'égalité rather suggests the Convention were fully aware of how bad it was. Moreover since many bakers confessed to feeling no pride in making this standard bread, it was never made with any great finesse and remained universally just very bad and badly made, bran-heavy, coarse brown bread. It may be however, that modern, health-conscious consumers, would be less horrified by it than many in the period.


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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 22:22

"It may be however, that modern, health-conscious consumers, would be less horrified by it than many in the period."

"health-conscious consumers" Wink

Couldn't resist dear Meles meles...
You, you fine observer of the human nature...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 17 Nov 2017, 17:09

Pain d’égalité wasn’t very exciting fare, but yesterday was also the anniversary of this …

16 November 1532 – the Inca Atahualpa was captured by Francisco Pizarro and almost at a stroke the Inca Empire was conquered.

Since landing on the coast of what is now Ecuador in the spring of 1531, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro had travelled deep into the heart of the Inca Empire, lured on by a combination of his personal greed and Inca subterfuge and diplomacy. Finally Atahualpa, the Inca Emperor, invited Pizarro to meet him face-to-face at the city of Cajamarca, in what is now in northern Peru. Pizarro had just 169 men with him, some horses and four light cannon. Atahualpa, having recently emerged triumphant in a civil war against his half-brother Huáscar, was supreme lord of an empire that stretched over 3,000 km from what is now Colombia to Chile, and as far eastwards as the head waters of the Amazon. As befitting his royal and divine status as the Sapa Inca, Atahualpa arrived at Cajamarca with his entire glittering court and an army of 80,000 battle-hardened soldiers.

Pizarro was massively outnumbered and fully aware of his extremely vulnerable position. On 15 November he entered the city, which by royal decree had been temporarily evacuated for his use, and then invited Atahualpa to meet him in the city’s central square the following afternoon. Within the confines of the city he planned to ambush the royal party and seize the Emperor. He placed his cannon and musketeers hidden in the buildings over-looking the square and concealed his cavalry in the adjacent alleyways.

It was a desperate plan but Pizarro's fortunes improved dramatically when Atahualpa not only accepted the invitation but announced that most of his host would set up camp outside the walls of the city and that only himself and his immediate retinue (although still numbering a few thousand) would enter the city. Moreover he pledged that they would forsake their weapons in a sign of amity and absolute confidence: his intention appears to have been to over-awe the small Spanish force with a display of splendour and he had no anticipation of an ambush. Atahualpa's attendants were richly dressed in ceremonial garments, many wore gold or silver discs on their heads and the main party was preceded by a group who sang while sweeping the roadway in front of the procession. The Sapa Inca himself was carried on a litter lined with vibrantly-coloured parrot feathers and partly covered in silver, carried by eighty high-ranking Inca courtiers dressed in magnificent vivid blue livery.

Upon entering the square the leading Incas in attendance on Atahualpa divided their ranks to enable his litter to be carried to the centre, where all stopped. An Inca herald carrying a banner approached the main building where Pizarro was lodged, while Atahualpa, surprised at seeing no Spanish called out an enquiry. After a brief pause Friar Vincente de Valverde, accompanied by an interpreter, emerged from the building. Carrying a cross and a missal the friar passed through the rows of attendants, approached the Atahualpa who was still enthroned on his litter and held aloft by his bearers, and announced himself as the emissary of God and the Spanish throne.


Francisco Pizarro meets Atahaulpa at Cajamarca in 1532, from the chronicle 'Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno' by Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala, also known as Wamán Poma, who was a Quechua nobleman born about 1535 and who lived through the conquest of Peru.

According to eyewitness accounts, Valverde spoke about the Catholic religion but did not deliver the official requerimiento, a speech requiring the listener to submit to the authority of the Spanish Crown and accept the Christian faith. This was actually a formal responsibility that would have excused Pizarro’s subsequent actions in the eyes of the Spanish government and the Catholic Church if Atahualpa had refused to submit. At Atahualpa’s request, Valverde gave him his breviary but, after a brief examination, he threw it to the ground. Valverde hurried back to safety and Pizarro gave the signal to attack. The Spaniards unleashed gunfire at the vulnerable mass of Incans and the cavalry surged forward out of hiding. The effect was devastating and the shocked and unarmed Incans offered little resistance. Pizarro led the cavalry charge on the litter and swiftly took Atahualpa prisoner, whereupon the remaining Incas were either slaughtered or fled. Not a single Spanish soldier was killed although Pizarro received a sword cut accidentally inflicted by one of his own men.

The main Inca force, which had retained their weapons but remained "about quarter of a league" outside Cajamarca, scattered in confusion as the survivors of those who had accompanied Atahualpa fled from the square. The shock of the Spanish attack coupled with the spiritual significance of losing the Sapa Inca and most of his commanders in one fell swoop apparently shattered the army's morale, throwing their ranks into terror and initiating a massive rout. There is no evidence that any of the main Inca force attempted to engage the Spaniards in Cajamarca after the success of the initial ambush.

On 17 November the Spaniards sacked the abandoned Inca army camp, in which they found great treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones. Noticing their lust for precious metals, Atahualpa offered to fill a large room (7m long by 5m wide) up to a height of "as high as he could reach", once with gold and twice with silver, within two months. It is commonly believed that Atahualpa offered this ransom to regain his freedom, but he may have made the offer thinking it would just save his life, as none of the chroniclers mention any commitment by the Spanish to free Atahualpa once the valuables were deliverd. And duly delivered they were.

After several months in fear of an imminent attack from the remaining Inca army, the outnumbered Spanish considered Atahualpa to be too much of a liability and decided to execute him. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolt against the Spanish Crown (which was legally a fake accusation in the absence of the requerimento), practicing idolatry, and murdering Huáscar his half-brother. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning which particularly horrified him since the Inca believed the soul would not be able to go to the afterlife if the body was consumed by fire. Friar Valverde intervened, telling Atahualpa he would convince Pizarro to commute the sentence if he agreed to convert to Catholicism. Atahualpa was duly baptized into the Catholic faith and was given the name Francisco Atahualpa, in honour of Francisco Pizarro. Then in accordance with his request on 26 July 1533 he was executed by strangling with a garrotte and then given Christian burial.

Atahualpa was succeeded to the Inca throne by his brother Tupac Huallpa, and later by another brother Manco Inca, however, despite years of continued resistance, for all intents and purposes the independence of the Inca was over.

As well as great riches of gold, silver and precious stones, the Inca Empire yielded a wealth of agricultural treasures. Potatoes were a staple and there are still more varieties of potato grown in the Peruvian Andes than in the whole of the rest of the world. There were also different types of bean, tomatoes, chilli peppers, maize, peanuts, quinoa, avocados, cassava, several varieties of squashes, and unusual vegetables such as oca, mashua and maca, which even now are little cultivated outside of the Andes. There were also guinea pigs, llamas and alpacas.

Pachamanca is an Inca dish with a long history that predates the Spanish conquest, but a version of it is still made to this day, primarily in the central Peruvian Andes. The word, Pachamanca, comes from the Quechua pacha, "earth" and manca, "pot", that is the earth is your pot. It is a method of cooking similar to the Maori hangi, Fijian lovo, or Hawaiian kalua.

The earth oven is known as a huatia and although the term is often used simply to refer to any simple dirt cooking pit, this is not considered the proper way to build a huatia. The most traditional construction is to build a drystone hollow dome or pyramid over a shallow pit, leaving an entrance door.



A fire is built inside and fed with wood until the interior has become sufficiently heated.



Then the food - a mixture of marinated meat, vegetables and the ever-present potatoes, well wrapped in moist leaves - is put inside and the hot stones of the dome are collapsed on top. It is then left to cook for many hours before being uncovered and served.



Originally the meat would have been guinea pig or llama, but nowadays mutton, pork or chicken are more usual. The meat is always marinated in a spicy mix for many hours beforehand. A typical modern marinade might be made with chillies, onion, garlic, fresh coriander, dried oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, sugar, sunflower or peanut oil, and white wine vinegar … all blended to a paste, and meat is usually cooked mixed with potatoes, beans, cassava, maize and other Andean produce.

A version of pachamanca can be slow cooked in a modern oven, all wrapped-up in foil or in a casserole pot with a well-fitted lid. That’s not very traditional but I imagine that is how many modern Peruvian restaurants make it. Alternatively, for something simpler yet still in the spirit of the original dish, there’s always baked potato with spicy baked beans … which again uses ingredients originally from the Andes: potato, tomato, chillies and haricot beans.



Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 18 Nov 2017, 10:29; edited 1 time in total
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Fri 17 Nov 2017, 18:41

Meles Meles, the mention of 'pain d'egalite' rings a bell - I'm sure it was covered in the U3A French conversation class I attend once a week.  It may have been in something in a song by the late French singer-songwriter, Jean Ferrat, because one member of the group brought in some words of songs and played from his laptop some songs by that gentleman.  I've been looking through the papers and I can't find the exact reference but I'll have another look.

I'm more likely to do the jacket potato and baked beans than bread though tonight I'm having an omelette (though considering it's Sincerely Thine preparing it, it may end up more like scrambled eggs). I am still weighing up the pros and cons of getting a breadmaker to prepare some gluten free bread for myself.  At the moment I've only got one of those little things with a grill and a fryer on top. I do need to get a new microwave since the old one went to microwave heaven.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Yesterday at 21:43

Lady in retirement and Meles meles,


First of all Meles meles your last one, was one of the best among all your good ones...


Lady (in retirement),

"Meles Meles, the mention of 'pain d'egalite' rings a bell - I'm sure it was covered in the U3A French conversation class I attend once a week.  It may have been in something in a song by the late French singer-songwriter, Jean Ferrat, because one member of the group brought in some words of songs and played from his laptop some songs by that gentleman.  I've been looking through the papers and I can't find the exact reference but I'll have another look."

Lady, I did some quick research about Jean Ferrat and it lead me as far as the French Fifth Republic of which I had up to now not that much knowledge about. Only that de Gaulle was so-called called back (is that good English with this two "called" Wink ). From Colombey les-deux -églises if I recall it well. But now I learned that de Gaulle did a kind of coup-d'état, while a referendum was not foreseen in the constitution of the Fourth Republic to make the new constitution constitutional... (a subject for the Brexit thread)
And if I understand it well Jean Ferrat was critizising that the former liberté, égalité, fraternité was usurpated by de Gaulle in his Fifth Republic
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/jean-ferrat-politically-committed-singer-and-songwriter-who-maintained-the-french-chanson-tradition-2012091.html
http://lyricstranslate.com/en/ma-france-my-france.html-0



Kind regards, Paul.
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