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Showing posts from November 16, 2016

Mutton Wine

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While reading Science and Civilisation about mead, I found this passage talking about the medicated wines in The Wine Canon of North Hill (北山酒經):
Two wines with animal components are included, the venerable tiger-bone wine and the estimable mutton wine.  The tiger-bone is still going strong, but the lamb appears to have lost its appeal. (page 237) For a brief moment I felt safe in knowing that I didn't have a copy of the source text.  These were simpler times, full of innocence and happiness.  Then I though, "well, I should really make sure it hasn't been digitized yet" and lo and behold, ctext.org has it.  Ugh.  It's in the third chapter ("下")

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〔白羊酒〕 White Mutton Wine 45

臘月取絕嫩羯羊肉三十斤, In the twelfth month take thirty jin of the meat of a particularly tender wether. 肉三十廳內要肥膘十斤, Within the thirty [jin?] should be ten jin of fat. 連骨使水六斗已來, Add six dou of water to the bones, 入鍋煮肉,令極軟。

Chinese Mead?

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Carolingia, the Boston-area SCA group is planning an event in March called the Laurels Prize Tourney, where laurels (people who are Officially Very Good At Arts and Sciences) put out challenges and people try to meet them.

One of the challenges calls for well-researched mead, and I wondered if I could find any Chinese mead recipes.  I know that grain wines were far and away the dominant thing, but there's got to be something out there, right?

Well, I read through 46 pages of search results for every mention of "honey" after the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE) in the big online repository of Chinese texts and came up with nothing.  Rats.  I did learn that they preserved plums in honey, which is kind of cool I guess.

ctext.org doesn't have everything though.  And while I was taking a break around page 20, I decided to see what Google could turn up.

English wikipedia mentions this paper about a 1000-2000 BCE find supporting a mixed honey, rice and grape fermentation, but …