Snapshot: A Few 18th c. Treats

Right: Cooking ingredients from Deborah’s Pantry; I love the packaging.

I’ve recently become interested in the chemistry of cooking and how it has changed over time.  How did we gel things before gelatin?  How did cakes rise before baking powder?

With this idea in mind, I ordered a bundle of 18th century ingredients from Deborah’s Pantry: Pearlash, the first form of chemical leavening for baked goods; gum arabic, a hardening agent used in confectionery; and isinglass, a jellying agent extracted from the swim bladders of sturgeon.  Stay tuned as I attempt to turn these items into food…

Gum Arabic.

4 thoughts on “Snapshot: A Few 18th c. Treats

  1. I have tried gum tragacanth.. it is also a resin and it works a little like gelatin…the recipe I tried didn’t mention soaking it first, so I didn’t. It left little tapioca like balls in the finished unsolid final product!!

    I’m dying to hear about working with issinglass… can’t wait to hear your exploits! I’ve never heard of pearlash.

  2. i love how old timey they are even packaged!! can’t wait to see what you do with them!

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