Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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Old 03-02-2004, 09:41 PM
Seppo Sipilš
 
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Default Currant cake question

Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and raisins), I
don't know which one is correct.

He's telling about his childhood in an English boarding school in the
1920's (St Peter's in Weston-super-Mare), and currant cake is
something that mothers would send in the mail to their sons. So...
berries or "raisins of Corinth"?

Thanks,
S.

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Old 03-02-2004, 10:20 PM
news.u.washington.edu
 
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Default Currant cake question

Hi - I think I'd go with "a small seedless grape of the Mediterranean
region" then say like a very, very, very small raisin.
"Seppo Sipilš" wrote in message
...
Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and raisins), I
don't know which one is correct.

He's telling about his childhood in an English boarding school in the
1920's (St Peter's in Weston-super-Mare), and currant cake is
something that mothers would send in the mail to their sons. So...
berries or "raisins of Corinth"?

Thanks,
S.



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Old 03-02-2004, 11:39 PM
Eric Jorgensen
 
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Default Currant cake question

On Tue, 3 Feb 2004 14:20:34 -0800
"news.u.washington.edu" wrote:

Hi - I think I'd go with "a small seedless grape of the Mediterranean
region" then say like a very, very, very small raisin.



Really. The currants i used to help my mother make into jelly came off
a bush in the back yard rather than a vine, and didn't resemble grapes
at all. We grew and harvested both so I'm pretty sure about this.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:59 PM
Puester
 
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Default Currant cake question

"news.u.washington.edu" wrote:

Hi - I think I'd go with "a small seedless grape of the Mediterranean
region" then say like a very, very, very small raisin.
"Seppo Sipilš" wrote in message
...
Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and raisins), I
don't know which one is correct.

He's telling about his childhood in an English boarding school in the
1920's (St Peter's in Weston-super-Mare), and currant cake is
something that mothers would send in the mail to their sons. So...
berries or "raisins of Corinth"?

Thanks,
S.




Huh? The man is doing a translation. Isn't
"John recieved a small seedless grape of the
Mediterranean region cake from his mother"
rather too stilted?

gloria p
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:08 AM
Eric Jorgensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Currant cake question

On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 08:55:55 +0200
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady wrote:

NOTE: My Correct Address is in my signature (just remove the spaces).
On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 21:41:15 GMT, (Seppo
Sipil=E4) wrote:
=20
Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and raisins),
I don't know which one is correct.

He's telling about his childhood in an English boarding school in the
1920's (St Peter's in Weston-super-Mare), and currant cake is
something that mothers would send in the mail to their sons. So...
berries or "raisins of Corinth"?

=20
I'd go with the raisins, since it makes sense that they would be in a
cake that needed to travel well.

=20

The currants i know and love are Ribes rubrum. Sometimes R. floridum.
They come from a somewhat woody bush and are a relative of gooseberries.
There's a patch of them next to back door of the house i grew up in.
They are native to northern Europe and Scandinavia.=20

Apparently, boxes of 'dried currants' are not currants at all.
They are dried Zante grapes, aka Champagne grapes, aka Zante currants. I
haven't been able to nail down the scientific name precisely, but all
signs point to genus Vitis, hailing originally from central asia.=20

Now, here's the positively enraging part.=20

The word "currant" is derived from the name Corinth. The currants of
the Ribes genus are *named *after Zante grapes.=20

To make things nice and confusing, there seem to be plenty of recipes
that call for red or black fresh currants, and plenty of recipes that
call for boxes of dried currants. I don't have the time or inclination
to seek out the authenticity of either.=20

Given the propensity for dried fruits and berries in the puddings of
the british isles, it seems somewhat more likely that Roald Dahl is
referring to the dried corinthian product.

On the other hand, there's history telling us that the cuisine of the
british isles changed greatly with the industrial revolution -
populations shifted from the countryside to the cities, and the
availability of for example fresh herbs in the cities wasn't anywhere
near what it was on the countryside, and thus did the britons descend
into blandness. I have no idea whether Ribes berries were cultivated in
wales before or during that period, though they certainly would have
flourished had anyone tried. And I'm hardly a nutritional
anthropologist.=20

My money is still on the dried product. Fresh currants don't keep for
more than a few days so they are essentially the domain of people who
are interested in cultivating and picking them. But the whole thing is
worse than nailing down exactly what 'pimento' is supposed to mean.

And with that, I'm gonna go smear some home made R. rubrum jelly on
some toast.


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Old 04-02-2004, 10:56 AM
paula
 
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Default Currant cake question

in traditional English fruit cakes currants, sultanas and raisins are
the three dried fruits used, so which ever you chose would be ok.i
personally do not like currants so i tend to use more sultanas.
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:12 PM
Seppo Sipilš
 
Posts: n/a
Default Currant cake question

Huh? The man is doing a translation. Isn't
"John recieved a small seedless grape of the
Mediterranean region cake from his mother"
rather too stilted?


Heh, that sounds like something from Monty Python. Luckily we have a
perfectly good word for it in Finnish: "korintti". Apart from a dried
very small Mediterranean grape it also refers to the place where it
came from (or at least got its name from), Corinth, in which case it's
spelled with a capital K).

"Corinth cake" was actually my first guess too, I just began to doubt
myself later on because I'm no expert on British cuisine. Anyway,
thanks to everyone for the enlightening answers

S.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:28 AM
Eric Jorgensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Currant cake question

On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 10:17:47 +0200
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady wrote:

(Please NOTE: My correct e-mail address is in my Signature) On Wed, 4
Feb 2004 03:08:33 -0700, during the rec.food.baking Community News
Flash Eric Jorgensen reported:

On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 08:55:55 +0200
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady wrote:

NOTE: My Correct Address is in my signature (just remove the

spaces). On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 21:41:15 GMT,
(Seppo Sipil?) wrote:

Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and

raisins), I don't know which one is correct.

I'd go with the raisins, since it makes sense that they would be in

a cake that needed to travel well.


The currants i know and love


While this was fascinating (it really, really was, actually), let's
not forget that the person just needed to know what is close for him
to use when translating the word.

(I was speaking as a writer, not a baker in this sense!)



Oh, I agree. I sorta hoped to address that, but without knowing what
language it's being translated into (I'm presuming it was originally
written in english) it's tough to make a specific suggestion, because
even nouns vary in their meaning from culture to culture and from era
to era.

Translators ultimately end up making judgment calls. Sometimes
they're weird.

Example: at the beginning of a particular japanese movie,
if you watch the original subtitled japanese release from the early
90's, the subtitle says "Give me three red bennies" - but if you watch
the special edition re-release from 2000, it reads "give me three
peanuts". This was really confusing, since the character speaking is a
member of a biker gang called the 'red bennies', and he wears a
red jacket with an enlarged image of a red and white capsule on the
back.

It turned out that when the movie was originally made,'red benny'
was common slang for a methamphetamine pill. But in 2000, the common
slang for a methamphetamine in japan was 'peanut'. Somehow the
translators decided that what they were translating was "popular street
name for speed" rather than "The name of Kaneida's biker gang, in order
for us to properly foreshadow the ensuing chase scene."

So, anyway, now that the etymology in english is clear, one can then
compare that to the etymology in the target language, whatever that may
be. Like i said, "pimento" is allspice berries in some cases, bell
peppers in others, occasionally black pepper, and additionally whatever
that is they stuff in olives and make pimento spread out of, which
doesn't look or taste like like any of the above to me. We have the
spanish to thank for that conundrum.






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Old 08-02-2004, 07:28 AM
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady
 
Posts: n/a
Default Currant cake question

NOTE: My Correct Address is in my signature (just remove the spaces).
On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 02:28:08 -0700, Eric Jorgensen
wrote:

On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 10:17:47 +0200
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady wrote:

(Please NOTE: My correct e-mail address is in my Signature) On Wed, 4
Feb 2004 03:08:33 -0700, during the rec.food.baking Community News
Flash Eric Jorgensen reported:

On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 08:55:55 +0200
Davida Chazan - The Chocolate Lady wrote:

NOTE: My Correct Address is in my signature (just remove the
spaces). On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 21:41:15 GMT,
(Seppo Sipil?) wrote:

Hi all, I'm translating Roald Dahl's memoirs and got stuck with
"currant cake". As "currant" has two meanings (berries and
raisins), I don't know which one is correct.

I'd go with the raisins, since it makes sense that they would be in
a cake that needed to travel well.


The currants i know and love


While this was fascinating (it really, really was, actually), let's
not forget that the person just needed to know what is close for him
to use when translating the word.

(I was speaking as a writer, not a baker in this sense!)



Oh, I agree. I sorta hoped to address that, but without knowing what
language it's being translated into (I'm presuming it was originally
written in english) it's tough to make a specific suggestion, because
even nouns vary in their meaning from culture to culture and from era
to era.

Translators ultimately end up making judgment calls. Sometimes
they're weird.

Example: at the beginning of a particular japanese movie,
if you watch the original subtitled japanese release from the early
90's, the subtitle says "Give me three red bennies" - but if you watch
the special edition re-release from 2000, it reads "give me three
peanuts". This was really confusing, since the character speaking is a
member of a biker gang called the 'red bennies', and he wears a
red jacket with an enlarged image of a red and white capsule on the
back.

It turned out that when the movie was originally made,'red benny'
was common slang for a methamphetamine pill. But in 2000, the common
slang for a methamphetamine in japan was 'peanut'. Somehow the
translators decided that what they were translating was "popular street
name for speed" rather than "The name of Kaneida's biker gang, in order
for us to properly foreshadow the ensuing chase scene."

So, anyway, now that the etymology in english is clear, one can then
compare that to the etymology in the target language, whatever that may
be. Like i said, "pimento" is allspice berries in some cases, bell
peppers in others, occasionally black pepper, and additionally whatever
that is they stuff in olives and make pimento spread out of, which
doesn't look or taste like like any of the above to me. We have the
spanish to thank for that conundrum.

Didn't have the heart to snip any of this. I like you! You should
visit a usenet writing group. Mind you, the one I'm on is more about
politics and philosophy and fighting (misc.writing), but still...

(... it was a fun read.)

--
Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady)
davida @ jdc . org . il
~*~*~*~*~*~
"What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of
chocolate."
--Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 - June 29, 2003)
~*~*~*~*~*~


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