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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

A Blast from the Past

I used to create medieval feasts, giving each attendee a recipe to prepare. Here is a blog I wrote in the fall of 2011, filled with medieval recipes to try. The dishes might seem a bit unusual, but they were very popular among the diners. I'd love to hear if any of you try some of these.


Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns [2]. scrape hem waisthe hem clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne [3]. take an erthen panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne. whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool. & grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed. take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth.

[1] Compost. A composition to be always ready at hand. Holme, III. p. 78. Lel. Coll. VI. p. 5. [2] Pasternak of rasenns. Qu. [3] ypared and icorne. The first relates to the Rapes, the second to the Caboches, and means carved or cut in pieces.


Take peeres and pare hem clene. take gode rede wyne & mulberes [2] oþer saundres and seeþ þe peeres þerin & whan þei buth ysode, take hem up, make a syryp of wyne greke. oþer vernage [3] with blaunche powdour oþer white sugur and powdour gyngur & do the peres þerin. seeþ it a lytel & messe it forth.

[1] Peeres. pears. [2] mulberes. mulberries, for colouring. [3] Vernage. Vernaccia, a sort of Italian white wine. V. Gloss.


Take Loches oþer Tenches oþer Solys smyte hem on pecys. fry hem in oyle. take half wyne half vynegur and sugur & make a siryp. do þerto oynouns icorue [2] raisouns coraunce. and grete raysouns. do þerto hole spices. gode powdours and salt. messe þe fyssh & lay þe sewe aboue and serue forth.

[1] Egurdouce. Vide Gloss. [2] icorue, icorven. cut. V. Gloss.


Take and make þe self fars [2]. but do þerto pynes and sugur. take an hole rowsted cok, pulle hym [3] & hylde [4] hym al togyder saue þe legges. take a pigg and hilde [5] hym fro þe myddes dounward, fylle him ful of þe fars & sowe hym fast togider. do hym in a panne & seeþ hym wel. and whan þei bene isode: do hem on a spyt & rost it wele. colour it with zolkes of ayren and safroun, lay þeron foyles [6] of gold and of siluer. and serue hit forth.

[1] Cotagres. This is a sumptuous dish. Perhaps we should read Cokagres, from the cock and grees, or wild pig, therein used. V. vyne grace in Gloss. [2] self fars. Same as preceding Recipe. [3] pulle hym, i.e. in pieces. [4] hylde. cast. [5] hilde. skin. [6] foyles. leaves; of Laurel or Bay, suppose; gilt and silvered for ornament.

Rapeye.—Take almaundys, an draw a gode mylke fer-of, and take Datys an mynce hem smal, an put f er-on y-now; take Raw Appelys, an pare hem and stampe hem, an drawe hem vppe with wyne, or with draf of Almaundys, or bofe; fan caste pouder of Gyngere, Canel, Maces, Clowes, & caste f er-on Sugre y-now ; fan take a quantyte. of flowre of Rys, an frowe fer-on, & make it chargeaunt, an coloure it wyth Safroun, an with Saunderys, an serue forth; an strawe Canel a-boue.


Take Ryse and waishe hem clene. and do hem in erthen pot with gode broth and lat hem seeþ wel. afterward take Almaund mylke [2] and do þer to. and colour it wiþ safroun an salt, an messe forth.

[1] Ryse. Rice. V. Gloss. [2] Almand mylke. V. Gloss.

FUNGES [1]. X.

Take Funges and pare hem clere and dyce hem [2]. take leke and shred hym small and do hym to seeþ in gode broth. colour it with safron and do þer inne powdour fort [3].

[1] Funges. Mushrooms. [2] dyce hem. Cut them in squares. Vide quare in Gloss. [3] Powdour fort. Vide Preface.


Pill garlec and cast it in a pot with water and oile. and seeþ it, do þerto safroun, salt, and powdour fort and dresse it forth hool.

[1] Aquapatys. Aquapates, Contents. Perhaps named from the water used in it.


Take persel, sawge, garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrectes [1], fenel and ton tressis [2], rew, rosemarye, purslarye [3], laue and waische hem clene, pike hem, pluk hem small wiþ þyn [4] honde and myng hem wel with rawe oile. lay on vynegur and salt, and serue it forth.

[1] Porrectes. Fr. Porrette. [2] Ton tressis. Cresses. V. Gloss. [3] Purslarye. Purslain. [4] þyn. thine.


Take blades of Fenkel. shrede hem not to smale, do hem to seeþ in water and oile and oynouns mynced þerwith. do þerto safroun and salt and powdour douce, serue it forth, take brede ytosted and lay the sewe onoward.


Take wyne and hony and found it [2] togyder and skym it clene. and seeþ it long, do þerto powdour of gyngur. peper and salt, tost brede and lay the sew þerto. kerue pecys of gyngur and flour it þerwith and messe it forth.

[1] Tostee. So called from the toasted bread. [2] found it. mix it.


Take wyne greke, oþer rynysshe wyne and hony clarified þerwith. take flour of rys powdour of Gyngur oþ of peper & canel. oþer flour of canel. powdour of clowes, safroun. sugur cypre. mylberyes, oþer saundres. & medle alle þise togider. boile it and salt it. and loke þat it be stondyng.

"Sienese" tart

This most likely comes from the Naples area rather than Siena.

Take twenty almonds and blanch them thoroughly, and pound them as fine as possible. Then take half a libra of sugar, twelve eggs, and a fogletta [about a cup] of milk, two quatani of cinnamon, and the proper amount of salt, and half a quarto of fresh probatura cheese, pounded until it need be pounded no more. Then spread a mold with butter, and then flour it, and put the mixture on top. And set the mold or pan far from the fire, covered, with a moderate fire. And note that you can put into the mixture a ladleful of lasagne cooked in good broth. And when it is cooked, put sugar and rose water on top.

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