But I learned something very useful. It’s a logical question to ask but not really the right question. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Food was prepared both in private households and in public markets. For our Morgan dinner I opted for a cheese tart and, for fun, used a recipe with the word Bry (Brie) in the title, which is virtually identical to the recipe for the cheese tart called lese fryes in Harleian MS 4016 (in Austin). She said that so much more work needs to be done, particularly with the cookbooks of Andalus, (Medieval Islamic Spain). A recipe that I recently came across in a manuscript in the Folger collection supports my long-held suspicion that this pottage was the inspiration behind the dessert called barley cream, extant in England and America from the late seventeenth into the early nineteenth centuries. Sugar was indisputably a gift of the Islamic world. They were invested in understanding the minutiae of how a meal is constructed, which flavors go well together, and the effects that certain foods might have on someone’s mood and stomach. Raw green sauces, all fairly similar, are outlined in medieval English, French, Italian, and Catalan manuscript cookbooks. His cookbook contained recipes for sweets and plague remedies. All rights reserved. Also unanticipated, the strawberries and dates were a lovely match. (The phrase “þerwith cometh” on the MS Cosin menu likely indicates that two dishes were meant to be set on the table at the same time, not that they were meant to be eaten together.) It is one of a group of condiments that were popular in early Islamic cooking and vanished sometime after the fourteenth century. In the West, these conceits straddled the same odd conceptual fence that they did in the East, being both prescribed by physicians as well as eaten, particularly after meals, when they were believed to speed the digestion. This dish, like many others in this menu, is golden in color. Languishing in yellow, like flowers and sprouting grass in spring. Medieval English dariols were small custard tartlets of varying composition. "Lindsay gives an excellent overview of the medieval Islamic world. Published in 1824, Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife was the first cookbook printed in the South and the most enduringly popular and influential southern cookbook of the nineteenth century, remaining in print, in various editions, into the 1860s and lending some of its particularly famous recipes to southern cookbooks published to eve of the First World War. (At the time, writers and scribes flocked to markets known as “sūq al-warrāqīn,” where they could conduct research on pre-existing texts and earn commissions by compiling books). Medieval Islamic scholars made sense of the past through pre-existing genres and myths. Þe iii cours: dariol of crem & of refles togedere. Intended for an audience with little or no background on this topic, the book offers a thorough introduction to the beginnings of Islam, its history up to the year 1300, and material on a wide range of other topics, e.g., warfare, social practices, entertainment, and geography. Grind parsley and sage with bread and the yolks of hard-boiled eggs. This cuisine is reflected in surviving works of medieval Islamic culinary literature: cookbooks, treatises on dietetics, agriculture, handbooks of etiquette, and other literary works that celebrated food as one of life’s pleasures. “These cookbooks reflect the salient aspects of the societies of their time, inasmuch as they respect the conventions of their predecessors and perpetuate the models of the Abbasid tradition that their authors knew from their own reading,” writes Zaouali. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. Grind blanched almonds and mix them with the capon broth. This is an excellent recipe. It’s clear that people were concerned with cultural preservation. No purchase necessary. They are separated by ingredient (“eight eggplant recipes”) or … Indian cookbooks are cookbooks written in India, or about Indian cooking. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). In the making of both dishes, the braising medium is cooked down until the meat begins to fry in its own fat, whereupon almond milk or coconut milk is added to bloom a sauce. Pygges in sawse sawge (Forme of Cury; Hieatt): Scald and quarter suckling pigs and simmer them in water and salt. Recipes for some of these nutraceuticals, including quince paste, fruits in sugar syrups, halva (made with starch or nuts, not sesame seeds), and marzipan (in Italian manuscripts), can be found in medieval European manuscripts primarily given over to food recipes. The elite medieval English dinner was served in two principal courses or, on grand occasions, three, each typically comprising four to six dishes, though more, perhaps many more, if the dinner were a feast. So, for our Morgan dinner, I replaced it with another dish listed in the first course of several medieval English menus: roasted venison or mutton served with a creamy wheat-berry pottage. II. The fact that al-Warrāq included 10 poems by Kushajim, a member of al-Daula’s circle, and noted that he learned them first-hand, lends further credibility to this theory. Free of flaws and blemish. Add the chickens and boil them, and serve it forth. Temper it with verjuice and capon fat, and then boil it and serve it forth. Similar cheese tarts survived in the Netherlands into the seventeenth century and are depicted in period Dutch paintings. Many of the recipes in the English cookbooks also appear, in some form, in medieval French cookbooks, such as the famed Viandier attributed to the French court cook known as Taillevant. Perhaps this has something to do with Easter, which is associated with the rising of the (golden) sun. Denmark. This famous pottage (or one of its variants) appears in the second course of many other medieval English menus, and I thought that guests should have a chance to taste it. This sauce is similar to several outlined in the ancient Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius, though none of the Roman sauces contain cinnamon, which Apicius seems barely to know. Per the recipe, I garnished the dish with aniseed comfits, which are available from online Dutch import shops under the De Ruijter brand. Add the meat and put it in a serving dish. The course always included hippocras, named for the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, the putative “father” of humoral medicine. Þe ii cours: bruet saraseyns þerwith gele of fyssh, tart de Bry & blank maunger. . Scully derives the name from Old French cretonnee, meaning fried, but frying is not involved in this or most other variants. Mix it with good both and sweet cow’s milk or almond milk. Scald them, wash them clean, and dry them with a cloth. Rulers and other wealthy elites enjoyed specialized kitchens furnished with ovens, fireplaces, a … Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens also doubles as a love letter to food and drink, featuring poems from then-famous wordsmiths alongside recipes. Meat and fish jellies appear in many medieval European menus. Regardless, it’s clear that whoever commissioned al-Warrāq to write the book wasn’t just interested in step-by-step instructions on how to make, say, raisin wine. Loosely following the recipe above, I poached salmon in white wine, white wine vinegar, and seasonings, and then stiffened the broth with packaged gelatin. The English soon enough followed suit. That’s part of why the Middle East came to have the most in-depth trove of medieval food literature in the world. Other texts are included here for their value in researching medieval cuisine. Take cream (strained if clotted) and egg yolks and mix them together, and then add the liquid in which the bone marrow was boiled. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Comprising only two dishes, the third course of the MS Cosin menu struck me as anticlimactic. “I was surprised by the similarities between what we cook now and what they cooked,” Nasrallah says. Project of the Pine Needles Foundation of New York, on When the West First Tasted the Cuisines of the East, When the West First Tasted the Cuisines of the East. With a few exceptions (such as frumenty with venison or mutton), medieval dishes did not “go together,” as in a “main dish” and “sides.” Rather, dishes were perceived as separate, and people sampled only those that appealed them. Strain the wine and mix the fruit with it. Add vinegar, leaving the mixture somewhat thick. 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