Comments by chained_bear

  • You'll be glad, but not as glad as I am, to know that I've finished reading the g.d. thing.

    January 20, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on mangetout.

    January 19, 2017

  • "... with more cash in our pockets, ingredients went upmarket in the closing years of the decade: celeriac and mangetout ... herbs in packets, stuffed aubergine, banoffee pie and then grilled goats'-cheese salad, exotic mushrooms...."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 370

    January 19, 2017

  • "Although The Cookery Year assumed that cooks had enough silver cutlery for five courses, starched linen napery and brightly polished crystal... it contained recipes that a growing band of cooks were aspiring to make...."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 366

    January 19, 2017

  • "the intensely social aspect of Roden's cooking lay as much at its heart as its centuries-old use of pine nuts, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, crushed garlic, cloves, mint and saffron. Hers was food traditionally slow cooked in tagines, and her book reintroduced to British kitchens the Arabic flavours once so adored by our Norman ancestors, with savoury pastries scattered with sugar, pounded meat and plenty of allspice, pomegranates and scented water."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 363

    January 19, 2017

  • "A porous, lidded earthenware pot in which foods could be cooked without fats or liquids, the Römertopf enjoyed brief popularity in the '70s until cooks discovered that they were not, after all, much different from the typical casserole dish."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 362

    January 19, 2017

  • "... it conjured up a proud French tradition, the integrity of recipes honed over decades, consistent standards and the enjoyment of doing things properly rather than perfunctorily -- a philosophy of preparation so rare that we call it artisanal."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 361

    January 19, 2017

  • "... pissaladina provided the simplest of pizzas: a bread dough covered with slow-cooked onions, stoned black olives and anchovy fillets with a tomato sauce of garlic, oil and basil."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 346-347

    January 19, 2017

  • "The year 1947 ... Potatoes were rationed for the first time, and ten million half-pound tins of snoek were imported from South Africa. As repellent as it sounded absurd -- Marguerite Patten remembers it, simply, as 'awful' -- snoek cost only 1 1/2 s or a point a tin, and it promised to make up for the loss of tinned sardines and salmon. But no matter how cooks longed for something new, Ministry recipes for snoek piquant (onions, vinegar, syrup), snoek pasties or snoek salads tickled no one's fancy. Two years later, more than a third of the tins remained unsold, most turning up on grocery shelves as cheap catfood."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 343-344

    January 19, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on langdebeef.

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on langdebeef.

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on langdebeef.

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on langdebeef.

    January 18, 2017

  • An excellent list of sixteenth-century herbs in use in England can be found in a comment on langdebeef.

    January 18, 2017

  • "For those of us whose use of culinary herbs is restricted, say, to parsley, coriander, sage, thyme and basil, the cornucopia in use in the late sixteenth century is striking:

    Thyme, Savourie, Hyssop, Pennyroyal ... sage, Garden Clary, baulme, Mints, Costmary and Maudeline, tansie, Burnet, Monkes Rubarbe, Bloodwort, sorel (much used in sawses), langdebeef, arrach, blites, beetes, Alisanders, Smallage, Parsley, fennel, Dill, chervil, mallows, Succourie and Endive, spinach, lettice, purslane, tarragon, cresses, rocket, mustard, asparagus.*

    *Langdebeef was lamb's lettuce, bloodwort was dock, clary was a kind of sage, arrach was similar to spinach as a pot herb, and succourie was curly chicory."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 115-116 and 116n

    January 18, 2017

  • "Newspapers gave up their fashion pages for columns headed 'What Women Can Do', and recipes for sole, lobsters, cream, eggs and butter were replaced with earnest advice on 'cheap brown soup' or crowdie made with the liquid in which mutton had been boiled with onions, oatmeal, salt and pepper."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 319

    (this was at the start of World War I)

    January 18, 2017

  • "Coal was scarce so cinders were collected, and briquettes of clay, sawdust and tar were laboriously home-made as cooks struggled to learn economical ways with one-pot cooking and 'hay boxes'--wooden boxes insulated with hay, newspapers or blankets in which a stew, rice or suet pudding, brought to the boil on the stove, could then be left to 'cook'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 319

    January 18, 2017

  • "Canning offered a solution to the problem of urban supply and when cattle-plague hit in the 1860s, Australian tinned meat -- coarse-grained, overdone lumps with a wad of fat -- cost less than half the price of fresh meat and business boomed.* So unpopular that the navy called it 'Fanny Adams' after the eight-year-old whose murder had shocked the nation,** tinned meat was generally foul, but it was cheap and it came in handy for unexpected guests, titivated into soups, stews and rissoles. As the United States recovered from its Civil War, its canning factories went into overdrive: exports to Britain rose from seven tonnes in 1866 to about ten thousand tonnes five years later. ...

    * Sixteen thousand pounds of Australian tinned meat were imported in 1866, compared to twenty-two million pounds only five years later.

    **The scandals of earlier attempts at canning that had produced putrid meat had been broadly forgotten. It is likely that the tinned meat supplied to Sir John Franklin's fated 1850 expedition to find the North-West Passage had been boiled in salt water to save fuel, remaining partially raw at its core, rotting and poisoning many of the crew. Others believe that lead found in the tinned containers weakened the men."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 299

    January 18, 2017

  • For usage/historical note, see comment on French fries.

    January 18, 2017

  • "... of all vegetables, the potato still reigned supreme. By the late 1850s they were being cut into strips and fried from raw -- in the 'French fashion', according to Mrs Beeton -- to accompany rump steak, and though some fried parboiled potatoes, everyone by the 1870s agreed that these delightful crispy strips were called 'chips'. Soon -- as steamships plundered the teeming northern seas, returning with such quantities in their refrigerated holds that fried fish for a penny became working-class fare -- chips would replace the baked potato."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 297

    January 18, 2017

  • "Street children spent their few coins on a penny-slice of plum pudding, boiled trotters and pickled tripe, or boiled sweets luridly colored with lead, arsenic and mercury, or on rhubarb, currant and cherry pies -- even a slice of over-ripe pineapple -- all sold in the street from a bit of polished wood or a piece of oil cloth. From the 1840s, the Wenham Lake Ice Company had begun to import ice to sell in blocks to fishmongers, confectioners and wealthy households. Quick to catch at an opportunity, Italian immigrants like Carlo Gatti set up in business in London in the summer of 1850, selling hard, luridly coloured ices made from often dirty milk mixed with cornstarch and luring customers for their 'penny licks' with cries of 'ecco un poco!', ensuring their nickname: the Hokey Pokey men."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 291-292

    January 18, 2017

  • After reading the horrific stuff on adulteration, this is a nice bit.

    "In response to such fraudulent and widespread practices, pre-packed and branded goods marketed with the promise of quality flourished, and in 1806 the details of a new method of preservation that -- unlike smoke, sugar, vinegar or salt -- did not change the taste of meat, fruit or vegetables were published by a Frenchman called Nicolas Appert. Appert bottled his materials, corked them carefully, boiled them in a water bath, sealed the bottles with pitch and stored them in a cool, dark place -- and it worked. New-laid eggs could now be boiled with bits of bread to stop them cracking. The technique worked for gravy, soups, fruits and reduced cream; even meat could be thus preserved, and new-gathered asparagus, beans and petits pois -- 'prepared with the utmost rapidity so that there should be as it were but one step from the garden-bed to the water bath' -- were declared delicious.

    "Driven by the needs of soldiers fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, Appert could see the potential benefits of his discovery to the military and to hospitals, but with chemistry still in its infancy and bacteriology unknown, he had no notion of how important his discovery would prove to be.* By the time his work was translated into english in 1811, technology was speeding ahead and his method was already being adapted to tinned metal containers by British businessmen. Brian Donkin's first canning factory opened in 1812 -- the year in which Charles Dickens was born -- producing goods in heavy metal containers which had to be opened with hammer and chisel. Hitherto, cooks had had to cut off rusty or sour pieces from their home-cured bacon, or wipe the slightly off joint with vinegar before cooking it.... With Donkin's method, even meat could be preserved indefinitely.

    *In America, the process of sterilisation that resulted from Pasteur's experiments was first known as 'appertising'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 269-271 and 270n.

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found on ozmazome.

    January 18, 2017

  • See usage/historical note on ozmazome.

    January 18, 2017

  • "What had been called 'essence of meat' was all of a sudden confounded by the advancing science of chemistry as the notion of ozmazome briefly appeared, described by Carême as the 'most savoury part of the meat', by Soyer as its 'very essence' and by plenty of others, including Mrs Beeton, as the soluble part of the meat that gave its perfume and savour to stocks. Whether ozmazome was in fact the caramelised meat juices found in the roasting pan or a hazy notion of the most nutritious part of the meat (red meat had more of it than white, fish had none), the befuddling concept was soon exploited by Justus von Leibig, a German chemist, who developed his own 'Meat Extract', a concentrated powder achieving a cult-like status. It would later be renamed Oxo, the first in a long line of artificial gravy powders."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 284

    January 18, 2017

  • "... the vegetables were soft-boiled.*

    *Unless you belonged to the Vegetarian Society (formed in 1847 from an offshoot of the Swedenborgians), whose members prided themselves on eating vegetables cut into pretty shapes, savoury omelettes, mushroom pies, moulded rice and the like. They were widely regarded as insane, even suicidal."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 283

    See also Sublime Society of Beefsteaks.

    January 18, 2017

  • "The kipper was 'invented' in the 1840s by John Wodger - split, salted and smoked for long-term preservation."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 283

    January 18, 2017

  • Eliza "Acton liked to keep it simple and slow; she transformed the written recipe not only with her exact quantities and detailed instructions on things like boning and trussing but, also for the very first time, with closing summaries of all the ingredients needed and the time that each one would take to complete.*

    *Listing ingredients at the foot of a recipe, when you think about it, makes sense, since it assumes that the recipe itself has been read thoroughly first. It was Isabella Beeton who copied Acton's innovation but moved the list to the beginning, giving us, finally, the form of the modern recipe."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 281 and n.

    January 18, 2017

  • "Soyer also licensed his sauces and relishes to Messrs Crosse & Blackwell, and designed one of the very earliest domestic gas cookers, the unpronounceable Phidomageireion,* but it would be another fifty or so years before power stations supplied gas widely enough for most people to benefit from its instant heat.

    *'Thrifty kitchen' in Greek."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 279

    January 18, 2017

  • "Crosse & Blackwell were soon selling nearly forty different pickles and sauces; Mr Bird invented instant custard powder for his delicate wife who could not take eggs but loved the sweet, creamy sauce that had taken Regency tables by storm. Colman's mustard removed from cooks the eye-watering process of grinding seeds, curry powders were sold widely, and a returning Governor of Bengal pressed not a cook, but a local chemist, Lea & Perrins, to invent Worcestershire, or 'Indian', sauce, so successful that its sales rose from 636 bottles in 1842 to 30,000 a decade later. New industrial methods created 'Dutched' or powdered chocolate, removing part of the butter fat to make it easier to dissolve, and Cadbury's factory at Bournville and Fry's followed soon after. Arrowroot thickened everything it touched and centrifugal machines began to produce the low-cost, high-quality granular sugar that would consign to history the paraphernalia for breaking down and grinding great sugar cones."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 276-277

    January 18, 2017

  • "Ice was also finally beginning to be used as a preservative. In 1785, Alexander Dalrymple of the East India Company described the ancient Chinese practice of packing fresh fish in ice and the penny dropped. His friend George Dempster passed the information on to his Scottish fish merchant; the Scottish fishing industry was transformed, and fresh salmon was despatched countrywide, safely and without the need for salt or pickle."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 270

    (this was about 1812--no specific date given)

    January 18, 2017

  • See usage/historical note in comment on adulteration.

    January 18, 2017

  • "Accomplished cooks skilfully used small quantities of cheaper cuts of meat in French-inspired stews, and the repertoire of leftover meat expanded from beef olives and hashes with a thick sauce to 'bubble and squeak', which fried chopped meat and cabbage together."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 268

    See also comment on toad-in-the-hole.

    January 18, 2017

  • "Potato starch, known as mucilage, was treated as a thickener for soups and stews, though from the 1820s its use would be overtaken by arrowroot, imported from the East Indies."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 268

    January 18, 2017

  • "The anonymous author of Domestic Economy (1827) cooked ripe tomato flesh to a bold mush with butter, garlic, thyme and chillies, but she was one of the bravest and most liberal of cooks, more ready to experiment with foreign flavours and textures than the majority of her broadly conservative contemporaries. Whereas most domestic cooks knew only a few 'foreign' recipes, keeping them quite separate from the rest of their cooking, she wrote inspiringly of the Continental love of calf's liver and encouraged her readers to dredge it in flour, fry it and serve it with an exemplary sauce of wine, ale, garlic, spices, and herbs. Among now-standard recipes for mulligatawny and curry, she daringly fricasséed frogs with garlic, simmered snails with truffles and introduced the sweet pillaus, yogurts and cold soups of Persia, cubbubs (kebabs), couscous and African honey-pastes. Against directions for more prosaic ox cheek, ox heart and salted udder jostled recipes for pigeons with apricots, mutton with dates and mince in vine leaves -- dishes so startlingly far ahead of their time that among Regency cookbooks they are entirely unique."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 267

    January 18, 2017

  • "'Mullga-tawny', or pepper-water soup, was a favourite among those returning from India and the East, made of meat in a clear stock flavoured with pounded coriander seeds, cinnamon-like cassia, some black and cayenne pepper, turmeric, browned onions and garlic, with a little lemon juice and cream swirled in just before it was served. Everyone had a recipe for mulligatawny, and most served it with a ballast of boiled rice."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 265

    January 18, 2017

  • "The word 'picnic' was taken from the French pique-nique. In 1802 the Picnic Club was formed, its members sharing the cost of meals sent from a local tavern, but the word soon developed its modern meaning of sharing food out of doors."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 264

    January 18, 2017

  • "The cook would have used yards of worsted woven in the new mills, known as tammy cloth and sold, according to the Regency cook Dr Kitchiner, 'at the oil shops ... made on purpose for straining sauces'. Once the cloth had been filled with a thick liquid or purée, tammying was a job for two -- the cook and a maid each twisting their end in opposite directions over a large bowl until their wrists cried out for mercy."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 258

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on ultramarine.

    January 18, 2017

  • "With the fin-de-siècle vogue for prettily coloured walls, the kitchen was painted blue.*

    * Less -- as one modern paint company would have it -- because flies were repelled by the colour than because both ultramarine and Prussian blue were relatively non-toxic compared to other colours laden with arsenic, lead and chromium."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 257

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note (and differentiation between) can be found on bavarois.

    January 18, 2017

  • Carême "was also credited with the invention of the Bavarian cream, or bavarois, a rich custard and whipped cream (fouetté, for those in the know), set or moulded with isinglass and variously flavoured with nuts, star anise, chocolate or fruit purées. A bavaroise, on the other hand, was a later, caudle-like drink of hot, milky tea with egg yolks and kirsch."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 249

    January 18, 2017

  • "Forcemeat balls became quenelles -- melting meat pastes mixed with cream, shaped into ovals and poached in clear broths -- or, alternatively, forcemeat sausages called 'boudins'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 246

    January 18, 2017

  • "For the poor, tea brought immediate if unsustaining comfort -- not the Hyson of the well-to-do but cheap leaves often adulterated with poisonous black lead."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 240


    and...


    "Every cookbook and manual had its tips for detecting adulteration, practically turning the cook into a chemist. From 1820, when Frederick Accum's <i>Treatise on Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons</i> created such a furore that he had to leave the country, housekeepers found themselves ever more vigilant regarding vinegar made of vitriol, pickles greened with copperas, bread bulked and whitened with chalk, bones or plaster of Paris, and 'cream' made from milk thickened with potato starch." (p. 269)


    and...


    "Leaving their factories late and exhausted, the best food in the markets already purchased, the poorest bought wilted vegetables, old cheese, rancid bacon, tough meat taken from diseased cattle, decaying potatoes and miserably adulterated goods. ... adulteration of goods was reaching a fraudulent and dangerous peak,* and they (the poor) bore the brunt of it. But in an atomised society nobody much bothered about the undernourished, deceived and poisoned who, Engels believed, were lurching towards a revolution like those already ravaging the Continent. Indeed, ... the nation only drew back from the brink of potential revolution with repeal of the Corn Laws, which had maintained an artificially high price of corn. ... If it had not been for the lessons learned from its earlier civil war, Britain too might have tumbled into political turmoil during the worst of the 'Hungry Forties'.


    *The <i>Lancet</i> investigations in the early 1850s horrified the medical journal's readers when it found each of forty-nine bread samples to be adulterated. Coffee was commonly bulked with chicory or mangle-worzel and acorn, milk was watered, and tea had up to half its weight made up of iron filings. ... Against such 'death in the pot' fraudulence, the Food Adulteration Acts of 1872 and, particularly, 1875 at last outlawed the practices of short weights, bulking out and adding poisons to fake superior goods." (p. 289)

    January 18, 2017

  • "At Christ's Hospital School, the essayist Charles Lamb remembered Thursday's fatty, grey, boiled beef 'poisoned by detestable marigolds floating in the pail' in cheap imitation of saffron."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 242

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on gin.

    January 18, 2017

  • "... the spiritous scourge of the age came not from home-grown liquors but from Dutch genever, or gin. Made of corn spirits and flavoured with the juniper that gave it its name, gin was also brewed in grimy back alleys, but even the imports were cheap and potent enough to ruin the poor.... Gin continued to be sold under the name of 'Parliamentary Brandy'; only when the price of grain rose in the 1750s, taking the price of gin with it, were the poor forced to turn elsewhere for comfort and oblivion."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 223

    January 18, 2017

  • "At balls and assemblies, chilled waters were flavoured with raspberry, apricot, currant, bergamot, orange flower, peach or pear; orgeat was made of pounded almonds; and potent lemonades were fortified with brandy or white wine and sugar."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 224

    January 18, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on punch.

    January 18, 2017

  • "The most popular new drink was punch. Introduced by East India merchants and served in ornate silver or decorated china bowls, punch had five main ingredients (hence its name -- panch means 'five' in Hindi): brandy, wine, lemons (even better, rare limes from the West Indies), sugar and spice. Sometimes rum, or rumbullion, made from the fermented residues of the sugar-refining process -- molasses -- was also added. Unsurprisingly, the mixture was incredibly potent."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 223

    January 18, 2017

  • "De Saussure reckoned that 'more grain is consumed in England for making beer than for making bread', much of it clarified with isinglass or adulterated with dangerous copperas (ferrous sulphate) to make its head froth 'like a cauliflower'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 222

    See also usage/historical note in comment on adulteration.

    January 18, 2017

  • "Corks were now appearing for stopping bottles; the British were the first to use them for wine, allowing it to age properly."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 220

    This is the late 18th century, BTW.

    January 18, 2017

  • "Imported from China and Malaya, salty soy sauce was popular, though few had any idea how it was made. The professional cook Martha Bradley believed it was made from a purplish mushroom with a wrinkled surface."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 220

    January 18, 2017

  • "By the second half of the eighteenth century, thick gravies and cullises were giving way to catsups, or catchups: home-prepared sauces used as instant flavours for melted butter, or to enliven a stew or made dish. Hannah Glasse had given an early recipe for a sauce of anchovies, shallots, stale beer, mushrooms and spices all boiled together and reduced. Walnut catsup was now popular, and mushroom catsup was made from large mushrooms left to lie in salt overnight, then stewed and strained through a coarse cloth, the liquid simmered with ginger, pepper, mace and cloves until it had reduced to a thick syrup....

    They caught on so fast that by the 1780s home-made catsups in bottles were being slipped into cruet frames at the dining table, adorned with silver neck labels. They were useful, but catsups did also mark the beginning of a decline in culinary skills in Britain and the relinquishing of centuries of pride in the slow refinement of a perfect sauce."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 219

    January 18, 2017

  • "Topham also described a dinner of Scottish food that left him 'almost famished with hunger and tantalised to death of Scottish haggis ... cocky leaky ... sheep's head ... and Solan Goose', or gannet. The haggis made his stomach lurch: ' ... my Politeness got the better of my delicacy, and I was prevailed on to taste it; but I could go no farther.'

    *In a 500-year-old tradition, men still scale the 300-foot cliffs of Sula Sgeir north-west of Lewis to collect thousands of baby gannets -- guga -- from precarious ledges, salting and barrelling them on the spot. Before cooking, they are scrubbed to remove the grease and salt and boiled in clean water, constantly skimming off the grease. They are then roasted. While coastal communities survived on these gannets for generations, they have a limited gastronomic appeal: apart from the people of Ness, most now find them greasily revolting with a taste something like fishy beef. The smell of boiling guga is said to be repugnant."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 218

    January 18, 2017

  • "... Johnson's contemporary Edward Topham also enjoyed delectable Scottish dishes of salted cod (cabbiclow) boiled with parsley and horseradish and of friar's chicken -- pieces of fowl boiled with parsley, cinnamon and eggs in a strong beef soup."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 218

    January 18, 2017

  • "But although tripe, kidneys and other innards were still widely used, they were descending on the social scale, now known as offal because they literally fell off during butchering."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 219

    See also comment on garbage.

    January 18, 2017

  • "With Henry Fielding's 'Roast Beef of Old England' ringing in their ears, the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks* tucked into enormous steaks.... Foreign visitors still swooned at the British roast cooked rare in the middle while France continued to cook its roasts to the core.

    * Formed in a room at the top of the Covent Garden Theatre in 1735 to protest against French cooking. The members, called 'steaks', assembled weekly to devour grilled steaks weighing between 3 and 5 pounds with baked potatoes and beetroot. Members included George IV when he was Prince of Wales, his portly brothers the dukes of Clarence and of Sussex, William Hogarth, Colley Cibber and David Garrick."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 216-217

    See also Vegetarian Society.

    January 17, 2017

  • "Winter-feeding and selective breeding had continued to improve livestock so that by the close of the century animals had doubled in size since the Middle Ages. And there was plenty of it. Butchers' meat was around thruppence a pound at mid-century -- half the price of butter -- and the 80,000 cattle that were driven to market in London in 1750 was set to increase to nearer a hundred thousand by 1800. Unsurprisingly there were tourists who wrote that they did not 'believe that any Englishman who is his own master has ever eaten a dinner without meat'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 216

    January 17, 2017

  • "Indian curries were also good for leftovers, generally using turmeric, ginger, stock, cream and, occasionally, a little lemon juice. As the taste for them spread inexorably, ready-mixed curry powders -- from the 1780s -- trounced the gentler flavours of mace and nutmeg so highly prized in the early decades of the century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 216

    January 17, 2017

  • "Few households still had the staff to finish off the remains of the family food; the shopkeeper Thomas Turner regularly recorded that his 'family at home dined on the remains of yesterday's dinner', even while he entertained his customers on neats' tongues and turnips. The last of the roast or boiled meat could be made into beef olives with a plain stuffing of bread, onion and suet; hashes were simple ways of reheating sliced leftovers; and toad-in-the-hole delightfully developed as a way of using up slices of cold meat in a blanket of puffed-up Yorkshire pudding batter. Indian curries were also good for leftovers, generally using turmeric, ginger, stock, cream and, occasionally, a little lemon juice."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 216

    See also comment/historical note on bubble and squeak.

    January 17, 2017

  • "... 'hatelets', or decorative skewers..." (p. 238) and "precursors of the club-sandwich cocktail stick" (p. 246) in Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007).

    January 17, 2017

  • Archaic spelling of "calipash."

    January 17, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on curry.

    January 17, 2017

  • "Glasse had been the first in England to publish a recipe for 'Currey the India way' in the earliest edition of her book (1747). Adding browned and pulverised coriander seeds to a simple stew of pieces of fowl or rabbit with onions, salt and butter, she observed that the sauce must be reduced until it was 'pretty thick'. She added other dishes savouring of the East: the pillau -- or pellow -- based on slow-cooked rice that 'must be very thick and dry and not boiled to a Mummy', and 'Mutton the Turkish way', a stew of mutton with rice, turnips and ginger. Curry was the taste of the arrogant nabobs returning from positions with the East India Company, and as it grew more popular, Glasse updated her work, including in the fifth edition (1755) a recipe for 'Indian Pickle' that used a gallon of vinegar, a pound of garlic, long pepper, mustard seed, ginger and turmeric."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 209

    January 17, 2017

  • "'Portable Soup', also known as glue, was usually made from veal -- sometimes beef -- stock, reduced into a jelly that could be dried and stored. It was practical and, like the modern stock cube, would keep for years, easily reconstituted into a broth with the addition of hot water: ideal for both ships' captains and for cooks. Like the vilified French cullis, glue required quantities of meat -- Ann Blencowe used a whole leg of veal to make a piece no bigger than her hand, and Glasse's recipe called for 50 pounds of beef to 9 gallons of water. It also took hours to prepare, but at a time where fresh stock could sour in the space of a hot summer's afternoon, it could be a saviour."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 209

    January 17, 2017

  • "To pep up their colour, some added copper salts to the water or used a copper pan with vinegar for boiling, a habit that might have worked, but that also risked poisoning the diners with highly toxic verdigris. Georgian writers continuously warned their readers to carefully wash and dry their copper pans and ensure that they were kept well tinned to avoid the green killer, and there were similar warnings about storing pickles in pottery with lead glazes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 207

    January 17, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on salmagundi.

    January 17, 2017

  • "... a new supper dish grew out of the 'grand sallets' of the seventeenth century, the salmagundi, a large mounded salad layering minced cold meats with anchovies and pickles.*

    *Surviving still in Canada as Solomon Gundy."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 208

    January 17, 2017

  • "In the back of the British Library's copy of La Chapelle's Modern Cook is a handwritten recipe for something far simpler than its author's offerings: ramakins or baked cheese, made from a paste of half a pound of mild cheese, an ounce of butter and an egg yolk, spread thickly on toast and browned with a red-hot salamander. Dishes like this were commonly served for supper, and there was nothing particularly French about them--indeed they would soon develop into the much-loved rabbits (sometimes known as rarebits today) as the great English cheese industries around Cheddar, Stilton and Cheshire expanded."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 192

    Also...

    "As savoury toasts began to join the salad at the end of meals, Glasse was again among the first to give recipes for toasted-cheese rabbits, her 'Scotch rabbit' prepared the way we would today, the toast for 'Welsh' rabbit rubbed with mustard, and 'English' rabbits made by dipping the bread into red wine before toasting and lathering it with melted cheese."

    (p. 208-209)

    January 17, 2017

  • In the sense of "a metal utensil with a flat head...," see usage/historical note on scalloped potatoes and on rarebit.

    January 16, 2017

  • "By mid-century mashed potato would find its ultimate refinement, spooned into scallop shells kept for the purpose and grilled with a salamander to become 'scalloped potatoes' --a dish that would enjoy a renaissance two centuries later during the 1970s freezer and prepared-foods boom."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 207

    January 16, 2017

  • "Few published cooks omitted recipes for celery fried with cream, eggs or herbs, for mushrooms stewed with cream, or for boiling and buttering vegetables almost unknown today, like alexanders, cardoons and scorzonera.*

    * Alexanders were an old-fashioned, bitterish, celery-like root that was about to be replaced by celery; cardoons are artichoke-like thistles; scorzonera is black salsify. The word vegetable had previously referred to any member of the plant kingdom but was first used in print by the agriculturalist Arthur Young in 1767 to refer to the cultivation of specifically edible plants."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 206

    January 16, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on salt nitre.

    January 16, 2017

  • "The next step on the culinary path was salt -- particularly cheaper salt nitre or saltpetre, introduced almost certainly from India in the Tudor period and already widely used in the salting of hams. Put the two together around a separate container of water or cream and the effect was swift even if the science was perplexing: as the salt melted the ice in the outer bucket, it sucked the heat from anything it touched, reducing its temperature and causing the contents of the inner bowl to freeze."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 179

    re: cream ice better (later) known as ice cream

    January 16, 2017

  • Alas, Flickr hates me.

    January 16, 2017

  • "Since the start of the seventeenth century, Neapolitans, like their Roman ancestors, had been using the eternal snows of Mt Etna to cool their drinks. Now they were influenced by sorbetti, the sherbets of Turkey: fruit syrups that were chilled but (and this is important) never frozen. It became quite the thing in Naples to mound pyramids of snow on to the dessert table and to serve wines chilled in an ice bucket."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 178

    January 16, 2017

  • See usage/historical notes in comment on cream ice.

    January 16, 2017

  • "Ice cream --or cream ice as it was called for the first hundred or so years of its existence -- not only looked divine but presented an extraordinary, utterly unique taste experience: the shock of the frozen mass hitting the teeth and the explosion of flavour and perfume as it melted in the mouth. It made eyes fly open with surprise. So exquisitely rare at the time that it might have been part of the Crown Jewels, a single sweetened cream ice was served to Charles II at the Garter Feast of 1671 at St George's Hall -- its first written record in Britain."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 177

    "In the 1730s the Duke of Chesterfield's renowned cook Vincent La Chapelle developed the technique of making ices by stirring the mixture from time to time as it set, breaking up the crystals and creating a much creamier effect. ... By the 1760s cream ices had become ice creams and syllabubs had been pushed into second place."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 180-181

    January 16, 2017

  • "Intensely reduced, this broth also formed the thick cullises, used to drench pyramids of labour-intensive and highly flavoured meat dishes. It was partly this cullis, requiring hours of work and endless ingredients to make, that gave the French style its reputation as overblown and expensive. Cullises were not the juicy by-products of cooking meat but intricate and expensive undertakings all of their own."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 165

    January 16, 2017

  • "With presentation a la francaise, tureens of soup and fish were followed by removes, or relevees (because they literally necessitated the removal of the soup)."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 158

    January 16, 2017

  • "As the secret of making ices spread, sorbetieres--cylindrical pots with lids, designed to be plunged into wooden freezing-pails filled with crushed ice and salt--developed. Tiny pewter or tin moulds about 1 to 3 inches high and in the shapes of fruits, flowers or animals were also produced, but these early ices were neither churned nor beaten during freezing, resulting in a rather solid mass that must have been hard to eject from the moulds...."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 180

    January 16, 2017

  • "Eales was among the first cooks to develop jams, or giams -- cherry, apricot or raspberry mixtures which were not designed to set into firm pastes for slicing but which remained runny, stored in jars with paper lids. These were especially handy for flavouring ices."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 180

    January 16, 2017

  • "Gradually, a radically new style of presentation at table emerged. Known as a la russe in imitation of the tsarist court, it -- confusingly -- began in France, possibly in honour of Alexander I's liberation of Paris from Napoleon in 1814. It was characterised by two novel features: food was now served straight onto plates from a sideboard and handed to guests, and the courses therefore progressed much as they might today, with soup, fish, meat, vegetables and dessert now entirely separate. ... The upshot of this new style was that guests got their food faster and hotter and with less need to help one another. Chairs could be set further apart, and arms need never touch at all."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 251-252

    January 16, 2017

  • "French court fashions were profoundly influential, and the way that food was presented at table altered as a style known as a la francaise took hold, a vogue that required an enormous variety of dishes to be arranged like a Bach fugue in kaleidoscopic, symmetrical, repetitive order, even raised up on mini platforms to create a landscape of dishes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 157-158

    See also relevee.

    January 16, 2017

  • "Grapefruits -- originally called shaddocks -- and limes were also imported from the West Indies, but neither initially found favour."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 156

    January 16, 2017

  • "... But chocolate was far more complicated to make than coffee. In South America, the beans were roasted, crushed, mixed into a paste with water and dried into 'nibs' for export. Once in England, the nibs were scraped into sweetened milk and boiled rapidly, frothed with a 'Spanish instrument' called a molenillo or molinet -- usually about a foot long, wooden and horizontally ridged, something like a modern honey spoon -- and rolled vigorously between the hands until the cocoa particles, cocoa oil and milk had emulsified."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 147

    January 16, 2017

  • I would love to respond to ruzuzu and bilby, who posted comments on "the user chained_bear," but I seem to have an inability to do so. So I'll do it here. Hi ruzuzu! Hi bilby!

    January 14, 2017

  • "During the Commonwealth that followed, the colour was leached out of life. ... Everything was pared down, economical, simpler. The world was altered; even the spoon underwent its first major design change for half a millennium: the Puritan spoon, as it was known, had a square end without any religious device and a flattened handle much as we know it today."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 141

    See also comment on apostle spoons.

    January 11, 2017

  • This is actually a bit of an inside joke at my employer, which once published an artsy coffee-table book on silver nutmeg graters.

    Imagine my surprise to read this, about possets in the seventeenth century:

    "Soon, it would be considered the height of elegance to carry a little silver nutmeg grater in your pocket -- one quick rasp of the nut over your drink, your dish of cream or cup of chocolate transformed it into a rather addictive kind of aromatic heaven."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 137

    January 11, 2017

  • See usage/historical note on posset.

    January 11, 2017

  • "Most people kept their heads down, perhaps dulling the sharp edge of their anxieties with a particularly seventeenth-century supper drink, the posset*.... The posset was a spiced, sweet, warm confection made of ale, cider or wine--especially sack--thickened with eggs, cream or warmed milk which curdled as they were poured over the liquor."

    "* In the United States, especially in the nineteenth century, the posset became known as eggnog."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 136

    January 11, 2017

  • "Apart from carving forks and tiny sucket forks, table forks had been so rare that Elizabeth I owned only thirteen, made of silver; though the Italian merchant class had adopted them at table, in England they had been considered affected. Then, in 1611, Thomas Coryat returned from five months abroad to declare that he was the first Englishman to embrace the Italian habit... The acceptance of the fork appears to have been rapid.... John Manners, the 8th earl of Rutland, was among the first to have a set made -- squarish and with only two tines. Just one of them survived the rigours of the Civil War, the earliest known English silver fork, hallmarked 1632. It now sits humbly in a case in London's Victoria and Albert Museum."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 134

    January 11, 2017

  • "Turnspits had all but disappeared by the 1630s: jacks were becoming mechanised, propelled by gravity weights at the end of tightly wound springs, which unravelled over about half an hour."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 133

    January 11, 2017

  • "In France, professional cooks had been raised to the rank of chevalier (for they were all men, still), and the finest of all wore the cordon bleu, a rosette of dark-blue ribbon."--Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 133

    January 11, 2017

  • "The availability of all this fresh produce enlivened still further the fancy compound dishes, the carbonadoes, fricassées, olios (as the hodge podge was now more usually known) and the hashes (from 'hacher', to slice) that aped the sophisticated fashions of Continental Europe."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 133

    January 11, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hodgepodge.

    January 11, 2017

  • "... the Jerusalem artichoke--related not to the globe variety but to the sunflower--girasole in Italian--was discovered by a Frenchman in Cape Cod and by about 1615 had found its way via Holland to England, where it was washed and scraped, turning the cook's fingers brown, then boiled and buttered, mashed into tarts, thrown into simmering stews, pickled or preserved."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 131

    January 11, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on girasole.

    January 11, 2017

  • "A Lancashire pudding using simply potato and butter was called potato pottage or lobscouse, marking the start of the potato's ascendancy in the diet of the poor."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 125

    January 11, 2017

  • See also clootie dumpling.

    "Of course, mixtures of minced meats, blood, oats or other grains, fruits and spices had been stuffed through funnels into animal guts and boiled for generations. But the 'pudding cloth' revolutionised the process, leading to all kinds of new recipes for a multitude of savoury and sweet variations that could be made even when intestines were not easily to hand. Practical, quick and easy, the cloth produced a ripe cannonball of a pudding that threw off the aromas not only of its ingredients but of warm, wet cloth. In Scotland they were called 'bag puddings' or 'clootie dumplings', generally boiled as sausages had been for centuries, alongside the meat and vegetables in a large pot."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 123

    January 11, 2017

  • "Fresh curds were still flavoured with any kind of green herb juices to produce spermyse."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 120

    January 11, 2017

  • "Huswives made pies from sheep's or calves' intestines -- known as mugget pies -- for the workers to take to the fields, and large seedcakes to mark the end of the harvest."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 120

    January 11, 2017

  • "Another particularly exhausting new dish came from Spain, a casserole known as olla podrida, olepotridge or hodge podge, whose merit seemed to consist in throwing as many things as you could put your hands on into the largest pot available. Markham's recipe for hodge podge was one of the earliest, representing hours of patient culinary toil. ... It could clearly be a case of the whole feast in a single dish, and, though it sounds fairly nasty, hodge podge was rich, expensive, time-consuming, and a fabulous way of showing off. ... Though its name came to mean something random and clumsy, the striking novelty of the hodge podge ensured its popularity, and it was exactly the kind of dish that paved the way for the table fork, another Continental habit poised to arrive in Britain."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 118

    See also another note on hash.

    January 11, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on quelquechose. Also, this:


    "Unlike his contemporary Gervase Markham, Murrell's kickshaws were not stiff omelettes but pastes of finely minced veal or lamb's kidney mixed with mutton fat, sack and rosewater, pushed into moulded pastry cases and fried--or baked and iced with rosewater and sugar."
    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 133-134

    January 11, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on quelquechose.

    January 11, 2017

  • "... to be self-consciously Continental in your cooking had become quite the thing. Quelquechoses, for example, soon to be known as kickshaws, were fried dishes based on eggs and, usually, cream with the addition of almost anything that was to hand--boiled pigs' pettitoes (trotters), small birds, oysters, mussels, giblets, pigs' livers or blood puddings, lemons, oranges or other fruits, even pulses."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 117

    January 11, 2017

  • "Wafers were puffed up with yeast in the Flemish fashion, and biscuits--from bis cuit or 'twice cooked', because the dough was first boiled and then shaped and baked--appeared for the first time."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 109-110

    That's also the origin of biscotti.

    January 9, 2017

  • "Since the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the distillation of 'wholesome and sweet waters' and herbal remedies had passed from the hands of monks to those of the Elizabethan housewife. With an alembic set over the coals, she became a scientist, extracting her own vertues, distilling damask rose-flower water for use in the kitchen, making spirits of wine, aquavit and alcoholic cordial waters as well as essences of spices, cosmetics, medicines and hand-waters for washing. Platt described a way to keep orange or lemon juice good for a year for use in sauces, distilling it until 'it is done boiling' and bottling the syrup with a barrier of salad oil at the top."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 108

    January 9, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on eryngo.

    January 9, 2017

  • This is a terrible word.

    Usage/historical note in comment on eryngo.

    January 9, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on eryngo.

    January 9, 2017

  • Gosh, I love these flowers.

    "Nor did vegetables escape sugar's embrace: eryngo (sea holly), parsley and elecampane roots, green walnuts, lettuce or mallow stalks, borage, bugloss, alexanders, sweet potatoes and even carrot and parsnips were candied into soft, sticky-sweet suckets."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 107

    January 9, 2017

  • "Green melons were cultivated in pits heated with rotting manure from the 1570s, and figs, pomegranates and musk melons were imported along with shiploads of oranges from Portugal--sometimes known as pottongayles--whose bitter peel was repeatedly soaked and boiled before being candied with a pound of sugar for every four oranges."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 106

    January 9, 2017

  • "Fine moulding was encouraged by a new ingredient that arrived in the early 1500s: gum tracaganth--or dragon--derived from the sap of a Middle Eastern tree. A nugget about 'the bigness of a beane' was steeped in rosewater until it swelled and mellowed; then it was mixed with sugar, egg white and a drop of lemon juice to form a pliable paste that could be shaped, by hand or with pre-soaked wooden moulds, into the fanciest of shapes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 105

    January 9, 2017

  • "Musk, still used widely in modern perfumery, is the dried abdominal secretion of the Central Asian deer Moschus moschiferus. Confounding the nose as it hits the palate, it has a tinge of feral rankness about it, but its stridency is softened by sugar, rosewater and citrus peel in many of these late sixteenth-century recipes, where it replaced the most luxurious and exotic spices of the past."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 105 (note).

    January 9, 2017

  • "As pungent spices began to lose their allure and the Tudor palate woke up to the soft taste of butter, the tingle of citrus and a more pronounced use of nutmeg, the medieval voidée evolved into a final sweet course called, confusingly, the banquet: a profusion of sugary temptations that became one of the most characteristic markers of well-to-do Tudor England."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 102-103

    January 9, 2017

  • "... the pound of sugar that lasted an entire year in Alice de Bryene's household in the early 1400s would hardly have been enough for one person in the sixteenth century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 102


    January 9, 2017

  • "Inns also provided a really radical change of taste for the nation, as ale faced competition from the hops first imported from Flanders from 1525. Andrew Boorde was sceptical about adding hops to the mash to make beer, considering it an unnatural drin, but it caught on so fast that by the time Hentzner visited in 1598 beer had become 'the general drink ... excellently well tasted, but strong and what soon fuddles'. The bitter antiseptic resins of the hops acted as preservatives so that now the brew could be kept for up to two years, strengthening as time passed. It could be made in commercial quantities and ordered by potency: March and October beer were the strongest, while weak 'small beer' was drunk for breakfast as well as by children. So pervasive was beer's influence that when hop crops failed, brewers resorted to broom or bay berries to achieve the same aromatic and bitter qualities."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 100

    January 9, 2017

  • "Perhaps it was Catherine's Aragonese background that led to the use of lip-smacking Seville organe juice in red-meat stews and pies and the novelty of pairing fish and poultry with lemons, for by 1534 Henry's household was using enough in its cooking to purchase an orange strainer. Oranges were an expensive taste: at the banquet to celebrate Anne Boleyn's coronation at the Company of Leather Sellers in 1533, there was only one citrus fruit."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 96

    January 9, 2017

  • "The Tudors welcomed the Lords of Misrule with open arms, revelling in magicians, fools and music and in a special new Twelfth Night cake, one of the earliest of all English spicy fruitcakes, into which a pea or bean was baked: whoever found it was crowned 'King or Queen of the Bean' for the evening, presiding over the fun and games."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 99

    January 9, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cardoon.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cardoon.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Samphire was aptly paired with marsh mutton; cardoons (a kind of edible thistle) were trickily prepared by stripping and blanching their heads and stalks. Cucumber was eaten fresh or pickled, and the buds (or knops) of alexanders, purslane and broom were pickled like capers, tied into small linen bags and weighed down in a pot of brine until they went black, then boiled and stored in vinegar. Hop buds, astringent enough to make the lips smart, were scattered over salads and stews."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 95

    January 8, 2017

  • "Eclipsing spices in status, new plants arrived at an especially auspicious time, for nursery gardens were developing, stocks were being improved, and horticultural skills were making rapid strides, influenced by the advanced market-gardening expertise of Flemish Protestant refugees. As gardening became a gentlemanly pastime for the well-to-do, an entirely different attitude to vegetables emerged."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 94

    January 8, 2017

  • "Greek olives and French capers were imported as appetite stimulants and, by the end of Elizabeth's reign, anchovies were arriving along with botargo, a Mediterranean relish made of grey mullet or tuna roes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 94

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on pompions.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Slowly, these new foods began to alter the nation's tastes once again. Introduced from France, the dense sweet flesh of pompions, as pumpkins were known, was quickly accepted as a pie filler--a Tudor classic that later travelled with the Founding Fathers to survive in America as one of its national dishes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 93

    I'm pretty sure she doesn't mean "Founding Fathers" but rather "Puritans and Separatists who founded Massachusetts."

    January 8, 2017

  • "To make pastry strong enough to withstand a filling, hot water was used to turn the gluten in rye flour into an elastic grey putty that would stay upright on its own. The pastry, or paste as it was known, was raised up by hand either by using a wooden plug or by punching a fist into a ball of dough and pulling up the sides rather like a crude pot. Except that it was not crude--it was rather skilful and, above all, practical. Once the pies with their contents were cooked, the gravy could be drained out and clarified butter poured in through a pipe or funnel in the top. This sealed the meat from the air and kept it fresh in the larder for weeks or even months. It might then be reheated and, just before it was served, a fresh, hot gravy or a sweet, spiced and sometimes ale-spiked caudle of eggs could be added; at the table, the crust would be broken open and the contents spooned out as the steam rose. The tough, inedible pastry was either discarded or kept in the kitchen as a thickener for pottages."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 79

    January 8, 2017

  • "In about 1525 the turkey was introduced (to Europe), rapidly displacing the stringy 'great birds' of the medieval table. Fabulously expensive, turkeys were sold at London markets for 6 shillings a piece*, but they were well enough to be established by the 1540s for the courtier Sir William Petre to cage them with pheasants in his orchart at Ingatestone Hall."

    "*Turkeys were so called because they arrived from Mexico via trade in the Levant. By the 1570s their price had dropped to 3s 4d for a cock and 1s 8d for a hen."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 93

    January 8, 2017

  • "Thus an important new role now developed under the steward: that of the acater--from 'acheter', to buy--who oversaw the purchasing of supplies from local markets and specialist merchants; unlike modern caterers, the acater was emphatically not the cook, but he was the man who got slapped if the cheese ran out."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 89

    That's odd. I always thought the cheese stands alone.

    January 8, 2017

  • "As was the fashion in still-life paintings of the day, the Flemish painter Clara Peeters arranged wafers and knotted biscuits around a central shallow marchpane* ornamented with rosemary sprigs in her Still Life with Confectionery (c. 1611)."

    "*During the Tudor period, marchpane evolved from its gingerbread-like medieval roots into something more like marzipan, with crushed almonds, sugar and rosewater as its main ingredients."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 82

    January 8, 2017

  • "Potent mead and its spicier cousin metheglin were also brewed, often stirred with the leaves of sweet briar or rosemary for flavour. So much were these pungent flavours an accepted part of life that even the village poor were accustomed to seasoning their ale with pennyroyal, mint, wormwood, sage or even horseradish, and for those rich enough to distil their own spirits clarrey could be made from sweetened wine fortified with aqua ardaunt."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 78

    January 8, 2017

  • "All of these (wines) were made even more expensive by the two casks from each imported cargo that were forfeit to the King as prisage, or duty."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 78

    January 8, 2017

  • "Nefs were a particularly British foible, elaborate galleons fashioned from precious metals, designed to hold the finest, whitest salt and set, symbolically, before the lord at the head of the table."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 75

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on trencherman.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Bread rolls were set at each place--new bread for the lord, one-day-old bread for the guests and three-day-old bread for the household--so that one's social position continued to be defined by the age and quantity of bread as much as for its colour. Slices of four-day-old bread trimmed into orderly squares by the pantler and known as trenchers, from the French 'trencher', to slice, were stacked along the tables for everyone's use; from these come our use of the word trencherman to denote a hearty eater."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 74

    January 8, 2017

  • "Each place would be set with a napkin for the guest to throw over his or her left shoulder and a knife and spoon of wood, horn, silver or pewter, though most diners continued to carry their own knife and the christening spoon given to them at birth--the origin of the expression about the wealthy being born with silver spoons in their mouths--often with a little knob or saint's head at the end so that they were known as apostle spoons."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 74


    See also Puritan spoon.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note (esp. for Saffron Walden) can be found in a comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Boiled blood was used to color foods black, and a sandalwood-like bark known as sanders or mulberries or red alkanet were employed to turn them red or purple. Wheat starch, egg whites or crushed almonds were used for white; mint, spinach and parsley for green, and for blue the turnsole, or heliotrope, was mashed. Most desirable of all, egg yolks, dandelion petals or musty saffron were used to endore pie crusts and pottages. Saffron was a costly statement, with more than 50,000 hand-harvested crocus flowers needed for each pound of dried stamens. The fields around Saffron Walden in Essex must have been a mirage of smiling colour when in bloom, delighting thousands who could never hope to taste the kind of cooking in which they were used."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 58

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on erbolat.

    January 8, 2017

  • "In homes across Britain at Easter, real eggs were cracked into cooking pots or boiled and served in a green sauce to symbolise the banishment of thin fare, and the favorite tansy, or erbolat, appeared, an omelette coloured green with tart tansy juice or with spinach, fried golden in butter; if you were lucky, it might have a grating of nutmeg, a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of cream or curds, but it was always a treat after the dietary rigours of abstention."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 71

    January 8, 2017

  • "In the 1200s the Countess of Leicester bought more than a thousand eggs for an Easter feast for her tenants at Dover Castle and rewarded her labourers and tenants with succulent roast meats and spiced custards or pain perdu--bread dipped in egg, fried in butter and sprinkled with sugar, the forerunner of our eggy bread."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 70

    I've not heard of eggy bread, but this bears more than a slight resemblance to what I know as French toast, which also, I was given to understand many years ago, is (or was?) called Mennonite toast in Canada.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The manuscript also gives us our earliest recipe for salad, using the smallest leaves of parsley, sage, borage, mint, fennel, cress, rosemary, rue and purslane mixed with minced garlic, small onions and leeks, and decorated with slivered and toasted nuts and glowing pomegranate seeds. The dangerous 'coldness' of the uncooked herbs was mitigated by a 'warming' dressing of oil and vinegar, a classic combination that would remain unchanged for centuries."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    Note: the manuscript in question is The Forme of Cury, which dates from the reign of Richard II, reigned 1377 to 1399.

    January 8, 2017

  • "One of the simplest recipes in The Forme of Cury was astoundingly modern for its time: proto-pastas boiled and layered with butter and cheese, known as macrows and not unlike modern macaroni cheese."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "Meats were often reduced to pastes, eaten on the point of a knife or with the fingers: like mortrews made from a base of pork or chicken flesh pulverised in a mortar, then boiled and thickened with bread, spices and egg. Rissoles, or raysols, were made by forming balls of minced pig's liver, bread, cheese and spices and baking them with a crusting of egg yolk and saffron."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 56-57

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on pandemaine.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on pandemaine.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The poor ate maslin: tough brown bread of roughly sieved wheat mixed with rye flour or even barley, millet, malt or beans, made at home or baked in the communal baker's oven. Wheat bread, known as pandemaine or, later, manchet, was the whitest and softest, but it was costly; everyone aspired to it, and the baker in William Langland's poem The Vision of Piers Plowman complained that even in times of dearth 'beggars refused the bread that had beans in it, demanding milk loaves and fine white wheaten bread.'"

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 49

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on dittany. Also:


    "When Catherine of Aragon was a young queen in England, salad plants were so rare that she had to send to holland for the lettuce she loved. Within thirty years, a wide variety of salad greens were available, including chicory, endive, mallow, purslane, fennel, smallage and peppery rocket. ... Small wonder that metal and earthenware colanders were becoming common."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 95

    January 8, 2017

  • "Neckam takes us right into the warmth of a high-class kitchen in the twelfth century, but he gives us more than a list of equipment, recommending cumin sauce for stewed ham, mentioning three kinds of sausage (andulyes, saucistres and pudingis) and giving fine directions for roasting pork with a little salt to make its rind really crunchy. In a separate work on horticulture called De naturis rerum, he catalogued an expanding range of tasty culinary herbs including parsley, fennel, coriander, sage, savory, hyssop, mint, sorrel, thyme, saffron, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuce, garden cress and the strong-smelling rue also used to treat snakebite and poor eyesight. Rosemary would arrive in the 1340s with Queen Philippa, but pumpkins, cucumbers and spinach-like orache were now cultivated in kitchen gardens, and we can assume that turnips and woody carrots known as skirrets were grown, though oddly they did not begin to appear in gardening treatises until the fifteenth century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 48

    January 8, 2017

  • "Only the most courageous fishermen braved hostile seas to hunt whale for its flesh, bones and fat and for its tongue, which was served as a delicacy on fine tables; from the tenth century, salted whale known as craspois came instead from Rouen for the tables of the rich, arriving in sufficient quantity for Aethelred to tax it at London Bridge."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 43

    January 8, 2017

  • "Herring was so plentiful that the Abbey of St Edmond received a rent of 30,000 fish a year from the port of Beccles."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 69

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on mawmenee.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Stiff quince pastes, originally known as charedequynce, were the first marmalades--marmelo is Portuguese for 'quince'--and were accompanied by compotes of reduced fruit pulps mixed with wine and honey, salt and vinegar."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 68

    January 8, 2017

  • "... lordly roast venison with frumenty traditionally opened feasts, with boar's head or brawn and a peuerade, or pepper sauce. Roast meat smacked of privilege, taken for granted by those who could afford the fuel needed, the dripping pans, basters and turnspits, and prepared crispy and sticky on the outside and juicy in the middle--quite literally done to a turn."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 66

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on mawmenee.

    January 8, 2017

  • "There was also mawmenee, similar to blancmanger but more robustly flavoured with wine, sugar, fried dates, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. But it was frumenty, the ancient porridge of bruised wheat boiled in milk, that traditionally accompanied fresh mutton, venison or porpoise at feasts. Updated for medieval tastes, it was thickened with egg yolks, coloured with saffron and left to cool before being sliced like polenta."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 59

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Offal--livers, sweetbreads, lights and giblets--were all highly esteemed, and the original umble pies were not in the least bit humble, using a gallimaufry of entrails including testicles, tripe, hearts, palates (the tender roof of the mouth), gizzards, lambs' tails, cockscombs and fatty pigs' feet in a rich, spicy gravy. Valued as it was, offal was known as garbage, a word that would assume quite a different meaning as tastes changed."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 59

    January 8, 2017

  • "Kitchens expanded, their different offices arranged around a courtyard into separate larders, storerooms, cellars, butteries (for the wine and ale in butts), pantries (for bread) and sculleries (from escuelier, or 'keeper of dishes'). Passageways now linked the main hall to the kitchen and its departments, with serving or surveying places like those at Durham Castle, Knole, Eltham and Hampton Court where the steward would pass his eye over the food before it was presented."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 64

    January 8, 2017

  • "They and the scullions might have made their beds on the kitchen floor, but these rooms cooled fast and Norman laws ruled that all embers had to be covered at night with couvre feus, or curfews."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 65

    January 8, 2017

  • "Peacocks were carefully skinned, their meat seasoned with cumin before being roasted, cooled and stitched back into their feathers, sent to the table apparently alive, their necks supported by wires, their tails spread and a phoenix fire bursting from their gilded beaks. Clearly a health risk, peacocks in their feathers were a triumph of style over substance, since everyone admitted that the flesh was stringy; but that was beside the point. They were centrepieces, designed to delight the eye as much as the palate and to emphasise social power through magnificent display; more than a hundred of them were presented at the installation feast for Archbishop Nevill of York in 1467."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "The cockentrice was a fantasy animal from the forepart of a capon and the rear of a piglet stitched together, stuffed and roasted."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "Intensely sweet dried fruits were therefore crucial, and exotic raisins of Corinth (currants), prunes, figs and dates were all traded by spice merchants besides the sacks full of almonds needed for thickening sauces and stews or for use as a creamy alternative to milk on fast days."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • "Alice de Bryene's household account book reveals that in 1418, when prices had already dropped considerably, she purchased 3 pounds of pepper, 2 pounds of ginger, 2 pounds of cinnamon, a pound of cloves and another of mace, spending 56s at a time when a thatcher might earn 4 or 5d a day. These were large amounts, but when we consider that Alice provided for up to fifty householders and visitors each day, catering for almost twenty thousand people in 1418 alone, their use cannot have been heavy-handed."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • "It seems that what they were aiming for was a juxtaposition of the piquant with sweet fruits, nuts and sugars, the characteristic feature of many modern Moroccan recipes such as pastilla--a shredded-pigeon pie flavoured with mace, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, almonds and saffron, and powdered with icing sugar. If so much about the European Middle Ages seems bewilderingly remote, contemporary Moroccan food, robust and subtle by degrees, broadly unchanged for centuries, offers a hint of our own culinary past."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • See usage/historical note on grossarii, which will kick you over to cubebs for more.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The spicers, peppers and grocers (from grossarii because of their use of large weights) soon formed into powerful London guilds selling ready-ground mixes. ..."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    More can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Just checking in. Gone but not forgotten. *sigh*

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in a comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note can be found in a comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • "There was a variant known as cubebs, Celonese cinnamon and Chinese ginger with its relatives galangal and zedoary, as well as mace, gromwell, and aniseed. The spicers, peppers, and grocers (from grossarii because of their use of large weights) soon formed into powerful London guilds selling ready-ground mixes in small leather bags of various strengths known as powdor fort, powdor douce and powdor blanche--but if you could afford it and were wise you avoided adulteration by purchasing your spices whole."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54-55

    January 8, 2017

  • "Medieval cooks used aromatics that have since fallen from favour: borage with its hairy leaves that taste of cucumber or the medicinal costmary, also used to repel moths."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "A sauce egredouce (bittersweet) satisfied a particular craving in the medieval palate for mixing sweet and sour together, and even summer's heat could be alleviated with cool sauces of verjuice, vinegar or pomegranate."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "... chawdron--a sauce of blood and livers--was the perfect companion for roast swan."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "So excessive was Rome's appetite for conspicuous consumption that the first sumptuary laws attempted to regulate it. Both the Lex Orchia and the Lex Fannia restricted not only the kind of clothes people of different ranks could wear but the number of allowable dishes to three at dinner and five at a celebration; shellfish and 'strange birds from another world' were prohibited and, under a later law, the Lex Aemilia, stuffed dormice were banned."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 18

    January 7, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Bread was the staple of the diet of the poor, growing coarser, darker and drier as it descended the social scale... By today's standards, vast quantities of bread were eaten: 4 pounds a day for the poor of all ages according to the canonised Bishop of Metz in his eighth-century Rule of Chrodegang. It was so much the staff of life that Old English words vibrate with its importance: the lord--hlaford--was literally the bread guardian or the bread-winner; the lady--hlafdige--was the bread-maker; and dependents--hlafaeta--were the bread-eaters."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 38

    January 6, 2017

  • "So rare are written records that we leap on the few survivors, including the rare Leechdoms, or manuscripts of wortcunning--magic herbals that brought together both charms and plant remedies."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 37

    January 6, 2017

  • "Deprivation rather than perpetual feasting was the norm, and much of the population was undernourished and dependent on food that could be foraged: the Old English word steorfan had not yet evolved into the word for 'starvation'; it simply meant 'to die'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on garum. See also liquamen for more info.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Rome's taste for pungent flavours was typified by its favourite condiment, liquamen--or <i>garum</i> or <i>muria</i>, as it was also called--a murky-brown, salty relish made from fermented fish. Liquamen enhanced the taste of other foods and, sharing the putrid whiff of asafoetida, distinguished Roman cuisine more than any other ingredient. It was used liberally in recipes and added to salads, meats or seafood as frequently as we might turn to ketchup: Worcestershire sauce, which has a little asafoetida and much anchovy essence, or the Asian fish sauces <i>num pla</i> and <i>nuc nam</i> are probably the closest we come today to a taste anything like it."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on caroenum.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on caroenum.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Even the classical sources disagree on the reduction of each type, but, broadly speaking, caroenum was boiled to between half and two-thirds its original volume; defrutum to about a third and sapa to a thick, sweet syrup. Passum and mulsum were very sweet wine sauces made from reduced young wine with the addition of honey."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 27note

    January 6, 2017

  • "Mustard, garlic, horseradish and--always--pepper were used liberally, and to thicken sauces Apicius used breadcrumbs, eggs, crumbled pastry, rice imported from India or a wheat starch known as amulum, designing his creations not only to complement but sometimes to disguise a dish: we can almost hear him chuckle as he takes a well-salted liver and makes it taste exactly like a fish."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 27

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

  • "In such kitchens cauldrons hung from ornate chains alongside new equipment like frying pans, known as patellae, some with folding handles so that they could also be used in the oven and some with deep moulded rings to equalise the heat across the base."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 23

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

Show 200 more comments...