A friend of mine made some cheese the other week and had a great deal of whey left over. So I, being the crazy person I am, decided to make something with it. And so: Sauerkraut.
This post is a little less academic than some of the ones I’ve been doing because it was a spur of the moment project.
So for more background I’ll recommend you go take a look at Stefan’s Florilegium. What they have discussed there is that we have lots of references to Sauerkraut from the 16th century in Germany: Ein New Kochbook has some recipes that call for it and Baecker, Brot und Getreide in Augsburg references it being sold at the market; in addition Scappi mentions salted or brined cabbage being exported from Germany. Finally, as early as 1485 Kuchenmeysterey apparently mentions sauerkraut in passing.
In some of my previous work I mentioned that Roman legions had pasta. This is a bit of a contentious subject and the traditional story is that pasta came to Europe via China, the other tradition is that it was introduced to Sicily by the Arabs in the 9th century. We had a discussion of this on the SCA Cooks Facebook page and so I looked into whether or not there was proof of pasta existing in Classical Rome and Greece.
It’s been a while since I did a medieval bread post (*cough*five years*cough*) so I thought it was time to bring it up again. I wanted this to be a post and recipe for everyone to be able to make medieval style bread.
I’ve been making sourdough a lot the last few months (thank you Lady Audrey) which has given me a better appreciation for the art and act of levening. This made me want to return to my old bread recipe. So for the first one were starting from my reassessment of medieval bread. Searching more info I found Steamy Kitchen which seems a super similar one.
Montengarde Culinary Group’s April theme is April Fools. My wife (Kayleigh de Leis) is cooking for it this month and she asked me to find the apple pie in the shape of a fish recipe we had been meaning to make for so long.
For this we’re going to the Netherlands via Gent KANTL 15 also known as Nyeuwen Coock Boeck from 1560. Many thanks to Christianne Muusers the person behind Coquinaria for translating the recipe.
1.63. To make stuffing for formed fish when it is not Lent
For four ground apples, take two or three raw eggs, two ground cooked eggs, a small handfull of ground almonds and some melted butter. Take spices, sugar and a little saffron as follows. With this stuff the formed fish and then colour it and let it bake in the oven for about half an hour.
1.64. To make formed fish during lent and also calf ears
Crush in a mortar five or six apples, peeled and cored. Add sugar, ginger and cinnamon, and add some pound almonds or toasted gingerbread with some saffron. Bake this in oil. Or make a big fish: bake this in the oven, painted and with some holes in it.
You can call it caws pobi, cause boby, or even Welsh rarebit or Welsh rabbit. It’s the same thing. It’s the food spoken of in 1542 by Andrew Boorde: “I am a Welshman, I do love cause boby, good roasted cheese.” (Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, 1542). There are earlier references to it, but by the 15th and 16th century it was essentially the Welsh national dish (First catch your peacock: The classic guide to Welsh food, B. Freeman, 1996, p. 31). It even shows up on a list of dishes presented in the late 15th century at Pembroke Castle by the Earl Marshal (likely Henry Tudor before becoming king):
Ballock broth, Caudle ferry, Lampreys en galentine, Oysters in civey, Eels in sorré, Baked Trout
Brawn with mustard, Numbles of a hart, Pigs y-farsed, Cockentryce
Goose in hogepotte Venison en frumenty, Hens in brewet, Squirrels roasted
Haggis of sheep, Pudding de capon-neck, Garbage, Trype de mouton, Blaundesorye, Caboges, Buttered worts
Apple muse, Gingerbread, Tart de fruit, Quinces in comfit
Essex cheese, Stilton cheese, Causs boby
(Mediaeval Pageant, J.R. Reinhard, 1939, p. 42)[emphasis mine]
As Culinary Night is on March 14th this year we’re celebrating Pi day. In honor of that I’m making Daryoles. There’s some debate about this with some saying it’s a type of proto-quiche and others that it’s a proto-custard. I’m in the proto-custard camp myself.
Daryoles show up in English culinary books early, 1390s early. But by the 17th century they are synonymous with small custards, and by the 19th century they refer to a specialized mould for making custards.
In favour of the proto-quiche side there is cheese and meat in several of the dishes. But as you will see the major factor seems to be the sweetness.