We have a tendency to consider medieval meals as bland or boring. In spite of everything, there have been no sweets, potatoes, or tomatoes. (All of them got here from America.) However some medieval meals had been so strongly flavored that we might discover them unpalatable at the moment, particularly as a result of folks again then liked to combine fragrances like rose water or lavender with their dinners.

In medieval instances, the easiest meals was eaten by the king and his court docket. And no king was extra lavish than Richard II, who was recognized throughout Europe for his opulence.

So we’re fortunate {that a} recipe guide written by his greatest cooks has survived to the fashionable day, containing no fewer than 196 recipes. It’s referred to as The Forme of Cury, and you’ll learn it without spending a dime at Challenge Gutenberg if you will get your head round Center English.

Let’s dig in.

10 Funges


This recipe—No. 10 in The Forme of Cury—merely requires funges (the medieval phrase for “mushrooms“) and leeks to be minimize up small and added to a broth, with saffron for coloring. Straightforward.

Nevertheless, it additionally asks us so as to add “powder fort.” This was a widely known spice combination in medieval instances, very similar to garam masala is at the moment. Powder fort was normally comprised of pepper and both ginger or cinnamon.

Nevertheless, as this meals was made for the king, they most likely used a extra complicated combine, doubtless together with cloves or saffron. For a powder fort combine you may strive at house, mix 28 grams (1 oz) of cinnamon, 28 grams (1 oz) of ginger, 28 grams (1 oz) of black pepper, 7 grams (0.25 oz) of saffron, and three.5 grams (0.125 oz) of cloves.[1]

Pepper was the most typical spice in medieval Europe, adopted by cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Mushrooms had been low cost and widespread in medieval England. So this dish would have been fairly inexpensive however nonetheless properly outdoors the attain of most medieval folks.

9 Cormarye

Typically, kings wanted to impress their visitors, and the easiest way to do this was to serve them an enormous hunk of pork in a wealthy sauce. Cormarye, which is Recipe No. 53 in The Forme of Cury, would have been the primary characteristic of a royal feast. The crimson wine and pork loin joint made it an costly recipe even by fashionable requirements, and the unique coriander and caraway spices would have break the bank again then.[2]

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Make a sauce from crimson wine, floor pepper, garlic, coriander, caraway, and salt. Roast the pork joint in it. Then add the sauce and the drippings to a broth and serve them collectively.

8 Toastie

Sure, you learn that proper. Richard II’s private cookbook incorporates a recipe for a toastie—or tostee, as they referred to as it. If somebody served us this in a restaurant these days, nevertheless, we would marvel in the event that they’d made a mistake.[3]

This recipe, which is No. 93 in The Forme of Cury, is extra like jam on toast than a modern-day toastie. Combine collectively crimson wine and honey in a saucepan. Add floor ginger, salt, and pepper. Cook dinner it till it’s thick, after which spoon it over toasted bread. Chop up some recent ginger and sprinkle it excessive.

7 Payn Ragoun

If you happen to’ve ever puzzled what medieval sweet tasted like, that is it. Payn ragoun is actually a medieval-style fudge, although they might have served it alongside meat or fish slightly than as a snack or dessert.

You can discover a fashionable model of the recipe right here.[4] However to paraphrase: Combine some honey, sugar, and water collectively, and simmer over a low warmth. Then add floor ginger.

The recipe truly requires the cook dinner to dip his finger in it. If it hangs when it drips again down, it’s prepared. Add pine nuts, and stir till it thickens. Then go away the combination to harden, and funky in a bread or cupcake mildew.

6 Poached Eggs

The medieval technique of cooking poached eggs—or pochee, as they referred to as them—was virtually precisely the identical as it’s at the moment. “Take Ayrenn and breke hem in scaldyng hoot water.” Translation: Take eggs and break them into scalding sizzling water.

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These medieval poached eggs wouldn’t have been served on toast for breakfast, although. They had been more likely to have been cooked en masse and served at a banquet on a plate alongside a specifically ready sauce.

This No. 90 recipe in The Forme of Cury has an accompanying sauce, although it’s in contrast to any we’d make at the moment. Whisk collectively two egg yolks, sugar, saffron, ginger, and salt. Add milk, and cook dinner till it thickens, not letting it boil. Then serve. Discover a fashionable translation of the recipe right here.[5]

5 Verde Sawse

Everyone knows salsa verde as a key element of recent Mediterranean delicacies. Evidently Richard II was additionally a fan of this well-liked sauce as a result of The Forme of Cury incorporates a recipe particularly devoted to it—Recipe No. 140.[6]

This medieval model of salsa verde requires parsley, mint, garlic, thyme, sage, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, wine, breadcrumbs, vinegar, and salt to be blended collectively and served as is.

4 Crepes

Evidently crepes had been a well-liked medieval candy meals. They’re talked about in Chaucer’s writings as “crips” and in Recipe No. 162 of The Forme of Cury as cryspes. Medieval French crepes had been the closest to what we consider as crepes at the moment, however desserts referred to as crepes additionally existed in England and Italy.

A French recipe for crepes from 1393 will be discovered right here.[7] The English model was a dough manufactured from flour and egg whites which was rolled in sugar as soon as it was cooled. The tip consequence was extra like a doughnut or powdered cake.

3 Compost

Recipe No. 100 of The Forme of Cury known as compost, although it had a distinct which means again then. Quick for “composition,” this was the medieval equal of throwing all of your leftover greens in a Crock-Pot and leaving them to simmer. This was most likely the closest that royal delicacies received to peasant meals however with a a lot richer sauce.[8]

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This explicit recipe referred to as for parsley roots, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, cabbage, and pears to be diced and boiled till gentle. Then they had been sprinkled with salt and allowed to chill earlier than being put in a big bowl with pepper, saffron, and vinegar.

The cook dinner would then boil wine and honey in a saucepan and simmer for some time earlier than including currants and spices. This was poured over the greens, after which the complete dish was served.

2 Payn Fondew

Bread pudding is a dessert that’s generally eaten in the UK at the moment. Most individuals know that it’s outdated, however few know that it truly dates from medieval instances. Recipe No. 59 for payn fondew is successfully an early model of bread pudding.

Fry some bread in grease or oil. Combine egg whites in crimson wine. Add raisins, honey, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and simmer till it thickens. Then break up the bread, add it to the syrup, and let the bread take in the syrup. Sprinkle with coriander and sugar.[9]

Good to know the fashionable longing for sugar isn’t fairly so fashionable, proper?

1 Almond Milk Rice

Medieval folks liked to cook dinner with almonds. Many recipes in The Forme of Cury include them, so it ought to be no shock that in addition they loved almond milk. The rice on this recipe would have come from the opposite aspect of the world, so solely the richest might afford to make this recipe.

This was principally a medieval rice pudding, and you could find a recipe for it right here.[10] Cook dinner the rice, drain it, and place it in a saucepan. Then cowl it with almond milk, and simmer for some time. Add honey and sugar, cook dinner till the entire combination thickens, and voila! Medieval rice pudding.


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