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Recommended Books


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Big Buttes Book: Annotated Dyets Dry Dinner
Michelle Enzinas
Five Rivers Chapmanry
ISBN: 1988274214

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Publisher's Notes:
In 1599 Henry Buttes wrote a slightly comical cookbook for the Bacon family, in order to raise funds for the construction of a church.

For the first time in modern history you may review Buttes' eight course feast, based on Elizabethan humours, edited for the modern kitchen. Original recipes, commentary on the medieval humours of each main ingredient, stories to amuse a Tudor noble, and explanations of Buttes' dry witticisms (plus a comprehensive glossary), make this book both the resource and discussion piece for your explorations into Tudor cuisine.

For those who like to experiment with cooking and want to have some historical fun playing in the kitchen or at the campfire.





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Boke of Keruynge
Peter Brears (ed.)
Southover Press
ISBN: 1870962192

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Publisher's Notes:
Wynkyn de Worde's elegant black-letter handbook, long out of print, remains a major source of information on the serving and eating of meals and feasts in the great houses of late medieval and early Tudor England. Southover's reprint carries a facsimile of the original text from Cambridge University Library, with a modern interpretation facing each page. The book explains in detail the intricate rituals of setting and waiting at table, how to prepare the dishes to be served and exactly what was eaten at different times of the year, and was written as an instruction manual for well-born boys as part of their early education. It also tells the reader how to carve meat, fowls and fish and to sauce each dish with its appropriate accompaniments, some of them very sophisticated. A description is included of the chamberlain's duties in his lord's chamber, dressing him and preparing him for church, and for bed. There is an interesting section on the order of precedence on feast days and great occasions.

Peter Brears writes an Introduction and provides a glossary and drawings to explain the complicated rituals, including the arrangement of cloths before and at the end of meals. His research into traditional domestic life, combined with extensive experience of cooking authentic meals in historic properties, has given him a unique knowledge of English food history. He was for twenty years director of York Castle as well as of Leeds City Museums. His books include The Gentlewoman's Kitchen (1984); Traditional Food in Yorkshire (1987); All the King's Cooks (1999), and The Compleat Housekeeper (2000).





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The Book of Sent Soví
Joan Santanach (ed.), Robin Vogelzang (trans.)
Tamesis Books
ISBN: 1855661640

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Publisher's Notes:
The Book of Sent Soví, composed around the middle of the fourteenth century, is the oldest surviving culinary text in Catalan. It is anonymous and, like the majority of medieval cookery books, is the product of a complex process of transmission, with multiple manuscript copies and readers who have left their mark on it. The contents are eminently practical. Successive cooks have recorded their own methods of preparing the dishes and recipes included, blending several culinary traditions in a single work. Sent Soví is also a reliable source of information on the cookery of the territories of the Crown of Aragon before the revolution caused by the arrival of products from the Americas.

This edition includes both an English translation, by Robin Vogelzang, and the original Catalan version. It has been the editor's aim to clarify the difficult passages in the book - sometimes corrupted because of the complex manuscript tradition - so that it can be understood as easily as possible by its twenty-first-century readers.





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Daz Buch von Guter Spise
Melitta Weiss Adamson (trans.)
Medium Aevum Quotidianum
ISBN: 3901094121

OUT OF PRINT

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Chiquart's "On Cookery"
Terence Scully (trans.)
Peter Lang Publishing
ISBN: 0820403520

OUT OF PRINT

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Publisher's Notes:
As chief cook of Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy (the future Pope Felix V), Chiquart was responsible both for the daily fare consumed at his master's court and for any formal Savoyard state banquets. The On Cookery, dictated by Chiquart in 1420, preserves precious evidence of how all of a chef's duties could be splendidly fulfilled in the most glorious European courts of his time. Chiquart provides detailed advice on how to arrange all the cooking facilities for a grand two-day banquet, to procure the huge quantities and variety of foodstuffs necessary, and then meticulously to prepare 81 of the most delicious dishes which might be served in it. The translator's Introduction examines Chiquart's unique work against the background of contemporary European culinary theory and practice.





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Cocatrice and Lampray Hay: Late Fifteenth-Century Recipes from Corpus Christi College Oxford
C. Hieatt
Prospect Books
ISBN: 1903018846

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Publisher's Notes:
Cocatrice and Lampray Hay is our title for this edition of the Corpus Christi College, Oxford MS F 291, which contains 99 recipes written in English (showing signs, the experts claim, of East Anglian provenance). The recipes are remarkable for their close attention to detail and much greater information about quantities of ingredients than similar collections from earlier centuries. They include dishes such as the famous cocatrice or basilisk, which is a combination of pig and chicken constructed as a fabulous beast, to the more mundane, but more cookable, blancmanges, stewed oysters, croustades, pies, venison, beef and chicken dishes. The edition gives the original text, a translation into modern English, a full commentary, and notes for the modern cook who wishes to interpret each dish in his or her own kitchen. The volume closes with a glossary or recipe titles and a concordance of this collection supplementary to the editor's fuller and earlier concordance of all medieval English recipes, allowing the reader to place this group in some form of culinary context.





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The Culinary Recipes of Medieval England
Constance B. Hieatt
Prospect Books
ISBN: 1909248304

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Publisher's Notes:
The great advantage for students of medieval English cookery is that there is an identifiable corpus of evidence in the manuscripts that have survived to the present day. Although there may be some new discoveries, in general terms the corpus is relatively stable. The beauty of this book is that it addresses the corpus as a whole and abstracts from it paradigm recipes for every medieval dish that we know about. With this book therefore a student can ask ‘How did they cook rabbit stew?’ and find a definitive answer, in modern English, with full references. This is a great step forward and the book will stand as a monument to the untiring efforts of the late Constance Hieatt to understand and interpret English cookery of the middle ages. The book is organised by category of dish (Pottage; Meat Dishes; Poultry and Game Birds; Fish; Eggs and Dairy Dishes; Sauces and Condiments, and Baked Dishes). For each dish the editor has chosen what is in her view the most typical example and, citing the source, translates the original text.





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Curye on Inglish
Constance B. Hieatt (ed.), Sharon Butler (ed.)
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0197224091

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Publisher's Notes:
This unique collection of recipes, or menus as they include not only how to make a dish but also how and when to serve it, has been compiled from more than twenty medieval manuscripts. The recipes date from the fourteenth century and are the earliest such examples in English. Interestingly, it appears that many of these recipes, found only on the menus of the upper classes, remained virtually unchanged until the sixteenth century.

The menus include the all-important order of serving, that strict etiquette that ruled medieval mealtimes, and which meant that most members of a household were only entitled to the first course and that the more delicate dishes were served only to the higher ranks. This too seems to have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

Here we can also see how it was thought natural to take the most substantial foods first, leaving the richer and sweeter courses for later, much as we do today. We do not, however, include small game birds as part of 'dessert' as these menus do.

Presented here in early English, this invaluable collection gives great insight into the medieval kitchen and household, and is the perfect guide to modern recreations of medieval meals and feasts.





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Dining at the Safavid Court: 16th Century Royal Persian Recipes
M. R. Ghanoonparvar (trans.)
Mazda Publishing
ISBN: 1568593066

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Publisher's Notes:
"Madatolhayat" is one of the few pre-twentieth century Persian culinary sources to have survived. Its author, Nurollah, was the chef to the most renowned king of the Safavid Dynasty, Shah Abbas I (1588-1629). Regarded as one of the greatest monarchs in Persian history, Shah Abbas moved the Safavid capital from Qazvin to Isfahan, reviving its glory and making this ancient city a cosmopolitan center once again by building magnificent architectural edifices, including palaces, mosques, bridges, and boulevards. In fact, Isfahan during his reign acquired the title of "Half the World," and its central square, with its two grand mosques, the Grand Bazaar, and the most important magnificent royal palace, Ali Qapu [the Grand Gate], became a center of government, religion, and commerce and was given the name "the Image of the World." Ali Qapu, a seven-story building, which with the exception of the domes and minarets of the great mosques was the highest building in the city even up to the second half of the twentieth century, was not only the residence of the royal family, but also the place where the king entertained the nobility and foreign emissaries.

In addition to a relatively large number of 16th century royal recipes, Nurollah's manuscript presents to the reader a picture of domestic life in Ali Qapu palace, including not only information about the type of food served but also instances of the king's personal involvement in more mundane tasks, such as cooking and experimenting with food preparation. In Dining at the Safavid Court, M. R. Ghanoonparvar provides us with a translation of Nurollah's culinary treatise, which was presented to his patron, Shah Abbas I, in gratitude for the king's permission to go on an offseason pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as modernized versions of the recipes in The Substance of Life.





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Du Fait De Cuisine: On Cookery Of Master Chiquart
Terence Scully (trans.)
MRTS
ISBN: 9780866984027

OUT OF PRINT

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Publisher's Notes:
Transcribed and translated with commentary by Terence Scully. The Archives of the Valais, Switzerland, hold a manuscript a culinary treatise of a certain Chiquart. Dated 1420, the Du fait de cuisine turned out to be a remarkable presentation of fine banquet fare and the best cookery practices of that time. The novel format that Chiquart chose for his work is of a pair of elegant two-day banquets, one for meat days, the other for lean days. Thirty-three more recipes cover contingencies: a prolongation of the banquet and the presence of sick persons at the lord’s court. An initial section of the work lists all the provisions and personnel that a cook should ensure he has at hand. This edition offers an introduction on the alimentary traditions that Chiquart drew upon and contributed to. An English translation, the only full English translation of the text available, accompanies the manuscript text. Footnotes help explain the techniques and procedures that Chiquart uses; an index helps the reader navigate the translated text.





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The English Housewife
Gervase Markham, Michael R. Best (ed.)
McGill-Queens University Press
ISBN: 0773511032

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Publisher's Notes:
In 1615 Englishman Gervase Markham published a handbook for housewives containing "all the virtuous knowledges and actions both of the mind and body, which ought to be in any complete housewife."

Markham reveals the "pretty and curious secrets" of preparing everything from simple foods to such elaborate meals as a "humble feast" - an undertaking which entails preparing "no less than two and thirty dishes, which is as much as can stand on one table." He instructs the housewife on brewing beer and caring for wine, growing flax and hemp for thread, and spinning and dyeing. As a housewife was also responsible for the health and "soundness of body" of her family, he includes advice on the prevention of everything from the plague to baldness and bad breath.

No other source from this period provides the same richness of information in such a readable style. Michael Best's introduction and his abundant notes make The English Housewife readily accessible to the contemporary reader.





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The French Cook
Francois Pierre La Varenne
Southover Press
ISBN: 1870962176

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Publisher's Notes:
Published in 1651, this revolutionary recipe book represents a move away from peasant traditions, and lays the foundations of classic French cuisine. La Varenne's was the first recipe book to receive international acclaim, and influenced European cookery for many centuries to come. Little is known of La Varenne's life, or if he was responsible for the considerable innovations that appear in his books, but he was certainly the first to write them down. They include recipes for omelettes, ragouts, bisques and caramel, new ways of spicing and flavouring dishes, many new technical terms and such as a la mode, au bleu, and au naturel, and countless other ideas that had not been known before and have now become part of our repertoire. Introduction by Philip and Mary Hyman, whose knowledge of Varenne is unrivalled.





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Good Housewife's Jewel
Maggie Black (ed.)
Southover Press
ISBN: 1870962125

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NOTE: This edition does not contain the full text of the original. The editor states in her introduction that she removed unnecessary punctuation, changed the order of the recipes, and removed some recipes that were duplicated within the original. These edits significantly reduce the value of this source for serious research. I include the book on this list only because it appears to be the only edition of "Good Housewife's Jewel" currently in print, and therefore is better than nothing.





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The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris)
Eileen Power (trans.)
Boydell Press
ISBN: 1843832224

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Publisher's Notes:
The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris) wrote this book for the instruction of his young wife around 1393. He was a wealthy and learned man, a member of that enlightened haute bourgeoisie upon which the French monarchy was coming to lean with increasing confidence. When he wrote his Treatise he was at least sixty but had recently married a young wife some forty years his junior. It fell to her to make his declining years comfortable, but it was his task to make it easy for her to do so. The first part deals with her religious and moral duties: as well as giving a unique picture of the medieval view of wifely behaviour it is illustrated by a series of stories drawn from the Goodman's extensive reading and personal experience. In the second part he turns from theory to practice and from soul to body, compiling the most exhaustive treatise on household management which has come down to us from the middle ages. Gardening, hiring of servants, the purchase and preparation of food are all covered, culminating in a detailed and elaborate cookery book. Sadly the author died before he could complete the third section on hawking, games and riddles. This unique glimpse of medieval domestic life presents a worldly, dignified and compelling picture in the words of a man of sensibility and substance. The distinguished historian EILEEN POWER was Professor of Economic History at the University of Cambridge.





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The Good Wife's Guide (Le Menagier de Paris): A Medieval Household Book
Gina L. Greco
Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801474744

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Publisher's Notes:
In the closing years of the fourteenth century, an anonymous French writer compiled a book addressed to a fifteen-year-old bride, narrated in the voice of her husband, a wealthy, aging Parisian. The book was designed to teach this young wife the moral attributes, duties, and conduct befitting a woman of her station in society, in the almost certain event of her widowhood and subsequent remarriage. The work also provides a rich assembly of practical materials for the wife's use and for her household, including treatises on gardening and shopping, tips on choosing servants, directions on the medical care of horses and the training of hawks, plus menus for elaborate feasts, and more than 380 recipes.

The Good Wife's Guide is the first complete modern English translation of this important medieval text also known as Le Ménagier de Paris (the Parisian household book), a work long recognized for its unique insights into the domestic life of the bourgeoisie during the later Middle Ages. The Good Wife's Guide, expertly rendered into modern English by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose, is accompanied by an informative critical introduction setting the work in its proper medieval context as a conduct manual. This edition presents the book in its entirety, as it must have existed for its earliest readers. The Guide is now a treasure for the classroom, appealing to anyone studying medieval literature or history or considering the complex lives of medieval women. It illuminates the milieu and composition process of medieval authors and will in turn fascinate cooking or horticulture enthusiasts. The work illustrates how a (perhaps fictional) Parisian householder of the late fourteenth century might well have trained his wife so that her behavior could reflect honorably on him and enhance his reputation.





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Libellus De Arte Coquinaria: An Early Northern Cookery Book
Vincent F. Cuenca (trans.), Rudolf Grewe (ed.), Constance B. Hieatt (ed.)
Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies
ISBN: 0866982647

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Publisher's Notes:
The collection of medieval culinary recipes here published dates from the early thirteenth century and is likely to be the earliest witness we have to a number of recipes that appear again and again in later medieval collections. This critical edition of thirty-five recipes from four Danish, Icelandic, and Low German manuscripts records culinary themes that were to flourish throughout the later Middle Ages and is a major contribution to the literature on food. The volume includes translations, textual notes, a commentary, and detailed indices covering utensils, procedures, ingredients, dishes, and a glossary for each of the three languages.





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The Medieval Cookbook
Maggie Black
J. Paul Getty Museum
ISBN: 9781606061091

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Publisher's Notes:
This book takes the reader on a gastronomic journey through the Middle Ages, offering not only a collection of medieval recipes, but a social history of the time. The eighty recipes, drawn from the earliest English cookbooks of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are presented in two formats: the original Middle English version and one adapted and tested for the modern cook.

In a fascinating introduction, the author describes the range of available ingredients in medieval times and the meals that could be prepared from them—from simple daily snacks to celebratory feasts—as well as the preparation of the table, prescribed dining etiquette, and the various entertainments that accompanied elite banquets. Each chapter presents a series of recipes inspired by a historical event, a piece of literature, or a social occasion. Here we find descriptions of the grilled meats consumed by William the Conqueror's invading forces; the pies and puddings enjoyed by the pilgrims in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales; and the more sumptuous fare served at royal feasts and Christmas celebrations.

Beautifully illustrated with lively dining scenes from illuminated manuscripts and tapestries, this book serves up a delightful literary and visual repast for anyone interested in the history of food and dining.





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The Most Excellent Book of Cookery
Ken Albala (Translator), Timothy J Tomasik (Translator)
Prospect Books
ISBN: 190301896X

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Publisher's Notes:
The Livre fort excellent de cuysine is one of a family of cookery books that first saw the light with Pierre Sergent’s La Fleur de toute cuysine (renamed Le Grand cuisinier de toute cuisine) of 1542. This edition of the Livre fort excellent was published in 1555. Scholars have often dismissed the printed cookbooks of 16th-century France as simple rehashes of the great medieval Viandier of Taillevent or as merely concentrating on marginal dishes such as sweets and sugarwork. True French cooking, they say, did not start until the publication of Le Cuisinier françois by La Varenne in 1651. While there is some truth in this, the translators and editors of this book would maintain that the change from medieval to modern (already under way in Italy and Spain for example) can be dated back to this book and its kindred; that it was more than a plagiaristic copy.

The Livre fort comprises about 70 pages of original French, with an English translation on facing pages. The translation is the work of Timothy J. Tomasik, Associate Professor of French, Valparaiso University, Indiana; an historical introduction discussing the culinary significance of the work is by Ken Albala, Professor of History at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Professor Tomasik has translated other contemporary gastronomic texts and has written many articles on the French table in the Renaissance, and co-edited the volume At the Table: Metaphorical and Material Cultures of Food in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Professor Albala is the author of Eating Right in the Renaissance and a leading light in historical food studies here and in America. He is editor of the journal Food, Culture and Society.





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The Neapolitan Recipe Collection: Cuoco Napoletano
Terence Scully (trans.)
University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 047203636X

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Publisher's Notes:
The fields of cookery and medieval food have recently drawn the attention of those interested in a panoramic picture of aristocratic and bourgeois social life in the late Middle Ages. In the fifteenth century, wealthy courts in the Italian peninsula led all of Europe in gastronomical achievement. The professional cooks in palaces such as those of the Este, Medici, and Borgia families were the most advanced masters of their craft, and some of them bequeathed a record of their practice in manuscript collections of recipes.

Outstanding among these early cookbooks is the one written by an anonymous master cook in Naples toward the end of the century. In its 220 recipes, we can trace not only the Italian culinary practice of the day but also the very refined taste brought by the Catalan royal family when they ruled Naples. This edition--with its introduction touching on the nature of cookery in the Neapolitano Collection, and its commentary on the individual recipes and its English translation of those recipes--will give the reader a glimpse into the rich fare available to occupants and guests of one of the greatest houses of late medieval Italy.

The Neapolitan Recipe Collection offers a particularly delicious slice of the primary documentation necessary for understanding the nature of medieval society and one of its most important aspects.





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The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi
Terence Scully (trans.)
University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442611480

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Publisher's Notes:
Bartolomeo Scappi (c. 1500-1577) was arguably the most famous chef of the Italian Renaissance. He oversaw the preparation of meals for several Cardinals and was such a master of his profession that he became the personal cook for two Popes. At the culmination of his prolific career he compiled the largest cookery treatise of the period to instruct an apprentice on the full craft of fine cuisine, its methods, ingredients, and recipes. Accompanying his book was a set of unique and precious engravings that show the ideal kitchen of his day, its operations and myriad utensils, and are exquisitely reproduced in this volume.

Scappi's Opera presents more than one thousand recipes along with menus that comprise up to a hundred dishes, while also commenting on a cook's responsibilities. Scappi also included a fascinating account of a pope's funeral and the complex procedures for feeding the cardinals during the ensuing conclave. His recipes inherit medieval culinary customs, but also anticipate modern Italian cookery with a segment of 230 recipes for pastry of plain and flaky dough (torte, ciambelle, pastizzi, crostate) and pasta (tortellini, tagliatelli, struffoli, ravioli, pizza).

Terence Scully presents the first English translation of the work. His aim is to make the recipes and the broad experience of this sophisticated papal cook accessible to a modern English audience interested in the culinary expertise and gastronomic refinement within the most civilized niche of Renaissance society.





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A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye
Anne Ahmed (ed.)
Corpus Christi College
ISBN: 095042613X

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Publisher's Notes:
The original of A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye is in the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College, and was donated by Matthew Parker, the fourteenth Master, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury. The book is thought to have been used by his wife Margaret.

Anne Ahmed, the wife of the present Master, has prepared this new edition of the book for the 650th anniversary celebrations of the College.

The original recipes are presented in facsimile alongside an interpretation. Updated versions of some of these recipes are included to encourage readers to try for themselves Margaret Parker's dishes from a bygone age.

This hardback book of 112 pages is delightfully illustrated and includes a brief introduction to the life and times of Matthew and Margaret Parker.

Reviews:
by Johnna Holloway for "Serve It Forth!"





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Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany
Daniel Myers (ed.)
Blackspoon Press
ISBN: 0692477829

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Publisher's Notes:
The Wagstaff Miscellany is a collection of recipes, poems, and other texts written sometime in the fifteenth century. This book contains a transcription of the 189 culinary recipes from the miscellany in the original Middle English, along with notes and related recipes from other contemporary sources.

[Note that the recipes in this work are included in the Medieval Cookbook Search and the full text appears in serialized form on the The Medieval Cookery Blog. Any purchase of this print edition helps support this website]





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Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book
Daniel Myers (ed.)
Blackspoon Press
ISBN: 0692591737

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Publisher's Notes:
John Crophill’s Commonplace Book is a collection of texts on astrology, alchemy, cooking, and medicine assembled in the late fifteenth century. This book contains a transcription of the 69 culinary recipes in the original Middle English, along with notes and related recipes from other contemporary sources.

[Note that the recipes in this work are included in the Medieval Cookbook Search and the full text appears in serialized form on the The Medieval Cookery Blog. Any purchase of this print edition helps support this website]





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Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook
Charles Perry (trans.)
NYU Press
ISBN: 1479856282

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Publisher's Notes:
This popular 13th-century Syrian cookbook is an ode to what its anonymous author calls the “greater part of the pleasure of this life,” namely the consumption of food and drink, as well as the fragrances that garnish the meals and the diners who enjoy them. Collecting 635 meticulous recipes, Scents and Flavors invites us to savor an inventive cuisine that elevates simple ingredients by combining the sundry aromas of herbs, spices, fruits, and flower essences.

Organized like a meal, it opens with appetizers and juices and proceeds through main courses, side dishes, and desserts, including such confections as candies based on the higher densities of sugar syrup—an innovation unique to the medieval Arab world. Apricot beverages, stuffed eggplant, pistachio chicken, coriander stew, melon crepes, and almond pudding are seasoned with nutmeg, rose, cloves, saffron, and the occasional rare ingredient like ambergris to delight and surprise the banqueter. Bookended by chapters on preparatory perfumes, incenses, medicinal oils, antiperspirant powders, and after-meal hand soaps, this comprehensive culinary journey is a feast for all the senses.

With the exception of four extant Babylonian and Roman specimens, cookbooks did not appear on the world literary scene until Arabic speakers began compiling their recipe collections in the tenth century, peaking in popularity in the thirteenth century. Scents and Flavors quickly became a bestseller during this golden age of cookbooks, and remains today a delectable read for epicures and cultural historians alike.





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Take a Thousand Eggs or More: A Collection of 15th Century Recipes
Cindy Renfrow
Royal Fireworks Press
ISBN: 0898249503

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Publisher's Notes:
The original recipes are translated by the author from Harleian MS. 279, Harleian MS. 4016, and Extracts of Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, and Douce MS. 55. They are reprinted by permission of the Council of the Early English Text Society. Take a Thousand Eggs or More features over 400 15th century recipes. These are presented in transcription with simultaneous Modern English translations. Over 120 of the recipes have been modernized and are easy to prepare and delicious. Sample medieval feast menus have been included. Also features: Two Glossaries. Bibliography. An expanded how-to section. All lavishly illustrated with period woodcuts. Fully indexed.





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Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books 1430-1450
Faulke Watling (ed.), Thomas Austin (ed.)
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0859918491

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Publisher's Notes:
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.





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La Varenne's Cookery
François Pierre De La Varenne, Terence Scully (Trans.)
Prospect Books
ISBN: 1903018412

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Publisher's Notes:
These three books by François Pierre de la Varenne (c. 1615-1678), who was chef to the Marquis d'Uxelles, are the most important French cookery books of the seventeenth century. It was the first French cookery book of any substance since Le Viandier almost 300 years before, and it ran to thirty editions in 75 years. The reason for its success was simply; it was the first book to record and embody the immense advances which French cooking had made, largely under the influence Italy and the Renaissance, since the fifteenth century. Some characteristics of medieval cookery are still visible, but many have disappeared. New World ingredients make their entrance. A surprising number of recipes for dishes still made in modern times (omelettes, beignets, even pumpkin pie) are given. The watershed from medieval to modern times is being crossed under our eyes in La Varenne's pages.

So important was this book that English cooks of the time immediately bought copies and one (anonymous) even translated it into English in the middle of the Puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell. This translation, as is the original, is extremely difficult to understand: there are difficult words, omissions, mistranslations, and other opacities. Terence Scully has solved all modern readers' problems by undertaking a modern translation with detailed commentary of the original French texts. His work takes cognisance of the early English translation, as well as not ignoring contemporary works available to those early cooks for purposes of comparison and contrast. Even French people will want to buy it for what he tells us of the workings of the French kitchen in the seventeenth century.





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The Viandier of Taillevent
Terence Scully (trans.)
University of Ottawa Press
ISBN: 0776601741

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Publisher's Notes:
This volume presents, for the first time, all four extant manuscripts of the "Viandier"'s recipes written in the fourteenth century by Guillaume Tairel. These manuscripts represent more than a century of modifications in gastronomic tastes and culinary practices in French seigneurial life. Also included are an extensive commentary, notes and bibliography as well as a glossary and modern adaptations of five recipes.





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The Vivendier: A Fifteenth-Century French Cookery Manuscript
Terence Scully (trans.)
Prospect Books
ISBN: 0907325815

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Publisher's Notes:
The Vivendier is a hitherto unpublished manuscript of more than sixty recipes embedded within a miscellany of medical, botanical, household and personal advice compiled in north-eastern France in the middle of the

fifteenth century. It is now housed in the Gesamthochschul-Bibliothek in Kassel. Although deriving much of its contents from sources already known to us, it is a unique and instructive collection. Terence Scully, who has already edited the Viandier of Taillevent, and the treatise on cookery by Maistre Chiquart, as well as writing the important book The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, has done great service to scholars and enthusiasts of medieval cooking by bringing this new source to their attention. The edition provides the original text, a modern translation, critical notes on the language as well as the cookery, comparisons with extant manuscripts that provided source material, and a full introduction.





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Zinziber: Sauces from Poitou
Giles E.M. Gasper, Faith Wallis, Caroline Yeldham, Rachael V. Matthews, Andy Hook
Prospect Books
ISBN: 1909248347

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Publisher's Notes:
The manuscript tradition of English cookery is for the most part clear: scholars have probably already unearthed most of what has remained and, in large part, the manuscripts were composed in the later Middle Ages. Among the muniments of Durham Cathedral Priory, however, many of which are now in a Cambridge college, there has survived a single sheet headed ‘Here begin different kinds of condiments from Poitou’ (it is embedded in a manuscript containing medical recipes). This appears to date from the middle of the 12th century, some 150 years before our hitherto earliest extant culinary MS. This book is written by the scholars who discovered and interpreted the manuscript and the modern chefs and cooks who have recreated the dishes. It contains a full transcript and translation of the MS, an extended discussion of the flavourings deployed and the culinary tradition from whence it hails, and an assessment of its medical context. It closes with a set of modern recipes for those who wish to try these arresting flavours, which use tastes that we now reckon marginal or difficult in culinary terms, such as costmary, southernwood, savory and hyssop, and spices such as zeodary, spikenard and galingale.










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