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Medieval Cookery - A Dictionary of Middle-English Cooking Terms

The index below covers a range of Middle-English terms used in medieval English cooking texts. Included are some of the more unusual spelling variants for modern words, English words still in use but considered archaic or old fashioned, and words common to England that may be unknown elsewhere (e.g. the names of English river fish).

Currently listed are terms used in Forme of Cury and Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books .


temper : To mix, usually combining dry and liquid ingredients. Temper has connotations of balancing as well.

tenches : Tench (Tinca tinca). A common freshwater fish of Europe.

trap : A plate or pan for making pies.

trenchours (trenchers) : Rectangular "plates" made from flat, three-day-old loaves of bread.

turbut : Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). A large, flat saltwater fish.

turnesole : A number of plants of the genus Heliotropium, used to produce red, purple, or blue colors.