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Cameline was one of the most common sauces used in the middle ages. It was so common that it could be purchased pre-made from vendors in late 14th century Paris. When the Ménagier was instructing his new wife about shopping he wrote, "At the sauce-maker's, three half-pints of cameline for dinner and supper and a quart of sorrel verjuice."

The following recipe is a typical one, based on a 15th century English source. I've added salt (common to over half of the sources I consulted), and boiled the sauce (which was sometimes done, and other times not). The result is a sweet and zesty sauce that is more than a little like modern steak sauce.

3 slices white bread
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 Tbsp. sugar
pinch saffron
1/4 tsp. salt

Cut bread in pieces and place in a bowl with wine and vinegar. Allow to soak, stirring occasionally, until bread turns to mush. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pressing well to get as much the liquid as possible out of the bread. Add spices and bring to a low boil, simmering until thick. Serve warm.

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: Sauce gamelyne. Take faire brede, and kutte it, and take vinegre and wyne, & stepe þe brede therein, and drawe hit thorgh a streynour with powder of canel, and drawe hit twies or thries til hit be smoth; and þen take pouder of ginger, Sugur, and pouder of cloues, and cast þerto a litul saffron and let hit be thik ynogh, and thenne serue hit forthe.

Published: July 13, 2006



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