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On Lady-day In March (the 25th)

This is an excerpt from Le Menagier de Paris
(France, 1393 - Janet Hinson, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

On Lady-day in March (the 25th), the appearance of antlers begins, and they say `mid-May, a half-head' (and also 'mid-June, half fat; On Magdalene day, true venison'), because the deer's antlers are half-grown; but the true course of antlers begins on Holy Cross in May [the 3rd, ancient opening day of deer-season], and from then the deer grows into venison until Magdalene-day, and can be hunted until Holy Cross in September; and then the season is over.

Item, when gutting it, you first remove the dainties, which are the c.....ns [letters missing (JH)], which include the flesh of the nape between neck and shoulders, vein from the heart, liver, etc. And these dainties are parboiled, then cooked, and eaten with hot sauce. [These so-called dainties were reserved to the lord, who often ate them immediately after the hunt..

Item, in a deer there are shoulders, breasts, thighs, liver, numbles, loins, the tail, actually this is the disseminator, the two flanks, and that is all.

Item, the fresh pieces of meat, it seems that without parboiling they can be put in boiling water, and quickly removed and larded, and boiled and larded, then boiled in water, and this soup is called 'lardy soup with spices and garnishes'.

Item, the numbles are roasted with hot sauce.

Item, the loins, which are the part between the flank and the spine; and they are better in pastry than otherwise.

Item, also a fresh deer is eaten with a hot sauce, when it is put on to roast.

Item, you make a gift of the head and the feet to the lords, and do not eat them: they are only to know what sort and what age the deer was; but for eating, the lords are presented with the sexual organs, the breast and the two flanks.

Item, the tail is called the sexual organ: and if you wish to salt it, you must remove all the bones you can, because it contains a large part of the back.

Item, the breast is good salted; and salt venison the same as beef.

Item, all the innards, except the liver, are used as quarry for training the dogs, and are called the hallooing.


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