Take oysters, parboile hem in her owne broth, make a lyour of crustes of brede & drawe it up wiþ the broth and vynegur mynce oynouns & do þerto with erbes. & cast the oysters þerinne. boile it. & do þerto powdour fort & salt. & messe it forth.
Three European 14th Century
cookbooks:The Forme of Cury
, source of the above oysters recipe, is a collection of 14th Century recipes
compiled by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II of England (1377-1399)
around 1390. This version has an extensive introduction and extremely helpful annotation by Samuel Pegge, who published his edition in 1791 (many of the oddly spelled and unrecognizable words are explained at the top of the document).
Feast like a Plantaganet.
Le Viandier de Taillevent
is attributed to Guillaume Tirel
(aka Taillevent), 14th Century cook in the French Court, although the earliest version of the book has been traced to 1300, before Tirel's birth. Index of recipes
. Le Viandier has lots of suggestions for fancy ways to feed your Valois King employer.
Le Menagier de Paris
is, in its complete version
, a book of guidance for women on marriage and running a household
, written around 1393 by an unknown author. The version linked is only the food section. It contains recipes as well as complete menus, and shopping lists, and some sassy cooking and household advice: "Shoulder of Mutton, these are nothing but trouble and work. ... hedgehogs are made with mutton balls, and this is very expensive and a lot of work with poor returns and little profit, so no more of this." ... and the ever-important "MEDICINE TO CURE THE BITE OF A DOG OR OTHER ENRAGED BEAST. Take a crust of bread and write the following: Bestera bestie nay brigonay dictera sagragan es domina fiat fiat fiat."
Bonus Roman Cookbook:
Apicius: De Re Coquinaria
is the earliest known European cookbook, and it's not Medieval at all. Compiled in the 4th or 5th Century by an unknown author, the book is named for 1st Century Roman gourmand Marcus Gavius Apicius
, about whom Athenaeus
writes, "About the time of Tiberius [42 B.C.-37 A.D.] there lived a man, named Apicius; very rich and luxurious, for whom several kinds of cheesecake called Apician, are named. He spent myriads of drachmas on his belly, living chiefly at Minturnæ, a city of Campania, eating very expensive crawfish, which are found in that place superior in size to those of Smyrna, or even to the crabs of Alexandria." More navigable but less pretty version
Feast like Apicius