Gode Cookery
June 3, 2005 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Gode Cookery. A compilation of medieval recipes adapted for the 21st century kitchen. [via Monkeyfilter]
posted by jb (15 comments total)

I don't know, an evyll cookie sounds kind of good right now.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:48 AM on June 3, 2005

posted by adamvasco at 10:00 AM on June 3, 2005

Previously on Metafilter (not technically a double post)
posted by anastasiav at 10:06 AM on June 3, 2005

I just finished a multi-disciplinary course on "The Age Of Alchemy" and the topic of food (and "housewifery") was brough up a couple times. This would have been a good resource for that.
posted by piratebowling at 10:13 AM on June 3, 2005

Sorry, I should have searched the comments as well.

The monkeyfilter post I got the link from also has more sites on historical cooking.
posted by jb at 10:16 AM on June 3, 2005

For shame, you gluttonous lot! Glottony caused the Fall. And people who love food are bad. And cooks are especially bad for enabling them (and so on). At least that's what Chaucer's Pardoner says (compare also the Parson's description of gluttony):

O glotonye, ful of cursedness!
O cause first of oure confusioun!
O original or oure dampnacioun
Corrupt was al this world for glotonye
Thise cookes, how they stampe, and streyne, and grynde,
And turnen substaunce into accident
To fulfille al thy likerous talent!
... he that haunteth swich delices
Is deed, whil that he lyvith in tho vices

[Wait... this is the medieval discussion group, isn't it?]
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 10:28 AM on June 3, 2005

"...beat the egg whites separately from the yolks, and fry them in some lard to a thin layer. Make similar layers from the yolks. Spread fried apples, raisins, or figs on the layers, place them on top of each other, and roll them up; arrange them so that the cross-cut looks like a rose."

I think I am going to need some illustrations to complete this project.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:48 AM on June 3, 2005

There's a lot of meat goin' on in those recipes.
posted by dammitjim at 12:57 PM on June 3, 2005

I don't imagine this was average peasant fare.

That said, apparently in seventeenth century England, poor people were eating a lot more food than had been thought (something like 2-3000 calories a day, and that was people in the poor house), and a fair bit of it meat. I wonder if that was true earlier?
posted by jb at 9:56 PM on June 3, 2005

By the 17th century England had converted much of its farming to grazing, it went from a country of farmers to a country of shepherds.
posted by stbalbach at 10:20 PM on June 3, 2005

There still was a fair bit of arable (I could go find maps, but I'm lazy) and grain prices were high in the seventeenth century, encouraging more grain to be grown, but, yes, England had more pastoral than most places on the continent.

But I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot of grazing in the late medieval, what with the real drop in population and the need to make land pay with less labour. Now that I think about it, most enclosures in the fifteenth and early sixteenth century led to depopulation and replacement with pastoral (leading to Eliz's gov't being somewhat freaked, and passing laws against converting tillage to pastoral), but seventeenth and eighteenth century enclosures tended to lead to mixed husbandry, like convertible farming. That upped both pastoral and arable (being a system of fallow with grazing that could increase production).

But altogether, food prices compared to wages were much lower in the fifteenth century - I think that the real wage was better than then it would be until the nineteenth century. Which is always something that makes me Hmmm.
posted by jb at 10:56 PM on June 3, 2005

jb: Wow. How do you know all of that? Are there books on this sort of stuff?

On preview: Duh, I feel like an idiot for that last sentence, but it's now too funny not to post. Didn't mean to be flippant; I'm impressed by your knowledge.
posted by Netzapper at 1:36 PM on June 6, 2005

Netzapper - I'm actually a history student. My thesis is on social change in rural England circa 1650-1750. I don't really know any other history, which is why I go on about what I do know.

Yes, there are books on this. Lots and lots of books. Too many books - do you want to read some and tell me what they say? :)

After the Black Death is a really good short introduction to the basic social history of Early Modern Europe. For Britain 1450 to 1550, Earthly Necessities is good discussion of economic and social history, though really it's primarily England.
posted by jb at 6:12 PM on June 6, 2005

For medieval Europe, I'm not expert, but Marc Bloch's Feudal Society (2 volumes, but both are short) is quite old, but still very respected, and an excellent read. Perhaps it would be best to supplement with a more recent book, as some thinking has changed since he wrote it in the 1930s, but the basics are still there. The journal and school Bloch helped form, the Annales, is one of the most important for contributions to medieval and early modern social and economic history.
posted by jb at 9:48 PM on June 6, 2005

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