Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food. ~Hippocrates Food and medicine, always intertwined in the human imagination. Because – obviously – the earliest English settlers brought their food habits and medicinal beliefs with them to what is now the United States, I relish books that provide background to the English way […]Read more "Medieval England: Medicine as Food, Food as Medicine"
Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition (Medieval History and Archaeology), by C. M. Woolgar, Dale Serjeantson, and Tony Waldron (paperback, 2009) In the unending quest to find models for culinary historiography, here’s another fairly up-to-date addition to the growing list: This book draws on the latest research across different disciplines to present the most […]Read more "Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition"
Fish Stomachs???? You might believe that fishcakes, along with fritters and croquettes, began as members of the thrifty Leftovers family. But in fact, early medieval English cooks made fishcakes from fish stomachs, which many might consider carrying thrift just a little too far. There is actually a fishcake recipe, on page 170 of Madeleine Pelner […]Read more "Fish Stomachs?????"
The Catholic Church influenced many things, even (especially?) agriculture, as this passage from History of the English Landed Interest: Its Customs, Laws, and Agriculture, by Russell Montague Garnier (1908) 2nd. ed, vol. 1, implies. The monastery libraries also held much treasure, opening up the monks to the wonders of old knowledge and enabling them to […]Read more "The Random Herbalist: The Church as Farmer"
THE COOK FOR THE INFIRMARY (p. 204-205) [Note: The Abbey paid the infirmary cook for his services, since this person did not belong to the cloistered community.] For the infirmary, and especially for the use of those who had been subjected to the periodical blood-letting, there was a special cook skilled in the preparation of […]Read more "At the Tables of the Monks: The Infirmary Cook"