Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

fd-Poland-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

fd-Poland-msg – 2/23/12

 

Food of period Poland. References.

 

NOTE: See also the files: East-Eur-msg, Russia-msg, fd-Russia-msg, fd-Germany-msg, Poland-msg, Hungary-msg, Russia-bib, fd-East-Eur-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 19:21:38 -0400

From: Jeff Botkins <jbotkins at ime.net>

Subject: Re: SC - A good gentles persona

 

> Several days ago we were discussing a gentles persona and their leaning

> towards Polish. Given that I have probably 0% memory retention, was there a

> discussion on this book and if so can we reiterate? I got this reference

> from a friend who had the book in her hot little hands but was in the

> process of sending it back to the University library that it came from.

> Old Polish Traditions in the Kitchen and at the Table

> By Maria Lemnis and Henryk Vitry

> Translated by Eliza Lewandowska

> ISBN 183-223-1783-2

> Interpress Publishers Warsaw

> Micaylah

 

As an additional note, I found this book on Amazon.com....$10...

But, the ISBN is Different then the one given below.

Here's what the ISBN is now (per Amazon.com):  078-180-488-4

 

Jeff

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 11:04:27 EDT

From: Jgoldsp at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Different ISBN

 

>Hardcover and softcover editions of the same book have different ISBNs.

>That is probably the difference.  Bear

 

Yes second printing "Old polish traditions"

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 12:17:19

From: <cmccraw at comp.uark.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: new book on food

 

I just saw this advertised in a catalog for the University of Pennsylvania

Press. Before I describe the book, please note the following:  The expected

date of publication is JUNE 1999. Don't look for it until then!!

 

Food and Drink in Medieval Poland, Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past

authors: Maria Dembinska with William Woys Weaver

isbn: 0-8122-3224-0  expected price: $29.95

 

This book is the result of a twenty year collobaration betwen the two food

historians and includes 35 recipes.

 

I'm excited. I went to a Polish-inspired feast about 10 years ago and loved

the food.

 

Fionna

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 16:26:02 -0600 (CST)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)

Subject: SC - Period (?) Polish Cookbook Coming

 

Greetings! This was just on the Middle Kingdom LaurelNet and I thought

you all might be interested... Especially those of you from whom I buy

books! :-)

 

The "Congress" mentioned is the Medieval Congress held in Kalamazoo

each spring.

 

Alys Katharine

 

Subject: MIDLAUREL: New Period Polish cookbook comin' soon!

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 11:28:42 -0500

 

The book is due out in June, according to my Congress program.

It's from the University of Pennsylvania Press

 

Title: Food and drink in Medieval Poland: rediscovering a cuisine of

the past

Author: Maria Dembinska, translated by Magdalena Thomas, edited and

adapted by William Wos Weaver

 

"This book is the first of its kind in English to explore the

fascinating culinary history of medieval Poland, and includes

thirty-five carefully reconstructed recipes."

 

200 pages, 39 illustrations $29.95 clothbound

No ISBN given :(

 

Univ of Penn Press: 1-800-445-9880

www.upenn.edu/pennpress

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:42:32 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period (?) Polish Cookbook Coming

 

According to the Library of Congress, the ISBN

for this book is:

 

0812232240

 

And for those in the Boston area, The Harvard general

library has got this book on order already.

 

I have just visited Amazon.com and they already have

this book in their data base. And at a discount!

For $20.95!  And if you haven't guessed already,

I have just ordered it for myself.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 14:39:57 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Polish food from 1682

 

- --- "ana l. valdes" <agora at algonet.se> wrote:

> Is somebody who knows something about Compendium

> Ferculorum, written by Stanislaw Czerniecki, published in Cracow 1682?

> According to my Swedish sources (Sweden and Polen was the same kingdom

> during several years), this book is divided between one chapter with

> meatdishes, one with fishdishes and the last one med cakes, pies and

> bread.

 

I don't know about this cookbook, but there is a book

soon to be published called, "Food and drink in

Medieval Poland : rediscovering a cuisine of the

past", written by Maria Dembinska and translated

into English by Magdelena Thomas.  It is will be

published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

ISBN 0812232240.

 

I don't know if this will cover the cookbook that

you are interested in.  I also don't know the

quality of the book I have mentioned as it has

not been published yet.  Hopefully, it will be a

good book.

 

I am also purchasing [blindly unfortunately] a

book called, "Old Polish Traditions in the Kitchen

and at the Table", bu Maria Lemnis, Henryk Vitry,

and Davidovic Mladen.  Published by Hippocrene Books.

ISBN 0781804884.  The review on Amazon.com says,

"The author(s) describe a period in Polish history,

... and then give you recipes for the foods that

were prominent at that time."  I will let you know

if this is worth purchasing when I get my copy from

Amazon.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 17:39:57 -0700 (PDT)

From: H B <nn3_shay at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - Fwd: [SCA-U] Food and Drink in Medieval Poland [Long REVIEW]

 

This was posted to the Universitas list -- I thought some of you would

be interested!

- --Harriet

 

- --- Jenne Heise <jenne at TULGEY.BROWSER.NET> wrote:

> Date:         Wed, 18 Aug 1999 15:18:02 -0400

> Reply-to:     SCA Forum for Research in Medieval and Renaissance

> Re-enactment

>               <SCA-UNIVERSITAS at LIST.UVM.EDU>

> From:         Jenne Heise <jenne at TULGEY.BROWSER.NET>

> Subject:      [SCA-U] Food and Drink in Medieval Poland [Long REVIEW]

> To:           SCA-UNIVERSITAS at LIST.UVM.EDU

> The long-awaited book _Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a

> Cuisine of the Past_, which is an adaptation by William Woys Weaver of a

> 1963 volume by Maria Dembinska, is finally available. I know, because our

> university bookstore just delivered my copy into my little hot hands

> today.

> First, the bad news. It's an adaptation of a translation, so a lot of the

> extensive annotations that Weaver says were in the main text were omitted.

> It includes a section of recipes, but all of them are RECREATIONS, not

> redactions or original recipes. The first cookbook in Polish was not

> published until 1532, thus putting it outside the scope of the academic

> definition of medievalism. (But wouldn't I love to get my hands on a

> translation of that!) As a result, the author(s) derive their data from

> archaelogy/ethnography, economic history, household accounts, and period

> cookbooks that might/would have been available to the Polish nobility,

> among other sources.

> That's the bad news. The good news: this is by far the most comprehensive

> book on the subject, and the most historical, I have come across in my

> reading. The original author was a recognized academic expert, and the

> adaptor is a food historian. Not only is the book excellently written, but

> it is jammed with not only food history, but food historiography,

> ethnography, archaelogy, and domestic and political history. The recipes

> are excellent, though some of them will require ingredients only

> available to the diligent gardener. The cook wishing to present a period

> table will find the comments on cooking and serving in the period manner

> invaluable. The illustrations-- drool, drool-- include not only a few of

> the usual woodcut reproductions and coats of arms, but 21 drawings of

> actual medieval cooking utensils, and illustrations of various vegetables.

> The author(s) in analysis are careful to note where assumptions are being

> made or theories advanced, and to point out holes in the documentation

> and/or history.

> Chapter 1, "Toward a definition of Polish National Cookery", is actually a

> essay on cookbooks, food history, and general comments on 'Polish' cuisine

> as a style. In a way, it is also a review of the records available for

> researching Medieval Polish cooking.

> Chapter 2, "Poland in the Middle Ages" is meant to be a backdrop, a review

> of the history of Poland as it affects food and food history, for those

> not familiar with the history. But it is also about domestic history.

> Pages 42 and 43 show two excellent illustrations of medieval forks and

> information about the few records of forks outside the Byzantine empire in

> the middle ages. Of special interest is the section on the Cracow congress

> of 1364.

> Chapter 3, "The Dramatis Personae of the Old Polish Table", not only gives

> a exhaustive list of staff associated with the Royal court and associated

> with food -- with descriptions of their duties and their Latin and Polish

> titles-- but also describes the style of serving and approximate

> quantities. It also gives a descriptive list of the furnishings of the

> medieval Polish kitchen and units of measure.

> Chapter 4, "Food and Drink in Medieval Poland", covers drink (types

> of wine, beer, mead, and even a nod to vodka), meat (beef, pork [including

> sausages], organ meats and veal, poultry, game and fish), grains, breads

> and baked goods, kitchen produce, and fruits and nuts.

> The second section of the book, "Medieval Recipes in the Polish style",

> includes recipes for:

> - Gruel of Mixed Grains

> - Courtier's Pottage

> - Compositium of Cabbage, Chard, Dill and Mushrooms

> - Stew of Parsnips, Leeks and Alexanders

> - Cheese Dumplings

> - Pears stewed with cucumbers and figs

> - Chicken Baked with Prunes

> - Green Mustard Sauce

> - Lentils and Skirrets with Bacon

> - Beer Soup with Cheese and Eggs

> - Millet Flour Soup

> - Oat Flour Soup

> - Polish Hydromel

> - Fermented Barley Soup

> - Fish Aspic

> - Prepared Fish stock

> - Lavender Vinegar

> - Game Stewed with Sauerkraut

> - Hashmeat in the Cypriot Style

> - Saffron Wafers

> - Pike in Polish Sauce

> - Fast Day Pancakes

> - Ham stewed with cucumbers

> - Wroclaw Trencher Bread

> - Thick Beer or Sourdough Starter

> - Turnip Kugel

> - Tripe in Sauerkraut

> - Polish Sauce for Fast days and Tripe

> - Court Dish of Baked Fruit

> - Skirrets Stewed with Fish

> - Stewed Pig Tails with Buckwheat Gruel

> - Pomeranian Trojniak

> - Hungarian Style Spit-Roasted Shoulder of Venison

> - Cubeb Vinegar

> - Turnip Gruel

> Of special interest will be the comments on Trenchers, their creation and

> use in the Trencher Bread recipe, and the comments on spit-roasting in the

> venison recipe.

> The book includes an extensive bibliography and a very nice index. (Just

> reading the notes is an education).

> Full citation in case I've convinced you you need this book (You do, trust

> me, you do!):

> Food and Drink in Medieval Poland : Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past

> by Maria Dembinska, Magdalena Thomas (Translator), William Woys Weaver

> (Editor) (Philadephia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999); ISBN:

> 0812232240. List price is $29.95.

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental), mka Jennifer Heise

> jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 18:49:00 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Book on Polish Cooking

 

- --- Hank <steinfeld at tqci.net> wrote:

> Unto all a good day to you.  I have happened upon a

> book on Polish Traditional cooking which includes

> some historical points to the 11th Century.

> Available from Amazon it is called "Old Polish

> Traditions in the Kitchen and at the Table" by

> Lemnis and Vitry.

>

> Might be of interest to those like myself preparing

> an Eastern European Feast.

>

> Muirghen

 

I have a copy of this book.  It has absolutely no

documentation as to where they get their facts,

recipes, and information.  Many of the recipes are

modern. The rest are questionable.  If you want a

better Polish cookbook with period recipes you should

buy instead, "Food and drink in Medieval Poland."

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 20:51:53 -0500 (CDT)

From: Jeff Heilveil <heilveil at uiuc.edu>

Subject: SC - Polish medieval cooking

 

Salut!

Sorry for those of you who get this twice, but as this has come up VERY

recently on both lists, I thought that I would let you all know about this

one.

 

Dembinska, Maria.  1999.  Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering

a Cuisine of the Past.  University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

(Translated by Magdalena Thomas, Revised and adapted by William Woys

Weaver. ISBN 0-8122-3224-09

 

 

The book has NO original recipes, though it does mention a lot of

the exterior influences on Polish cooking.  For example Princess Bona

Sforza (1518-1577) is said to have brought her own cooks from Italy, as

well as introduced many of the New World foods that the cooks so often

discuss (I won't use them personally, but I leave that to the rest of you

to decide for yourselves).  This Brings us to the one thing (other than

the lack of primary sources) that really bothers me.  I have been spoiled

rotten by scientific papers and quite frankly, there isn't enough

citations in the book to make me comfortable.  

 

If anyone out there is fluent in Polish, there is a saving grace.  The

editor mentions that in order to make this book more useful to the

American reader, he (GRRRRRR) "Streamlined the book."  or as he says

earlier:

"However, it was evident after translation was completed that the book

would not work in its original form for Americal readers.  Part of the

issue was content: what sufficed for a scholarly audience was not

necessarily appropriate for more general readers.  There was also a

problem with redundancy-some of the same material was explained in several

ways-and parts of the text veered away from the food theme into an

economic study of market patterns in the 1380s..."

pg. xiv

 

So if anyone out here can do the translation on the original, the citation

is: Dembinska, Maria.Konsumpcja Zymnosciowa w Polsce Sredniowiecznej [Food

consumption in Medieval Poland].  Wroclaw: Wydanictwo Polskiej Akademii

Nauk, 1963.

 

There are recipes, which seem to be gleaned from what Maria (born Countess

Goluchowska) had researched, together with evidence she garnered from

Tallievent, Le Managier and Scully among others, however there is no play

by play source.  In fact, it says in the editor's note a few times that

there are basically no extant medieval cookery books.  However, the book

does mention a poet named Mikolaj Rej who wrote, in 1568, a poem entitled

Zywot Czlowieka Pozciwego (Life of an Honest Man) which mentions at one

point "... all those gilded dishes: golden chickens, eagles, and

glittering hares..."

TranslatiMikolaj Rej, "Zywot czlowieka poczciwego," ed. J. Kryzanowski in

_Biblioteka Narodowa_, series I, no. 152 (Wroclaw, 1956), 206.

pg. 13

 

It might be worth trying to contact either the editor or the original

translator to see if you can get a copy of the translation of Dembinska's

version and not have to bother with translating it yourself.

 

Bogdan

_______________________________________________________________________________

Jeffrey Heilveil M.S.                  Ld. Bogdan de la Brasov, C.W.

Department of Entomology  A Bear's paw and base vert on field argent

University of Illinois   

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 08:52:02 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

Subject: SC - Re: [sig] Polish medieval cooking

 

> It might be worth trying to contact either the editor or the original

> translator to see if you can get a copy of the translation of Dembinska's

> version and not have to bother with translating it yourself.

 

I've tried. (I'm sure there are plenty of citations in the original: it

was Dembinska's PhD thesis.) The editor/author does not respond. I'm

almost mad enough to go to the NEH, which paid for the translation, and

try and get them to get the translation released. *grr*

 

I enclose the review I wrote for the Fall 1999 Slovo:

 

For those who have been ravenously searching for material on medieval

Polish (and Eastern European) foodways, this volume is good news and bad

news. The good news is, it's the best resource on eating habits in Poland

available in English. The bad news is, it has several serious flaws, the

biggest being that the recipes given in the text are neither reproductions

nor redactions of period recipes, but attempts to re-create dishes using

period methods, documentation from menus and purchase records, and foreign

cookbooks of the time.

 

The original work on which this volume is based was the 1963 thesis of

Maria Dembinska, one of the most well known Polish food historians, who

died in 1996. William Woys Weaver worked with Ms. Dembinska to adapt the

translated work, removing some of the larger sections of tables and

footnotes, and adding appropriate material from her later works, as well

as adding material on Cypriot and other possible influences. Weaver does

an excellent job in the introduction of explaining which parts he added.

 

The body of the book is in four chapters. The first, "Toward a Definition

of Polish National Cookery", gives a good review of the underlying

assumptions of the book and a description of living conditions and foreign

influences on medieval Polish foodways. But it also exposes the main

methodological weakness of the work: the emphasis on a "national" cuisine.

This work would be even more helpful if Dembinska had simply outlined the

material on cookery of related cultures at her disposal, rather than

trying to squeeze it into a definition of 'Polish' cuisine, and perhaps

relied a little less on modern Polish ethnography as well. Nonetheless, it

is a helpful review of the literature and gives some useful insights, such

as the role of meat in peasant diet, the question of standard of living

rather than social class as a distinguishing feature in diet, and the

Byzantine, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish, Turkish and Russian influences on

Polish cuisine.

 

The second chapter, "Poland in the Middle Ages", gives a tidy little

history of Poland, but includes some interesting sidelights of economic

history, such as the change to "German law" land tenure, the polyglot

nature of late medieval Polish culture, and the role of the lesser

nobility. Of special interest is the analysis of the congress at Cracow in

1364, though materials on what the assembled royals ate at their feasts

are, sadly, not available. (There's a good discussion of forks, though!)

 

"Dramatis Personae of the Old Polish Table", the third chapter, is a gold

mine for SCAdians. Not only does it give a detailed listing of the

officials and servants (and their titles) who were involved with food

preparation in the Jagiellonian royal entourage, but it gives vignettes of

specific instances of food consumption. It's fascinating that all but the

very highest at table ate leftovers from the high table; that at least one

academic dinner was just as overpriced and underbudgeted as modern ones,

and that the legendary "highly-spiced" medieval food may have been made

that way to encourage digestion of large, heavy meals. In addition,

Dembinska lists the names and descriptions of a wide variety of kitchen

tools and equipment known in the inventories of the Polish kitchens.

 

The final chapter, "Food and Drink in Medieval Poland," covers each type

of food and drink in turn. We learn that the two main meals were the

prandium (eaten between 9 and 10 a.m) and coena (eaten between 5 and 7

p.m.), and that they were generally similar; that Wednesdays and Fridays,

and Lent, were meatless days, but special feast days were, well feasts.

The most common drink, Dembinska says, would have been wheat beer and

small beer, followed by wine and mead. Poles ate meat on a daily basis --

bacon and pork the most, followed by beef, poultry, and, on meatless days,

a wide variety of fresh and salt fish. Game was not common, but highly

esteemed and used as gifts and rewards. The majority of the diet was made

up of grains, either in bread or cooked as gruels. Millet was the primary

grain dish either as groats or flour, oats being an 11th century

innovation, and barley a 15th century import. Bread was generally made

with rye and wheat flours, and wheaten rolls were for sale in the streets.

Vegetables were common also: "the daily menu in Poland included at least

one vegetable, either as a side dish or as an ingredient in a one-pot

recipe." Dembinska lists onions, lentils, field peas, cabbage, fava beans

and bean greens (among peasants), kale, white carrots, beets, parsnips,

alexanders, skirrets, turnips, radishes, cucumbers and melons, as well as

mushrooms. Curiously enough, beet soup was not documented, but a

borsht-like soup made from cow parsnips was eaten. Sauerkraut is common,

but pickled cucumbers can only be documented to the 16th century. Neither

modern bigos (game stew) or pirogi (dumplings) can be documented to the

period either. Most fruit was eaten cooked -- apples, pears, plums and

cherries were the most common, with wild strawberries and blueberries

showing up in the records also. Dembinska also highlights many of the

spices used.

 

The second half of the book, "Medieval Recipes in the Polish Style" by

Weaver, is a fascinating yet frustrating experience. Each recipe includes

wonderful information about the ingredients and techniques, and is

carefully detailed, making the recipes easy to follow. But the sources and

inspirations are not documented. Especially educational are the notes on

"Wroclaw Trencher Bread," giving details on how bread was baked,

regulated, and made into trenchers; the "Thick Beer or Sourdough Starter;"

and the directions for spit-roasting in "Hungarian-Style Spit-Roasted

Shoulder of Venison"; as well as directions for making "Saffron Wafers"

over a charcoal grill! So far, I've only tried the "Pears Stewed with

Cucumbers and Figs" but, documentable or not, they are delicious (though I

keep wanting to add more spices than the recipe calls for; so much for the

overspiced food discussion!).

 

The multitude of illustrations -- including many of period kitchen

equipment, either from woodcuts or drawn from archaelogical finds --

greatly adds to the value of the book. Though most of the books in the

bibliography are not in Polish, it is still an excellent resource; and the

UPenn Press apparently invested well in a good index to the entire volume.

 

While it would be lovely to have the excised footnotes, and to have period

recipes and documentation, this work still far outstrips the nearest

competitor, Maria Lemnis's Old Polish Traditions in the Kitchen and at the

Table, which gives tantalizing sections of information on Polish food

habits interspersed with undated recipes, and which has neither

bibliography nor useful references. As a starting point for constructing a

medieval "Polish" meal, or talking about the foodways of Eastern Europe,

it's excellent.

 

- -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 11:13:54 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: [sig] Polish medieval cooking

 

> Hmmm. I'm curious why you didn't get a response. I believe it was

> someone on this list who did write the author (the translator, not

> Dembinska, as she's dead) asking about wafers I believe. They got

> a reply much quicker than I would have expected one and the author

> seemed quite helpful.

 

No, they wrote to the editor (William Woys Weaver) rather than the

translator (Magdalena Thomas), and got a response. I'm not sure why I

didn't, as I also wrote to the editor through the University of

Pennsylvania Press. However, if you read the material about the

translation in the introduction, Weaver does sound unwilling to give out

the translation (pointing out that the original is available in multiple

libraries).

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 10:44:41 -0500

From: "Michael F. Gunter" <michael.gunter at fnc.fujitsu.com>

Subject: SC - Re: [sig] Polish medieval cooking

 

> << The editor/author does not respond. >>

> That tells you something about the original material for the 'thesis'.

RFLMAO!

 

Ras is under a misapprehension, I think. Perhaps because he is commenting

on a book he has never seen, and apparently our review comments weren't

clear. Let me try once more to explain to those, like Ras, who haven't

followed the explaination of the this book.

 

First of all, the editor/author to which I addressed my inquiry was

William Woys Weaver, who was not the author of the original thesis.

 

Maria Dembinska wrote her thesis in Polish. It was later printed in Polish

as a book. That is the 'original material for the 'thesis''. It is

available in libraries both in other countries and the USA, despite Ras'

 

apparent conclusion that it does not exist. (Yes, when I first got the

book, I checked to see if any other translations were available, using

OCLC Worldcat, which is a Union Catalog of the holdings of about 10,000

libraries in the US, Canada and parts of Britain.)

 

William Woys Weaver apparently met with Ms. Dembinska (who is now

deceased) and discussed publishing a translation, and also worked with her

on re-creating recipes based on purchase orders, menus, and other period

recipes.

 

The translation of the original book was funded by the National Endowment

for the Humanities, and was apparently done by a Magdalena Thomas.

 

Mr. Weaver (who, by the way, is not an academic, but a popular cookbook

writer) took the translation, removed what he felt was material

inappropriate for his audience, added a preface and some supplementary

material, and attached the recipes. Because he did write part of the

material in the book, I believe that it is only truthful to refer to him

as one of the authors as well as the editor.

 

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise        jenne at tulgey.browser.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 20:38:38 EST

From: Devra at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks Polish manuscripts & future title (drool)

 

After the discussion a while ago on this, I thought people might be

interested in William Woys Weaver's statement in his article about Maria

Dembinska in the most recent PPC: "In fact, there are no manuscript recipes

surviving from medieval Poland...."

 

This is a great issue, by the way.  It also has a biblography of Danish cook

books (1616-1800.)

 

Devra the Baker

 

Devra Langsam

www.poisonpenpress.com

devra at aol.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 09:56:43 -0500 (EST)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Book Query - Food and Drink in Medieval Poland

 

> Actually, I think this was discussed a while back.  I do have a copy of the

> book...bought it at Pennsic last year.  It does have recipes, but, IIRC, they are

> not documentably period.  Jadwiga, can you refresh my memory?

 

Here's the two reviews I've got on the web, one on my page on Food and Drink of Medieval Poland and Rus (also not a good recipe source), and one from the Slavic Interest Group's newsletter:

 

>From my handout:

"Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past. Maria Dembinska, rev. and adapted by William Woys Weaver. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1999). This is an excellent overview of Polish foodways between 1350 and 1500, but it has several faults, including the nationalist bias and the fact that the included recipes are re-creations, not redactions. Furthermore, it is an adaptation of a translation of Ms. Dembinska's book, originally published in 1963 as Kosumpcja Zywonsiowa w Polsce Sredniowiecznej (Food consumption in Medieval Poland). Using a translation by Magdalena Thomas, Weaver edited and adapted the text, and included a number of recipes that he and Dembinska had worked on re-creating from mentions in records and known recipes from non-Slavic sources. Unfortunately, many of the notes and charts were removed and the  notes for the recipes do not give sufficient source data."

 

>From the SIG newsletter:

"Dembinska, Maria. Food and Drink in Medieval Poland. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1999.

 

For those who have been ravenously searching for material on medieval Polish (and Eastern European) foodways, this volume is good news and bad news. The good news is, it's the best resource on eating habits in Poland available in English. The bad news is, it has several serious flaws, the biggest being that the recipes given in the text are neither reproductions nor redactions of period recipes, but attempts to re-create dishes using period methods, documentation from menus and purchase records, and foreign cookbooks of the time.

 

The original work on which this volume is based was the 1963 thesis of Maria Dembinska, one of the most well known Polish food historians, who died in 1996. William Woys Weaver worked with Ms. Dembinska to adapt the translated work, removing some of the larger sections of tables and footnotes, and adding appropriate material from her later works, as well as adding material on Cypriot and other possible influences. Weaver does an excellent job in the introduction of explaining which parts he added.

 

The body of the book is in four chapters. The first, "Toward a Definition of Polish National Cookery", gives a good review of the underlying assumptions of the book and a description of living conditions and foreign influences on medieval Polish foodways. But it also exposes the main methodological weakness of the work: the emphasis on a "national" cuisine. This work would be even more helpful if Dembinska had simply outlined the material on cookery of related cultures at her disposal, rather than trying to squeeze it into a definition of 'Polish' cuisine, and perhaps relied a little less on modern Polish ethnography as well. Nonetheless, it is a helpful review of the literature and gives some useful insights, such as the role of meat in peasant diet, the question of standard of living rather than social class as a distinguishing feature in diet, and the Byzantine, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish, Turkish and Russian influences on Polish cuisine.

 

The second chapter, "Poland in the Middle Ages", gives a tidy little history of Poland, but includes some interesting sidelights of economic history, such as the change to "German law" land tenure, the polyglot nature of late medieval Polish culture, and the role of the lesser nobility. Of special interest is the analysis of the congress at Cracow in 1364, though materials on what the assembled royals ate at their feasts are, sadly, not available. (There's a good discussion of forks, though!)

 

"Dramatis Personae of the Old Polish Table", the third chapter, is a gold mine for SCAdians. Not only does it give a detailed listing of the officials and servants (and their titles) who were involved with food preparation in the Jagiellonian royal entourage, but it gives vignettes of specific instances of food consumption. It's fascinating that all but the very highest at table ate leftovers from the high table; that at least one academic dinner was just as overpriced and underbudgeted as modern ones, and that the legendary "highly-spiced" medieval food may have been made that way to encourage digestion of large, heavy meals. In addition, Dembinska lists the names and descriptions of a wide variety of kitchen tools and equipment known in the inventories of the Polish kitchens.

 

The final chapter, "Food and Drink in Medieval Poland," covers each type of food and drink in turn. We learn that the two main meals were the prandium (eaten between 9 and 10 a.m) and coena (eaten between 5 and 7 p.m.), and that they were generally similar; that Wednesdays and Fridays, and Lent, were meatless days, but special feast days were, well feasts. The most common drink, Dembinska says, would have been wheat beer and small beer, followed by wine and mead. Poles ate meat on a daily basis -- bacon and pork the most, followed by beef, poultry, and, on meatless days, a wide variety of fresh and salt fish. Game was not common, but highly esteemed and used as gifts and rewards. The majority of the diet was made up of grains, either in bread or cooked as gruels. Millet was the primary grain dish either as groats or flour, oats being an 11th century innovation, and barley a 15th century import. Bread was generally made with rye and wheat flours, and wheaten rolls were for sale in the streets. Vegetables were common also: "the daily menu in Poland included at least one vegetable, either as a side dish or as an ingredient in a one-pot recipe." Dembinska lists onions, lentils, field peas, cabbage, fava beans and bean greens (among peasants), kale, white carrots, beets, parsnips, alexanders, skirrets, turnips, radishes, cucumbers and melons, as well as mushrooms. Curiously enough, beet soup was not documented, but a borsht-like soup made from cow parsnips was eaten. Sauerkraut is common, but pickled cucumbers can only be documented to the 16th century. Neither modern bigos (game stew) or pirogi (dumplings) can be documented to the period either. Most fruit was eaten cooked -- apples, pears, plums and cherries were the most common, with wild strawberries and blueberries showing up in the records also. Dembinska also highlights many of the spices used.

 

The second half of the book, "Medieval Recipes in the Polish Style" by Weaver, is a fascinating yet frustrating experience. Each recipe includes wonderful information about the ingredients and techniques, and is carefully detailed, making the recipes easy to follow. But the sources and inspirations are not documented. Especially educational are the notes on "Wroclaw Trencher Bread," giving details on how bread was baked, regulated, and made into trenchers; the "Thick Beer or Sourdough Starter;" and the directions for spit-roasting in "Hungarian-Style Spit-Roasted Shoulder of Venison"; as well as directions for making "Saffron Wafers" over a charcoal grill! So far, I've only tried the "Pears Stewed with Cucumbers and Figs" but, documentable or not, they are delicious (though I keep wanting to add more spices than the recipe calls for; so much for the overspiced food discussion!).

 

The multitude of illustrations -- including many of period kitchen equipment, either from woodcuts or drawn from archaelogical finds -- greatly adds to the value of the book. Though most of the books in the bibliography are not in Polish, it is still an excellent resource; and the UPenn Press apparently invested well in a good index to the entire volume.

 

While it would be lovely to have the excised footnotes, and to have period recipes and documentation, this work still far outstrips the nearest competitor, Maria Lemnis's Old Polish Traditions in the Kitchen and at the Table, which gives tantalizing sections of information on Polish food habits interspersed with undated recipes, and which has neither bibliography nor useful references. As a starting point for constructing a medieval "Polish" meal, or talking about the foodways of Eastern Europe, it's excellent."

 

- -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

Stefan, please feel free to put these in the Florilegium.

- --

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise

 

 

From: Sandragood at aol.com

Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 23:30:43 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] help with Polish/Hungarian name for herb?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

It is savory.  I was on a Hungarian culinary list not long ago while doing

research for a feast.  Unfortunately I have deleted the message and

unsubscribed from the list.  (Most of the traffic was in Hungarian which I

do not read or speak).

 

According to the Hungarian / English online dictionary I have used in the

past "csombord" translates to savory in English.  I would think this is the

same since I typed in your spelling and it gave me the above in response.

 

Elizabeth Donnan

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 13:58:02 -0400 (EDT)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] help with Polish/Hungarian name for herb?

 

> I gather this wasn't mentioned in Polish Herbs,

> Flowers & Folk Medicine which you reviewed

> sometime back?

 

Well, it wasn't the first time I looked. When I looked again I found that

I had gotten two pages stuck together, and gone from St. John's Wort

direct to Silverweed. Doh! I feel stupid.

Czombor is, in fact, summer savory.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

From: "Stephanie Howe" <showe01 at earthlink.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 11:07:51 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Polish Cooking: was Question to the group....

 

Have I got a find for y'all:  _Food and Drink in Medieval Poland:

Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past_  Maria Dembinska, revised and adapted

by William Woys Weaver

U. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999  ISBN 0-8122-3224-0

 

I've been grazing through the volume for a couple of months now- flipping

pages, reading a little here, a little there... Lots of referencing of

royal, noble, and manor purchase records, folkways medieval and modern,

careful attention to seasonality, descriptions of how usage patterns changed

over time, both cultivated and foraged foodstuffs, a list of equipment and

utensils mentioned in 14th and 15th C. Polish court sources, discussions of

European influences and introductions both west to east, and east to west...

and recipes.

 

Among a few quick gleanings pertaining to the week's discussions:

 

A long discussion of the origins, and possible etymological clues to,

"bigos". To sum it up, the dish, although not originally of Polish origins

(may have come from Hungary, or Germany) was definitely known in virtually

unlimited variants in medieval Poland.  The biggest key to it's medieval

roots is the layering of the ingredients before braising or slow baking,

rather than chopping and mixing the meats and vegetables.

 

Cabbage or sauerkraut:  Pickled as whole or halved heads, rather than

shredded, layered with other greens like beet chards and dill.  Several

varieties of cabbages were cultivated, both white and red (or black), kales,

a primitive form of cauliflower, etc.

 

Pierogi ruskie:  "Russian Pierogi"- filled with buckwheat, didn't enter

Polish cookery until the 19th C.  I haven't really found any references to

other filled dumplings in the book.

 

Olga

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 21:17:30 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Polish cookbook

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Has anyone gotten this book?

> Food and Drink in Medieval Poland.

> De

 

With the little I've done with it (research reference), I've found the book

to be accurate and useful.  The problem I have with the book is the lack of

notes, footnotes and source references that would tie to the bibliography.

The recipes have no sources and appear to be modern recipes done in a

"medieval" manner.  If you want to know something about Polish culinary

history, it's a good read.  It's accuracy for historical Polish  

recipes is a little more questionable.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 10:36:31 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Polish cookbook

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

-----Original Message-----

Has anyone gotten this book?

Food and Drink in Medieval Poland.

 

De > > > > >

 

When I read my copy the year it was published, I remarked that it is a good

resource with lots of information that is new and useful.  Not a source for

primary recipes.  Some of them are adapted from things like well-known

English sources (like Curye on Englysh, if I recall correctly).  Good source

for info . . . very weak source to use for documenting primary "Polish" or

Eastern European recipes.  Best resource we have in USA to date.

 

pacem et bonum,

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 11:15:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: Raphaella DiContini <raphaellad at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Fw: Polish recipe collection I am looking for

 

My apprentice sister has a Polish persona and has been trying for a few years to track down a source mention in several of her "traditional Polish food" cookbooks, but hasn't yet found a translation. There is a lovely replica version available, but she currently feels a bit daunted at the prospect of translating the whole source so any translations, partial or whole would be greatly appreciate.

 

It's Compendium Ferculorum by Stanislaw Czerniecki, published in 1682.

 

I have also passed to her the other source recently mentioned here, Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past, and she will be looking to that as well, but is really hoping to track down the Compendium Ferculorum.

 

In joyous service,

Raffaella

P.S. You can find a lovely leather bound copy of this here, but it dosen't seem to be a translation:

http://www.kurtiak-ley.com/artist_books/compendium_ferculorum/

An online version (still in polish) is also available here:

http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/docmetadata?id=66766

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:08:44 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: Polish recipe collection

 

Ok, where to start and I'll probably repeat information that your  

apprentice sister

Annaka already has (but maybe Stefan will need it for his files)

 

There's a 1682 listed as being in Latin. I don't suppose that's much  

more help than the editions in Polish. There are 1999 and 2002 editions titled

Compendium ferculorum albo Zebranie potraw

 

1999 seems to be:

Title Compendium ferculorum albo Zebranie potraw

Issue 24 of Biblioteka Tradycji Literackich

AuthorStanis?aw Czerniecki

Compiled byWac?aw Walecki, ?ukasz WinczuraPublisherCollegium  

Columbinum, 1999ISBN8387553131, 9788387553135

96 pages

 

2002 carries this note:

Uk?ad typograficzny wzorowano na najstarszym wydaniu pierwszej  

polskiej ksi??ki kucharskiej z 1682 r. wg egz. ze zbior?w Muzeum im.  

Przypkowskich w J?drzejowie. Description: [8], 95, [9] s. ; 22 cm +  

Stanis?aw Czerniecki i jego dzie?o "Compendium ferculorum albo  

Zebranie potraw..." / Jan G??wka (22 s.). Other Titles: Zebranie  

potraw Responsibility: [wg projektu i pod kierunkiem El?biety  

Chodkiewicz-Przypkowskiej ; transkr. tekstu dokona? Jan G??wka].

 

There's also this Polish language book by Maria Dembi?ska that  

mentions this 1682 book.

Szkice z dziej?w materialnego bytowania spo?lecze?stwa polskiego

 

Author:       Maria Dembi?ska

Publisher:   Wroc?law u.a. Ossolineum 1989

Studia i materia?ly z historii kultury materialnej, 61

 

It's at a number of libraries including Michigan.

 

I can't locate any translations other than the Latin one. No PhD  

dissertations either. Sorry.

 

Johnnae, playing librarian

 

On May 4, 2010, at 2:15 PM, Raphaella DiContini wrote:

snipped looking for a translation

<<< It's Compendium Ferculorum by Stanislaw Czerniecki, published in 1682.

 

P.S. You can find a lovely leather bound copy of this here, but it  

dosen't seem to be a translation:

http://www.kurtiak-ley.com/artist_books/compendium_ferculorum/

An online version (still in polish) is also available here:

http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/docmetadata?id=66766 >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:29:17 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: Polish recipe collection

 

The latest edition seems to be

 

2009: S. Czerniecki, Compendium ferculorum or gather food, ed. i opr.  

and arr. J. Dumanowski i M. Spychaj z przedmow? S. Lubomirskiego,  

?Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria?, t. I, Warszawa 2009 J. and M.  

Dumanowski Spychaj with a foreword by S. Lubomirski, "Monumenta  

Poloniae Culinaria, Vol I, Warsaw 2009

 

Jaroslaw Dumanowski is engaged in editing old Polish cookbooks for the  

project Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria and one of the pioneers of Polish  

gastronomic history. I wonder if he's aware that there are readers who would like an English edition.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:47:33 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: Polish recipe collection

 

A translation of the Slow Food Polska Review is at

http://tinyurl.com/29a6ypr

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 11:09:55 -0400

From: Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: sca-cooks <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Polish Banquets - 16th-18th Centuries

 

While looking through Jean-Louis Flandrin's book ("Arranging

the Meal") mentioned in a post I just sent to the list, I found a

chapter at the end entitled "Polish Banquets in the Sixteenth,

Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries.  Flandrin writes, "My objective

is to single out what surprised foreign, and particularly French,

travelers about these banquets and what struck them as typically Polish

manners. The chapter runs from p. 118-125.

 

Quickly scanning the beginning parts, it was noted by Hauteville that

much meat and little bread was eaten.  French travelers noted the

absence of any soup.  Apparently there was soup in the general diet (a

beer soup in the morning), but no soup with dinner or supper.

 

Impressing the French was the variety of sauces: sauces with saffron,

cream, onion, prune juice, all containing "a lot of sugar, pepper,

cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, olives, capers, pine nuts, and

currants. These sauces were generally intended for first-course meats -

presumably boiled - but were interchangeable, not specific to a

particular meat."

 

For people with an interest in Polish foods in the 1500s-1600s, you

might want to see about borrowing this book from a library.

 

Alys K.

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 11:34:07 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Polish Culinary History Book

 

I found this book on the Polish National Digital Library web site:

 

Kuchnia polska dawna : urywki z jej dziej?w od czas?w najdawniejszych

do ko?ca wieku XVII - Peszke, J?zef (1845-1916)

Old Polish cuisine: fragments of its history from the earliest times

to the end of the seventeenth century - Peszke, Joseph (1845-1916)

http://www.polona.pl/dlibra/doccontent2?id=16001&;from=&from=metadatasearch&dirids=1&lang=en

 

This looks to be an academic journal or magazine collected into book

form. It is very interesting considering the dearth of surviving

medieval manuscripts from Poland. There are lots of 18th and 19th

century culinary works listed on the site, too, for those who are

interested.

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 14:15:15 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Polish Banquets - 16th-18th Centuries

 

The book is up on Google Books for searching and viewing.

I reviewed it several years back and noted at one time it was on sale if you ordered directly from the UC Press.

 

Even better, Amazon says they have copies ---  25 new from $6.97 which  

would be a great bargain.

For more see http://www.medievalcookery.com/books.html

 

Johnnae

 

On Oct 14, 2010, at 1:17 PM, Sam Wallace wrote:

<<< Alys,

 

Thanks for the mini-review. I will dig up Flandrin's book as soon as I

can. I was wondering about the references it gave for the Polish

Banquet section, particularly those prior to 1600.

 

Guillaume >>>

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org