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fd-Scot-11thC-art - 10/16/10


"Food of 11th Century Scotland" by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis.


NOTE: See also the files: 11tC-Scot-fst-art, fd-Scotland-msg, Scotland-lnks, Scotland-msg, cl-Scotland-msg, oatcakes-msg, cheese-msg, beer-msg, cattle-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Food of 11th Century Scotland

by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis

THL Suzanne posed the question on Mon, 12 Jan 2004 under the 
Subject: Sources - 11th Century Scotland? She asked:
Does anyone on this list have a good source (or sources) for recipes that may have been used in 11th century Scotland?  I'll be doing Calontir's coronation feast at the beginning of March and that's the time period/location the new Prince/Princess have selected.  (I'm lucky -- they started out with 7th century Scotland, but were convinced to move the time period up by one of their entourage!)
Thank you for your help!—Suzanne THL Suzanne de la Ferté
Barony of the Lonely Tower Kingdom of Calontir


I answered that I had the books in hand, but that I resided far to the east in the Midrealm. E-mails back and forth ensued. It became apparent that the feast in question was happening on short notice. Work on any early period feast is challenging. Coming up with an 11th “authentic” feast in less than two months time was almost daunting in nature. So I volunteered to do the background notes from my sources at hand. Suzanne then took those notes and came up with the menu and recipes.


The feast was served to great acclaim on March 6, 2004. In many ways this feast represents the best of what can be accomplished these days when cooks in varying kingdoms work together to share ideas and resources. To better promote such cooperation and to show that it is feasible, we’ve produced this article from the original notes and recipes. (A year later in March 2005, we are happy to report that we finally had the opportunity to meet in person.)


We hope you enjoy the effort.


THL Johnnae llyn Lewis                                                                THL Suzanne de la Ferté

Midrealm                                                                                                    Kingdom of Calontir



Answering the questions posed by THL Suzanne de la Ferte’: Does anyone on this list have a good source (or sources) for recipes that may have been used in 11th century Scotland?  
Notes on sources and thoughts on a possible menu by
THL Johnnae llyn Lewis
Historical Notes
                   Scotland’s 11th Century is marked by the reigns of Macbeth and Malcolm III. Macbeth killed his cousin Duncan in 1040 and assumed the throne. In turn he and his stepson were killed by Duncan’s son Malcolm (later Malcolm III) in 1057. Malcolm and his heir were slain in 1093. Four days later Malcolm’s beloved Queen died of grief. She was canonized in c.1249-50 and is of course the famed St. Margaret, Patroness of Scotland.

               Macbeth is recognized as the last of the Celtic kings or the last of the Kings of Alba. The subject of his reign presents another level of challenges as regards the ideas presented and surrounding the literary or dramatic figure of Macbeth versus the historical King Macbeth who reigned for 17 years. Shakespeare after all has his character Macduff exclaim: "Not in the legions / Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned / In evils to top Macbeth." Modern historians have taken up Macbeth’s cause, and numerous books have been written regarding his reign and the ills done to his reputation and his queen by Shakespeare. Unfortunately, they are of little use when planning a feast.

               Mael Coluim Mac Donnchada or Malcolm spent much of his early life in exile in the court of Edward the Confessor and in the Anglo-Danish court of Earl Siward at York, which was heavily influenced by Scandinavian customs. He therefore brought both Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Danish influences to his reign. Despite these influences, Malcolm remains known as one of the greatest of Scotland’s warrior kings. Able to speak Gaelic, English, and Latin, he was a formidable ruler. His first wife was the widowed Ingibjorg whose sons by her first marriage ruled in the Orkneys. She bore him two children and died in 1069.

               Malcolm’s second wife Margaret was an Anglo-Saxon princess who had been born in the far-off country of Hungary.  The grand-daughter of King Edmund Ironside, the daughter of the exiled Edward the Aethling, and the sister of Edgar the Aetheling, she was well educated, beautiful, intelligent and devout. Following the Norman Conquest, Margaret and her family left England for exile. They ended up at the Scottish Court, and it was there that the widowed Malcolm married her in 1070. Symeon of Durham early on romanticized her arrival in Scotland. It is written that she civilized both the King and his court. She introduced Anglo-Saxon and Frankish fashions and hairstyles. Their eight children bore Anglo-Saxon names, partially in the hope that they would assume the English throne, if and when the Normans were overthrown.

               Known for personal piety, Margaret also began a reformation of the Roman church in Scotland that led away from its Celtic roots and into being in line with continental practices. She established shrines and churches and brought the Benedictines to Scotland. (Given that Macbeth went on a pilgrimage to Rome during his reign in 1050, it can’t be said that the religious practices of the court had been all that adrift or removed from Roman influences.) Queen Margaret was absorbed by the subjects of the fasts associated with Lent and the observance of Easter. One of the reasons given for her death at age 47 is that she was following a self imposed and severe fast at the time the news came regarding the death of Malcolm and her son Edward. She lacked the strength to carry on and died, throwing the court and kingdom into grief and disarray. The deaths of the king, queen, and heir in the space of four days left a power vacuum. Her husband’s brother assumed the throne, and her young children were forced into exile. The 1090’s became a period of bloody wars between heirs and would be kings. Eventually three of her sons came to the throne, while another one was forced into a monastery and exile in southwest England.

               Reliable original accounts of their reign and life at court are again sparse and original records detailing foods for the period are almost nonexistent. There are few descriptions of feasts, and there are no cookbooks or surviving manuscripts of early Scottish recipes. The first printed Scottish cookery book is dated 1736. (The first in England is dated 1500. The earliest culinary manuscript in all of Europe (after the Roman era) is dated to the late 12th century or a hundred years past this period of time.) Even many centuries later,  household accounts and court records that might speak about foodstuffs in Scotland are incomplete or lacking. Olive Geddes, writing for the HMSO and  The National Library of Scotland in 1994, was forced to admit that “Scotland has not been as fortunate as her European neighbors in the compilation and survival of records, relating to food history. Indeed little at all exists before the late sixteenth century.” This situation regarding original sources poses real problems when attempting to recreate an authentic 11th century Scottish feast.

               The association of both Malcolm and Margaret with the Anglo Saxon court expands the range of materials beyond Scotland, however, which helps immensely. By using various Anglo-Saxon and even some Anglo-Norman materials, it is possible to construct a suggested menu of fare that might possibly have been served in Scotland in the reign of Malcolm and Margaret. The introduction of some Frankish customs by Margaret to the court also introduces the idea that quite possibly the writings of Anthimus might bear looking at in terms of an early source. Anthimus managed to get himself permanently exiled from the Empire in Constantinople. A Greek doctor, he was sent from the Theodoric the Ostrogoth’s court in Ravenna in the 6th century to the King of the Franks as an ambassador. There he wrote a dietary book of sorts of observations on various foods. It’s dated much earlier of course but no earlier in time than the other sources are later in time. It provides interesting reading and ideas for possible combinations of ingredients, such as beef with a sauce of vinegar and honey.

One reads that:

From what records we possess it is evident that the Anglo-Saxons lived in a certain amount of comfort. Their food consisted of beef, mutton, pork, goat, venison, wild boar, peacock, swan, goose, duck, and a great variety of wild fowl; as well as salmon, eel, hake, sturgeon, herrings, and other fish in great variety. Their cookery, judging from historians, was not to be despised. At noon-meat or dinner, the Anglo-saxon spread his table with a cloth, on which was placed such dainties as oyster patties, or fowls stuffed with bread, and worts such as parsley. Chickens, pigs’ trotters, eggs, and various preparations of milk, formed articles of his everyday diet. The meat was usually brought to table direct from the fire, on small spits, and all food that required it was sweetened with honey. For dessert they had sweet apples, pears, and cherries, and to satisfy their thirst they drank mead, home-brewed ale and beer.  Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft, page 13.

               This account comes from the 1912 Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft which is an early exploration of historical Anglo-Saxon documents. Ann Hagen’s two handbooks on  Anglo-Saxon food and drinks from the 1990’s provide far more details on the topic as does the Anne Van Arsdall 2002 volume on Medieval Herbal Remedies. (The same foods and menu would also serve for a feast in the time of Macbeth; for a feast in the mode of the earlier court, the titles perhaps ought to be translated into old Gaelic, though.)

Somewhat later the first known menu for a feast dating from 1275-1290:

“A fashionable yeoman who came from a great banquet has told us about the feast, how their service was ordered. Without bread and wine and ale, no one at a feast will be at ease, but the choicest of all three were provided there, he has told us. But it is worth knowing about the course which they had first: the head of a boar, larded, with the snout well garlanded, and enough for the whole household of venison fattened during the closed season. And then there were a great variety of cranes, peacocks, and swans, kids, pigs, and hens. Then they had rabbits in gravy, all covered with sugar, Viande de Cypre and Mawmenny, red and white wine in great plenty; and then quite a different multitude of roasts, each of them set next to another: pheasants, woodcocks, and partridges, fieldfares, larks, and roasted plovers, blackbirds, woodcocks, and song-thrushes, and other birds I cannot name; and fried meat, crisps, and fritters, with sugar mixed with rose-water. And when the table was taken away, sweet spice powder with large dragees, maces, cubebs, and enough spicerie, and plenty of wafers.” From Treatise of Walter of Bibbesworth. There are 14 manuscripts of this Anglo-Norman treatise. It is written in French with English glosses (explanations).

Comparing the two accounts allows one to see the differences that two centuries makes in terms of named dishes and sweets. The Anglo-Saxon Court meal doesn’t contain the number or variety of dishes.


               The following brief notes concentrate on the associations and context of the foods that might be served. Sources for more or less appropriate modern or traditional recipes for the suggested dishes are included. Quantities and working recipes will still have to be created individually for any feast of this era, according to the occasion, the kitchen, the demands of the hall & the event,  and the working budget. What makes it distinctively 11th century and Scottish and memorable will be not only the foods and drinks served in lavish display and abundance but the hospitality of the hall, and the company and comradeship provided of the occasion provided by the hosts and the guests. It has the potential to be a memorable experience for all concerned.


Suggestions for a Menu in March (Non-Lenten)


Wheaten Breads; Bannocks and Oatcakes

Butter; Cheese; and Honey

Smoked or salted Fish               

Lamb or Mutton Pottage

Beef and Fowl       

Barley and Oats   


Apples baked with honey;  Dried fruits;  Spiced breads and Wafers

Brief Notes on Individual Dishes


Assorted Wheaten Loaves—


Breads are one of those subjects where the guilds kept their secrets well. The recipes were just not shared or published until very, very late. There would have been yeast raised breads of fine wheat and oat flour eaten at the 11th century court. Only the best would have been served to the Royal or Lord’s table.


Elizabeth David  is still the source on the topic of breads in England and provides a number of good regional recipes. Tom Jaine is very good as is Tim Allen’s The Ballymaloe Bread Book for its yeasted brown and white loaves. There are hundreds of bread books on the market now. It certainly can’t be said that the modern cook lacks for recipes.

For recipes the best suggestion is to use a white bread or white loaf recipe for the head table with  perhaps a selection of white and whole wheat loaves for the lower tables. Given the lack of pre 1600 recipes, use recipes that the bakers are comfortable with and have tried. Sweeten with honey (Or use the minor amount of sugar called for in the modern recipes. There is a tendency for whole grain breads to not rise as well or with unpredictable results, when substituting honey for sugar in a bread recipe. Do test before attempting 40 or more loaves.)



Oatcakes, Bannocks and Barley Cakes—


Alexander Fenton, among others, has documented the long association of the Scottish hearth with these characteristic flatbreads of oats and barley. Traditionally baked on a stone before the fire, they often don’t bake as much as dry out before the fire. Even when the “stone” of a bakestone gave way to an iron griddle surface, this manufactured iron griddle may still be called a “bakestone.” A cookware shop in London’s Covent Garden was still selling authentic iron bakestones in 1984. Written historical accounts date back to at least the 14th century when Froissart recorded the making of oatcakes by Scottish soldiers. A quick read on the subject is Lockhart’s The Scots and Their Oats. Although he’s talking about Yorkshire and not Scotland, Brears’ The Gentlewoman’s Kitchen also includes a good account of regional hearth breads and oatcakes. Elizabeth David and Florence McNeill are also good on the topic as is Alford and Duguid’s excellent Flatbreads and Flavors. See also below for notes on oats and barley.




Using Elizabeth David, Catherine Brown or McNeill and making use of stone ground barley meal and imported oats is recommended. Catherine Brown in Scottish Cookery provides recipes for bannocks without rising agents which would be appropriate for the occasion. Most recipes today are adapted to be baked in an oven and not over the fire on a bakestone which makes sense for a feast needing large quantities. Cariadoc and Elizabeth’s version is online in The Miscellany on page 157. There is also a file on oatcakes in Stefan’s Florilegium which features a number of postings, including a number of original recipes.




Butter and Cheese; Honey

The online article “The Introduction of Cheesemaking to Scotland” begins with the sentence “Relatively little is known about cheesemaking in Scotland before the 11th century.” The article speaks about small scale cheese making as part of monastic activities. Much later, cheese and butter might be made and consumed as a local product from the Scottish estates or made within individual households on a local basis.  

Hagen notes that at least in Anglo-Saxon Britain it was clearly stated what the cheesemaker might keep as her share and what belonged to the Lord. Hagen writes:

“The cheesemaker was entitled to a ‘hundred cheese: she is to make butter for the lord’s table from the whey pressed from the cheese, and she is to have all the buttermilk except for the herdsman’s share.” Hagen. A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink. pp. 271.

Hagen includes an entire chapter on the topic of honey in A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink. She notes that it was the most important sweetening agent in the Britain of this time. It was of course used in the production of various meads. There are a number of laws dating from this period regarding the keeping of bees and swarms and beekeepers.

For the head table possibly one might offer a selection of imported or artisan cheeses. Cheeses such as farmhouse artisan Cheshires from the US, double UK Gloucesters, Scottish mature Cheddars, and Golden Cheshires from the UK are available in stores such as the Whole Food Markets. For the non-head tables, a selection of good cheddar cheeses might be offered. Butter may be served and honey offered, although serving mixed honey butter is frowned upon these days.


Smoked or Salted Fish—

Given the geography of the land with its long coastline and the many islands, Scots have always turned to the sea and fishing. Inland waters were also fished. A church calendar requiring fasts of only fish days ensured demand. Herring, haddock, whiting, mackerel, salmon, cod and others were caught and eaten fresh or dried and salted for sale or keeping. In far off Shetland, the dried fish were used as often as bread. Shellfish and seaweed were gathered from the shore along with the eggs of seabirds. Seals and beached whales were eaten. Eels were another sought after dish. See Lockhart’s The Scots and Their Fish for a readable account.

Recipe wise – Serving some sort of fish is a possibility to consider. Perhaps a dried or smoked fish. Perhaps salmon, or even kippers. Cost and availability will factor heavily in the choice of what fish, if indeed any, is chosen. For recipes, see Brown.

Lamb or Mutton--- Pottage

Sheep are not mentioned that often in the Anglo-Saxon sources regarding food at feasts. Hagen notes that this might be because sheep were so common then as to not merit serving at a special feast. There were sheep in Britain prior to the Saxons, and the Romans introduced a white sheep, thought now to be forerunner of the white Romney breed or the Whitefaced Woodland. The Domesday Book, according to Hagen, mentions that there were flocks with as many 800 animals being kept by some estates, and flocks numbering over 100 animals were common.

Recipe wise--Lamb or mutton stew was mentioned as desired, although most properly this should be termed a pottage and not a stew. Barley might be included if desired.



Dishes of Barley and Oats—


The cereal crops of oats and barley have long ties with the land in Scotland. The land itself was never that hospitable. Spencer notes that at times the land yielded little more than bare subsistence amounts at harvest. Fully three-fifths of the land was moor, mountain, and hillsides. Many of the valleys between the hills or mountains are bog or marshland. The climate at times was inhospitable as well with a very short growing season. No wonder the Scottish Kings looked south to better lands.


Evidence from various archaeological digs though show that oats date back to at least 100 BC in Scotland. Later of course oats became infamous as the source of jokes and early ethnic humor. Scots ate them; English fed them to horses. Crops of rowed barley known as Bere and oats were being grown as far north as the Orkney and Shetland Islands by early times.


Recipe wise--- There are many ways to prepare barley and oats. Some have been known even to just cook them according to the package instructions and serve. Brown discusses and provides various recipes.




Cattle ran wild like game writes Catherine Brown in Scottish Cookery. There were cattle in Scotland prior to the Aberdeen Angus that many now associate with the country. Today’s Black Shetland and the Highland Cattle are reminders of earlier long ago cattle breeds. The manner of preparation for beef in this time period would most likely have been roasting on a spit. Less tender cuts would have been placed in a cauldron to simmer before being served as a dish of “sodden beef.”


Peter Yeoman notes in his article for British Archaeology that contrary to Scotland’s long association with sheep, it was in fact cattle that were the most numerous species found in the medieval urban markets of Scotland. “They were,” he notes, “giant abattoirs, supporting a network of industries for the processing of hides, meat and bone.” Later the traditions associated with the driving of cattle south to England for sale and slaughter developed, and the romantic image of the drover of song and story took hold in popular culture.



For the head table perhaps beef either grilled or roasted with smoke. For the other tables a dish of roasted beef.



Fowl and Game birds—


Geese are mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon accounts. Hagen feels they probably grazed off grass. Wild geese were also eaten. If not geese, then chicken might be served. Chickens were raised as far north as the Orkneys where stones are carved with their images. Later on in Scotland’s history chickens were served often, either roasted or served in a multitudes of soup as in the  Feather Fowlie and Cock-a-Leekie. Chickens were by then often used to pay rents in kind, and substantial numbers of “kain hens” were still being recorded in lieu of rent well into the late 18th century.


Especially for head table small grouse and partridge might be also be offered.


Recipe wise, roasting them (and perhaps even spit roasting them for the head table) would be in order if possible. Otherwise serving them in a broth would be authentic.




There’s always been a controversy in Scottish food circles regarding the eating of vegetables in former times, be it the former times of the 18th century or the far removed 11th century. Harvey notes that there’s no real knowledge of what was really grown in the gardens of the late Anglo-Saxon times. The various Leech-books  seem to indicate a wide range of plants were either gathered or grown for medical purposes. It is recorded that the various monasteries at least in England were engaged in a trade of seeds, slips and grafts being asked for and sent from various other houses. Archaeological evidence is slight. Common vegetables and herbs for the time seem to have included cabbage, celery, carrots, parsnips, fennel, kale, leeks, mallow, onions, parsley, thyme, garlic, mint, dill, and savory. Dried peas from a field crop might have been eaten. Nettles and seaweeds were simmered in broths. Wortys in Lenten (or greens and leeks) were certainly mentioned. Wilson and Hagen can be consulted for details regarding which vegetables and greens would be appropriate.


Recipe wise--- This is very much a category dependant upon a good greengrocer and the time of the year. It’s all well and good to say the feast will feature one or the other of the named vegetables only to discover that none at any price are to be had that week. Vegetarian and vegan concerns must also be addressed with regards to any dishes served here. Catherine Brown provides a good summary of reliable recipes that might be used. The number of vegetable dishes will depend on the offerings of the rest of the feast and what seems reasonable.


Kale has always been mentioned and with associated with Scotland, but obtaining it is sometimes problematic. It’s also an acquired taste. Nettles are mentioned and were sought after for eating in spring but obtaining supplies of organic unsprayed nettles is again troublesome. Leeks are good and in March might be on the market. Catherine Brown provides a recipe for leeks and oatmeal and for roasted leeks that might well serve in small quantities as a typical sort of early fare. See Scottish Cookery for the recipes.


Spiced Carrots would be a possibility or carrots served with a honey sauce, keeping in mind of course that authentic looking non-orange carrots are not to be had, except in terms of expensive heirloom varieties. Those might provide a dish for head table but acquiring a quantity of heirloom carrots for 200 seems a large task.



Sweet Fare


Lacking sugar, the jams, the jellies, marmalades, toffees, butterscotch,  scones, cakes, buns, shortbreads, biscuits, all the sweets that so characterize the Scottish table of today are absent. The suggested desserts or possible sweets seem somewhat lacking in number, but need not lack in quality or in quantity. (Marzipans and  works of sugarpaste are dated to far later, which may provide problems in terms of a suitable Coronation style subtlety. Special dispensation might be granted to allow them for the festivities.)


Whereas foods eaten might never be recorded, it’s funny to observe that the drinks were often mentioned. Aelfric Bata, according to Colin Spencer, recorded at the beginning of the 11th century that monasteries were enjoying their supplies of good beer, mulled drinks, and wine. Hagen mentions ealu, beor, meodu, and wine or ale, beer, mead, and wine. The beer might also have included cider and perry. Whisky and especially Scotch Whisky is so well documented that there are scores of books on that topic. It’s a literature of its own and it’s a topic beyond the scope of this brief document.


Apples with Honey— Dried Fruits


“and all food that required it was sweetened with honey. For dessert they had sweet apples, pears, and cherries “ read the account from the Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft cited earlier. Apples (crab, sour, wood, sweet, and green are mentioned in one work), pears, and medlars were known and appreciated. Perhaps some or all baked with honey might work?  Dried Fruits might either served as merely dried and plain or perhaps lightly cooked or poached in a syrup of wine or wine and honey and served. Such dishes later become the ‘Compote,’ which according to John Evelyn, ‘was fruit stew'd in Sugar, after a manner peculiar to the French. ‘ A Compote today has come to mean fruit preserved in syrup or the dish in which such a dish is served.


Recipe wise---

See Catherine Brown again.





Some accounts only date wafers in the British Isles back to the era of the Normans. Wafers made with honey might well have been served in the late 11th century according to these accounts, and one suspects that they may date earlier.

Recipe wise—One can use the recipe that works best with one’s pizelle or krumcake irons and substitute honey for sugar. Electric irons are preferred for large numbers. There is also a file on wafers in Stefan’s Florilegium which features a number of postings, including a number of original recipes.

http://www.advancenet.net/~jscole/introfoodclass.pdf">http://www.advancenet.net/~jscole/introfoodclass.pdf also includes adapted wafer recipes using honey.

Yeasted Festival Cakes--
Festivals and feasts called for special spiced and fruited yeast leavened cakes or breads made with dried fruits and imported spices. These are the forerunners of fruit breads and later fruitcakes.
Recipe wise—
Elizabeth David is again the source here and Catherine Brown provides some good recipes. http://home.earthlink.net/~mkcooks/Coro%20Luncheon%20Prepared%20for.htm contains a recipe for a yeasted cake with currants.


               Again as a note it should be remembered that given the various difficulties with finding adequate sources,  this is a menu of  “fare that might well have been served in Scotland in the reign of Malcolm and Margaret.” One could say that it’s grounded in facts and supported by research; it’s just not described in fact or found as such in any contemporary work of the times!


               Constance Hieatt’s essay in Regional Cuisines of Medieval Europe reminds readers that “While archeology and literature can tell us a good deal about the raw ingredients used and the basic methods of cookery, basic methods haven’t changed much over the centuries, so this does not get us very far… And while archeological findings go a long way toward telling us what the Anglo-Saxons ate, they cannot tell us what the cuisine was like.”


Additional reading might be done on the life of St. Margaret. OCLC lists some 60 books on her life. Turgot wrote his Life of Saint Margaret originally in Latin at the urging of Margaret’s daughter. Only 13 books are listed for Malcolm while Macbeth, King of Scotland lists over 600 books. (I should mention that I provided another 20 pages of material of Malcolm, Margaret, and Macbeth, so this is just a distillation.)



Bibliography of Works Consulted


References and Sources for the Menu and Commentary.


Alcock, Joan P. Food in Roman Britain. Stroud, Gloucester, U.K.: Tempus, 2001.


Alford, Jeffery and Naomi Duguid. Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker's Atlas. New York: Morrow, 1995.


Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft. An Historical Sketch of Early English Medicine. 1912. Reprint. St. Louis Park, MN: The Rose & Nefr Press, 1992.


Anthimus. De Obseruatione Ciborum: On the Observance of Foods. Trans. and ed. by Mark Grant. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 1996.


Assire, Jerome. The Book of Bread. Paris; New York: Flammarion, 1996.


Brown, Catherine. A Year in a Scots Kitchen. Glasgow: Neil Wilson Publishing, 1996.


Brown, Catherine. Feeding Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1996.


Brown, Catherine. Scottish Cookery. 1985. Edinburgh: Mercat Press, 1999.


Cannon, John and Anne Hargreaves. The Kings and Queens of Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.


Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.


Dupaigne, Bernard. The History of Bread. Translated by Antonio and Sylvie Roder. New York: Harry N. Abrams, In., 1999.


Fenton, Alexander. “Hearth and kitchen: the Scottish Example.” Food and Material Culture. [Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium of the International Commission for Research into European Food History.] East Linton, Scotland: Tuckwell Press, 1998. pp. 29-47.


Food in Change. Eating Habits from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. Edited by Alexander Fenton and Eszter Kisban. Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1986.


Geddes, Olive M. The Laird’s Kitchen. Three Hundred Years of Food in Scotland. Edinburgh: HMSO; The National Library of Scotland, 1994.


Hagen, Ann. A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food.  Processing and Consumption. Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Norfolk, England: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1992, 1994.


Hagen, Ann. A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink.  Production & Distribution. Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Norfolk, England: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1995.


Harvey, John. Mediaeval Gardens. London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1981.


Hieatt, Constance B. “Medieval Britain.” In  Regional Cuisines of Medieval Europe. A Book of Essays. Edited by Melitta Weiss Adamson. New York and London: Routledge, 2001. pp. 19-46.


Jaine, Tom. Baking Bread at Home. Traditional Recipes from Around the World. New York: Rizzoli, 1995.


Lockhart, G. W[allace]. The Scots and Their Fish. Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, 1997.


Lockhart, G. W[allace]. The Scots and Their Oats. Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, 1997.


Mason. Laura and Catherine Brown. Traditional Foods of Britain. An Inventory. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 1999.


McNeill, F. Marion. The Scots Kitchen. Its Traditions and Lore with Old-Time Recipes. 1929. London: Granada, 1976, 1983.


Oram, Richard, ed. The Kings & Queens of Scotland. Stroud, Gloucester, U.K.: Tempus, 2001.


Rare Breeds. Endangered Farm Animals in Photographs. Text by Lawrence Alderson. Photographs by Robert Dowling. Boston:  Bulfinch Press. Little, Brown & Co., 1994.


Scully, Terence. The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1995.


Savelli, Mary. Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England. Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Norfolk, England: Anglo-Saxon Books,  2002. The recipes are suggestions and not authentic, but the notes are rather helpful.


Spencer, Colin. British Food. An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. London: Grub Street, 2002, 2003. Contains a chapter entitled:  “Anglo-Saxon Gastronomy.” pp. 23-35.


The Peoples of Scotland. Picts, Vikings, Angles and Scots. Series edited by Gordon Barclay. Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 1999.

Van Arsdall, Anne. Medieval Herbal Remedies. The Old English Herbarium and Anglo-Saxon Medicine. New York and London: Routledge, 2002.

White, Eileen. Soup. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 2003.


Wilson, C. Anne. Food and Drink in Britain. 1973. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1974.


Wood, Jacqui. Prehistoric Cooking. Stroud, Gloucester, U.K.: Tempus, 2001.


Yeoman, Peter. “Dispelling Medieval Scotland’s Gloom.” British Archaeology. No.11, February, 1996. http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba11/ba11feat.html">http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba11/ba11feat.html



References and Sources for the General Study of Food in Scotland. Several also include recipes.


A Scottish Feast. An Anthology of Food and Eating. Edited by Hamish Whyte & Catherine Brown. Argyll, Scotland: Argyll Publishing, 1996.


Brears, P. C. D. The Gentlewoman’s Kitchen. Great Food in Yorkshire. 1650-1750.  Wakefield, Yorkshire, U.K. :  Wakefield Historical Publications, 1984.


Brears, Peter. “Rare Conceits and Strange Delightes: The Practical Aspects of Culinary Sculpture.” Banquetting Stuffe’ The Fare and Social Background of the Tudor and Stuart Banquet .[Food and Society I. Papers from the First Leeds Symposiums on Food History and Traditions, 1986.]  Edited by C. Anne Wilson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991. pp. 60-114.


Brears, Peter. All the King’s Cooks. The Tudor Kitchens of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace. London: Souvenir Press, 1999.


Brown, Catherine. “A Scottish Dinner.” Public Eating. Proceedings of the 1991 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. London: Prospect Books, 1992.


Cherniavsky, Mark. “The Dowager Queen’s Closet Opened.” Petits Propos Culinaires. 27. October 1987. pp. 17-19.


Dickson, C. “Food, medicinal and other plants from the 15th century drains of Paisley Abbey, Scotland.”  Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.  5 (1-2). June.1996. pp. 25-31.


Dickson, Camilla & James Dickson. Plants and People in Ancient Scotland. Stroud, Gloucester, U.K.: Tempus, 2000. I didn’t own this book when I did the original work on this feast. It arrived shortly after the feast was served. This book covers plants in Scotland up to 1500.


Herman, Arthur. How the Scots Invented the Modern World. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2001.


Hope, Annette. “Scotland. Glamis Castle.” Traditional Country House Cooking. Edited by C. Anne Wilson. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993. pp. 48-83.


Innes, Mary McLeod. “Scottish Student Fare in the 16th Century.” Petits Propos Culinaires. 28. April 1988. pp.40-43.


Lee, Christopher. 1603. A Turning Point in British History. London: Review, 2003.


Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery. Edited with commentary by Karen Hess. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981. [Two Tudor-Jacobean works, with valuable commentary.]


Mason, Laura. Sugar-Plums and Sherbet. The Prehistory of Sweets. Totnes, Devon, U.K.: Prospect Books, 1998.


Mason. Laura and Catherine Brown. Traditional Foods of Britain. An Inventory. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 1999.


White, Eileen. Soup. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 2003.


Wilson, C. Anne. Food and Drink in Britain. 1973. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1974.


Wilson, C. Anne. “The French Connection: Part II.” Petits Propos Culinaires 4. February 1980. pp.8 -20.


Wilson, C. Anne. The Book of Marmalade. Revised Edition. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.


Wright, Clarissa Dickson. Hieland Foodie. With Henry Crichton-Stuart. Edinburgh: NMS Publishing, 1999. If you are looking for a funny anecdotal work that includes both recipes and comments on such classic fare as haggis and deep fried Mars bars, this book by the surviving member of the “Two Fat Ladies” is worth seeking out.



Traditional Scottish and General Cookery Books Consulted.


Allen, Tim. The Ballymaloe Bread Book. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican, 2001.

Asala, Joanne. Celtic Folklore Cooking. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 1998.


The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook. Edited by Mary Watts. London: Collins, 1984.


Dabney, Joseph. E. Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine. The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking. Nashville: Cumberland House, 1998. Scotland’s traditional foods transported to and transformed in the highlands of America. An Award Winning Text.


David, Elizabeth. English Bread and Yeast Cookery. 1977. New York: Viking, 1980.


Glasgow on a Plate. Edited by Ferrier Richardson. Volume One. 1999. Edinburgh: Black and White Publishing, 2001.


Lorwin, Madge. Dining with William Shakespeare. New York: Atheneum, 1976.


Macrae, Sheila. Traditional Scottish Cookery. London: Foulsham, 2001.


Nelson, Kay Shaw. The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook. Recipes and Lore from Celtic Kitchens. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1999.


Paston-Williams, Sara. Traditional Puddings.1983. London: The National Trust, 2002.


Sands, Brianna, ed. King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Revised edition. Norwich, Vermont: Sands, Taylor & Woods Co., 1991.


Scotland on a Plate. Edited by Ferrier Richardson. Volume One. Edinburgh: Black and White Publishing, 2001.


Traditional Food from Scotland. The Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes. 1932.  New York: Hippocrene Books, 1999.


Trotter, Christopher. The Scottish Kitchen. The National Trust for Scotland. London: Aurum Press, 2004. This is another new book of basic traditional recipes.


Original Works [including Historical Recipes & Dietaries] dated prior to 1750:


Reid, John. The Gard'ners Kalendar shewing the most seasonable times for performing his hortulan affairs monthly throughout the year, and a catalogue of such dishes and drinks as a compleat garden can afford in their seasons : published for the climate of Scotland. Edinburgh : Printed by David Lindsay, 1683. Wing / R763


Reid, John. The Scots gard'ner in two parts, the first of contriving and planting gardens, orchards, avenues, groves, with new and profitable wayes of levelling, and how to measure and divide land : the second of the propagation & improvement of forrest, and fruit-trees, kitchen hearbes, roots and fruits, with some physick hearbs, shrubs and flowers : appendix shewing how to use the fruits of the garden : whereunto is annexed The gard'ners kalendar / published for the climate of Scotland. Edinburgh : Printed by David Lindsay and his Partners ..., 1683. Wing (2nd ed.) / R764


Just as one can turn to John Evelyn’s later 17th century works when discussing salads and gardening in England, thanks to EEBO, readers can now turn to John Reid for Scotland. The latter title is the earliest printed gardening book dedicated to the art of gardening in Scotland. It’s dated 1683, meaning that it comes after John Evelyn’s Kalendarium Hortense; Or, Gard’ners Almanac of 1664 and well before his Acetaria A Discourse of Sallets of 1699. The Gard'ners Kalendar which was printed both under its own distinct title and also included in The Scots Gard'ner shows how one ought to prepare the produce of the orchard and garden. Some say it is the first culinary work printed in Scotland. In it, Reid lists the “Garden Dishes and Drinks in Season” allowing readers to determine that certain items might be properly served in any given month. Reid left Scotland and sailed to America in 1683 to settle in New Jersey. He was 28 at the time.


Sutherland, James. Hortus medicus Edinburgensis, or, A catalogue of the plants in the Physical Garden at Edinburgh containing their most proper Latin and English names : with an English alphabetical. Edinburgh : Printed by the heir of Andrew Anderson and to be sold by Mr. Henry Ferguson ... and at the Physical Garden by the author, 1683. Wing / S6206. Another interesting book on Scotland and its plants.


See also:


Moryson, Fynes. An itinerary vvritten by Fynes Moryson Gent. First in the Latine tongue, and then translated by him into English: containing his ten yeeres trauell through the tvvelue dominions of Germany, Bohmerland, Sweitzerland, Netherland, Denmarke, Poland, Italy, Turky, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland. London. 1617 STC (2nd ed.) / 18205 Classic often cited account.


Nott, John. Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary. 1726. London: Lawrence Rivington, 1980. [Facsimile edition with Introduction and Glossary by Elisabeth David]


Online Sources:


http://www.florilegium.org/ contains various files. See:oatcakes-msg — 10/12/03. Period oatcakes --- lots of material here with late recipes by Johnnae llyn Lewis.

wafers-msg ­ 12/4/03 Period wafers. Waffles. Wafer recipes and directions. wafer irons. --- lots of material here with recipes by Johnnae llyn Lewis.


The Miscellany. David and Betty Friedman.9th edition, PDF format: http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/miscellany_pdf/Miscellany.htm">http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/miscellany_pdf/Miscellany.htm


Early English Books Online (EEBO) is a restricted subscription database available from ProQuest. EEBO contains most of the works represented in the microfilm series Early English Books I & II or most titles printed in English or in England prior to 1700.


Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. A new project intended to create a full text database of some 25,000 works now found in EEBO. The text files will be linked to EEBO and allow users to perform keyword searches. See http://www.lib.umich.edu/eebo/


Dictionary of Old English Corpus. Online edition 2000.


Oxford English Dictionary. (OED) Online Second Edition.


Middle English Dictionary. (MED) Online version.

"Scotland"  “Margaret”  “Malcolm” .Encyclopædia Britannica  from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. <http://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=120060>; [Accessed January 14, 2004].

“Cheesemaking in Scotland : An Early History.” http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese1.html [Accessed January 14, 2004].


Discovering World History. a restricted online academic database provided by The Gale Group.


http://www.advancenet.net/~jscole/introfoodclass.pdf. includes wafers recipes using honey.


http://home.earthlink.net/~mkcooks/Coro%20Luncheon%20Prepared%20for.htm contains a recipe for a yeasted cake with currants.

Treatise of Walter of Bibbesworth.” From Medieval Realms, an academic online database.

This version provided by request and prior to publication in Ars Caidis's issue on the Culinary Arts in November 2005.


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Copyright 2004 by Johnna H. Holloway. <johnnae at mac.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


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