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fd-Scotland-msg – 8/21/10


Medieval food of Scotland.


NOTE: See also the files: Scotland-msg, cl-Scotland-msg, cl-Scot-fem-art, cl-Scot-male-art, haggis-msg, SI-songbook1-art, names-Scot-art, names-Scot-msg, Scot-fem-nam-lst.





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



From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 07:54:12 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #51


>From: Dottie Elliott <macdj at onr.com>

>Subject: SC - Scottish Recipes

>I am interested at present in locating period Scottish recipes. If anyone

>can point me in the direction of references I should look for or offer

>recipes, I would appreciate it.

>Thanks, Clarissa


Clarissa, I shall be giving away my best kept secrets, however.......


To the best of my knowledge, not one single period Scottish cookbook exists

to date (I've look fairly hard, but may have missed one). Scottish food is

somewhat similar to British food, with the addition of traditional foods

that have so much attention in Scotts Cuisine. So period sources from

Briatain are largely appropriate. Things like Venison, Brawn, Any game, and

a larger portion of higher quality fish would be appropriate. And there is

one major subtraction: leavened bread. True, the nobility (mostly English or

Half English ) in later period ate white bread. The common man considered

this sissy food to the extent that Scotts Merchants traveling "down" below

Hadrian's little nuisance brought their own bakestone and supplies rather

than suffer the type of bread that would not sustain you. Edinburough had a

professional white bread bakery late in period, but the Idea was very slow

to catch on. Naturally this would be more true of midland to highland

scotts, and less true of lowland scotts.Read *Food In Britain* for the best

non-recipe information on this topic.


Scotts Cuisine had a heavy French influence, so suprisingly you will find

some wonderful and involved recipes. Where to look? Two wonderful books:


Lady Castle Hill's Receipt Book, The Molendinar Press, Glasgow, copyright

1976 Hamish Whyte. This is essentially a coffeetable book, with the original

recipes (selected ones, but all pretty good) typed and the punctuation

altered to make sense to the modern reader --- so beware, they may have made

a mistake.


Mrs. McClintock's Receipt Book, Edited by Isabail MacCloud (sorry, I don't

have the copyright but I bought mine within the last 5 years at a noraml

bookstore). This tiny book is a faithful reproduction of the original with a

glossary of Scottish terms and measurements. Recipes are excellent and the

book was later published under another name----either stolen or Mrs.

McClintock (a widow) remarried.


Both books date to the early 1700s. That seems to be the closest we can get

to documantation. I know, it's very very sad.


Hope that helped you. I have also been known to get a little inspiration

from "MODERN" traditional cookbooks such as the excellent Farmhouse Cookery,

Recipes from the Country Kitchen, which gives traditional recipes in modern

format with a little history of each from Reader's Digest Books, London.

Britain's Ethnic dishes are well represented here, but you'll have to

translate metric to the US system of measurement (if you live in the

states). This is easily done with a   glass pyrex measuring cup, which has

Both marked on its side.





From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 21:30:31 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Re: Scotts Food


About authentic scottish food:


I forgot to mention several factors that occured to me later, after my

initial reply to Clarissa.


        First, wild large game existed far longer in the Highlands than it

did elsewhere in the country, where it was hunted out by late period. Thus

the famous "Red Deare" still existed in Scotland long after the English were

faking "red Deare" recipes with beef and veal. In addition, wild Boar still

was in good supply, and would have been available to the moderatly wealthy Scot.


       Next is the weather factor. It was relatively rare to find some of

the slow-producing fruits in Scotland outside Monastary or Nobility's walls,

since the weather rarely warmed up long enough to bring them to ripeness.

Thus peaches were probably not eaten, or softer or less cold hardy varieties

of Pears, Berries, or Apples. I did find a referance to grapes from a

Monastary Garden, being noted because of their uniqueness to Scottish

Cuisine. Quick crops such as greens and herbs were plentiful, however.


       Last, the Highland/Island Scotts were great fishermen and were

famous for saving the best of the catch for themselves.





Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 15:05:04 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - oat recipe


Oatcakes are traditional Scottish fare, somewhat descended from bannocks,

which are thicker and softer. Contemporary accounts say that medieval

Scotts merchants would bring their own bake-stone and oats with them when

traveling south, since they didn't trust the "sissy" white bread of England.


There is a traditional story of an old woman who heard about a Scotts Army

defeat. Hearing that the retreat was through her neck of the woods, she

gathered her supplies together and made oatcakes which she gave to the weary

soldiers as soon as they were baked, right by the side of the road.


It is said by contemporary accounts also that the Scotts soldiers were

hardier and stronger because they carried their own oatcake supplies and a

bakestone with them, rather than eat stale camp bread.


While these are not documented recipes, Cheese and other food was potted in

late period, and oatcakes are so simple to make that I am unaware of an

historical example of their recipe, although I have read accounts of their

existence. Somewhere on a disc in Word Perfect I have a paper about

Scottish food. It's such an old version that my 'puter can't interpret it

now. Sigh.



Oatcakes, Potted Stilton   adapted from Farmhouse Cookery...Recipes from the

Country kitchen, Reader's Digest, London 1980.



1 lb. fine oatmeal (NOT ROLLED OATS...THEY WON"T WORK)

1/2 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. melted bacon fat

1/2 pint boiling water


Mix together oats and salt. Combine bacon fat and water. Pour over the oats

and quickly mix  to combine. Let sit a few minutes under a towel to cool

slightly. When just barely cool enough to handle, knead quickly and turn

onto a board dusted with more oatmeal. Give a top-coating of oatmeal and

roll out as thin as possible, dusting with oatmeal all the while. Pinch any

cracks together. Use an oat-dusted glass to cut into rounds (re-roll scraps

if necessary), or make one large round and cut into triangle wedges



Bake at 375 degrees on an ungreased baking sheet 20-30 minutes turning once,

or longer if it's humid out, until they are gently toasted. It may be

necessary to turn off the oven and leave them to dry in order to get the

proper crisp texture/fawn color. Sprinkle liberally with salt when finished.

Serve warm or cold with potted cheese. Store in an airtight container as

they take on moisture readily. Do not pack away hot.



Potted Stilton (or any other strong flavored cheese):


1 lb. mellow Stilton or other cheese, crumbled or grated

4 oz butter, unsalted, at room temp.

1/2 tsp mace

1 tsp grainy prepared mustard

clarified butter

Combine all the ingredients together except the clarified butter and mash

very well to incorporate. pack tightly into a crock and seal with clarified

butter. if desired, decorate the surface with carrot flowers, herb leaves,

etc.. and pour on another fine layer of clarified butter to seal. Chill.

Serve cold, with oatcakes.


And that, folks, is what makes Oats an Artform.





Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 02:46:09 EDT

From: Korrin S DaArdain <korrin.daardain at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Help!!!


On Thu, 08 Jun 2000 15:20:58 -0500 Ruth Blake and David Blake

<tegan at swbell.net> writes:

>I agreed to do Yule revel this year and our theme is Scottish. I have a few >scottish recipes I have found..all the standards like scotch eggs, haggis, >shortbread. Does anyone have some period scottish recipes that might help me >out. The kitchen will be small and it will be a small feast for about 60

>people. I really don't mind pre cooking.






Korrin S. DaArdain

Korrin.DaArdain at Juno.com



        Red and White Gingerbread "Gyngerbrede" - (Scottish Medieval

dated from 1430 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor


        "Take a quart of hony, & sethe it, & skeme it clene; take

Safroun, poudir Pepir & throw ther-on; take gratyd Brede & make it so

chargeaunt (thick) that it wol be y-leched; then take pouder Canelle

(cinnamon) & straw ther-on y-now; then make yt square, lyke as thou wolt

leche yt; take when thou lechyst hyt, an caste Box (garden box) leves

a-bouyn, y-stkyd ther-on, on clowys (cloves). And if thou wolt have it

Red, coloure it with Saunderys (sandalwood) y-now."

        Historical note: Gingerbread, both red and white, was a favourite

medieval sweetmeat. Home-made gingerbread could be prepared by mixing

bread crumbs to a stiff paste with honey, pepper, saffron and cinnamon.

Ginger is omitted from the earliest recipe we have, but this may be due

to an accidental slip on the part of the scribe. Once made, it was shaped

into a square, sliced and decorated with box leaves impaled on cloves.

        ** British Measurements **

        1 lb. Honey

        pinch Powdered saffron

        1 Tsp. Black pepper

        2 Tsp. Ground ginger

        2 Tsp. Ground cinnamon

        1 lb. White bread crumbs

        Box or bay leaves & whole cloves to decorate

        Warm the honey over a gentle heat until quite runny, then stir in

the saffron and pepper. Pour into a large bowl and add the ginger and

cinnamon, then mix in the bread crumbs. It is impossible to say exactly

how many bread crumbs the honey will absorb because it varies, but the

mixture should be very stiff. If not, add a few more bread crumbs. Line a

shallow gingerbread tin with baking parchment and press the mixture into

it with your fingers. Level the top and leave to firm up in the fridge

for several hours, then turn out on to another sheet of paper and cut

into small squares. Arrange the gingerbread on a large plate, then

decorate each square with two box or small bay leaves and a whole clove

stuck in the center. You can achieve an even prettier effect by gilding a

few of the leaves or painting the ends of some of the cloves red.

        If you want to achieve a checkerboard effect, make the mixture up

in two lots, adding a few drops of red coloring to one quantity of honey

before mixing, then continue as before. Arrange the red and white squares

of gingerbread alternately on the serving plate.


        Jumbles or Knot Biscuits "Jumbles a hundred" - (Scottish

Elizabethan dated from 1596 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

        "Take twenty Egges and put htem into a pot both the yolkes and

the white, beat them wel, then take a pound of beaten sugar and put to

them, and stirre them wel together, then put to it a quarter of a peck of

flower, and make a hard paste thereof, and then with Anniseeds moulde it

well, ane make it in little rowles beeing long, and tye them in knots,

and wet the ends in Rosewater; then put them into a pan of seething

water, but even in one waum, then take them out with a Skimmer and lay

them in a cloth to drie, this being don lay them in a tart panne, the

bottome beeing oyled, then put them into a temperat Oven for one howre,

turning them often in the Oven.

        ** British Measurements **

        1 1/2 oz Butter; salted

        4 oz Caster sugar

        1 TB Rose-water

        1/2 oz Caraway seeds

        1 lg. Egg; beaten

        8 oz Plain flour

        Extra rose-water & caster sugar for glaze

        Preheat the oven to 350¯F / 180¯C / gas mark 4. Cream the butter,

sugar and rose-water together, then mix in the caraway seeds, beaten egg

and flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board, then

take small walnut-sized pieces of dough and with your fingers form each

into a roll, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter and 6-inch in length.

Make into simple knots, plaits or rings and arrange on a lightly greased

baking sheet. Brush with rose-water and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake

near the top of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tinged with

brown. (Knots and plaits will take longer to bake than simple rings, so

don't mix shapes on a baking sheet.) Remove from the oven and cool on a

wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. Delicious when served with syllabub.


        Gilded Marchpane

        (Scottish Elizabethan dated from 1699 AD & 1584 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

        "How to make Marchpane Cake" (dated from 1699 AD) "Take blancht

Almonds and sugar and beat them up into a Past, and when have beaten it

into a Past, rowl it out about the thickness that you will have your

Marchpane Cakes to be and cut them in 3 square pieces and set an Edge to

them of the same past, and Impress the Edges of them, then take Rose

Watter and beat searced sugar in it till it be as thick as Pancakes,

butter and wet them within it and strew a few of Bisketts in them and set

them upon Wafers, and set them againe upon Papers and bake them, and keep

them for your use."

        "To gild a Marchpane or any other kind of Tart" (dated from 1584

AD) "Take and cut your leafe of golde, as it lieth upon the booke, into

square peeces like Dice and with a Conies tailes end moysted a little,

take golde up by the one corner, lay it on the place beeing first made

moyste, and with another tayle of a Conie drie presse the golde downe

close. And if ye will have the forme of an Harte, or the name of Iesus,

or any other thing whatsoever; cut the same through a peece of paper and

lay the paper upon your Marchpane or Tart; then make the voide place of

the Paper (through which the Marchpane appeareth) moyste with Rose Water,

laye on your golde, presse it down, take off your Paper and there

remaineth behinde in golde the print cut in the saide paper."

        Historical note: The marchpane was the centrepiece of any

banquet. It was a large flat disc of marzipan, sometimes with a raised

rim round the edge, weighing perhaps 3 to 4 pounds or more, which was

iced, sumptuously decorated and surmounted for special occasions with

three-dimensional figures or models in cast sugar (hot sugar syrup

moulded in stone, wooden or pewter shapes); sugar plate (similar to

modern fondant icing) or almond paste. Finally, the marchpane was often

gilded with gold leaf, readily available but exceedingly expensive in

Elizabethan times.

        ** British Measurements **


        1 lb. Almonds; ground

        3 TB Rose-water

        8 oz Caster sugar

        THE GLAZE

        1 TB Rose-water

        3 TB Icing sugar

        Preheat the oven to 300¯F / 150¯C / gas mark 2. Work the ground

almonds, sugar and rose-water together to make a stiff paste. Knead until

quite smooth. Reserve a little of the marzipan for decorating the

marchpane and place the rest on a sheet of grease proof paper. Roll it

into a circle, about 3/8-inch thick, and decorate the edges with the back

of a knife as you would a pie. Slip the marzipan on to a baking sheet and

bake for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven, open the oven door and leave

to cook for another 15 minutes, then turn off the oven, open the oven

door and leave to cook for another 15 minutes, or until firm and dry, but

only lightly colored.

        Meanwhile, mix the rose-water and icing sugar to a thin paste for

the glaze. Brush over the marchpane and continue cooking for about 5

minutes until dry and glossy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

        Roll out the reserved marzipan until quite thin and cut out into

hearts, diamonds, letters, animals or birds. Paint with edible gold

coloring and fix on to the glazed marchpane as it dries to form patterns

or pictures. Alternately, the reserved marzipan can be modeled into

figures of animals or birds, or into knots which can be gilded as before.

Sugar-coated caraway, fennel or coriander seeds, or confectioners' silver

balls can also be used for decoration. Serve as a sweetmeat with coffee

at the end of a meal.


        Apple Snow - (Scottish Elizabethan dated from 1572 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

        Dyschefull of Snowe "Take a pottell (half a gallon) of swete

thycke creame and the whytes of eyghte egges, and beate them altogether

wyth a spone. Then putte them in youre creame and a saucerful of

Rosewater, and a dyshe full of Sugar wyth all. Then take a stycke and

make it cleane, and then cutte it in the ende foure square, and therwith

beate all the aforesayde thynges together, and ever as it ryseth take it

of and put it into a Collaunder. This done, take one apple and set it in

the myddes of it, and a thicke bushe of Rosemary, and set it in the

myddes of the Platter. Then cast your Snowe uppon the Rosemary and fyll

your platter therwith. And yf you have wafers caste some in wyth all and

thus serve them forthe." Historical note: The greatest innovation in

Elizabethan cookery was the discovery of eggs as a raising agent. Whites

of eggs produced "Snowe", a centrepiece for the banquet.

        ** British Measurements **

        1 1/2 lb. Cooking apples; peeled, cored & sliced

        1 TB Rose-water

        Caster sugar; to taste

        3 Egg whites

        3 oz Caster sugar

        1/4 pt Whipping cream


        Fresh rosemary sprigs

        Gold dragees

        Cook the sliced apples with the rose-water until soft, then rub

them through a fine sieve to make a smooth puree. Taste and sweeten with

a little sugar if necessary. Leave to get cold, then measure out about

1/2 pint. In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they stand in

soft peaks. Gradually beat in the caster sugar and continue to beat to a

stiff, glossy meringue. Gently fold in the measured apple puree, then

spoon into individual glasses or sundae dishes. Top with swirls of

whipped cream and decorate with rosemary and gold dragees.


        Spiced Red Wine "Ipocras" (Scottish Medieval dated from 1686 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

        "Take a galon of claret or white wine and put there in 4 ounces

of ginger, an ounce and half of nutmeg, of cloves, an quarter of Sugar, 4

pound. Let all this stand together in a pot at least twelve hours, then

take it and put it in a clere bage made for the purpose so that the wine

may come with good coller from the wine." Historical note: Hippocras, a

rich sweetened and spiced wine drunk after meals, was still in vogue

during the 17th century.

        ** British Measurements **

        3 pt Dry red wine

        8 oz Caster sugar

        1 oz Ground ginger

        1/4 oz Ground cinnamon

        1/4 oz Ground cloves

        Heat the wine gently with the sugar until it has dissolved,

stirring frequently. Mix in the spices, then allow to stand for 24 hours,

stirring occasionally, then strain through a jelly bag or a double layer

of muslin into a jug or large bowl. Pour back into the wine bottle and

recork until needed. Makes about 10 to 12 glasses.


        Muskels, Cawdel of - Spiced Mussel and Leek Broth (Medieval

Scottish dated 1390)

        "Take and seeth muskels; pyke hem clene, and waisshe hem clene in

wyne. Take almaundes and bray hem. Take somme of the muskels and grynde

hem, and some hewe smale; drawe the muskels yground with the self broth.

Wryng the almondes with faire water. Do alle thise togider; do therto

verious verjuice and vynger. Take whyte of lekes and perboile hem wel;

sryng oute the water and hewe hem smale. Cast oile therto, with oynouns

perboiled and mynced smale; do therto powdour fort, safroun and salt a

lytel. Seeth it, not to stondying, and messe it forth." Historical note:

Shellfish were a special treat during Lent: cooked either in a simple

broth of their own juice with perhaps a little ale, or in rich spicy

pottages like this recipe.

        3 lb. Fresh mussels

        2 TB Dry white wine

        1 sm. Onion; finely chopped

        8 oz Leeks; thinly sliced

        2 TB Olive oil

        1 1/2 oz Almonds; ground

        2 tsp. Ginger; ground

        pinch Saffron

        3/4 pt Fish stock

        Salt and pepper to taste

        1 TB White wine vinegar

        4 TB Double cream

        Thoroughly wash and scrub the mussels, scraping off any

barnacles. Remove the beards and discard any mussels that do not close

when given a good tap. Place in a large pan and add a dash of the wine.

Cover with a lid and cook over a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking

the pan until the mussels have opened. Strain the liquor through a

colander into a bowl, reserving it. Heat the oil in a saucepan and soften

the leeks and onions in it for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining wine

and let it reduce by half. Stir in the ground almonds and spices. Mix the

reserved cooking liquor with the fish stock and gradually add it to the

pan, stirring well. Leave to simmer gently for 25 minutes.

        Liquidise the soup and strain through a sieve into a clean

saucepan. Taste and season as necessary, and sharpen with wine vinegar.

        Discard one half of each mussel shell. Reheat the soup and stir

in the cream and mussels. Serve immediately in bowls, with plenty of

fresh crusty bread.


        Herb and Flower Salad - (Scottish Medieval - dated from 1390 AD)

        A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

        Salat: "Take persel (parsley), sawge, grene garlec, chibolles

(spring onions), oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrettes (a type of

leek), fennel, and town cressis, rew, rosemaye, purslayne; lave and

wasche hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small with thyme hande, and mingle

hem wel with rawe oile; lay on vynegar and salt, and serve it forth."

        Historical note: This is the earliest salad recipe in English.

Mixed herb and flower salads proved so popular that they continued in

fashion through to the 17th century. The salad would change according to

the season and what grew in each cook's herb garden, so adapt and

experiment with the basic recipe as you wish, as long as the result is


        ** British Measurements **

        2 bn Watercress

        1 packages Mustard greens & cress

        2 oz Fresh parsley sprigs

        1 Leek; finely sliced

        6 Spring onions; chopped

        1 oz Sorrel leaves; chopped

        1 oz Dandelion leaves; chopped

        1 Fennel bulb; sliced into match sticks

        1 oz Daisy leaves; chopped

        Red sage leaves

        Mint leaves

        1 Fresh rosemary sprig chopped

        1 cl Garlic

        1 TB Wine vinegar

        Salt & pepper to taste

        6 TB Olive oil

        Violets, primrose, blue borage flowers, dandelions & alexander

buds to decorate

        Wash and dry all the salad greens and prepare it. Mix together in

a large bowl, which has been rubbed well with a garlic clove, reserving

the flowers. Place the wine vinegar, seasonings and olive oil into a

screw-topped jar and shake well to blend. Pour over the salad just before

serving and mix again carefully. Decorate with the flowers as you wish

and serve immediately.




Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 10:38:34 PDT

From: "pat fee" <lcatherinemc at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Help!!! Oatcake recipe-long


My recipe for oat cakes calls for butter and long pepper.


The one I use weekly is a slightly modern addaptation of the original.


Original (translated)


32 oz ground scotts oatmeal or 1 box rolled oats ground in a blender.

   8 oz melted butter or enough to give the dough some "body"

   2 long pepper ground in a pestle and morter

   Enough water to moisten.


   Mix the oats with  long pepper and enough butter to form lumps.

   slowly add cold water until dough holds togather (sort of like pie


Cover a bread board with a hand full of the ground oats and roll the dough

out into 8" circles.  Place a scant handfull of the ground oats on a  hot

gridle. Carefully place the oat cake on the oats.  Bake untill dry and

"crumbly" on the edges and dry and lightly browned on the bottom.  Cut into

8 wedges.


This recipe is from my family cook book.  The measurements are what is

modern and have been worked out over time.


Lady Katherine McGuire



Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 23:20:58 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - scottish food & cookery


I have no recipes, only a few notes:


Andrew Borde, in "The fyrst boke of the Introduction of knowledge"

(1542), says about certain regions of Scotland:

"[therein] is plenty of fysh and flesh, and euell ale, excepte Leth ale;

there is plenty of hauer cakes, whiche is to say, oten cakes".


About another part, he says:

"Theyr Fyshe and Fleshe, be it rosted or soden, is serued wyth a syrup

or a sause in one disshe or platter: of al nacyons they do sethe theyr

fysh moste beste".


And in a specimen of their dialect: "A pygge is good meate.  _A gryce is

gewd sole_".


In his 'Dietary' he says: "for hauer cakes in Scotlande is many a good

lorde and lordes dysshe" (p.259). There is a note in the Furnivall

edition with a complaint of an old author that then lords ate plenty of

"new, fine, and delicate dishes" (259-60; from Harrison's _Description

of Scotland_, prefixed to Holinshed's _Historie_, ed. 1586).


There are quotations in the OED:

- -- 1606 Peacham Art of Drawing 68 "A blew stone, such as they make Haver

or Oten cakes upon". [What does that mean?]

- -- There are 15th century recipes for haggis. Would it be safe to assume

that these preparations apply to Scotland too?


I think it might be good to take a look at the 7 volume "Scottish

National Dictionary" too for expressions like _oat cake_, _haggis_,



Below are some books from copac.ac.uk (with the keywords "scottish" and





TI- Scotland's inner man : a history of Scots food & cookery

AU- MacClure, Victor

SE- The voice of Scotland

PU- London : Routledge and Sons, Ltd

PY- 1935

PD- vii, 207 p ; 20 cm

LA- English

KW- Scotland - Social life and customs

KW- Food supply - Scotland

KW- Agriculture - Scotland - History

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Leeds


TI- The haggis : a little history

AU- Wright Clarissa Dickson

AU- Hewitt Clare

PU- Belfast : Appletree

PY- 1996

PD- 59 p : col. ill., col. map ; 16 cm

LA- English

IS- 0862816351

KW- Cookery, Scottish

KW- Haggis

HL- Oxford


TI- The laird's kitchen : three hundred years of food in Scotland

AU- Geddes Olive M.

AU- National Library of Scotland

PU- Edinburgh : HMSO [for the] National Library of Scotland

PY- 1994

PD- ix, 110 p : ill(some col.)  : facsims, maps, ports(some col.)  ; 29


DT- Government publication

LA- English

IS- 0114952302

NT- On cover : National Library of Scotland

KW- Food habits - Scotland - History

KW- Cookery, Scottish - History

KW- Diet - Scotland - History

KW- Recipes - Scotland - History

HL- Birmingham ; Dublin ; Edinburgh ; Leeds ; Manchester ; Nottingham ;

   Sheffield ; ULL ; Warwick


TI- Broths to bannocks : cooking in Scotland 1690 to the present day

AU- Brown, Catherine

PU- London : Murray

PY- 1990

PD- [272]p

LA- English

IS- 0719547806

KW- Scotland. Cookery, history

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Cambridge ; Dublin ; Leeds


TI- The cook and her kitchen c1770

AU- Fairweather, Barbara

AU- Glencoe and North Lorn Folk Museum

PU- [S.l.] : Glencoe and North Lorn Folk Museum

PY- 1994

PD- 40 p : ill ; 21 cm

LA- English

NT- Written and edited by Barbara Fairweather

KW- Cookery, Scottish - History

HL- Dublin


TI- A Caledonian feast

AU- Hope Annette

PU- London : Grafton

PY- 1989

PD- 349p, pbk

LA- English

IS- 0586203044

NT- First published: Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1987

KW- Food habits - Scotland - History

KW- Scotland - Social life and customs

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Cambridge ; Dublin ; Edinburgh ; Oxford


TI- Mrs McLintock's receipts for cookery and pastry-work : first


   1736 : reproduced from the original

AU- McLintock Mrs

AU- Macleod Iseabail

PU- Aberdeen : Aberdeen University Press

PY- 1986

PD- xxxiv, 62p ; 18cm, pbk

LA- English

IS- 0080345190

NT- Facsim of: ed published Scotland : [s.n.], 1736

KW- Cookery, Scottish - Early works to 1800

KW- Pastry - Early works to 1800

KW- Food - Recipes - Early works

HL- Cambridge ; Dublin ; Edinburgh ; Oxford ; SAS


TI- Blair Castle : some recipes from the old kitchen

AU- Blair Castle

PU- [Scotland?] : [Blair Castle]

PY- 1984

PD- 1sheet, [8] p ; 21 cm

LA- English

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Oxford


TI- Lady Castlehill's receipt book : a selection of 18th century


   fare: original recipes from a collection made in 1712

AU- Castlehill, Martha Lockhart

AU- Whyte, Hamish

PU- Glasgow : Molendinar Press

PY- 1976

PD- xvi, 84p : ill, facsims, geneal table ; 20x25cm, Pbk

LA- English

IS- 0904002209

KW- Food: Scottish dishes, ca 1710 Recipes

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Dublin ; Leeds


TI- Much entertainment : a visual and culinary record of Johnson and

   Boswell's tour of Scotland in 1773

AU- Maclean, Virginia

PU- London : Dent

PY- 1973

PD- x, 86p : ill, map ; 20x26cm

LA- English

IS- 0460078801

NT- Ill. on lining papers

KW- cookery scotland, c.1773. recipes

KW- scotland. description and travel, 1773

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Dublin


TI- A taste of Scotland : Scottish traditional food

AU- FitzGibbon Theodora

PU- London : Dent

PY- 1970

PD- xii, 124 p : illus ; 20 x 26 cm

LA- English

IS- 0460039113

NT- Facsims. on lining papers

KW- Scotland - History - Pictorial works

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Oxford


TI- The Scots kitchen : its traditions and lore, with old-time recipes

AU- McNeill Florence Marian

ED- 2nd ed

PU- London : Blackie

PY- 1968

PD- x, 282 p., [4] p. of plates : ill ; 21 cm

LA- English

KW- Cookery, Scottish

HL- Oxford



Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 22:58:30 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Help-Scottish recipes


Cariadoc wrote:

>By the late sixteenth century there are printed recipe collections in

>England, so it is possible there is evidence of one of them being

>known in Scotland. But it sounds like a hard problem, given how

>narrow the window is between the earliest English printed cookbooks

>(anyone know exactly when that is? I don't) and the end of our period.


I suppose that depends on how you define a cookbook. According to The Oxford

Companion to Food (which devotes almost 2 pages to pre-1700 English

cookbooks), the first printed book relating to cookery is probably a Noble

Boke of Cokery (1500) followed by The Book of Kervynge (1508); however A

Proper Newe Booke of Cookerye (1575 or earlier) is probably the first book

that focuses on cookery itself, and was closely followed by several others.


The earliest printed Scottish cookbook was written by a Mrs McClintock and

pbulished in 1736. F. Marian McNeill’s The Scots Kitchen is probably the

best source for old and traditional Scottish recipes, with lofts of history

thrown in.  (Which reminds me - Ìt has been on my "must have" list for quite

some time, so now I’m off to search for a copy of the original edition.)





Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 17:59:59 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Help!!!


At 1:15 PM -0400 6/9/00, Elaine Koogler wrote:

>I'll have to go looking for it, but I suspect that Cock-a-leeky soup

>is period...at least I believe it is.


I don't want to pick on Kiri in particular, since what she is saying

here appears in a lot of other posts, and conversations, in the SCA.

But "I suspect ... is period ... at least I believe it is" generally

means that someone else told you it was--and, in my experience, SCA

oral tradition is a very unreliable source of information. If you

encounter a recipe in the SCA or the mundane world and don't know

what period source it came from, your working assumption should be

that there isn't one.


This isn't limited to recipes. I have been in the SCA long enough so

that some of the traditional accounts one hears are of events I was a

part of--and that isn't how they happened.


Two things, in my view, are going on. One is  that verbal

transmission is a noisy medium. One person says "I think it is the

sort of thing they might have had in period," and by the third or

fourth person it goes through it has turned into "it is a period

recipe." The other is that, within the SCA, being knowledgable, both

about SCA history and about period history, is a source of

prestige--with the result that some people exaggerate how much they

know, and other people believe them.


Kiri also writes:

>Another possibility is to use some of the Norse/Viking recipes, if you have

>access to them.  After all, much of the northern part of Scotland

>was populated by folks from the Northern lands!


Unfortunately, we don't have any period Norse/Viking cookbooks

either, so that doesn't solve the problem.


After writing the above, I decided to see what I could learn on the

net about the history of cock-a-leekie. I found one page that said

the recipe was more than 300 years old, which would put it in the

seventeenth century; no source was given. I also found the following

assertion (about cock-a-leekie):


As early as 1598 Fynes Morrison recorded that it was served at a

Knight's house with boiling fowl (thus the "cock") and prunes.


Further search found the following passage from Morrison, which I

suspect is what is being referred to:


'I myself,' says the traveller Fynes Morrison, in the end of Queen

Elizabeth's reign, the scene being the Lowlands of Scotland, 'was at

a knight's house, who had many servants to attend him, that brought

in his meat with their heads covered with blue caps, the table being

more than half furnished with great platters of porridge each having

a little piece of sodden meat. And when the table was served, the

servants did sit down with us; but the upper mess, instead of

porridge, had a pullet, with some prunes in the broth.'--TRAVELS, p.



If that is the right passage, what we have is evidence that Lowland

Scots at the end of our period sometimes ate chicken stewed with some

prunes. But that doesn't imply it was cock-a-leekie--for one thing,

there are no leeks mentioned.


On the other hand, the quote from Morrison does give a a little

evidence on Scottish cooking in period.






Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 09:41:12 -0400

From: grizly at mindspring.com

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Re: Help-Scottish recipes


<<<SNIP>>>The earliest printed Scottish cookbook was written by a Mrs McClintock and pbulished in 1736. F. Marian McNeill¥s The Scots Kitchen is probably the best source for old and traditional Scottish recipes, with lofts of history thrown in.  (Which reminds me - Ìt has been on my "must have" list for quite some time, so now I¥m off to search for a copy of the original edition.) >>>>>>>>


Acanthus Books appears to have a facsimile reprint of the 1st edition for $20.00US. Maychance that meets your need.


McNeill, F. Marian: The Scots Kitchen: Its Tradition and Lore with Old-time recipes ; Edinburgh: Mercat, 1994. facsimile, New, 259, Facsimile of 1929 edition., paperback, Scotland Scottish cookery cookbook recipes food history Acanthus Books   (UR#:BOOKS000084I)  Offered for sale by Acanthus Books at US$20.00





Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 06:01:41 +1000

From: Lorix <lorix at trump.net.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Help-Scottish recipes


david friedman wrote:


> The "recipe book" that Jenne is referring to is a manuscript, not a

> printed book; the first printed cookbook in Europe is Platina, late

> 15th century. So you would need evidence that an English collection

> of recipes was known in Scotland. That probably means you need a

> Scottish manuscript containing the English recipes--which, so far as

> I know, doesn't exist.


There is a book I have flipped thru called 'The Scots Kitchen' which

was first published in 1929 and was collected and edited by F. Marion

McNeill, currently published by Mercat Press in Edinburgh.  It's a

collection of traditional recipes, some of them from older

collections. Nearly all of them are written in the old-fashioned

style in which exact amounts, times and temperatures are not given.

Some of the dishes can be readily identified as post-period by reason

of their ingredients, while others do have about them the air of being

as 'old as the hills.'  At the back of the book, Ms McNeill gives a

bibliography of her manuscript sources.  Now some of those sources

(whose recipes she repeats & then redacts) are late period I think (ie

in 1600-1650).  Many of the others are 18th century.  She does

acknowledge which recipes come from which sources & the book was

designed to compile a resource of traditional Scottish recipes.  I

only examined the book briefly & have been meaning to re-visit it but

someone else may be able to comment on its usefulness & veracity.  It

is certainly worth a look.





From: Cathie Sanders [mailto:cathies at chartertn.net]

Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 10:23 AM

To: Dragonshade at yahoogroups.com; Tavern Yard

Subject: [TY] Bog Butter




This link, which describes the latest supposition about Scottish Bog  


may be of interest to those with early Scottish personas or interests.





Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 23:04:47 -0500

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Native foods of Scotland (was Sca-cooks Digest,

        Vol 20,       Issue 45)

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


amanda sears wrote:

> I have a question for you all. I am looking for someplace where I can  

> find a list or research native foods of Scotland, mainly fruits and  

> vegetables. Does anyone know of such a resource online? I do not have  

> any money to buy a book at present and I just moved and do not know  

> where the library is let alone have a library card. Thank you for any  

> information you can offer up!

> Meadhbh


Many of the cultivated fruits and vegetables in Britain were introduced

by the Romans.  So, although medieval Scots were eating cabbage and

carrots, these are not *native* plants.




The links below have lists of native British/Scottish plants




History of cheesemaking in Scotland:



The British Agricultural Historical Society has back issues of its

journal online.  I do not know if it would include the information you  




Hope this gives you a start.


Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 1:36:18 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Native foods of Scotland (was Sca-cooks

        Digest, Vol  20,    Issue 45)

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



I have a question for you all. I am looking for someplace were I can

find a list or research native foods of Scotland, mainly fruits and

vegetables. Does anyone know of such a resource online? I do not have

any money to buy a book at present and I just moved and do not know

where the library is let alone have a lbrary card. Thank you for any

information you can offer up!





When you find the library and can find/order books through interlibrary

loan, you might want to look at the bibliography I did for this  


" In 1608 William Douglas, The Earl f Angus and his Countess,

Elizabeth, were internally exiled for political and religious reasons to

Glasgow. Five months of their household expense accounts from that

period of time can be found today in the National Library of Scotland.

These accounts, along with numerous other sources, form the basis for

today’s luncheon of fare that might well have been served in Scotland in

the reign of James VI, later to become James I of England. The following

brief notes concentrate on the associations and context of the foods

served here today. Sources and original recipes are noted. It’s the

story and not the a list of ingredients or recipe instructions that I

offer here."

It's described at



One book not in that list that was on order at the time is Plants and People

in Ancient Scotland by Camilla Dickson and James Dickson. UK: Tempus,  



Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:45:56 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 20, Issue 45

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


> I have a question for you all. I am looking for someplace where I can

> find a list or research native foods of Scotland, mainly fruits and

> vegetables. Does anyone know of such a resource online? I do not have

> any money to buy a book at present and I just moved and do not know

> where the library is let alone have a library card. Thank you for any

> information you can offer up!


Hm... among the experts seem to be James H. Dickson, author of "Plants

and People of Ancient Scotland". I'm looking for more information from

him.. A bibliography of his writings are online at:




You can look him up as J.H. Dickson in Google Scholar.


I'm inclosing a review of the book from the Journal Antiquity.


Also, there's an article in Nature from 1994 that might be helpful:

       Flowers and funerals,

        P. D. Moore

Nature 369, 708 - 709 (1994).


CAMILLA DICKSON & JAMES DICKSON. Plants and people in ancient Scotland.

320 pages, 172 figures. 2000. Stroud: Tempus/ Charleston (SC): Arcadia;

0-75241905-6 paperback 25 & $39.99.


This book represents an important new synthesis on the use of plants by

humans in Scotland from the Mesolithic through to the end of the

Medieval period. Past archaeobotanical syntheses for Scotland have

concentrated on particular aspects, such as the presence of cereals or

the reconstruction of Holocene woodland. However, the authors have

attempted to address the full range of evidence and interpretation that

can be gained from analysing plant micro- and macrofossils on a national

scale, with laudable success.


Essentially, the book is split into two sections: the first comprises a

chronological narrative of the use of plants by period and the second

details 40 particularly noteworthy plants, both common and exotic. Most

of the discussion is based on archaeobotanical remains from

archaeological sites, with wider reference to the regional plant

communities through pollen analysis and other sources of evidence, such

as zooarchaeological assemblages, where appropriate. The structure is

well laid out and the figures, appendices and references complement the

readable and knowledgeable text.


The book opens with a review of the archaeobotanical research undertaken

in Scotland prior to 1970 and the development of the palaeoenvironmental

techniques that provide the basic data discussed thereafter. This

introductory chapter refers to a series of appendices outlining the

concepts of a number of sub-disciplines, such as archaeobotany and

zooarchaeology, providing the non-specialist with the basic

understanding needed to engage with the contents. Each chapter outlines

the evidence and interpretation from the major site assemblages within a

given period. A general synthesis is also provided, with more detailed

discussion and new insights on particular topics, such as the

interpretation of Small-leaved lime and Meadowsweet pollen in Bronze Age

cists. The final chapter in this section summarizes the present state of

knowledge for each period and suggests future avenues for research.


The second section details 40 case studies of significant species,

explaining their formal name and outlining the plants' ecology,

potential uses and presence, both chronologically and spatially, on

archaeological sites across Scotland. For many of these plants, their

present-day distribution and habitat across the British Isles is

presented and discussed, highlighting the detailed palaeoecological

reconstruction possible from both plant micro- and macrofossils. The

plants covered in this section include those that are ubiquitous on most

excavations where appropriate sampling has been undertaken, such as the

cereals and more common trees and shrubs, to the rarer plants, such as

the Cloudberry recovered from the Iron Age crannog at Oakbank, Loch Tay.


The book is a success for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is accessible

to the specialist and nonspecialist, stimulating both initial interest,

judging by the number of positive responses from undergraduates, and

more complex ideas for those more familiar with the data set. Also,

concerted attempts are made to integrate the regional pollen spectra and

the on-site archaeobotanical assemblages, a process that can be

routinely overlooked in specialist reports. This integration

demonstrates the interpretive value of analysing charcoal and wood

assemblages, from sites such as Skara Brae and the Howe on Orkney, that

allow insights into the wood and timber procurement strategies practised

in relatively open landscapes. Another important contribution of this

book is the dissemination of unpublished material from sites awaiting

publication. Also, the detailed discussions of research problems unique

to Scottish archaeobotany, such as the deforestation of the Northern and

Western Isles, are full of new ideas. However, the intellectual scope is

not always restricted to Scotland as the excellent summary of the new

plants introduced by the Romans demonstrates, through its wider

comparisons to Roman/native interactions elsewhere on the frontiers of

the Empire.


The value of this book can be demonstrated by the advances in knowledge

over the past 30 years summarized in the concluding chapter of the

chronological narrative. The authors have been at the forefront of this

research and this book serves as a testament to their contribution.

Camilla Dickson, who died in 1998, inspired and helped many people to

develop interests in the archaeobotany of Scotland and this book will

continue to do so in the future.


-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 12:26:10 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Native foods of Scotland (was Sca-cooks

        Digest, Vol 20,     Issue 45)

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


More references:


Diet and ethnicity during the Viking colonization of northern Scotland:

evidence from fish bones and stable carbon isotopes. JAMES H. BARRETT,



Unusual food plants from Oakbank Crannog, Loch Tay, Scottish Highlands:

cloudberry, opium poppy and spelt wheat. Jennifer J. Miller, James H.

Dickson, T. Nicholas Dixon.

      Antiquity Dec 1998 v72 i278 p805(7)


Manners and mustard: Ideas of political decline in sixteenth-century


Allan, David. Comparative Studies in Society and History. Cambridge: Apr

1995. Vol. 37, Iss. 2; p. 242


Five Euphemias: Women in Medieval Scotland 1200-1420, by Elizabeth

Sutherland. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1999. 282


The plants and the people from Buiston Crannog, Ayrshire, Scotland

Holden, Timothy G. Antiquity. Cambridge: Dec 1996. Vol. 70, Iss. 270; p.

954 (6 pages)


-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 12:35:26 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Native foods of Scotland (was Sca-cooks

        Digest, Vol 20,     Issue 45)

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


Excerpts from

        The plants and the people from Buiston Crannog, Ayrshire,

Scotland. Timothy G. Holden.

      Antiquity Dec 1996 v70 n270 p954(6)


on 6th & 7th c. deposits:


The small bone assemblage shows clear evidence for the consumption of

both the prime cuts and poorer parts of domestic cattle, pig and sheep

as well as the exploitation of red deer, roe deer and geese.




Evidence for the economic use of plants (other than building materials)

comes from separate sources; waterlogged vascular plants, mosses,

charred plant remains, and wooden and stone artefacts. It is evident

that cereals formed the main subsistence crops; six-row hulled barley

(Hordeum sativum) dominates the charred remains, with lesser quantities

of oat (Avena sp.) and rare occurrences of wheat (Triticum cf.

aestivum). Quantities of charred flax seed (Linum usitatissimum) were

also recovered from several contexts; it is not known whether these

would have represented the use of the plant for oil or fibre production.

The cereals and the flax are represented by the cleaned grain or seed

with only minor contamination by weed seeds or persisting chaff

fragments. The charring of cleaned cereals from domestic contexts in

northern Europe is commonly linked with crop-processing. It is likely

that corn-drying, as a prelude to milling in, or over, the domestic

hearth (Fenton 1982) could account for much of this. However, as flax

seed is unlikely to warrant this artificial drying, the presence of

charred masses of flax seed suggests that these crops were more probably

charred in a conflagration of stored grain or seed. Since there is

little relevent evidence in the stratigraphic record, the question

remains unresolved.




Both coriander (Coriandrum sativum) and dill (Anethum graveolens) were

recovered from dumped deposits in a hollow created by the collapsing

palisade. These herbs have their origin in southern Europe (Pursglove

1968), but there is ample evidence for their presence in Britain during

the Roman period. Most early examples derive from urban sites (e.g.

Jones 1981) but there are occasional examples of coriander and dill from

rural Romano-British settlements (e.g. Robinson 1979; Jones 1977).




Whether the herbs were consumed as seed or as green plants is impossible

to say from Buiston data; they could have been grown as fresh herbs in

some specially tended part of the crannog.




The hazel-shell is a clear example of collected natural resources.

Quantities of shell fragments were recovered from many samples with a

particularly large group from around one of the hearths. Hazelnuts are

likely to have been locally available.


Evidence for other tree species such as Prunus padus L. (bird cherry)

and Sorbus sp. (rowan/service tree) was also present. These, together

with other berry-producing members of the Rosaceae also present such as

raspberry (Rubus idaeus), bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.) and rose (Rosa

sp.) are likely to have been used as flavourings and sweeteners, made

into drinks or condiments, and - particularly the Rubus species - eaten




-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 20:05:29 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] scottish recipes

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


Jennifer Couch wrote:

I am new to the list and also to period cooking.  I am looking for some good

references/cookbooks to get Scottish recipes.  Where is the best place to


Sarait Ingen Beathain >>>


The earliest Scots cookbook is not published until 1736.

The earliest published in England is 1500. That's for starters.

The problem with Scotland is that the culinary sources are few and far

in between and there's a lot of nonsense written about what the Scots ate.


Bookwise you might obtain


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

1999. http://www.foodinscotland.co.uk/books.html


Geddes, Olive M. /The Laird's Kitchen. Three Hundred Years of Food in

Scotland./ Edinburgh: HMSO; The National Library of Scotland, 1994.


Peter Brears did an excellent summary of Scottish cookery books in his

introduction to Elizabeth Cleland's "A New and Easy Method of Cookery"

from 1755. See http://www.kal69.dial.pipex.com/shop/system/index.html

for part of that introduction and information about the book.


I have an article based on a luncheon that I created for circa 1600

A Luncheon Prepared for TRM Alasdair & Guenievre by Johnnae llyn Lewis

which should be re-appearing at

http://www.mkcc.rhawn.com/MKCC.html soon.


In connection with a lady from Calontir I also did the notes for an early Scots

feast in the time of Malcolm and Margaret. That has a full bibliography and was

published in Ars Caidis's issue on the Culinary Arts in November 2005.


You might start with those. And I am sure that Stefan will pop in and urge you to try the Florilegium too. My article on Shortbread for instance appears


"*Shortbread*" by *Johnnae* llyn Lewis, CE.





Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 11:37:26 +0000 (GMT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] scottish recipes

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


When there are no recipes extant, other sources that mention food might be of interest as well.


One way to find those sources might be the electronic Dictionary of the Scots Language, which includes the printed Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (12 vols., DOST, 12th to 17th centuries) and the Scottish National Dictionary (10 vols., SND, 1700 to 1970s).


A problem with using this instrument is: You already have to know, what you are searching for (i.e. you must know some of the old spelling headwords of food terms) or there must be some modern English term within the semantic comments.


This dictionary is here: http://www.dsl.ac.uk


Below, there is an example from DSL-DOST, which I came upon searching for oatcake:



DSL - DOST   Ate brede, Ait breid, n. Also: ait, aitt, eit, eat (breid, etc.). [Ate n., corr. to e.m.E. ote bread (1579).] Bread made from oats. (a)  The quhitt breid and aitt breid to be sauld ? as the prices of quhytt and meill stands for the tyme;1549 Ann. Banff I. 24.  That thair be na ait breid bakin in this tovne, bot that the baxstaris baik kakis;1569 Peebles B. Rec. 309.  Of ate brede called houer brede in Ingland; Dalr. I. 6 marg.  Ane soup of ait breid and ane drink; 1608 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 520.  The counsell discharges all ait bread to be baikin, except aucht d. ait loaves; 1656 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 162. (b)  Eit bread, ill aill, and all things are ane eik; Montg. Sonn. xxv. 7. Quhatsumewir brother ? sall baik eat bread heireftir, except it be of cleane eat meill, ? sall pay iiii li. money; 1608 St. A. Baxter Bks. 72.  To Alex Willeamson, baxter, for eat breid furnest be him; 1638?9 Misc. Spald. C. V. 154.





Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:53:21 -0300

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Scottish cuisine

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


Someone asked about historical Scottish cuisine recently.

While someone else seemed discouraging to me on the subject I had no

time to look the matter up.

Sitting down and thinking there is a vast area out there such as:

Scottish oats, oat porridges, soups, barley and leeks, kale, nettles.

oatcakes, shortbread and pancakes.

spit roasts.

fish - haddock, smoked haddock, salmon, kippers

game - birds, venison

beef, mutton

soft fruit raspberries and strawberries


whiskey and wine

Amazon has about 30 Scottish cookbooks on sale :


I think the subject of Scottish medieval cuisine super. When Marks and

Spencer was in Madrid I bought Haggis the first payday every month as a

special for the family. We love haggis, black pudding and morcilla which

I personally make from our own pigs' blood.





Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 23:51:03 -0500 (EST)

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Scottish cuisine (and now, blood dishes)

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


On Thu, 27 Nov 2008, Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< Why do you say wine for Scotland? You can't grow grapes there, so it would

have to have been imported, particularly during the later Middle Ages.  Do we

have any idea how common it was to drink wine in Scotland? >>>


FWIW, in the 16th C, wine is fairly common. A couple of things to note. In

his Chronicle of Scotland (this is from the 16th C Scots

Bellenden translation of the original Latin), Boece notes "richt hardy and

reddy to all jeoperdyis bai9th in weir and peace, iin sich maner that na

thing may be difficill to thaim, gif they leiffit temperatelie. Therefore

the provident Beginnar of the warld hes nocht but gret resoun maid thair

region nakit and bair of winis, knawing be his eterne wisdome, that winis,

howbeit the samin ar richt necessat to all uthir peple, ar richt

skaithfull to the nature of Albianis, for thay ar given to sic unnaturall

voracite and desire of uncouth metis and drinkis, that they can nocht

refrene thaimself fra immodereat excess" (Right hardy and ready to all

jeopardies both in war and peace, in such manner that no thing may be

difficult to them, if they live temperatly. Therefore, the provident

Beginner of the world has not but great reason made their region naken and

bare of wines, knowing by his stern wisdom that wines, although the same

are right necessary to all other people, are right harmful to the nature

of Albans, for they are given to such unnatural voracity and desire of

uncouth meats and drinks, that they can not refrain themselves from

immoderate excess")


How excess, you may ask -- well, in Dundee alone in 1580, the shipping

records show imports of 200 tuns of wine from Bordeaux, 1 tun of wine

from Rochelle, and 40 tuns of wine from unspecified places. This is the

equivalent of 15536 gallons of wine, or some 64,000+ bottles of the size.

Dundee is not the only port importing wine in Scotland, and the

population in the late 16th C is approximately 800,000, that's a fair

quantity of wine for a vine barren country.


toodles, margaret



Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 08:28:33 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Scottish cuisine (and now, blood dishes)

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


<<< I do have a book on the history of Scotch whiskey. Sometime I will  get

around to reading it and finding out how much information is in  there

about the Middle Ages.  And if there are mentions of it being drunk for

other than medicinal purposes. >>>


As I recall, the last time the subject came up, I found a reference that

placed whiskey making in Scotland just within period.  But didn't find

anything to tell me how similar or dissimilar it was to modern Scotch



<<< Why do you say wine for Scotland? You can't grow grapes there, so it

would have to have been imported, particularly during the later  Middle

Ages. Do we have any idea how common it was to drink wine in  Scotland? >>>


Very. Scotland had strong ties with France for several centuries and

imported tremendous amounts of wine.


<<< Stefan <<<





Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 18:14:53 +0000 (GMT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Scottish cuisine and wine

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


> Do we have any idea how common it was to drink wine in  Scotland?

Very. Scotland had strong ties with France for several centuries and

imported tremendous amounts of wine.



If you look for "wyne" in the online Dictionary of the Scots language with the option "full entry" and "DOST and DOST Adds", you get a lot of quotations like the ones in the two links below:









Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 23:38:02 -0800

From: "Laureen Hart" <lhart at graycomputer.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Scottish Food

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


Also look for "1990 Catherine Brown From Broth to Bannocks: Cooking in

Scotland from 1690 to the present day"


I like it, it has some information from unpublished sources. I tried

Emailing Catherine Brown to see if there was any way to get our collective

hands on the unpublished sources but she didn't reply. Perhaps she will

publish them at some point.


A very valuable resource is "The Scots Gard'ner" by John Reid published in

Edinburgh in 1683.

Not a recipe book but how to garden a huge range of stuff ornamental and edible.

I have a photocopy of one procured via interlibrary loan. The Calendar

portion is online http://www.cyberscotia.com/ogmios/texts/reid/kalendar.html

Not as useful as the whole manual but still lots of good information. As

mentioned in another post you can extrapolate off of available foodstuffs in

the absence of actual recipes. Not ideal, but better than trying to serve

completely inappropriate stuff.


Lady Castlehill's receipt book: A selection of 18th century Scottish fare :

original recipes from a collection made in 1712 is ok but frustrating, They

didn't include the whole thing and I bet they chose more of the "weird"

receipt than the "normal" ones. (Like Elinor Fettiplace I would prefer the

whole thing rather than an artistic selection).


The 1736 book is Mrs. McLintock's Receipts for cookery and Pastry-Work -

This is an excellent book even though it is out of period.


Scottish Cookery has been a fascination and frustration for me since I

visited Scotland in 1977. There is just so little available to the common



Randell Raye of Crianlarich


<the end>

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