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pickled-fish-msg - 7/29/18


Period pickled fish. Either by storing in vinegar or by the action of lactic acid produced by lactobacilli. The latter is the same process responsible for corned beef, many cured sausages, things like sauerkraut, kim chee, and Kosher dill pickles.


NOTE: See also the files: pickled-meats-msg, Meat-wo-Refrg-art, stockfish-msg, pickled-foods-msg, vinegar-msg, Vinegar-art, Lrds-Salt-Exp-art, food-storage-msg.





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



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: destry at netcom.com (Fellwalker)

Subject: Re: Period Vegetarian Cooking - help

Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 06:59:55 GMT


Mark S. Harris (markh at risc.sps.mot.com) wrote:

: wmarquand at aol.com (WMarquand) wrote:

: > Im my not so humble opinion, fish is the food of the gods.  I gladly eat

: > it with dee-light.  Maybe I could go to the market and get some kippered

: > herrings (how period is that?).


: I've wondered about this myself. I know that salted herring and other

: fish were staples at least in some cultures and times in the Middle

: Ages. Just how close are the kippered herrings you can buy off the

: grocery store shelf today to medieval preserved fish?


: I know they didn't have the can, but perhaps they did something close

: using other containers. What exactly is "kippering"? The can doesn't

: tell you much. Would they have preserved fish in oil?


: Can you get dried fish today? Where? Oriental markets?


: Fish is not served at feasts in this kingdom. But I Like fish. I'd

: like to try some medieval versions on my own. I've not done much

: cooking of fish mundanely and since I'd like to find a way to do

: fish at an outdoor event, maybe someone can give some ideas on

: preserving/treating it for such events.


Smoked fish, especially salmon, goes over big at our Viking events (and

smoking fish is period). Vikings dried a lot of fish for storage (but they

had very dry cold wind to help them out with that) thus was born lutefisk

- which is dried cod rehydrated by soaking in a lye solution.  Gravalax is

salmon preserved in a dill/brine solution...herring can be preserved in a

number of ways and pickled herring you can get in the store may be

suitable. Try some good Scandinavian cookbooks for ideas


--Morgan (Max)


Sleepy Cat Graphis           http://emporium.turnpike.net/Z/zen/index.html

P.O. Box 608048                     - The Church of Zen Fatalism -

San Diego, CA 92160                      Artful Things Gallery



Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 13:51:34 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - OOP: mustard herring (finally!)


Par Leijonhufvud wrote:

> Once uppon a time, long long ago I promised to dig up a recipie for

> this. This is straight out of a book, untried by me, and for all I know

> it wil turn out horrid. But...


Sounds good to me. It is essentially skinless, boneless herring,

pickled, with a sauce that is more or less what is traditionally eaten

with gravlax. Yum!





Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 19:43:58 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Organ Meats left out?- Heresy in the Cathedral!


At 06:27 PM 12/05/98 -0500, Bogdan wrote:

>Hey, speaking of Herring, anyone know some period herring recipes (chances

>are they are sitting in this pile of medieval cookbooks, but I haven't

>found them yet.  Preferrably a picked type that might last longer?


The Forme of Cury has a pickled fish recipie (Gele of fish) using wine,

vinegar and spices you might want to look at...





Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 19:15:19 -0800

From: Edwin Hewitt <brogoose at pe.net>

To: "sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Pickled fish


Melanie Wilson wrote:

> This variation is similar to Gravlaks ie buried or grave salmon. there is a

> record of its use in a ms of 1348, and is probably older still....


I found a nice little site that can suppy you with all the pickled and dried

fish your little viking might want from Norsland Lefse:




Microwaveable Lutefisk

   For our lost Viking friends. We've secured a supply of the

   highest quality boneless, vacuum packed lutefisk. 1 3/4# Fillet  $10.95


   Microwaveable Lutefisk Dinner

   completely cooked lukefisk, peas,

   homestyle mashed potatoes. Single

   serving ready in 8-10 minutes                  $4.95


   Olsen Herring

   You'll have the finest pickled herring with Olsen's. In fine

   wine sauce.



Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 10:31:56 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Pickled fish


This variation is similar to Gravlaks ie buried or grave salmon. there is a

record of its use in a ms of 1348, and is probably older still.


Fish sandwiched between 2 layers of birch bark and fir branches is weighed

down with stones and buried in the soft sandy shoreline. eat after 4-6 days

or leave to ferment for 6-12 weeks.


Here is a modern pickling recipe for 6-7 lbs fish


1tbsp brandy, 3/4 oz sugar. 1.5oz crystilized (not dehydrated) salt, pepper,



Gut, sprinkle with brandy, mix salt, sugar & pepper, scatter over, chop

dill, spread over first fillet and sandwich the two together, cover with

foil, weigh the top leave in cool place 37 F (3-4 c for civilized folk :)),

turn twice a day, pour the pressed out liquid back between the fillets,

remove weights after 2 days. Ready to eat in 3-4 days.


Tip: freeze fish first to kill any fishy parasites





Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 10:13:28 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Surstr=F6mming?=: Was, Re: SC - Would you like 14 Metric  Tons of Long Pepper?


UlfR wrote:

> On Fri, 5 Jan 2001, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> > Par Leijonhufvud commented:

> > > just as long as the UN does not catch on to the fact that we *are*

> > > stockpiling biological weapons...

> >

> > I don't think lutefisk counts as a biological weapon.


> We are talking about surstrˆmming here. A very different beast.


> /UlfR


Surstrˆmming are a Scandinavian form of pickled herring made not with

vinegar, which seems to be the more common method, but by salting them

with approximately half as much salt as would normally be used for

salted herring. Herring is sometimes salted right on the ship from which

they are caught (this method appears to date from the 13th or 14th

century, BTW) in cases where the fishermen had to go farther afield to

find the shoals, hence the whole Hanseatic League thing yadda yadda...

but that's another story.


When your catch is huge, and you begin to run out of salt, what you do

is skimp on the salt in each barrel, thinking to sell the imperfectly

preserved herring to the first sucker that comes along -- cheaply and

with your no-returns-in-case-of-food-poisoning-caveat-emptor-policy

clearly written in very small print on the back of the receipt.


Then, what happens as you sail home across the sea, is that the fish

begins to undergo a lactobacillic fermentation, something like what

happens to half-sour or dill pickles, or sauerkraut. The bacteria

produces lactic acid, and this actually preserves the fish rather

nicely. It also produces a flavor which is an acquired taste at best for

some, but highly prized by many others, and instead of unloading your

cheap, half-rotted herring on unsuspecting rubes, you can sell your

surstrˆmming to wealthy herring connoisseurs, whose demand greatly

exceeds suppy in almost any given year.


If it's after the mid-19th century, you'll have found that a good way to

distribute your surstrˆmming is in soldered tins not otherwise

heat-processed: you don't want to spoil the flavor by cooking the fish

in the tin, or killing the bacteria. So, you put the fish in cans and

then refrigerate them anyway. All is well.


However, what then happens is that the fish continue to ferment slowly

in the can, producing gas and alarming pressure and finally, bulges on

the can similar to those produced by botulism. The fish is perfectly

safe to eat, although cans of surstrˆmming have been known to explode.


I'm pretty sure UlfR entertained us at one point with the story of the

adventures of a surstrˆmming fan arrested by either the Bomb Squad or

some kind of Anti-Terrorist Task Force after a surstrˆmming accident in

a major airport.





Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 08:10:01 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Happy Passover!

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


Also sprach Phlip:

> Awright, salmon tease. Give us your variant of the recipe, please ;-)


-1 salmon, scaled, filleted and boneless, or at least a three-pound  fillet

-1 cup Kosher or sea salt

-1 cup sugar

-2 Tbs cracked black or white peppercorns

-Fresh dill with stems, coarsely chopped -- some... a lot... three or four bunches for a whole fish

-splash of booze such as aquavit, vodka, or gin, optional

-4 or 5 shallots, thinly sliced (this is apparently the secret ingredient not used traditionally)


If you're using a pair of fillets, build a sandwich.


On a large, wide sheet of plastic wrap, spread out a quarter, or if you're only doing one piece, half of your dill. Sprinkle a generous layer of mixed salt, sugar, and pepper on the skin side, enough so that it sticks in a visible layer, like snowfall, more or less obscuring the skin. Rub it in gently, but try to avoid knocking it off the fish. Lay it skin-side down on top of the dill. If you're using two fillets, lay out the second fillet, head-end to tail-end so you get a vaguely rectangular package.


Top the flesh side with a similarly thick dusting of salt-sugar-pepper. Again, use plenty. It forms a brine with the fish juices, and anything the fish can't absorb drains away, so there's basically no such thing as too much. Spread out your shallot slices to completely cover the fish, hen top with the rest of the dill. Most recipes don't call for the shallots. Some prefer the dill whole, so it's easy to remove; I prefer it chopped coarsely. If you're using two fillets, close it up like a book and roll it up in the plastic wrap to seal tightly. This is a juicy, leaky sort of project. If you're using one fillet, just wrap it up with the skin side down to start.


Place in a pan under a board with a light weight such as some heavy tomato cans or some such. A perforated hotel pan liner inside a hotel an (some people call these steamer trays, but hotel pan is the more roper term) is perfect, but a roasting pan, or any deepish pan that ill hold the fish laid out flat is fine. Refrigerate.


Turn it over about every twelve hours, for at least 24-36 hours. A few hours before serving it, unwrap it and allow the surface to dry out a bit. Ideally, it will have lost about 30% of its mass, and be slightly waxy in texture, but more or less it will have a texture similar to raw salmon. This brief drying makes it a little easier to slice. Between the salting and the dill, it doesn't have an especially fishy aroma.


Slice thinly, serve with lemon, chopped onion, capers, and riced hard-boiled eggs, or the traditional honey-mustard/olive-oil/dill emulsified sauce... this is like an eggless mayo made with honey mustard, or Dijon with added sugar, with olive oil beaten in until thick, with added chopped dill. No, do not use the dill you previously used to pickle your fish...





Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 06:24:48 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] salmon and gravlax

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


Also sprach Stefan li Rous:

> So, what do you do with the split head and the bones? I assume you

> are saying they trimmed off the gills and threw them away. Or did

> you get the gills?


I meant that the gills ought to be removed to make the rest of the head usable. They tend to produce bitter, gamy flavors in stocks made with fish heads. This is pretty much true of all fish... for salmon heads, especially, you probably want to be really careful about not letting a stock actually boil. The heads contain a lot of fat, and if you boil a stock made from them you risk getting a cloudy stock with some pretty powerful, fishy flavors.


>> So I think I got a better deal than $14.95 a pound for fillets. Now

>> all we have to do is figure out what to do with over six pounds of

>> gravlax.

> Yes, definitely a better deal. Was this a wild or a farm raised salmon?


It was farmed. There's actually been a nationwide scandal and a number of high-profile investigations in a number of cities in the past year or so concerning retailers selling "wild salmon" at over $20/lb in some cases, when the product was in fact farm-raised. The beauty of the gravad process is that it adds a lot of flavor to farmed salmon, and the fact that it's farmed is indistinguishable to all but the most sensitive connoisseurs. Half of whom are talking through their hat anyway ;-).


> We've talked about gravlax here before, but I don't remember any

> specific directions on making it. Since you've done this, could you

> detail what is involved? Can you make gravlax from any fish or just

> from salmon?


Well, the "lax" part of the word is species-specific. Lox/Lax/Lachs is a word used in Germanic and Scandinavian languages to denote, specifically, salmon. But you can make gravad trout or char, or use the process with just about any rich, fatty fish. I hear tuna is great that way. I don't know that gravflounder is such a good idea, but you could make quite a striking platter of gravlax alongside arctic char, Pacific "rock" or "black" cod (which isn't really cod), sablefish (IOW, the fresh fish from which smoked sable is made), all also known n our fickle fish marketing system in the US as "Chilean Sea Bass", cured in the same way. That particular fish is an impressive, cream-white shade, even when raw, and as rich as salmon.


   A related process is used for Greenland shark in Iceland to produce

hakaarl, everyone's favorite "fermented"/"rotten" shark dish for

culture-affirming, xenophobic,

"let's-make-fun-of-foreigners-and-their-wacky-eating-habits" purposes, and as such provides a useful service ;-). But for the mospart, hakaarl is an exception to the rule since the process is take quite a bit farther than it usually is for gravlax.


I've provided a recipe elsewhere; let me know if you don't find it.

The process for making gravlax (a.k.a. "buried salmon", or shark, char, trout, or whatever)is probably thousands of years old, and seems to originate in the act of burying fish in the sand above the high tide line at sea and lake shores above the Arctic Circle, where it can be cold-preserved by the permafrost without really freezing, and where excess moisture drains off into the sand. To keep the sand off the fish, and coincidentally adding flavor in the process, you use young branches from nearby evergreen trees or herbs to wrap the fish. Salt and pepper hasten the curing process, keep burrowing insects away, and add flavor, while sugar tenderizes the final product and also adds flavor.


I don't know if Icelanders today make hakaarl in their fridges, or if it is still buried in the sand, wrapped in spruce branch tips, but the key difference when making hakaarl versus gravlax is in leaving the fish to cure until enzymes in the fish begin to break it down, degrading the muscle fibers and creating a cheesy consistency. For gravlax you don't do this, and the desired texture is closer to that of raw or cold-smoked fish.





Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 06:46:13 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] salmon and gravlax

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


Also sprach Stefan li Rous:

> Yes, I did find that message in the next digest. After I'd posted my

> questions. I had originally saved that recipe to my modern recipes

> files because I wasn't sure if it was period or not. In particular,

> I was, and am, questioning the amount of sugar used. Specifically

> for something in a northern European region, even at the end of our

> period. So was this recipe close to a period recipe or is it just

> similar to what a period gravlax recipe would likely be like? Would

> honey have likely been used for this recipe within out period?


My guess is that the sugar added (and other recipes use less sugar, say two parts salt to one of sugar, or even less, and may originally have used none) is a modern addition to the process. If I had to guess, I'd say it's possible much less salt was used, and little or no sugar, and the curing process was slower. Which, given good drainage and low temperatures, was probably not a problem. After all, it's a preservation method, and if the people in question needed their fish right away they could eat it fresh.


Unfortunately, I don't have a written recipe from the Neolithic Age, but it's been posited that the older process of burying the fish, wrapped in branch tips, is quite ancient. The modern recipe is presumably just that: modern. I'd be wary of trying to doctor it back to a form I'd call peri-oid.





Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 06:53:55 -0700

From: elisabetta at klotz.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: salmon and gravlax (Stefan li Rous)

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


> I had originally saved that recipe to my modern recipes

> files because I wasn't sure if it was period or not. In particular, I

> was, and am, questioning the amount of sugar used. Specifically for

> something in a northern European region, even at the end of our period.

> So was this recipe close to a period recipe or is it just similar to

> what a period gravlax recipe would likely be like? Would honey have

> likely been used for this recipe within out period?

> Stefan


A few years ago I was one of 2 people present when the late Baron Irik unveiled his research on the gravlax process and if sugar was a period cure or not. If I may paraphrase:


He had done research which did prove that indeed the Northmen (Vikings) did have access to sugar and did trade it and ship it home. Unfortunately there are no records indicating that they actually used the stuff for curing. But Vikings are smart people, and they like food.


There was also a discussing on the use of salt (and the book with the same name), and then a tasting of 4 types of homemade cured gravlax, all he made himself--one with the sugar cure. Bottom line was that the one with sugar and without sugar didn't have much of a taste difference, and the sugar cure is easier, and tasted slightly better to the modern palate. Like when you taste something and you know something is missing, but can't figure out what.


Of course his notes were disorganized on one piece of slightly stained and fish smelling paper, and my copy of the notes and recipes are somewhere, now lost but hopefully found in the future.


So from what I learned from him on that day is this--

1-Sugar period, no evidence used in cures

2-Honey won't work because of the chemical reactions won't cure the fish (I asked this question also--he said to read Alton Brown)

3-You cure food with 3 natural chemical processes--salt, sugar and acid (ie: lemon)

4-Modern palate prefers sugar


I'm not an expert on curing, and except for this knowledge, I know nothing about it, but I'm sure there is someone who can explain it much better.






Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 11:17:25 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister atverizon.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: salmon and gravlax (Stefan li Rous)

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


Also sprach elisabetta at klotz.org:

> So from what I learned from him on that day is this--

> 1-Sugar period, no evidence used in cures

> 2-Honey won't work because of the chemical reactions won't cure the fish (I

> asked this question also--he said to read Alton Brown)

> 3-You cure food with 3 natural chemical processes--salt, sugar and  

> acid (ie: lemon)

> 4-Modern palate prefers sugar

> I'm not an expert on curing, and except for this knowledge, I know

>nothing about it, but I'm sure there is someone who can explain it much



My suspicion is that sugar wouldn't start to be used in curing until it became both cheap to use in some quantity and readily available for Europeans, so maybe we're talking about the 15th and 16th centuries.


As for curing foods with acid, another biggie is lactic acid, which is part of the process for corned beef, many cured sausages, and probably gravlax once it reaches a certain stage. It's a natural product of lactobacilli, which are also the beasties responsible for things like sauerkraut, kim chee, and Kosher dill pickles.


Sugar is also a tenderizing agent, and products with sugar in the cure tend to have what many regard as a better mouth feel.





Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 22:43:24 +0000

From: Gretchen Beck <cmupythia at cmu.edu>

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


I recently tried the recipe for pickled salmon in Mrs. McLintock's Receipts for Cookery (cut salmon in pieces, boil, make a pickle of white wine vinegar, water, pepper, ginger, allspice, let everything cool, pour pickle on the salmon) -- which is an extremely tasty recipe. Unfortunately for SCA use -- Mrs McLintock is 1736


I was looking through the Floreligium, and noticed discussion of the Lord's Salt recipe from Cariadoc's Miscellany -- which is a similar (somewhat more complex and with bread crumbs) pickle, but is described for meat, not fish


This got me wondering; I don't remember seeing an earlier English pickling recipe involving fish (although salting, brining, and powdering are all mentioned in England and Scotland) than the one above (although I have not looked extensively yet). Anyone have any pointers for me, places/works to check?


toodles, margaret



Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:58:27 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


On Jun 14, 2011, at 6:43 PM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

<<< This got me wondering; I don't remember seeing an earlier English  pickling recipe involving fish (although salting, brining, and powdering are all mentioned in England and Scotland) than the one above (although I have not looked extensively yet). Anyone have any pointers for me, places/works to check? >>>


I'm in a mad rush, but I believe there are pickled fish recipes in Hugh Plat's Delightes For Ladies (1609), which, as I recall, has a section on preserving. I'll look at Gervaise Markham later...





Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 19:26:28 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


The food writer Charles Perry had told me that the samak  musakbaj in the Baghdad Cookery Book and scapece alla Vastese, a preserved fish dish from Abruzzo, were virtually identical. If you look up modern recipes for scapece alla Vastese, you'd essentially have the Baghdad Cookery recipe.


Also try looking up "askipeciam et gelatinum." The food writer Anna Martellotti in "I ricettari di Federico II" says Frederic II requested fish from a certain lake for his cook Berardo to prepare this fish dish. Keep in mind that Frederic spent his childhood in Palermo, with Muslim cooks and servants, spoke Arabic, etc. I am sure he was not unfamiliar with Arabic pickled fish dishes.


Adelisa Salernitana



Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:36:02 +0000

From: Gretchen Beck <cmupythia at cmu.edu>

To: "dailleurs at liripipe.com" <dailleurs at liripipe.com>, Cooks within

        the SCA       <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>, "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus

        Adamantius"  <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


<<< define "pickled"?


in theory, fish agredouce could be seen as a fish in a sweet/vinegar sauce? or do you mean one that specifically

says something about "and this to keepe all the year" or the like?


--Anne-Marie >>>


The recipe says "and keep if for use" so I'm assuming it sits for awhile and you use it as you need it-- although the recipe isn't explicit about time period. Here's a transcription:


To pickle salmond

Take a fresh Salmond, cut it in Pieces, boil it neither too much nor two little, put a Handful of Salt in the Water, then take it out and let it coll and then take of the best white Wine Veingar a Pint, a choppen of Water, half a Ounce of White Pepper, half an Ounce of Ginger, half an Ounce of Jamaica Pepper and a handful of salt; boil all those together, till the Pickle tast well of the Spice, let it cool, and put the Salmond into the cask where you keep it, pour the Pickle on it when it is cold, and keep it for Use. put a little Oil of coves on it, and cover it very close.


toodles, margaret



Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 21:19:00 -0500

From: Jennifer Carlson <talana1 at hotmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Information on pickled fish


The University of Tulsa has a household manuscript book from the early 1700s with two pickled fish recipes, one for herring, the other for eels, that date from approximately 1710-20.  Still well out of period, though.  Contact me off list if you want the transcriptions.





Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 20:05:02 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


Chapter 37 of al-Warraq is "Making soused fish and poultry (Mamqur).


The first recipe is fish with olive oil and wine vinegar.



Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 06:14:19 +0100 (BST)

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


I found this in the Koekerye, an unpublished 1570 print I'm currently working on editing. Not english (North German, in fact), but it goes back to a South German recipe tradition and it does seem to be what you are looking for.


Vische beholden / dat se

lange gudt blyuen.


Legge se yn ainen erden Poth / gueth Etick

dar up / unde strouwe Petercillyen dar auer /

make den Poth dichte tho / unde sette en yn

einen kolden Keller / unde wen du dar Vi=

sche unde Etick uth nympst / so gueth alle tydt

frischen Etick dar wedder up / unde decke ydt

dichte wedder tho / so blyven se lange frisch

unde gudt.


Keeping fish so that they stay good for long


Put them in an earthen pot, pour good vinegar over them and strew parsley over it. Close the pot tightly and place it in a cold cellar. When you take out fish and vinegar, always fill it up with fresh vinegar and close it tightly again. That way they stay fresh and good for long.





Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 09:41:03 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pickled Fish - Epulario


The Epulario is a 1598 English translation of the Martino Corpus (mostly but not entirely from the 1516 version that was put out under the name of Giovanni Rosselli under the title Epulario).

Skimming through it last night for recipes to make at AnTir West War during the Cook's Play date I cam across a pickled fish recipe!


120) To dresse a Carpe.


First make good pickle, such as commenly is made for salt fish or soused fish, then take the Carpe and put it into the pickle, and let it stand two daies then fry him in oyle and so you may keepe it twenty daies or a month, and then fry him againe and againe as you think good, and the more and the oftener it is fried, the more it loseth of his substance, and are the worse : And therefore this way is onely to make him continue long, and if they be great seeth them, if small fry them, but take heed there bee none of the bone left in the head, for it is venemous.


It most likely appears in Rosselli (although I have only translated the title and the first line below)

Rosselli #117 - Per cuocere il carpione

Dappreima abbi una salamoia fatta come si fa quella degli altri pesci salati:


Rosselli #117 - To Cook the Carp

First take a brine, made how you do for other salted fish:


It appears in Martino LC and Martino VAT


Martino LC Carpioni


Martino VAT Per quocere charpioni


It does not seem to appear in De Honesta by Platina, Buhler 19 or Riva del Garda.





Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 04:08:59 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish


I am finally back home so I could search this. Here are a few other  

English recipes for marinating or keeping fish in vinegar or in a  

pickle or in some cases with a pickle. It's an odd topic to try and  

search in EEBO. Either too few hits or none at all versus far too many.


The recipes include:


Carp Marinated.

Take a Carp, scale it, and scrape off the slime, wipe it clean with a  

dry Cloth, and split it down the back, flowre it, and fry it in sweet  

Salletoyl, or clarified Butter; being fried crisp, lay it in a deep  

Dish, or Earthen-pan, then take some white Claret-wine, white-wine-

Vinegar, and put it into a broad mouth'd Pipkin, with Rosemary, Time,  

sweet Marjoram, Parsley, Winter-Savory, Bay-leaves, Sorrel and Sage, a  

like quantity of each, with some large Mace, sliced Ginger, gross  

Pepper, sliced Nutmeg, whole Cloves and Salt, with as much Wine and  

Vinegar as will cover the Fish; boil all these together a little  

while, and then pour it on the Fish hot, and cover it close to detain  

the spirits from evaporating for an hours, space, and then lay on your  

Lemon with Orange-peel. Thus you may marinate Soles, Plaice, or any  

other, whether Sea or fresh-water Fish; if you barrel or pack it up  

close, it will be as good, and keep as long as Sturgeon.


Here's a "Pike Souc'd" recipe from the same book where the pike is  

boiled in  a water -vinegar mixture. Not  pickled perhaps but  



Draw and wash it clean from the blood and slime, then boil it in fair  

Water and Salt; when the liquor boils, put it to it, and boil it  

leisurely and simmering, feason it savourly of the Salt, boil it not  

too much, nor in more water than will just cover it. If you intend to  

keep it long, put as much White-wine as Water, of both as much as will  

cover the Fish, some Wine-vinegar, sliced Ginger, large Mace, Cloves,  

and some Salt; when it boils put in the Fish, Spices, and some Lemon-

peel, boil it up quick, and not too much; then take it up in a Tray,  

and boil down the liquor to a Jelly; lay some sliced Lemon on it, pour  

on the liquor, and cover it up close; when you serve it in Jelly, melt  

some of the Jelly, and run it over therewith; garnish your Dish with  

Barberries and sliced Lemon.



Woolley, Hannah, fl. 1670. The gentlewomans companion... 1673




The following recipe is from the English translation of La Varenne. It  

says it's a recipe for a tench pickled but note how it is done.


5. Tenches fried and pickled.


After they are dressed, cut them in the middle, then pickle them with  

salt, peper, onion, and lemon peele; after they are pickled take them  

out and drie them, flowre them with flowre, or allay two or three egs  

with a little flowre and salt, and frie them with refined butter;  

after they are fried, set them a little a boiling with their pickle,  

then serve, and garnish with what you have.


La Varenne, Fran?ois Pierre de, The French cook. 1653




83 To marble Fish.


Take Flounders, Trouts, Smelts, or Salmons, Mullets, Makrel, or any  

kind of shel?fish; wash them and dry them in a cloth, then fry them  

with sallet oyl or clarified butter; fry them very crisp; then make  

your pickle with clarret wine and fair water, some Rosemary and Thyme,  

with Nutmegs cut in flices, and pepper and salt; when it hath boiled  

halfe an houre, take it off and let it cool; then put your fish into a  

vessel, cover it with liquor and spice, and stop it close.



The ladies cabinet enlarged and opened. 1654




To pickle Salmon to keep halfe a yeare.


TAke the Salmon and cut in sixe round pieces, then boyle it in Vinegar  

and Water, there being two parts Vinegar, and one of Water, but let  

your liquor boyle halfe an houre before you put in the Salmon, which  

being well boyled, take it out of the liquor and dreine it very well,  

then take Rosemary-leaves, Bay-leaves, Cloves, Mace, and grosse  

Pepper, a good quantity of each, and boyle them in two quarts of white-

Wine, and two quarts of Vinegar, and let it boyle well for halfe an  

houre; then take the Salmon, being quite cold, and rubb it well with  

Pepper and Salt, and pack it into a cask with a lay of Salmon and a  

lay of Spice, that is boyled in the liquor, but let your liquor and  

spice be very cold; when the Salmon is packed, then put in the liquor,  

and renew the pickle once a quarter, and it will keep a yeare or more.  

This is for one Salmon, and so proporti?onably; let not the cask be  

bigger than just to fill it with Sal?mon and Pickle.


Put some Lemmon peels into the pickle, and let the Salmon be new  

taken, if possible.


Cooper, Joseph. The art of cookery refin'd. 1654




To boile diuerse kindes of Fishes.


BRet, Conger, Thornebacke, plaice, fresh Samon all these you must  

boyle with a litle faire water and vineger, a litle salt, & bayleaues,  

and sauce them in vineger, and a litle of the broth that they are  

sodden in with a litle salt, and as you see cause shift your sauce, as  

you do b?efe in brine, and al?so fresh Sturgion, s?eth it as is  

aforesaide, and sauce it as ye did the other, and so ye may k?epe it  

halfe [a] yeare are with chaunging of the sauce, and salt Sturgion  

s?eth it in water & salt, and a litle vineger, and let it be cold, and  

serue it forth with vineger, and a litle Fenell vpon it but first or  

ye s?eth it, it must be watered.


Dawson, Thomas. The good husvvifes ievvell. 1587.




Here are a couple of recipes from the Countess of Kent's work.


To souce Eeles.


Take two fair Eeles and fley them, cut them down the back, and take  

out the bones, and take good store of Parsly, Thyme, and sweet  

Majoram, mince them small, season them with Nutmeg, Ginger, Pepper,  

and Salt, strew your Hearbs in the inside of your Eeles, then roul  

them up like a Coller of Brawn, put them into a cloth, and boyle them  

tender with Salt and Vinegar, when they are boyled, then take them up,  

let it be in the pickle two or three dayes, and then spend them.


To marble Fish.


Take Flounders, Trouts, Smelts, or Salmons, Mullets, Makrels, or any  

kind of shell Fish, wash them, and dry them with a cloth, then fry  

them with Sallade oyle or clarified Butter, fry them very crispe, then  

make your pickle with Claret Wine, and fair Water, some Rosemary, and  

Thyme, with Nutmegs cut in slices, and Pepper, and Salt, when it hath  

boyled half an hour take it off, and let it cool, then put your Fish  

into a vessell, cover it with liquour and Spice, and stop it close.


Kent, Elizabeth Grey, Countess of, 1581-1651. A choice manual of rare  

and select secrets in physick and chyrurgery ... as also most  

exquisite ways of preserving, conserving, candying, &c. ; published by  

W.I., Gent. 1653.


Anyway they are earlier than 1736.





Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2013 11:40:08 -0400

From: Stephanie Ross <the.red.ross at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] pickled fish was: herring in wine sauce


The Domostroi mentions these fish as pickled in period - white salmon,

sterlet, sturgeon, roach, pike, bream and loach. Hare was also pickled as

well. Pink and red salmon were pickled in brine and served with a sauce

(what kind was not specified). Herring is mentioned as being eaten in the

fall fresh, fried or steamed during Saint Philip's Fast (Nov 15 - Dec. 24).

Several of these fish are pickled with horseradish.


Other pickled foods, mostly served during Christmas include: elk heart,

suckling pig, and beluga liver,




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