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DYKIP-Startrs-art - 10/31/09
"Did You Know its Period? Part 6: Starters and
Appetizers" by HL Rowan Houndskeeper.
NOTE: See also the files: easy-p-recip-msg,
cheese-goo-msg, eggs-stuffed-msg, finger-foods-msg, fried-cheese-msg, nuts-msg,
This article was submitted to me by the author for
inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's
These files are available on the Internet at:
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the
author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work
to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or
check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
This article was first published in "The Barge",
the newsletter of the Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir.
You Know its Period? Part 6: Starters and Appetizers
HL Rowan Houndskeeper
of Three Rivers, Calontir
I hope by now you are getting
the idea that many medieval foods aren't so strange to our modern palate. Yes
there are some medieval dishes that the average modern Midwesterner might be reluctant
to try – such as Eels in Aspic (Gale of Fyssh from Forme of Cury, English
14th c.) and Sheep's Penis (Schapenpenis voor de lekkerbek from Wel ende
edelike spiise, Dutch, 15th c.).
many average Midwesterners (ok – me specifically) are also unwilling to
eat liver, sushi, and beef curry – all of which are all perfectly normal
modern foods served at our American dinner tables. I hope that this series of
articles has convinced you that serving period food is just another type of cooking
cuisine, sort of like choosing to cook Cajun, Tex-Mex, or Italian for dinner.
There are plenty of medieval recipes available that, while perhaps unusual, are
certainly not that "strange" or "over-spiced" for a modern
I hope you are
interested in trying some of the recipes that have been presented in these
articles for yourself. During war season there are plenty of party
coordinators who look for people to make a batch or two of some medieval dish.
In this article I present several "modern" medieval foods that are
all appetizer type dishes good for serving at such parties. If you are looking for other ideas for medieval "snacks"
to make for the party at the next war, or for your own dinner party, remember
that any of the pies I mentioned in previous articles can be made up as bite
sized tarts rather than 9" pies easily enough. The meatballs, sugar
candy, and any of the deep fried dishes mentioned in previous articles also
make good party food – and did you know that it's all period? :-)
Savoury Tosted or Melted Cheese = Rarebit
pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye, Cheshire,
&c. or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten melted Butter,
that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or other boiled Sallet, or
ragout of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and, if you will, Chop some of the
Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or fresh-collops, or Onions,
or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to melt upon a Chafing-dish of
Coals, and stir all well together, to Incorporate them; and when all is of an
equal consistence, strew some gross White-Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts
or crusts of White-bread. You may scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel.
- The Closet of Sir Kenelm
Digby, Opened (1669 English)
It's Post-Elizabethan English, London dialect
– I shouldn't need to translate it for anyone.
Asiago cheese, cubed
cream cheese, cubed
bacon, fried and crumbled
medium onion, diced
ground white pepper
the onion in a portion of the butter until caramelized. Add the rest of the
butter, bacon bits, and cheeses. Allow all ingredients to melt together over
medium-low heat. Continuous and vigorous stirring
with a fork or small whisk is required to counteract the tendency of the butter
to separate from the cheese.
Brown slices of French bread in a toaster or the oven. Serve the
rarebit by spooning generously over the bread and sprinkle with the white
pepper on top. Serves 4.
This recipe was mentioned on
our local email list as a period example of a dish similar to Welsh Rarebit or
Fondue. While the original recipe is actually out of period, Digby is a
commonly used source in the SCA. It is very familiar to brewers since it
contains one of the earliest collections of recipes for fermented beverages.
My redaction of the Savory presented here produces a good thick rarebit
suitable as a dinner party starter or even a simple entrŽe. The redaction from
Cariadoc's Miscellany, which is available on Cariadoc's website, is slightly
different and produces a creamy cheese sauce that he suggests using over
Stuffed Eggs = Deviled Eggs
fresh eggs for a long time so that they are hard. Then take the egg from the
shell and split it though the middle, so as not to damage any of the white.
When the yolks are removed, grind up part of it with good cheese, and with
raisins; save the other part to color the mixture. Likewise also add a little
finely cut parsley, marjoram, and mint. Some put in two or more egg whites with
spices. With this mixture fill the whites of the eggs and when they have been
stuffed and closed, fry them over a gentle flame, in oil.
When they have been fried, add a sauce made from the rest of
the yolks pounded with raisins and moistened with verjuice and must, add in
ginger, clove, and cinnamon and pour over the eggs and let them heat a little
while together. This has more harm than good in it.
Platina: On Honest Indulgence (1475,
hard boiled eggs
whites, raw (optional)
dried oregano or marjoram, minced
dried mint leaves, minced
dried parsley, minced
dried chives, minced
freshly ground pepper
tsp raisins, minced (optional)
grated Farmers cheese
grated cheese (for sprinkling)
boil the eggs and cool completely. Peel carefully, trying to avoid damaging
the whites. Slice each egg in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolk. Set
aside the whites. Crumble up the yolks, add the spices and cheese, and mix
well. Add the minced raisins if you are using them. Stir in the verjuice. The
filling should have a consistency that allows it to bind together - almost
creamy. Add more verjuice or raw egg whites in small amounts at a time if
You now have three options for finishing the stuffed eggs –
1) following the original period recipe, which involves frying the eggs; 2) a
modified version of the period recipe that bakes the eggs in the sauce; or 3)
skipping the sauce all together.
Option 1: Fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.
Since you are going to reassemble the eggs you don't want to stuff the egg
halves very full - no fuller than the original yolk was sized and preferably a
little less. You will have leftover filling. Add to this leftover filling the
cinnamon, ginger and clove, then thin the mixture using a little verjuice and
water in a 1:1 combination to achieve a thin sauce. Gently warm the sauce.
Reassemble the eggs with toothpicks so they appear whole, then pan fry them
gently in oil. Lay them out in your serving platter and top with the warm
Option 2: Fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.
You can either reassemble the eggs with toothpicks so they appear whole, or
leave them as egg halves. If you are going to reassemble the eggs you don't
want to stuff the egg halves very full - no fuller than the original yolk was
sized. In both cases you will have leftover filling. Add to this leftover
filling the cinnamon, ginger and clove, then thin the mixture using a little
verjuice and water in a 1:1 combination to achieve a thin sauce. Arrange the
eggs (reassembled whole or halves) in a greased baking dish, and pour the sauce
over them, sprinkle with additional grated cheese, and bake at 350ˇ until golden brown and heated through (~ 15
Option 3: Skip the sauce and stuff the egg halves a little
fuller, using up all the filling. Arrange the egg halves in a greased baking
dish, sprinkle with additional grated cheese, and bake at 350ˇ until heated through (~ 15 minutes). Note that
you must bake the eggs due to the use of raw egg white in the filling. If you
choose not to use the egg white as a binding agent in the filling you can serve
these without baking them.
These deviled eggs are a bit
drier than the modern ones we are used to and don't have the mustard flavor of
modern deviled eggs, relying instead on herbs for flavoring and verjuice or egg
white for the binding in the yolk filling. You can serve these stuffed eggs as
picnic-ready deviled eggs, or add the sauce to produce a fancier dinner party
appetizer. Made either way any leftovers can be used to make a delicious egg
salad for sandwiches (just chop up the leftovers and add mayonnaise).
A couple of
hints for cooking and peeling your eggs: Using older eggs rather than fresh
eggs will make them much easier to peel. Soaking the hard boiled eggs in cold
water before you try to peel them will also make it easier.
DULCIA DOMESTICA (HOMEMADE
SWEETS) = STUFFED DATES
DVLCIA DOMESTICA ET MELCAE
Dulcia domestica: palmulas vel dactilos excepto
semine, nuce vel nucleis vel piper tritum infercies. sales foris contingis,
frigis in melle cocto, et inferes.
De Re Coquinaria (~5th c. Roman)
home confections: palm fruits [dates] are stuffed, after
the seeds have been removed, with a nut or with nuts and ground pepper,
sprinkled with salt on the outside and are candied in honey and served.
4 lbs dates, pitted
2 c whole almonds, blanched
2 c honey
Stuff each date with 1 almond. Sprinkle stuffed dates with
salt. Place in a baking pan, cover with honey and bake at 325ˇ F for 15
minutes, stirring once halfway through. Let sit until cooled. Remove dates from
honey before serving.
is a "modern" popular party appetizer that is (pre)period and easy to
make – easy enough that no one should ever pay the prices the deli
counter asks for them. As good as the almond stuffed dates are though, you
might want to experiment with other nuts like pecans or pine nuts, or even
stuff them with a coarsely ground nut mixture.
Pfersig/ shel un schneidt sie voneinander/ und thu den kern herauss/ bestrau
sie auf beyden seiten mit weissem Zucker/ der klein gestossen ist/ legs
wiederum auff ein saubers Sib/ das fein new ist/ leg die Pfersig darein/ und
bedecks mit einem duennen schleyer/ sez in die Sonn/ dass die Maden nich dazu
kommen/ und sehr es offt amb/ so wirts fein trucken von der Sonnen/ so kanstdu
es auffheben/ und fein trucken auff ein Tisch geben.
Marx Rumpolt, Ein New Kochbuch
peaches/ peel and cut them apart/ and do the pit remove/ sprinkle them on both
sides with white sugar/ that is pounded small/ lay it again on a clean sieve/
that is fine new/ lay the peaches therein/ and cover it with a thin veil/ set
in the sun/ that the maggot do not reach it/ and look at it often/ so will it
dry fine from the sun/ so you can store it/ and fine dry on the table set it.
peaches. "Peel" peaches by plunging into boiling water for 1-2
minutes and then immediately plunging into ice water. The peach skin should
peel off easily. Cut peaches in half, remove the pit, and slice the peaches.
You should get ~6 slices per peach. Sprinkle both sides of the peach slices
with sugar. Dry them in your dehydrator (135ˇF
for ~12 hours) or in the oven (150ˇ for ~4
hours) on cookie sheets or baking stones. Peaches should be pliable when
finished drying. Store in an airtight container.
dried fruit are an easy party appetizer. Here is a period recipe for how to
make the dried fruit. While the period recipe uses sun drying, we have the
modern option of using the oven or an electric dehydrator, speeding up the
process considerably (sun drying takes several days).
period recipe is specifically for peaches, but you can reasonably extrapolate
that the same technique could have been used for any of the fruits available in
period such as apples, pears, plums, or grapes.
Miscellany: A Collection of Medieval Recipes,
9th edition. Cariadoc and Elizabeth (David Friedman and Betty Cook) http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/miscellany.html
Platina. On Honest Indulgence (De Honesta Voluptatae). A little work
on foods and honest indulgence by the very learned man Platina : Printed
with the work and care of Father Laurentius de Aguila for the Distinguished
Duke Peter Mocenicus. Venice, 1475. Evans, Susan J. Falconwood Press. 1989.
Marcus Gavius Apicius. Libri
decem qui dicuntur de re coquinaria. at
translation available at:
Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome (Apicius de re Coquinaria). trans. Vehling, Joseph Dommers, New York: Dover
Marx Rumpolt. Ein New
Kochbuch. 1581. transliteration and
translation M. Grasse 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. http://clem.mscd.edu/~grasse/GK_Rumpolt1.htm
Copyright 2009 by Teresa Roberts, 9900 Juniper Ct. St
Louis MO 63123. <tkroberts at toast.net>. Permission is granted for
republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses
change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is
notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would
appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the
Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track
which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.