SPICES, HERBS AND OTHER SEASONINGS
Spices of Taillevent: Anise, cinnamon,
clove, costmary, cumin, galanga, ginger, mastic, nutmeg, paradise
seed, pennyroyal, pepper (long, yellow, and black; “bitter
pepper” was probably cinnamon and ginger together), saffron,
and sage. (Note the absence of costus and nard, both popular under
the Romans, and zedouary, the ginger-like root, that only made a
brief appearance in French usage.)
Duke's powder (sometimes simply
“powder”), a blend of some of the key Oriental
spices which varied by household, begins to be mentioned. One
mention for a public (ie, not aristocratic) meal suggests it might
have been an economic alternative to using the individual spices.
Specific sauces were increasingly mentioned. Saucemaking became a
profession and the sauciers received statutes as a group.
“Water pepper” was
sometimes used as a native alternative to pepper (which would
still be imported for centuries).
White sugar is mentioned in
accounts. A statute refers to it as cafetin,
saying that preserves meant to be made with it should not be made
with honey. Pomegranate seeds are ofen mentioned as being sprinkled along with it.
SAMPLE MEALS OR LISTS
Shepherds' food described by
“Dark bread, sloe [like
plum] and buds [?],
Cheese and milk is
Food for farm workers in
Wheat, gruel, pork,
beans, dairy, including butter and cheese, and sometimes herring;
verjuice (to drink?) and goodale, more rarely wine.
Food for farm
workers in Normandy:
loaf of friar's bread, peas good for soup, eggs and cheese,
unlimited drink; at Lent, herring and nuts.
Food from priest in
Dijon to workers putting up bell:
Bread, wine, meat and
Food for prior
staying several days in the country:
Bread, mutton, beef,
bacon, two pairs of partridge, 12 fougasses (usually flat breads cooked on the hearth, but here apparently bread or cake
with walnuts), 200 waffles (!), 3 pounds of oil, spices.
20 pigs, pasties, 3000 eggs, white wine, coarse salt and a smaller
quantity of white, cakes, spices, verjuice, mustard.
requisitioned for expedition against England (partial list):
Wines, salted meats,
hay in barrels, oats, onions, salt, verjuice, biscuit, flour, fat,
beaten egg yolks in barrels.
Bishop's meal for
13 partridges, 6
capons, 14 fat hens, 1 snipe and 13 thrush, 5 suckling pigs, 12
local waterbirds, cabbages, 1 ham, 2 bags of bread.
criticized for excess:
pairs of soup, of various colors,
sugared, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds; with six pairs of
dishes [twelve entrées];
without counting the entremets, in which were the richest meats.”
Meals for noble on tight
For Sunday and
Thursday dinner, two patés,
each made up of a hen and two chickens.
of peas or of broad beans, with two pounds of salted pork;
cooked in water. For the second service, two portions
(rotulos) of beef and mutton, boiled and served with a hot
pepper sauce as a roast, six
capons, or six large hens...
instead of soup, rice with cabbage, with root vegetables [raves],
and with leeks, served with mustard; twelve chickens, or six hens,
cut in half; and, for the second service, a serving of fresh pork.
A half portion
of roast beef; ox feet, prepared with vinegar and parsley; grilled beef
tongue, with cameline sauce.
two soups, either with purée,
either of peas or of cabbage; fish, if any is to be found; twenty-four
fried eggs, with a good sauce; Lorraine pates; something fried.
two soups with a purée
of broad beans and almonds, seasoned with onion juice and olive
oil; fish, if there is any; twelve poached eggs, with a good
sauce; tarts with greens, eight hard-boiled eggs.
Dinner for royal guests:
First service: Crane and
sprinkled with nails of clove, with the appropriate sauce.
Second service: Roast
peacocks, Limoges cocks [pheasant], partridge, heron,
bittern, and rabbits, with the appropriate sauces.
Entremets: Pike and large
pike fondis [melted? molded? sunk?].
Third service: Blanc
[white] manger and dark red, in the same bowl, the white
sprinkled with sugar and pomegranate seeds, the dark red with almonds
fried in honey.
Entremets: Jelly of several
Fourth service: Loach fried
in young garlic.
Entremets: Pasties of
preserves and pasties of eel.
Fifth service: Pricques
[?] in galantine.
Entremets: Fried pipits
stuffed with crespes [beignets?] with raised peacocks,
herons and Limoges cocks over them.
Sixth service: Crayfish.
Entremets: Whole boars'
heads and sliced friture [fried foods?], with the
After: Figs, medlars of
Saint Lievin, followed by clairet
[spiced wine] with large round waffles.
Aussoire, Beaune, Rhine, Tubranne.