The Medieval Cookbook That I Read

The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black. Source: The Folger Shakespeare Library

It must be strange to hear of anyone reading an entire cookbook, but that was what I just did. This book provides a fantastic insight beyond the dishes these Brits used to eat during the medieval times, giving tattling portrayals of when, where and why they ate what in flamboyant Shakespearean language.

Here’s one of the first recipes I’d like to have a go at:

Girdle ‘Breads’

Cruste Rolle. Take fayre small Flowre of whete;
nym Eyroun & breke ther-to, & coloure the past with Safroun;
rolle it on a borde also thinne as parchement, rounde a-bowte as an oblye;
frye hem and serue forth;
and thus many do in lente but do away the eyroun, & nym mylke of Almaundys, and frye hem in Oyle, & then serue forth.

(Harl. 279. p. 46.)

Sounds like fanciful old English to me too. Get a copy of the book to know what it means, or read REALLY slowly to squeeze out the essence within.

OR, simply visit this website to find out more about what girdle bread is.

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