New York Gingerbread, 1899

Today’s recipe is an interesting 19th century take on a classic: Gingerbread. Unlike most traditional gingerbread that is dense, dark, and heavy on ginger, this “New York” Gingerbread is soft and fluffy and has subtler flavors. When we think of gingerbread we tend to imagine little crunchy cookies shaped into little men for the Christmas…

Cryppys, Crisps: 14th-century Fritters?

Cryppys, often called crisps, are another type of fried honey-flavored treat from 14th-century England. Unlike crispels, crisps are considered fritters because they are made with batter instead of pastry dough. Many sweet fritters of the era contained fruits (especially apples) or other ingredients like almonds. This particular recipe is very basic, containing only flour, egg whites…

Honey Crispels

If you thought deep-fried sweets like funnel cakes, elephant ears/beaver tails and doughnuts were modern inventions for the county fair, think again. Fried pastries have been around since ancient Egypt and China. The Romans ate something called scriblita, a fried pastry dough. Fried doughs were common throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe in various…

Apple Muse: an Ancient Apple Pottage

Apple Muse was an extremely popular medieval dessert, likely enjoyed in some form at every level of society due to the availability of the three core ingredients. There are many versions of this recipe found in a variety of manuscripts but often under different names: Appylmoes, apulmos, appillinose, etc. All versions I’ve found call for apples,…

Minnehaha Cake, Chicago World’s Fair (1893)

Today’s recipe is brought to you by The World’s Fair Recipe Book by J.F. Landis, which featured over 600 recipes for food, medicine, remedies for various human and animal ailments, etc. Because it was published in April of 1893, I would assume it was sold at the Columbian Exposition (“Chicago World’s Fair”) beginning the following…

Hallowe’en Salad, a Retro Gelatin Treat

To celebrate Halloween, I thought I’d do something a bit more modern. This recipe is most likely from the 1930’s or 1940’s, though the image source (chronicallyvintage.com) suggests the possibility of it being even later. There are a few clues that indicate 1940’s or earlier: the font, ingredients, and the spelling of the word Hallowe’en….

Elizabethan Jumbal Biscuits

Two of my all-time favorite things are history and food so I thought, why not put them together? Perhaps the easiest way to experience and connect with the past is to eat authentic ancient food. Since such dishes can be hard to come by, our best option is to make them at home! A (very) brief overview of Elizabethan food During the Elizabethan…