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…

Italian Blackberry Sauce, c. 1464

There is no shortage of 15th century Italian recipes thanks to Maestro Martino de Rossi, a well known and influential “celebrity” chef who worked in some of the greatest kitchens of late Medieval/Renaissance Italy. In 1464/65 he wrote Libro de Arte Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking), which is widely considered to be the first modern…

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,…

Erbeßsuppen, a Medieval Pea Soup

Today’s recipe is yet another popular medieval pottage: Pea Soup. If you want to know more about pottages, read my previous post on the subject. This recipe comes from a German cookbook called Ein New Kochbuch by Max Rumpolt, head cook for Daniel Brendel of Homburg, Elector of Mainz. This cookbook was, according to all…

The Tragic Life of ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor

We view the past through our own moral lens, often finding ourselves at odds with the views of people long gone. When we find that our modern sensibilities contradict the opinions of past communities we should ask ourselves why that is. Are we more enlightened? Are we better people? Or are we simply basing our modern…