Le Recuil de Riom: An English Translation of a 15th Century French Source

An English translation of a French cooking manuscript from around 1466.

Most SCA cooks with an interest in medieval French cooking are familiar with the three most accessible works from the turn of the 15th century – Le Viandier de Taillevent, Chiquart’s Du Fait de Cuisine, and Le Menagier de Paris. Less common, but still available, are Le Vivendier and a much earlier source, Enseignements qui enseingnement a apareillier toutes manieres de viands, which was recently made available on the internet. 1

However, there is still yet another French source from the 15th century that has not been as available to the Society. This source is the Recuil de Riom, a text which unlike Le Viandier, survives only in a single manuscript today. Although it was transcribed and analyzed by Carole Lambert in 1988, it is available only in a single source, written in French, and is rarely mentioned in discussions of 15th century French cookery. In fact, I was extremely fortunate to find it at all – Lambert’s analysis was performed twenty years ago, and her book is only available in forty libraries worldwide, one of which happened to be UNC Chapel Hill.

The Manuscript:

The Recuil de Riom is found in a manuscript (currently stored in Paris at the Bibliothèque Nationale) known as Paris B.N. Latin 6707. This manuscript is bound in seven segments, and totals 232 pages. The cookbook, however, is found on folios 184r through 1884, in the fifth of these segments. (Lambert, 1988, pp. 19, 27)

While the first, third and fourth of these segments were clearly identified as being written by I. Chavillat in 1466, in Riom, France; it is unclear as to whether the other segments were written by the same scribe, or even at the same time – the various folios might have been rebound into a single manuscript, or they may have been penned by a different scribe at the same time. Regardless, the hand the folio is written in indicates that a date of 1466 for the cookery folio is reasonable. (Lambert, 1988, p. 21)

The manuscript contains quite a variety of works, including history, poetry, moral tales, songs, Latin epigrammes, etc. The folio which contains the cookbook includes a treatise on farming and the grafting of plants, and information on medical preparations – this combination of medicine, cooking and agriculture is fairly common in other manuscript of this period. For instance, manuscripts such as Paris, B.N. Latin 7131 and Paris, B.N. Latin 9328 contain similar assortments of works (Lambert, 1988, pp. 30-31). These books can be seen almost as instruction manuals for living well.

Paris B.N. Latin 6707 is not a work that would be found in the library of a Duke, Count, Baron or lord of similar riches and power. Rather, it is a book that would belong to “un petit seigneur” – a member of the minor nobility or even a literate member of the growing bourgeoisie. Given its diverse content and focus, it is likely that this was the only book possessed by its owner, a sort of “domestic encyclopedia” (Lambert, 1988, p. 34). 2 In many ways, it is similar to Le Menagier de Paris, even the agricultural section – Le Menagier was intended to have a third section regarding the management of a manor (Lambert, 1988, p. 35).

The Food:

Le Recuil de Riom is a fairly short work, comprising only 48 recipes. However, details in the manuscript, such as the wear patterns of the pages and the page numbers included by the scribe, indicate that the entire work is present (Lambert, 1988, p. 37). The structure of the work is very simple – a section on meat, a section on fish, and a section on sauces, with a few associated recipes for pasties, frumenty, and other “side dishes” scattered amongst the text.  Many of these recipes are similar or nearly identical to those found in contemporary works, which proved helpful during the translation process.

A few things are conspicuous in this recipe collection by their absence. One, is that although there are recipes that follow Lenten restrictions (no animal products other than fish), these recipes do not specifically mention “Lent”, nor “fish days”, nor any other specific fast days. Similarly, although the recipes follow humoral theory of the day, neither health recommendations nor dishes specifically for invalids are included in the recipe collection – they may have been included in the medical portion of the work, which I have not seen.

The Translation:

As I do not have access to the original manuscript, nor a facsimile thereof, this translation was prepared solely from Lambert’s transcription. This did simplify the project, as things such as punctuation, use of i/j and u/v, abbreviations, etc. were already updated according modern usage, though spelling was certainly not standardized.

In preparing the translation, I relied heavily on several sources. The most important were the glossary found in Lambert’s work on Le Recuil itself, and the glossaries found in Terence Scully’s works on French cuisine (Le Vivendier and The Viander of Taillevent), though I used these and a variety of other dictionaries and resources on Old French to supplement my own knowledge of French.

I deliberately chose the most literal translation possible of each recipe. While this does not read as elegantly as it potentially could, I felt that it was the most accurate way to present the information.  In cases where a phrase could be interpreted in more than one way, I have noted possible alternate meanings. In some cases, because my understanding of the subtleties of French grammar is not what it could be, the tenses may vary from those used by the scribe. My goal in translating this was not to translate it as a literary work, but as a useable cooking resource.

The Recipes :

C’est ce qui fault a ung broet d’almaigne. Broyés les amandez avec l’escorce et destrempez de bouillon de beuf et de vin. Ce sont lez espices  qu’il y fault: grains de paradis, girofle, gingibre et du sucre.

This is how to make a broth of almonds.3 Crush the almonds with their skins4 and infuse in beef broth and wine. Here are the spices that are put in: grains of paradise, clove, ginger and sugar.

Une vinesgret de menuz hastez de porc. C’est assavoir voyez, ratez et frasez, et lez fault couper menu et a lopins quarrés. Et fault cuire l’ongnon en bon saing de lart our en saing doulx et mectre frire tout ensemble dedans ung chauderon. Et puis fere broyer lez espicez: gioffle, graine, et nois muscade, et ung poy de poivre long, et du saffron, et destremper de vin aigre. Et si’l est tropt fort, il y fault mectre du vin et du bouillon de beuf ensemble.

Vinaigrette of roasted pork intestines.  It is known to be5 liver, spleen and tripe, and they must be cut small and into cubes.  And fry the onions in fat drippings or in sweet grease and fry everything together then in a pot. And then grind the spices: clove, grains of paradise6 and nutmeg, and a little long pepper and saffron, and infuse in vinegar. And if it is too strong, one must put wine and beef broth in. 

Ung broet kamelin. Les amandez broyees avecques l’escorce. Ce sont lez espicez qui y faillent: graine de paradis, gingibre, et poivre long, et grand foison de canele, et du succre, et tostez doradez a mectre par dessus quant on le dresses.

A cinnamon broth. Almonds are crushed with their skins. These are the spices needed: grain of paradise, ginger, and long pepper, and a great abundance of cinnamon, and of sugar, and toast7 is put it under it when it is served.

Ung brouet de verjust. Il fault mectre cuire le grain8. Et, quant il est cuyt, prandre le bouillon et mectre tremperdu pain, sans asler, et dez eufz grand foison avec le bouillon et avec le pain, et du gingibre, et du saffron dedans tout ensemble. Et cuire, et boullir en une belle poele, et puis dedans ung chauderon.

A broth of verjuice. One must cook the meat. And, after it is cooked, take the broth and steep9 your bread, without roasting, and plenty of eggs with the broth and the bread, and ginger and saffron after all is put together. And cook, and boil in a good frying pan, and then in a pot.

Ung brouet blac d’amendez. Il faul prandre le grain de poulahe et de veu, ou aultre graine, et du succre, du gingibre. Et coler lez amendez de bouillon de beuf et de vin. Et mectre boullir en poelle et, quant il aura assez boully, gecter avec le grain en ung chauderon.

A white broth of almonds. One takes the meat of chicken and of veal, or other meat, and sugar, and ginger. And strain the almonds in beef broth and wine. And put to boil in a frying pan and, after it is well-boiled, cast into a pot with the meat.

Soppe jacopine de pain tosté de frommage du melleur que on pourra trouver et mectre sur lez tosteez. Et destramper de bouillon de beuf et metctre dessus de bons pluviers rotiz ou de bons chappons.

Jacobin sops of toasted bread, of the best cheese one can find and put on the toast. And soak in beef broth and put under good roast birds or good capons.

Ung grané d’alouestez et qu’ellez soient ung pou refaictez en leau chaude et misez en ung beau chauderon, et du veau, et du saing de lart avec. Et frire sur charbon tout ensemble, et prandre du pain, et asler sur le grilh tant quil soit assez brun, et mectre tremper ou bon bouillon de beuf et en vin et dez foyez de poullalhe, et color et une estamine. Et le grain qui sera avec gecter dedans ug chauderon tout ensemble pour fere boullir et, quant il sera assez boulli, que on preigne lez espices. Et, quanit il seront broyees, destraper de verjust et gecter dedans. Et y fault graine, giroffle, gingembre et fleur de cannel qui en poura finer ou de la melleur canella qu’il pourra finer.

A gravy of birds and they are blanched a little in hot water and put in a good pot, with veal and lard/drippings. And fry together on the coals, and take bread and roast it on the grill until it is rather brown, and put it to soak with beef broth, and with wine and the livers of chicken, and strain it through a strainer. And the meat is cast in together into a pot with everything for boiling, and when it is boiled enough, one takes the spices. And, when they are crushed, infuse in verjuice and cast thereto.  There must be grains of paradise, clove, ginger and cinnamon buds10 if it can be found or the best cinnamon one can find.

Ung brouet de savoie. Il fault prandre le grain de veau ou de porc et de poullailhe et depecer le grian. Et mettre cuire en ung chauderon et mectre cuire en bouillon de beuf et en vin, et des foyes de poullailhe dedans, et ung pou de lart. Et, quant il sera presque cuit, prandre une poignee de percilh et gecter dedans, et qu’il ne cuise pas trop. Et, quant il sera cuit, que on preigne les espicez et fere broyer; c’est assavoir grene, giroffle, poivre long, et gingembre, et du saffron. Et puis prandre le percil qui aura boulli et lez foyez de poullailhe et broyer avec lez espices. Et mectre tramper du pain, sans asler, ou bouillon et coler tout ensemble. Et y fault dez eufz cuis en leue tant qu’il soient durs pour frire, et que on en fronde une partie, et que on frie lez moyons tous entiers, et le demeurant dez eufz sera colé avec le boullon.

A broth of Savoy. One takes the meat of veal or of pork and of chicken and cut up the meat. Put it to cook in a pot and with it cook beef broth and wine, and the livers of chicken and a little lard. And, when it is almost cooked, take a handful of parsley and cast it in, and don’t cook too much. And, while it is cooking, one takes the spices and grinds them; they are known to be grains of paradise, cloves, long pepper and ginger, and saffron. And then take the parsley which has boiled and the chicken livers and grind them with the spices. And put the bread to soak, without roasting, in broth and strain it all together. And one can take eggs cooked in water until they are hard for frying, and discard one part, and fry the yolks whole, and finally the eggs are strained with the broth.11

Une gelee de cher de poulailhe, lappereuax, et de cochons, et grant foison de groz oz de veau. Et mectre boullir en vin et vin aigre, sans eaue, et du cel dedans, et que le bouillon ne soit pas trop long. Ce sont les espices qu’il y fault: gingibre, grane, giroffle, maxis, et espic, et garingal; et ne faillent que battre ensemble, sans broyer, et y fault du saffran.

A jelly of meat of chicken, rabbits and piglets, and plenty of the large bones of veal. And put to boil in wine and vinegar, without water, and enough salt, and boil it, but not too long. These are the spices that must be put in: ginger, grains of paradise, cloves, mace, and spikenard, and galingale; and don’t beat it together, without crushing, and put saffron in it.

Ung civé de lievres. Faictez asler lez lievres, et puis depecer, et mectre en ung chauderon. Et prandre l’ognon assez gros maincé,et faire frire en saing de lart, et puis mectre avec le grain, et frire tout ensemble. Et prandre du bouillon de beuf, et faire asler du pain tant qu’il soit assez noir,  et qu’il soit destrampé de bouillon de beuf et de vin. Et puis le coler, et le gecter dedans le grain, et faire boullir ensemble. Et puis prenés les espices, c’est assavoir girofle, graine, nois muscade, gingibre et ung poy de maxis.

A hare stew. Put the hares to roast, and then cut apart, and put it into a pot. And take onions, cut in large pieces, and put to fry in lard, and then put with the meat, and fry it all together. And take beef broth, and put bread to roast until it is rather black, and temper it with beef broth and with wine. And then strain it, and cast it in with the meat, and boil it together. And then take the spices, which are known to be cloves, grains of paradise, nutmeg, ginger and a little mace.

Fromentee. Y fault cuire le froment premierment et, quant le froment et bien cuyt et essuyé, il fault mectre hors du feu pour le laisser refroidir, affin qu’il boive bien son eaue. Et puis fault mectre le lait boullir et puis, quant le lait commencera boullir, mectre le froment dedans. Et, quant on verra qu’il aura boully, que on aye dez eufz entregetéz tres bien batus pour le lyer et que on ne le lye pas tropt chaud que lez eufz ardroient. Et, s’il est tropt chaud, mectez le dedans une pleine pouelle de eaue froide.

Wheat Porridge. One must cook the wheat first, and, when the wheat is well cooked and dried, one must take it out of the fire to leave it to cool, after it has “drunk well its water”.12 And then one should put the milk to boil, and then, when the milk has begun to boil, cast in the wheat. And, when it has indeed been well boiled, one has some well beaten eggs cast in to thicken and it shouldn’t be thickened if it is so hot the eggs burn. And if it is too hot, put in a small pot of cold water.

Espaulez de outon farcies, et moctes, et mangomaux rotis es plas.13 Y fault lez espaulez de mouton mectre cuire et, quant ells sont bien cuites, lez descharner qu’il n’y demeure que lez oz, sans lez defroindre. Et que on preigne de la cher et de l’autre cher avec pour parfaire lez mangomaux. Et que on la hache tres biene, le plus menu que faire se pourra, et, quant ellle sera bien hachee, que on la preigne, et qu’elle soit mise en ung mortier, et de la pauldre dedans; et qu’elle soit ien batue ou ung pesteil. Et que on mecte dez moyonx d’eufz cuis et que on ne la face14 pas trop clere, affin qu’elle se pregne.  Et, quant elle sera bien deffaicte et bien mise a point, y fault avoir dez ratez de mouton lez plus maigres que on pourra finer et puis lez estendre sur une belle table. Et mectre ung moyon d’euf ou deux dessus, pour une espole, et l’estendre de la main dessus le ratiz. Et puis mectre du large de l’espaule tant qu’elle soit envelope de farce dessus et dessoubz, affin que on ne voye l’oz, et puis l’enveloper bien du ratiz. Et, affin qu’elle ne se desvelope, prandre de petitz brochez et la queudre. Et puis la mectre sur le grih a beau petit feu et, quant elle sera sur le grilh, prandre dez moyhonx d’eufz assez largement tant qu’on la puisse dorer. Et, quant elle sera bient doree, la covrir de feulles d’or et d’argent, et lez moctez mectre sur la farce du long de demy pié, et enveloper ou ratiz. Et dorer seullement l’espaule.

Stuffed shoulders of mutton, and meatballs, and sausages roasted and battered.15 and make the stuffing not too thin, after they are added. And when it is moistened enough, one has the intestines of mutton, the thinnest one can find and drain on a good board. And take an egg yolk or two, for a base,16 and strain the stuffing onto the intestine. And then take the shoulder and wrap in stuffing over and under, until you can’t see the bone, and wrap well in intestine.  And, after it is wrapped, take a little spit and the “tails”.17  And then put it to grill with a small, good fire, and while it is on the grill take a large number of egg yolks and endore it. And after it is well endored, cover it in gold or silver, and the meatballs are made of the stuffing as long as half a foot, and wrapped with intestine. And gild only the shoulder.

Queue de sangler a la sausse chaude ou de porc privé brullé. Ce sont lez espicez qui y faillent: greine girofle, noiz muscade, maxis, ginggibre; et du pain aslé destrampé de bouillon de beuf et de vin, et lez espices destremper de vin aigre. Et coler le bouillon et le espices tout ensemble et, quant lez queuez sont preque cuitez, qu’ellez soient boutonnes de giroffle. Et, quant ells seront cuitez qu on lez mecte cuire ensemble bouillon et tout.

Boar tail with hot sauce or broiled domestic pig. These are the spices that go in:  grains of paradise, clove, nutmeg, mace, ginger, and toasted bread is infused in beef broth and vinegar, and the spices are infused in vinegar. And strain the broth and the spices together, and when the tails are almost cooked, they are studded with cloves. And when they are cooked, put it to cook together and boil it all.

Une trimolete de perdris, et de poulailhe routiez qui n’auroit assez perdriz, et de l’ongnon mainssé menu le plus que on peut. Et, quant on mectra au feu les perdriz, que on mecte dessoubz lesheffroiz pour recevoir la gresse que cherra. Et que on mect l’ognon avec la gresse que cherra. Et que on mecte l’ongnon avec la gresse et que on pregne lez espices: girofle, et gingibre, et de la fleur de canella qui en pourra finer. Et que on mecte cuire l’ognon, s’il n’y a assez gresse, et qu’on y mecte ung petit de bouillon de beuf avec. Et, quant on broyera lez espices que on les destrampe de vin aigre et de vin. Et que on preigne ung poy de pain aslé et que on le broye avec lez espices; et quant lez espices seront broyees et le pain, que on cole tout ensemble. Et, quant les perdris seront cuitez, que on les tire et que on lez mecte cuire avec le bouillon une bude ou doux.

A sauce of partridge, and of roast chicken when one doesn’t have partridge, and of onion chopped as small as one can.  And, when you put the partridge over the fire, put a dish under it to catch the grease which falls. And cook the onion with the grease that falls.  And take the onion with the grease and take the spices – cloves, and ginger, and cinnamon buds if you can find them. And put the onions to cook, if you don’t have grease, take a little beef broth with them. And grind the spices and infuse in vinegar and wine. And take a little toasted bread and grind with the spices, and when the spices are ground and the bread, strain it all together. And, when the partridges are cooked, take them and put to cook with the broth a minute or two. 

Frazes de seing de chevreaux et de testes qui seront cuites ensemble: les testes, lez frassures et lez coulz. Et, quant e ells seront toutes hachees (la cher dez coulz et des frassures) non trop menu, les frire en bon saing de lart en une poelle de fer. Et mectre ung poy de sel et de safrran pour broyer en ung mortier, et des eufs grant foison ensemble, et quil soient bien batus, et bien que on les gect dessus la farce en une poelle jusques on voye qu’elle soit asses faicte. Et que on mect les testes fendues sur le grilh et que on les envelope du ratiz du chevreau, affin que la cervelle ne chee es cendres. Et qu’on les dore de moyonx d’eufz. Et, quant on dressera la fraze, que on mecte les testes par dessus en beaux plas.

Hash of entrails of young goat and the head ((“Testes” is a false cognate, and means head, while “les coulz” seems to be a slang term for testicles. ))which are cooked together, the head, the “pluck”18 and the testes. And, when they are all chopped (the meat of the testes and the pluck) not too small, they are fried in good lard in a pan. And take a little salt and saffron and grind in a mortar, and a large number of eggs together, and when they are well beaten, and cast into the stuffing in a pot until it is done. And stuff the head on the grill and wrap in goat intestine, so the brain isn’t in the ashes. And gild it with egg yolks. And, when one serves the dish, put the head on top of the best platter. 

Chappon es herbes et trumeaux de beuf. Boullir ensemble, et du saffran, de la canella, et du gingibre de Mesche entier.

Capons and herbs and shanks of beef. Boil together, with saffron, and cinnamon, and whole Mecca ginger. 

La venoison de serf au souppes. Et qu’elle soit bien lardee. Et, quant se viendra au mectre cuire, que on l’asambel de bouillon de beuf et de vin; et quie n’aura du bouillon de beuf, que on l’assamble de eaue. Et, quant elle sera Presque cuite, que on y mecte de la pouldre de gingebre.

Serf’s venison with soppes.  And it must be well larded. And, when it is taken and put to cook, put in with it beef broth and wine, and if one doesn’t have beef broth, put in water. And, when it is almost cooked, put in ginger powder.

Venoison de sangler frez. Que on la depece par petites pieces et que on la lave bien en eaue chaude et riche, affine qu’elle ne sante le bruléz. Et que on la mecte en ung beau pot et que on l’assamble de vin et de bouillon de beuf ou d’eaue et de vin. Et que on face du poivre chault pour la mengier. Et que on mecte de la pouldre, du gingebre et du poivre au cuire; et que le poivre ne surmonte pas le gingembre.

Venison of fresh boar.  Cut it into small pieces and wash well with abundant (( “Riche”, in this case, most closely translates to “abundant” rather than the usual meaning of “rich” – this rinse probably helped remove some “gamy” flavor of the boar.)) hot water, but do not scorch them. And put them in a good pot with wine and beef broth or water and wine. And stuff with spicy pepper for the flanks. And one puts in powder19, ginger, and pepper and cook, and the pepper doesn’t outweigh the ginger.

Ung broet de chauldun de porc. Mectre cuire le chauldun, et puis traire, et copper bien menu. Et prandre du bouillon de beuf ou vin blanc et verjust, et mectre tramper du pain sans asler, et le coler. Et, quant il est coulé, prandre une poelle et frire tres bien le chaudun tant qu’il spurge bien son eaue; et boullir tout ensemble. Et broye du gingebre et dez moyonx d’eufz, coler ou entregecter, et couler avec le bouillon et du verjust de grain esgrené. 

A stew of pork entrails. Put the entrails to cook, and then draw out, and chop very small. And take beef broth or white in and verjuice, and put untoasted bread to soak, and strain it. And, when it is chopped, take a pan and fry the entrails very well until they release their liquid, and boil it all together. And crush ginger and egg yolks, strained or sieved, and cook with the broth and with verjuice and mashed verjuice grapes. 

Ung haricot20 de mouton despecié par menuz morceaux et ung poy parboullir. Et, quant il sera parboully, que on le mecte hors de l’eaue tout assec et que on le mecte en ung chauderon. Et que l’on maince l’oignon avec et du percil et puis, quant l’ongnon sera dedans, que on le mecte frire sur le charbon. Et quant on verra qu’il sera presque cuyt, que on y mecte du bouillon de beuf, et du verjust, et de la pouldre dedans.

A stew of mutton cut into small pieces and parboiled a little. And, when it is parboiled, it is taken out of the water and drained and put into a pot. And mince the onion with the parsley, and then, when the onion is put in, one puts it to fry on the coals. And when it is almost cooked, put in beef broth, and verjuice, and powder in it.

Ung broet blanc de poisson. Et sera fet d’amendes et sera le poisson frit en huille. Et y aura du succre dedans le broet blanc et bar dessus, au dresser, semer la pomme de mygrenie dessus. Et y aura de la pouldre de gingebre dedans.

A white broth of fish. It is made of almonds and fish fried in oil. And it has sugar in the white broth and over the (freshwater fish, bass), strew with pomegranate (seeds). And in it have also ginger powder.

Ung brouet kamelin de poisson. Donc le poisson sera frit a l’uile, et y aura de sucre dedans, et par dessus dez tostez dorades. Et seront les espices: gingibre, canella grant foison.

A cameline broth of fish. The fish are fried in oil, and there is sugar on top, and they are on top of golden toast. And the spices are: ginger, and a great amount of cinnamon.

Ung grané noir de poisson. Et sera le poisson frit. Et prandre l’en de la puree21 et du vin et fera l’en asler du pain tant qu’il soit assez noir. Et puis frire de l’ongnon menument mainssé et, quant le grané sera coulé, on mectra l’ongnon dedans. Et prandre l’on graine, girfle et gingibre et serabroyé. Et puis après gecté dedans tout ensemble et fere boullir.

A black broth of fish. And the fish are fried. And put them into pureed peas, wine and bread toasted until it almost black. And then fry finely-chopped onions, and then, when the meat is cooked, put the onions in. And take grains of paradise, cloves and ginger and crush them. And then after cast it in together and boil.

Ung grainé jaune. Et sera le poisson frit. Et prandra l’on de la puree, et du vin, et du pain qui ne sera pas tropt aslé; et le fera l’on couler et de l’ongnon menument mainssé avec. Et prandra l’on du giroffle , et de la greine, du gingibre, et poy de poivre long et mectre boullir tout ensemble

A yellow broth of fish. And the fish are fried. And put them into pureed peas, wine, and lightly toasted bread; and put it all to cook with finely chopped onions. And take cloves, and grains of paradise, and a little long pepper, and boil it all together.

La puree d’engleterre. Y fault lesser cuire les poiz tant qu’il soient bien cuis. Et mectre l’ongnon et le percilh monument mainssé avec et boullir ensemble, et du saffran, et du poivre, et du sel, et du vin aigre, du verjust.

English puree. Leave peas to cook until they are well cooked. And take onions and parsley cut into small pieces with it and boil together, and saffron and pepper and salt and vinegar and verjuice.

Les tartes de pommes et les flaonnés de lait d’amendes. Et y fault ung poy de saffran pour donner coleur au lait.

Apple tarts and almond-milk flans. And put a little saffron to give color to the milk.

Les lectues et lez ozillectes faictes de paste. Et avoir des amendez batues sans coler, et mectre par dessus les ozillectes et les lectures, et frire en l’uile, et du sucre.

Lectures et ozillectes ((Lectures and ozillectes are two types of pastries. Terrence Scully describes them as resembling lettuce and ears, respectively. (Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts, 1988, pp. 353,355))) made of pastry. And have almonds beaten without skins, and put on top of the lectures and the ozillectes, and fry in oil, and (add) sugar.

Les anguilles reversees, et les brochereux, et carpes a la garentine. Et les espices qui y faillent: graine, et fleur de girofle, noiz muscade, et maxis. Et, quant le graine est cuyt, prandre le boullon et le pain assez aslé , et puis couler, et faire boullir en une poelle. Et mectre refroidir en ene gede et mectre le boullon dessus.

Inside-out eels, ((This is similar to the Le Menagier de Paris for inverted eels (“renversée) )) and pike, and carp in galantine. The spices to put in – grains of paradise, and cloves, nutmeg, and mace. And, when the meat is cooked, take the broth and the toasted bread, and strain, and put to boil in a pot. And put to cool in a wooden bowl and put the sauce on top. 

Lamproyes et bourrees a la saulce chaulde. Et sera la sauce de greine, giroffle, noiz muscade, gingibre et ung poy de maxis.

Lampreys and bourrees (fish) in hot sauce. And in the sauce grains of paradise, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and a little mace.

La vinesgrette du dessus du marsoyn.  Et la fault faire aussi bien comme la vinegrect de cher et les espices semblables.

The vinaigrette on top of porpoise.22  And make it rather like the vinaigrette for meat and the same spices.

Tartes pellerines du melleu frommage que on pourra finer. Et seront les tartes descouvertes.  Et y aura dedans de l’anguille par groz petiz transons, en shascune tart .v ou .vi transons et qu’ilz soient pas tropt grans.

Pellerine tarts of the best cheese which one can find. And the tarts are uncovered. And have put in eels cut into large, round slices, in each tart five or 6 pieces and they aren’t too big.

Civé d’oetres. Il y fault greine, girofle, gingembre, poivre long et assemblé de boullon de puree et de vin. Et frire l’ognon assz groz mainssé et, quant le boullon est coulé, mectre lez ongnons dedans. Et faire boullir tout ensemble et reffaire les oetres en eaue chaude. Et, quant ells seront bient eschaudees, les eslire tres bien, et puis frire en huile, et gecter dedans le boullon. Et broyer les espices et deffere de vin aigre. Et, quant ilz seront deffectez, gecter avec le boullon et avecques les oetres.

Stew of oysters. Take grains of paradise, cloves, ginger, long pepper and make a broth of pureed peas and wine. And fry large pieces of onion, and when the broth is strained, put the onions in. And put to boil all together and  blanch the oyster in hot water. And, when they are well drained, pick them over well, and then fry in oil, and put into the broth. And grind the spices and infuse in vinegar. And, when they are infused, put in the sauce with the oysters.

Les oblyes farcies de frommage. Et puis frire en seing doulx, et sucre par dessus au dresser.

Pastries stuffed with cheese. And then fry in sweet grease, and sugar on top to serve.

Pastéz de veux et d’alouestes parmy avec du fromage fin et de moelle de beuf.

Pastries of veal and small birds in the middle with good cheese and beef marrow.

Le boussac de lievres. Despecer le lievre et puis parboullir ung poy en eaue. 

Pottage of rabbits. Cut up the rabbit and then boil a little in water.

A rost de poullaille, de poussins, du verjust. A grosse poulaille, de la Jansse d’amends de gingibre blanc et de verjust.

A roast of chicken, of fish, with verjuice. A fat chicken, with almond jance with white ginger and verjuice.

A cochons, poivre jaunet de gingibre, de girofle, et greyne, et du verjust, et du pain.

On suckling pigs, yellow pepper (sauce) of ginger, cloves and grains of paradise, and of verjuice and bread.

A veaux et chevreaux, Kameline. Destrempé le pain en vin aigre et en vin, et de gingebre, et canelle.

On veal and goat, cameline. Macerate bread in vinegar and wine, and ginger and cinnamon.

Saulce verd a poisson. Il fault tremper le pain en vin et vin aigre, et du percilh. Et le broyer tres bien, et couler le pain et tout ensemble gingibre, greine et poivre long.

Green sauce on fish. Soak bread in wine and vinegar, and parsley. Grind it well, and strain the bread together with ginger, grains of paradise and long pepper.

A la sausse rappe, il fault mectre tremper du pain en verjust et puis coler. Et prandre le verjust en grani, et l’esgrenez, et le reffere ou bouillon de poisson, et puis mectre dedans la saulce.

Verjuice sauce, one soaks bread in verjuice and then strains. And take verjuice and mashed verjuice-grapes, and the soaking-water23 or fish broth, and then put into the sauce.

Saulse blanche. Destramper le pain de verjust, et de la pouldre de gingibre blanc.

White sauce. Macerate bread in verjuice, with powdered white ginger.

Pour rost d’oyes, la sauls d’aux de bresbant. Il fault broyer les aux et mectre cuire lez moyonx d’eufz. Et broyer tout ensemble et couler, et du verjust, et pou de pain.

For roast geese, garlic sauce of Belgium. Grind garlic and put to cook with egg yolk. And grind everything together and strain with verjuice and a little bread.

A la saulse pour l’esturion, il y fault percih, vin aigre, ongnon et mectre par dessus au dresser.

The sauce for the sturgeon, take parsley, vinegar and onion and put on top before serving.

Au eron, fault poivre noir: du pain aslé assez noir, et de greine, et de girfle, et nois muscade.

On heron, make black pepper (sauce): of bread roasted black, and grains of paradise, and cloves, and nutmeg.

Au saumon, Kameline.

On salmon, cameline (sauce).

Au pinpeneux rotiz, verjust d’ozille.

On roasted small fish,24 sorrel verjuice.

Es barbeux, saulse rappee de pouldre de gingibre blanc, et du poivre, et du verjust de grain reffait ou boullon destrempé de verjust.

And flatfish, verjuice sauce of white ginger powder, and pepper, and (verjuice grapes replumped) or broth infused with verjuice

Anguilles rostiez, le Verjust d’ozille ou verjust de grain. Et cetera.

Roasted eels, sorrel verjuice or grape verjuice. Etc.

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Sources:

Clifton, E., and Adrien Grimaux. A New Dictionary of the French and English Languages ... Garnier Bros., 1881.
Dubois, Marguerite Marie. Modern French-English [English-French] Dictionary. Librairie Larousse, 1979.
Hinson, Janet. “Le Menagier de Paris (c)Janet Hinson, Translator.” Le Menagier de Paris, http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html. Accessed 31 Mar. 2013.
Katzaros, Valérie, and Larousse (Firm). Larousse dictionnaire compact français-anglais, anglais-français. Larousse, 2001.
Katzer, G. “Spice Pages: Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum).” Spice Pages: Ceylon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum), 9 June 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20120609190933/http:/www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cinn_zey.html.
Kelham, Robert. A Dictionary of the Norman or Old French Language: Collected from Such Acts of Parliament, Parliament Rolls, Journals, Acts of State, Records, Law Books ... To Which Are Added the Laws of William the Conqueror ... By Robert Kelham ... Printed for Edward Brooke, successor to Mess. Worrall and Tovey, 1779.
Lambert, Carole. Le recueil de Riom et la maniere de henter soutillement: un livre de cuisine et un réceptaire sur les greffes du XVe siècle. Ceres, 1989.
Redon, Odile, et al. The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes From France and Italy. Translated by Edward Schneider, University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Scully, Terence. “Tempering Medieval Food.” Food in the Middle Ages: A Book of Essays, Ed. MW Adamson (New York, 1995), 1995, pp. 3–23.
Scully, Terence. The Vivendier: A Critical Edition with English Translation. Prospect Books, 1997.
University of Wales. “The Anglo-Norman Online Hub.” The Anglo-Norman Dictionary, http://www.anglo-norman.net/. Accessed 31 Mar. 2013.
  1. This work was transcribed by Thomas Gloning and translated by Daniel Myers, known as Edouard Halidai within the SCA, and can be found at www.medievalcookery.com. []
  2. Lambert’s exact words were “ce codex… constituait en quelque sorte de livre de la maison, une encyclopédie domestique”. []
  3. The subtleties of the word “brouet” are outside the scope of this work. Though translated here as “broth”, the actual consistency of these dishes could range from soup to stew, and everywhere in between.  These dishes include a liquid, a flavorant, and a thickener, and may or may not include meat (Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts, 1988, p. 18) []
  4. with their skins” – This is a useful instruction, which also occurs in recipe 3 – it implies that almonds are skinned unless the cook is instructed otherwise []
  5. “assavoir” – This word is a bit awkward to translate – the online Anglo-Norman dictionary gives meanings including “namely” and “it is to be noted that” (University of Wales, n.d.); the verb “savoir” which it is related to literally means “to know”. Regardless, it merely serves as a transition from the recipe title to the ingredients, and doesn’t affect the meaning of the recipe. []
  6. Graine, in this case, is short for Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) – this abbreviation is used throughout the book. (Lambert, 1988, p. 114) []
  7. tostez doradez” – This literally means “golden toast”.  This probably refers to simple sops of bread to absorb the brouet; however, “Golden Toast” is used to refer to a specific dish by Taillevent that closely resembles modern French Toast (Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts, 1988, p. 252). []
  8. “Grain” is in this case a generic term for “meat”, and is used throughout the Recuil to refer to the main component of each dish. This is slightly confusing, as the scribe was very casual about the spelling of “graine/grains/grane/grein” when referring to grains of paradise. Fortunately, the spices are always listed together in each recipe, which serves to differentiate the two words. (Lambert, 1988, p. 114) []
  9. While the verb “tremper” literally means to strain, there is a second layer of meaning regarding the adjustment of the humoral properties of the ingredients – this meaning is repeated in verbs such as “destremper”. For more information, see Terrence Scully’s article, “Tempering Medieval Food.”  (Scully, Tempering Medieval Food, 1995) []
  10. This probably refers to the buds of Cinnamonum Ceylon, which have a milder, sweeter taste than the bark. (Katzer, n.d.) – these are hard to find in the present day, and were apparently equally rare for the author. []
  11. The directions of what to do with the boiled eggs are unclear. The cook is instructed to “boil the eggs hard for frying”. Although they do not appear in this book, recipes for “stuffed eggs” appear in other, contemporary cookbooks in which eggs are boiled and then the yolks are removed, mixed with various other ingredients, then placed back in the whites and the entirety is fried in oil (Redon, Sabban, & Serventi, 1998, p. 181). A cook familiar with this procedure would understand that the eggs needed to be hard-boiled, rather than soft-boiled, poached, or otherwise cooked. The boiled egg yolks are then used to thicken the sauce – a procedure also referenced by Le Menagier de Paris, who suggests it repeatedly as an alternative to thickening a sauce with raw egg (Hinson, n.d.). []
  12. This is an idiomatic phrase: the basic procedure for making frumenty is to cook wheat in water, then let it cool in the water until the water is absorbed – in other words, first rehydrate the (dried) wheat. []
  13. This is by far the most complicated recipe in the book, and needs further work before it is a usable recipe. For a similar entremet, see Le Viandier,  recipe 212. (Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts, 1988, p. 266) []
  14. “Face” in this case is probably a scribal error; I believe the scribe meant to write “farce”, as the translation “stuffing” makes much more logical sense in the recipe than “face”, which has the same meaning in French and English. []
  15. “Plas” means “plastered”, and in this case is another way to express the concept of “endored”, or “battered”.) One takes mutton shoulders and puts to cook, and when they are well cooked, the meat is taken off the bone, without breaking it up. And one takes the meat and the other meat with it to make the towers. And chop it up very well, as small as one can, and when it is well chopped, put it in a mortar , and put powder in, and it is beaten with a pestle. And one takes yolks of eggs cooked ((Adding cooked egg yolks does not make a lot of sense here, since the cook is also instructed to “not make the stuffing too thin” and to “moisten” the stuffing. []
  16. Espole literally means bobbin or weaver’s shuttle, I am guessing as to what the scribe possibly meant. []
  17.  I believe the scribe refers to the pieces of metal, used to hold meat in place on a spit (so that the meat will rotate with the spit rather than letting the spit rotate within the meat). []
  18. I chose to translate “frassures” as “pluck” as it refers to the same group of meats – liver, heart, windpipe, and lungs – as is referred to by “frassures”, and it makes the recipe much more concise.  []
  19. Mixed spices, left to the cooks discretion.  []
  20. Haricot is still a common name for a mutton stew in France, though the modern version so often contains beans that the word “haricot” is synonymous with beans. []
  21. “Puree” specifically means puree of peas – probably from dried peas. (Lambert, 1988, p. 120) []
  22. I wasn’t able to find the word “marsoyn” directly in any of the glossaries/dictionaries I used. However, I assumed that it was a regional spelling of the word “marsouin”, which has a similar pronunciation and means “porpoise”. This was also logical given that this section of the manuscript is devoted to fish and other water-dwelling animals, and the instruction to sauce it “like meat” would be logical for a sea-dwelling mammal. []
  23. “Reffaire” means to make plump by parboiling (Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts, 1988, p. 357), I can only surmise this refers to soaking-water from salt fish or the like. []
  24. Pinpeneux refers to a specific type of small eel that swims quickly. I could not locate an English equivalent. []