04 June, 2007

Medieval Queen Of The Kitchen

Sabrina Welserin is a countrywoman of mine - she hails possibly from Germany, or more likely (to judge from her recipes) from Austria actually as I recognise some ingredients that weren't so well known outside Austria.

She's an unusual woman - in the 16th Century, she's educated, which places her in one of the larger households, she's a consummate cook, which makes her the lady of the house, and she thinks in pretty grand scale, because who would cook six chickens to "... lay them next to the other roasted meats ..." for just a humble forester and his family?

So you can safely say that this book is one of scant handfuls of cookbooks that made it through centuries to us, and is a snapshot of how life was. I note that food is important to Frau Welserin, was obviously important in the lives of her and the people around her, and they had quite sophisticated recipes. (A lot of these recipes is assumed to be known to the reader, one because it was a way to keep the commoners and non-cooks out, and secondly because it was laborious and expensive to commit every detail to paper.)

I'll be going through this and a few other recipe books from the early Centuries and seeing how well some of these recipes adapt to Body Friendly and modern cooking styles. Will be interesting, and recipes will be on TEdAMENU blog.

Read more Medieval recipe books and information here.

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