Some recurring ingredients show in these cookbooks, which are likely unfamiliar to modern day readers. Th
- Almond Milk – A liquid that is quite different from the fancy, refined "almond milk" being sold in high-end "organic" and "health food" food markets today. Almond milk of the Middle Ages was made by soaking ground almonds in hot water, typically at a ratio of 2 cups blanched almonds to 3 cups hot water. Modern almond milk can be used, though regular milk can be used in place of almond milk.
- Claret Wine – A Bordeaux wine that came into common use in medieval England beginning in the 1100s. The marriage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1151 influenced a trade relationship between Bordeaux and England, in which huge amounts of wine "claret" were shipped to ports in Great Britain. Red wine can be used as a substitute for claret wine.
- Sack — White fortified wine imported from mainland Spain or the Canary Islands. Modern day white wine can be used as a substitute.
- Verjuice – A bitter juice obtained from unripe grapes or crab apples. Substitute lemon juice or wine vinegar (red or white).
- Lege of Lambe (Haedus in Alio)
Roasted lamb glazed with egg wash, garlic and rosemary.
- Bratwurst Sausages ("To Make The Best Sausages That Ever Was Eat.")
A simple recipe for homemade sausages…one that is still very popular today.
For a long time, I've been wanting to try cooking a genuine recipe from a medieval European cookbook. A number of these cookbooks, dating to the Middle Ages, have been photocopied and made available online, so the cookbooks are easy to obtain, and completely legal because they were published centuries before copyright laws came into effect. The tricky part is translating these recipes into something that can be cooked in a modern day kitchen.