Early French Cookery
Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations
With illuminations by J. David Scully
A delicious introduction to the food prepared in wealthy medieval French households
Early French Cookery introduces the general features of the food prepared for wealthy French households at the end of the Middle Ages. The volume presents over one hundred recipes, drawn from actual medieval manuscripts, and includes an overview of early French culinary traditions, foodstuffs, and methods of preparation. The authors help place these enticing recipes in context through a short survey of medieval dining behavior, and they give practical menu suggestions for simple meals and banquets that incorporate these delicious dishes.
D. Eleanor Scully is an occasional lecturer at the Stratford Chef School and advisor to Wilfrid Laurier University on Medieval and Renaissance cooking and customs.
Terence Scully is Professor of French Language and Literature, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.
Praise / Awards
". . . an excellent addition to a medieval historian's library."
"There's a lot of information here to entice and satisfy the mildly curious, the dedicated historian, the adventurous cook, or the organizer of a medieval banquet. . . . This is a very precise book, full of wonderful, enlightening, and practical detail. . . . I found myself reading with fascination one recipe after another for the advice and incidental information alone and then reading the recipe while mentally blending the ingredients to savor or discard the results. This book has a lot to offer the dedicated practitioner or the armchair cook."
"[The authors] explain early French cookery more thoroughly than any earlier study. . . . [The] Scullys have prepared a practical cookery book, following each original recipe with their own sensible and specific modern renditions, not being afraid to alter and criticize. . . . Early French Cookery concludes with a forty-page story, 'Chiquart's Day,' fondly narrating an imaginary 'day-in-the-life-of a late-medieval court cook' at a hypothetical castle. No lover of fantasy fiction should miss it."
--Times Literary Supplement
"The Scullys provide a useful introduction to the culinary history of late medieval France in more ways than one. Early French Cookery is a history but it is also a cookbook intended to provide guidelines for recreating medieval feasts in modern kitchens. . . . Since Early French Cookery intends to introduce medieval foodways through the experience of them, the real proof of its value is in tasting the pudding. Recently, I organized a medieval 'tasting' session for students in our European Studies Program based on information and recipes from the book. Students and colleagues overwhelmingly proclaimed it an informative, fun, and surprisingly tasty success."
--Corrie E. Norman, Sixteenth Century Journal
". . . this is the sort of book I have been dreaming about for years. . . . This one is monumental in that it includes no-nonsense reconstructions, full of common sense. . . . Altogether a wonderfully entertaining and delightful book that begs to take its place in the library of anyone interested not only in early cookery but also in medieval social history. . . ."
--Nicholas Michael, Dragon, Published by the Companie of Saint George, Switzerland
". . . will serve as a useful introduction to the execution of medieval French meals."
--Barbara K. Wheaton, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, April 1999
"A scrumptious introduction to the cuisine of wealthy medieval manors revives a host of practical but delicious recipes from the Middle Ages, all adapted to the modern kitchen."
--Paper Clips, Bridgewater NJ; Forecast, Bridgewater NJ, September 2002
"These are rather relaxed interpretations. The recipes are designed to be executed in modern kitchens. . . . The reader will not need to learn the art of hearth cooking, and will rarely need to search for obscure ingredients. This is a book that welcomes the curious, and, as such, should bring much pleasure and some real instruction to its users."
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