forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 14 Jul 08 11:41am


Forum super champ
Occupation living life
From Friuli northern Italy
Member since Mon 14 Jan 08

Medieval cooking

ciao Jamie, now you make us travel into the past? Yes I heard of some of these techniques you mention, dating the early '900 years. Even if you cannot call it medioevo, I tell you that I have a rame=copper stagnata pan where my ancestors cooked a torta wrapped into verza-leaves, covered with its lid and then put with braci around on a corner of the focolare. Au-peu-près this was the procedimento.

I have great aspettative from this thread you have started

clap  clap  clap
ciao maddalena

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#2 Mon 14 Jul 08 11:47am


Forum champ
Occupation Newbie Mamma
From Italy-UK-Spain
Member since Mon 16 Jun 08

Re: Medieval cooking

I live in a medieval town called Xativa in the region of Valencia Spain. There is a fortress here and the local restaurants cook food called "Xativi" the local food, one of the most popular medieval recipies they make, which you can have every day here, and once a year there is a competition and we build fires in the middle of the town and everyone gets a chance to make their own "Arros al Forn" it's called baked rice and it's cooked over coals on a terracotta dish, that almost anyone who's travelled to spain has seen here.
You make meatballs out of minced pork, with lemon rind and cinnamon, egg and bread crumbs. Then you add diced fresh thick pancetta and diced pork ribs.
You fry a whole head of garlic in the terracotta pan with olive oil then you add sweet paprica and the meat, when the meat is golden you remove it and add the rice (round bomba rice, it's typical of Spain, they grow it here in Valencia) you fry the rice until it's soaked the paprika and the oil then you add sweed and turnips cut in thin french fries shape and the meat plus you add black pudding in 2 inch cuts, you cover it all in stock where you've prviously cooked chick peas and other veg in too, but you only add the chick peas. Leave it to cook over the coals without moving it till all the liquid has simmered and the rice is dry, the trick it to not burn the bottom. The last 2 minutes of the process you add slices of tomato on top, which steams a little with the rice and it makes a lovely mix of flavours from the spicy meat balls to the garlic to the black pudding which is very tasty.
Tradition has it that all the family eats in the same dish the rice is cooked in and then the head of garlic which is left whole and almost always in the centre of the dish gets eaten by the man of the household.

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#3 Mon 14 Jul 08 11:48am


From Ireland
Member since Wed 28 Dec 05

Re: Medieval cooking

In the sixties, holidaying in Donegal, as a child I was fascinated with the few people who were still doing their cooking over the open fire.

Herring catches were placed over a very long tongs and cooked over the fire.  Soda Bread was put in a pan with a lid and embers placed on top.  There was a hook in the chimney to hang pots from.  All great fun to a townie as I was then!

Not exactly new techniques for you, but I enjoyed the trip down memory lane!  smile

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#4 Mon 14 Jul 08 12:52pm


Occupation personal chef
From sydney, australia
Member since Wed 09 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Hi Jamie,

For sure Medievil cooking is the bomb. It's not something you do everyday but when you do it grab all your mates and make it count.

Our usual gig is to get a pig or lamb on a spit and let it go all day til it is glisening with fat and crunchy all over. Then we grab our potatoes out of the coals and chow down....Yummy!!

All is good in country Australia.

Moni thumbsup

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#5 Mon 14 Jul 08 1:40pm


Member since Fri 13 Jun 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Maybe you'll go to Africa and  sample their food followed to this part of Asia where you are so popular.You want to see ancient ways of cooking try Africa.

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#6 Mon 14 Jul 08 2:24pm


Forum champ
From Switzerland
Member since Fri 15 Apr 05

Re: Medieval cooking


I did a degree in medieval history and spent some time as a post-grad on Anglo-Saxon/Anglo-Norman food and drink, very interesting subject. 

If you want some slightly dry but very informative reading, get your hands on Ann Hagen's academic works, A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food: Processing and Consumption and the second volume, Production and Distribution.  Both are available through Amazon.  I'll post some stuff later when I have time. 

Great topic Jamie, thanks muchly.   smile

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#7 Mon 14 Jul 08 3:26pm


Occupation student
From Aragon, Spain
Member since Sun 26 Aug 07

Re: Medieval cooking

i love spanish sweets like "mazapan" and "pestiños" i think are medieval recypes from arabic antecesor,  perfects in chistmas! and curlyc soup in winter,
good day guys, see you

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#8 Mon 14 Jul 08 3:49pm


Forum champ
Occupation Retired nurse-midwife
From High Point, North Carolina
Member since Tue 17 Jun 08

Re: Medieval cooking

There is a great book called Culinaria Italy, which is available from  It gives the history of the region, and explains how what was grown locally in ancient times (back to the Etruscans sometimes), and going forward, greatly influenced the diets in the respective areas.  In addition, it has gorgeous photographs, and also recipes with detailed instructions.  There is a whole series of these books, France, Spain, Germany, etc.

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#9 Mon 14 Jul 08 4:08pm


From Lancashire
Member since Mon 14 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

I used to belong to a medieval re-enactment group a few years ago, so have done a lot of medieval cooking.  I love the complexity and spicyness of some of the recipes.

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#10 Mon 14 Jul 08 4:22pm


Member since Mon 14 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Pay a visit to the kitchens at Hampton court Palace, lots of original equipment, ideas recipes. Good luck

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