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- Title: Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks
- Autor: Sharon Butler
- Publisher (Publication Date): University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 2nd edition (February 14, 1996)
- Language: English
This is a completely revised edition of the classic cookbook that makes genuine medieval meals available to modern cooks. Using the best recipes from the first edition as a base, Constance Hieatt and Brenda Hosington have added many new recipes from more countries to add depth and flavour to our understanding of medieval cookery. All recipes have been carefully adapted for use in modern kitchens, thoroughly tested, and represent a wide range of foods, from appetizers and soups, to desserts and spice wine. They come largely from English and French manuscripts, but some recipes are from sources in Arabia, Catalonia and Italy. The recipes will appeal to cordon-bleus and less experienced cooks, and feature dishes for both bold and timourous palates.
The approach to cooking is entirely practical. The emphasis of the book is on making medieval cookery accessible by enabling today’s cooks to produce authentic medieval dishes with as much fidelity as possible. All the ingredients are readily available; where some might prove difficult to find, suitable substitutes are suggested. While modern ingredients which did not exist in the Middle Ages have been excluded (corn starch, for example), modern time and energy saving appliances have not. Authenticity of composition, taste, and appearance are the book’s main concern.
Unlike any other published book of medieval recipes, Pleyn Delit is based on manuscript readings verified by the authors. When this was not possible, as in the case of the Arabic recipes, the best available scholarly editions were used. The introduction provides a clear explanation of the medieval menu and related matters to bring the latest medieval scholarship to the kitchen of any home. Pleyn Delit is a recipe book dedicated to pure delight – a delight in cooking and good food.
‘The book is as much a fascinating social document as a cookbook.’ (H.J. Kirchhoff The Globe and Mail)
‘The recipes are as much fun to read as the meals are to eat.’ (Cynthia Spinelli The Tacoma News Tribune and Sunday Ledger)’Pleyn Delit is the kind of book that will add class to any creative cook’s collection of culinary literature.’ (Marjorie Gillies The Winnipeg Tribune)’For the real nostalgia buff ( and anyone planning a medieval fair or feast), this is a must.’ (Wilson Library Bulletin)’With this book, I can do two things at once, improve my knowledge of food and food preparation and indulge my love for history.’ (Joanne Bury Muskoka Advance)’If you are a cookbook collector, don’t miss Pleyn Delit.’ (Gloria McDade The Toronto Sun)’The year’s most intriguing and practical cookbook is the scholarly Pleyn Delit…’ (Sheila Haining The Hamilton Spectator)’Pleyn Delit has a multitude of virtues … Both the novice and the expert cook will be able to use it, and there are recipes in it oto please both simple and exotic tastes.’ (Lana Phair London Free Press)'[Pleyn Delit] is a complete and actually quite practical book, besides being great fun to just browse through.’ (Jurgen Gothe Western Living)
See all Editorial Reviews
This is a brilliant book. Background: I am a home cook who likes to focus on local goods, who has various CSA subscriptions, etc. I am also fascinated by the history of cooking, and love to play with historical recipes to help me understand what people actually used to eat, and how it was prepared. This is rather the “fast food” approach to early cuisine; it does not require things like spits over open fires or anything. The recipes seem to me to be somewhat tweaked to be yummy to our modern tastes, too- which is a bit of a disappointment. Nonetheless- the recipes are really solid, and solidly based in medieval cooking. I’ve tried a couple that have been brilliant, and I have a number of others I really want to try, like the fruit-stuffed goose. About the honey-mustard: I didn’t have the book handy when I made it the first time, and so used prepared dijon mustard along with the honey, wine, vinegar and spices. I also didn’t really remember amounts, so I played with it till it tasted good- and it was delicious! This time, I followed the actual recipe more closely- and it was a surprise. Even though I used only about 1 oz. of dried ground mustard instead of the 2 oz. specified, the mustard completely overwhelmed all the other flavors- and had a kick very similar to wasabi: a huge hit of immediate heat, that vanishes quickly. I must admit I liked my version better! However, I am eager to try this one again, but using 25% or less of the dried mustard called for. Both ways were pretty good with ham, though, and the more authentic one might make a good glaze, used in moderation. Still, in historical cooking- “Lobscouse and Spotted Dog” is probably better, albeit less accessible to modern cooks… but much more interesting if one wonders how people cooked before, say, we had stoves and/or ovens.