[Sca-cooks] Dillegrout?

Pat Griffin ldyannedubosc at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 3 22:46:51 PDT 2007

Adamantius mentions:

>>Incidentally, regarding earlier incarnations of blankmanger under  
other names, we may need to consider a dish about which very little  
is known: dillegrout. It has been alleged (I think by Leonard  
Wibberley, in a book about English Coronation ceremonies) that  
dillegrout was a traditional Coronation dish, and that it may have  
been a porridge similar to blankmanger. 

Adamantius <<

I don't know where he gets all his information, but at
The Old Foodie has a short article on Dillegrout:  

William the Conqueror crowned himself King of England on Christmas Day 1066,
but it was not until this day in 1068 that his wife, Matilda was crowned
Queen consort. The coronation was naturally followed by a lavish banquet,
and a new dish was created for it which was to become a coronation tradition
until the reign of George IV in 1821.

William's cook was a Norman (naturally) by the name of Tezelin. He came up
with a white soup called "Dilligrout", and the story is that William was so
pleased he gave Tezelin a manor at Addington in Surrey, on the condition
that the manor provide this dish at future coronations in perpetuity. A
manor for a bowl of soup!

We will never be sure as to the exact recipe for this soup. The OED is
unable to help, saying only that it is some sort of pottage, and is unable
even to clarify the derivation of the word. It is possible that it has the
same root as groat and grit, referring to coarse grain - although this would
hardly seem likely to simulate such royal generosity. Other sources say it
was " .. compounded of almond milk, the brawn of capons, sugar and spices,
chicken parboiled and chopped, and was called, also, 'Le mess de gyron,' or,
if there was fat with it, it was termed maupigyrnun.", which would have been
an expensive, elegant dish and much more appropriate to set before the king.

If this latter description is correct, then the dillegrout/maupigyrun must
have been similar to the original "blancmange", which meant "white food",
and was made from chicken and almond milk. There are no recipes from the
time of William's reign, so we must be content with one from Englands oldest
cookery manuscript, the late fourteenth century "The Forme of Cury".

Blank Maunger.
Take Capouns and seeth hem, thenne take hem up. take Almandes blaunched.
grynd hem and alay [mix] hem up with the same broth. cast the mylk in a pot.
waisshe rys and do therto and lat it seeth. thanne take brawn of Capouns
teere it small and do therto. take white grece sugur and salt and cast
therinne. lat it seeth. yhenne messe it forth and florissh it with aneys in
confyt rede other whyt. and with Almaundes fryed in oyle. and serue it


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