[Sca-cooks] Olive oil (was Re: Bread Recipe from my files)

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Mon Jul 16 11:19:48 PDT 2007

> > since it had to be imported...so if you're looking at, say, 14th- 
> > century
> > English recipes, you wouldn't see a ton of olive oil, but it'd be  
> > all over
> > the Italian cookbooks of the same period.
> While olives (or at least olive oil) would have been imported into  
> northern Europe, I don't believe that they were so rare as to be  
> hugely expensive.

Yup, I think you may be looking at a consequence of the butter line 
here, in that butter would be more available above the butter line than 
below it.

There's stuff about oils and fats in the 2002 Oxford Symposium on Food 
and Cookery http://www.oxfordsymposium.org.uk/contents2002.html
Judy Gerjuoy gave a presentation there on the medieval fats but I don't 
think it made it into the proceedings. 

> I'll try to find more concrete evidence, but given the above in  
> connection with the number of recipes I've seen which call for olive  
> oil (including some that use it for frying), I'm inclined to believe  
> that while it was more expensive than lard, it was not considered  
> overly expensive and was commonly used in large quantities by the  
> middle and upper classes.

I think I'd agree.

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"I thought you might need rescuing . . . We have a bunch of professors 
wandering around who need students." -- Dan Guernsey

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