Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Mar 26 13:28:10 PDT 2007

If I might be so bold, the modern adaptations of frumenty are actually wheat 
polenta (the word first being used in English around 1000 CE).  Frumenty is 
made from whole grain, while polenta is made from crushed grain or meal. 
The use of bulgar or cracked wheat is a cheat to expedite the cooking and 
does not produce the "frogs egg" effect of frumenty.

Frumenty mostly refers to whole, hulled wheat grains.  Polenta initially was 
applied to barley, both whole and crushed, but was being commonly used to 
describe any boiled grain meal by the time of Apicius.  Porridge primarily 
referred to a dish of oatmeal, but was also used to describe other cooked 
grain meals.  I suspect the definitions became more generalized over time.

It might be interesting to compare the various recipes and word usages over 


> For a tried and tested recipe for frumenty complete with modern redactions
> you may like to take a look at:
> http://www.history.uk.com/recipes/index.php?archive=8
> www.history.uk.com
> Recipes for frumenty are found in just about every
> medieval European cookbook, dating back to 1300.
> Normally the frumenty recipes call for wheat, but
> other grains such as oats were also used (alone or in
> combination). Most commonly in medieval menus,
> frumenty was served with venison.
> I have Cariadoc's recipe for frumenty on the website
> at:
> http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/frumenty.shtm
> If you'd like other examples of the medieval source
> recipes, let me know and I'll dig them up.
> - Doc

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