[Sca-cooks] Jam (was Medieval Questionnaire)

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Mon Oct 29 13:18:27 PDT 2007

>> Hungarian Plum Preserves/ be it white or brown.  Take the sour
>> cherries/ and take the stems from it/ set them in a kettle over the
>> fire or coals/ and let simmer/ until they give from themselves
>> enough juice.  When it is cold then strain it through a hair cloth/
>> put them in a tinned fishkettle/ and set on coals/ let simmer/ and
>> stir up/ that it doesn't burn.  And when it is half cooked/ then
>> take a little ground cinnamon and cloves in it/ make well sweet with
>> sugar/ and let simmer together/ until it well thickened/ take away/
>> and let cool/ so you can lift it/ and keep it in a jar or two.
> Is there any really strong evidence that it's not a sliceable
> "lechemete" like the many quince, warden, and other fruit pastes you
> see all over France and England throughout period? I note that there's
> no mention of sugar proportions, and the use of the clause "so you can
> lift it".
> I mean, this could be jam, but given that there don't seem to be a lot
> of contemporary jam recipes, and there are a lot of more or less
> contemporary recipes for fruit pastes, what are the odds?

It sounds like a marmalade to me, which is *a preserve* meant to be eaten
with a spoon, and for which there are lots of 16th c. recipes.

The key here would be 'keep it in a jar,' which is not a term I would
associate with lechmeates, as they are a) generally meant to be eaten
quickly, and b) would require a somewhat specialized jar (no neck) to be
stored for slicing.

This sort of thing is covered extensively in _Banquetting Stuffe_.

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

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