[Sca-cooks] Hildegard's dips?

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 06:06:57 PDT 2007

I checked out the same book on Amazon.  Turns out that they don't mention
coffee or dips...maybe that was just Jessica's Biscuit's writer.  According
to a reviewer:

Saint Hildegard lived in the 12th century. She was an abbess, a mystic, and
eventually, a saint. Among the considerable writings she left are her
thoughts and opinions on the spiritual as well as physical values of various
foodstuffs. This rather unusual cookbook derives its recipes from these
theological and visionary musings, although a few are directly from the
saint herself. This is not a meat and potatoes diet at all, but surprisingly
well-balanced, considering the limitations of medieval fare. There is an
emphasis on greens and grains, especially that health food junkie's delight,
spelt, a decidedly acquired taste. Dishes vary from the simple, using only a
few ingredients to the much more complicated, requiring a very well stocked
pantry. A few ingredients will be unfamiliar to most 21st century cooks in
the Midwest. I doubt that many folks regularly cook with nettles, something
we generally consider a weed these days, but St. Hildegard makes a omelet of
them,praising their purgative, restorative, and stimulative virtues. While
this slim volume may prove more for reading, than cooking, Chicken Cooked in
Wine for the Heart and the Tunisian Ratatouille are quite delicious.

So it would appear that the recipes aren't really her recipes, except in a
few select cases...but are "derived" from her writings.  While you still
can't actually look inside the book and see some of the recipes, the
reviewer, who is a librarian/historian/etc. and has reviewed a number of
other books, does indicate that the recipes at least appear to use period
ingredients.  I don't think we could use this as documentation, is what I'm
trying to say!


On 9/13/07, Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu> wrote:
> I came across this description this am while browsing in
> Jessica's Biscuit. The book was:  From Saint Hildegard's Kitchen: Foods
> Of Health, Foods Of Joy
> Description reads:
> Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a remarkable woman-a scholar, nun,
> mystic, theologian, physician, and composer. She also possessed, by
> means of heavenly visions, precious knowledge about human nutrition.
> Here are hundreds of *her recipes* for meat, vegetables, salads, soups,
> cereals, pastas, sauces, dips, beverages, jams, coffees, wines and
> desserts.
> Her recipes?
> An twelfth century convent serving a selection of dips and coffees?
> Johnnae

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