[Sca-cooks] scallops

edoard at medievalcookery.com edoard at medievalcookery.com
Fri Oct 3 07:48:40 PDT 2008

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Stefan li Rous 
> A quick search in the Florilegium does turn up a number of period  
> recipes for scallops, but at the price of scallops I'm not sure I'd  
> do the ones that have you mincing or grinding up the scallops. Might  
> as well use a cheaper fish for that.
> I wonder if scallops are another of those foods, like lobster, which  
> have done a flip-flop from being poor people's food to being  
> expensive delicacies for the more well off.

It's hard to tell if it's a case of a change in preferences, or if they
lumped scallops in with other shellfish, or if they just didn't have
many ways of preparing scallops.

The cookbook search yields 3 period "recipes" for scallops out of 25
cookbooks.  Not much.  Interestingly enough, they're all French.

Scallops in gravy or cooked in water, with pepper and ginger.

SCALLOPS. Note that scallops which are heaped up and hold together in a
pile without scattering or leaving, and are red and of lively colour,
are fresh: and those which do not hold together and are separate and of
dull or dead colour, are from an old catch. Pick them out, then wash
thoroughly in two or three good hot waters, and then do it again in cold
water, then dry on a towel briefly at the fire, and fry in oil with
cooked onions, and then sprinkle with spices and eat with almost clear
leaves, wheat sprouts or sorrel sprouts or leaves of (all-heal?,
sainfoin?) or (wild chicory?, barberry?).
[Le Menagier de Paris]

Scallops. Pick them over well, scald and wash them, brown them in oil
with chopped onions and Spice Powder, and eat them with good White
Garlic [Sauce].
[Le Viandier de Taillevent]

Hmmm... I think I'll try that last one.

- Doc

 416. Take fayre water, an strayne it thorw a straynour, than take hem
vp of the water after the fyrst boylyng, an ley on Pepir an Safroun,
Maces, Clowys, an a lytil verious an salt, an serue in. [The Boke of

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