[Sca-cooks] new book on English food

tudorpot at gmail.com tudorpot at gmail.com
Sun Sep 14 22:44:20 PDT 2008

A possible new source for SCA cooks- Taste: The Story of Britain  
Through Its Cooking by Kate Colquhoun

Here is a brief quote-

"Colquhoun comes into her own when the written record starts to  
include recipes. The spices that disappeared from the British diet  
when the Romans left returned with the Crusaders - and were used  
because of their flavour, not (in the long-discredited shibboleth) to  
disguise tainted meat. She says: 'If so much about the European  
Middle Ages seems bewilderingly remote, contemporary Moroccan food,  
robust and subtle by degrees, broadly unchanged for centuries, offers  
a hint of our own culinary past.'

The most fascinating aspect of the first half of her book, though, is  
to do with religion and fish. Christianity brought with it fast days  
and their number grew and grew - all of Advent and Lent, Fridays (the  
Crucifixion), Wednesdays (Judas's payday), Saturdays (Sabbath Eve) -  
not so irrational for an island people, but with only salt to  
preserve fish, drearily boring. In 1541 Henry VIII allowed eggs and  
dairy produce on fast days and cut the number of them by three- 
quarters. By the time of Bloody Mary the Friday fast had to be  
reinstated to protect the fishing industry."



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