[Sca-cooks] book question

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Tue Sep 16 11:12:47 PDT 2008

Gwen asked about Ken Albala's "Cooking in Europe".  My personal impression
is that it's a fairly general, for-non-experienced-cooks book.  He gives a
lot of recipes from medieval cookery texts, either English translations or
the English text.  There are no modern interpretations of the recipes but
he does do an explanation of what he thinks is happening in the recipe.  

The first eight pages comprise a list of the recipes.  Then there are eight
pages listing the recipes by country and time (Middle Ages, Renaissance,
Late Renaissance and Elizabethan Era.  There is one sheet (two page/sides)
of "Recipes for Special Occasions" which includes the ever-popular roasted
cat recipe.  Next come 6 pages/sides of a glossary for terms such as
trencher, verjuice,soffrito, comfits, leach... you get the idea.  Then
follow 8 pages of series foreword, acknowledgement and preface.  The
Introduction, which is the teaching/explantory part of the book comprises
pages 1-28, covering topics such as safety, finding spices, ovens, finding
a recipe, meal structure, sauces, meat, tableware, unfamiliar flavors and
practices...  The recipes start on page 29 and go to page 135.

So, if you are a beginner or not terribly experienced, you will probably
glean quite a bit.  If you are experienced with medieval cookery, it might
be nice to have just to say you have it and share it with someone, but you
might not get a lot from it unless his explanations of certain recipes
fills your knowledge gap.

Does this help?

Alys K.

Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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