[Sca-cooks] Early Irish food

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 10 09:34:31 PST 2009

On Jan 10, 2009, at 12:57 PM, Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps wrote:

> Was written
>>> > Syllabub/Hatted Kit, etc.
>>> Syllabub I remember seeing recipes for and we've had some   
>>> discussions on, but what is "Hatted Kit"? Is this just another  
>>> name  for syllabub/caudles?
>> Closer to syllabub, but made with ale and milk instead of wine and  
>> milk... Caudles are a completely different animal, AFAIK; they're  
>> generally thickened with egg yolk.
> Possets made with sherry, cream, eggs (mostly egg yolk) and nutmeg  
> same as caudle?

Could be. Basically, there are various traditions of making a  
restorative snacky beverage of thickened, enriched booze, sometimes  
served as an evening supper replacement (the main meal being eaten  
earlier), to travellers coming into an inn or arriving home late and  
not wanting anything too substantial or heavy, just something warming,  

Speaking VERY generally, because there are always exceptions, you'll  
find that if you take all the posset recipes you can find, and all the  
caudle recipes you can find, and put therm side by side, you'll  
probably find that almost all contain some sort of alcoholic beverage,  
possibly a dairy product like milk, cream or butter, and either a  
starchy thickener of breadcrumbs, flour or grain, or one of eggs. Very  
occasionally, both. These are areas of similarity.

You'll probably find, though, that more possets are thickened with  
something starchy rather than with eggs, and caudles are more often  
thickened with eggs than with starch.

I suspect both are named for the pan they're heated in and/or to the  
simple fact that they are heated. While you may find a posset recipe  
and a caudle recipe that are functionally identical, that does not  
really indicate that possets as a group are the same as caudles as a  

If that helps clarify things... and if not, add some rum, beat in an  
egg yolk, and heat very gently... that'll help.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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