[Sca-cooks] New 'invention' of medieval food?

Sharon Palmer ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Fri Aug 19 17:05:49 PDT 2011

>  > Really? Any idea where it might appear in period texts, if it does? It
>  > could just as likely be a modern construct to make the differentiation.

From the OED (which is available online from my 
public library, you might check if yours provides 

alegar, n.
Forms:  15 aleger, alligar, 15-16 alliger, 
aliger, 16 alegre, 17 aleager, 15- alegar.
Etymology:  < (after vinegar) ale n. + egre, 
eger, eager adj., = French aigre sharp, sour.
Thesaurus »

   Sour ale; vinegar formed by the acetous fermentation of ale; malt-vinegar.
1542    A. Borde Compend. Regyment Helth (1870) 
xxxiv. 296   Soure and tarte thynges, as venegre 
and aleger [v.r. alceger, alegar].
1584    T. Cogan Hauen of Health cc. 165   Some 
make it of Ale onely?but that is rather Aliger 
than Vineger.
1598    J. Florio Worlde of Wordes,   Vertiuice, alligar.
1720    J. Strype Stow's Survey of London (rev. 
ed.) II. v. xv. 237/2   Corrupt Vinegar, 
Beeregre, and Alegre.
1736    Compl. Family-piece i. iii. 161   Boil 
Alegar, scum it, and pour it over them.
1837    T. Carlyle French Revol. I. iv. iv. 200 
Whose small soul, transparent wholesome-looking 
as small-ale, could by no chance ferment into 
virulent alegar?? We shall see.
1881    S. Evans Evans's Leicestershire Words 
(new ed.) (at cited word),   Alegar is to ale 
what vinegar is to wine. The old home-made 
article is now seldom procurable.


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