[Sca-cooks] large birds for feasts

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Mar 3 14:23:02 PST 2011

I much prefer telling people precisely what they are eating and find recipes 
appropriate to the time and place of the feast I am preparing.  If I don't 
have bustard or swan, I do have chicken.  And if the time frame is prior to 
1530, turkey is out.  But if I am recreating a German feast from late-16th 
Century sources, well, hey, Rumpolt gives me twenty ways to prepare turkey. 
And since I was doing that for my last feast, I served cold, sliced turkey 
ala Rumpolt.  The hall probably detracted more from the atmosphere than what 
I served.


> Recently we've been talking about large birds such as turkeys and bustards 
> for feasts.  Here is a message from Johnnae about this subject from a few 
> years ago. It isn't in the Florilegium because I never got enough other 
> material for a file on large birds, so it will probably eventually end up 
> in the fowls-a-birds-msg file in the ANIMALS section. But for now, I 
> thought some of you might wish to see it again.
> She recommends not using chicken or turkey to substitute for other hard to 
> get birds. While I recommended serving turkey as if it was bustard. To me, 
> and others, turkey reeks of modern food and I was trying to avoid pulling 
> people away from the medieval atmosphere, while allowing a way to cook a 
> large bird in the style of the times without using hard-to-get, much less 
> endangered birds. Yes, it is period if you mean by that term used in 
> Europe before 1600, but even knowing that, and many people don't, it still 
> risks ripping the medieval atmosphere we try to create.
> I agree that we shouldn't serve one thing saying it is another. Perhaps a 
> good compromise is to list it on the menu as  "xxx turkey, cooked in the 
> style of bustard" or "xxx bustard (using turkey)". Or maybe you can get 
> away with listing the turkey ingredient just in the ingredients list but 
> not in the menu.
> Stefan

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