[Sca-cooks] lentils

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Tue Mar 8 11:55:54 PST 2011

Checked Ken Albala's 2007 volume Beans. A History.

"There is really nothing here about contemporary practice, and nowhere  
in the recipes taken from Martino are lentils even mentioned. Lentils  
really do not appear to be a common food in medieval Europe. It is  
only in the sixteenth century that lentils begin to appear in  

He says that there are 6 recipes for lentils in Scappi. 5 of those are  
where lentils are mentioned as alternatives to peas, beans, or other  
legumes. There is one recipe that is a thick soup of lentils. Alba;a  
suggests that lentils were just substituted in, so perhaps specific  
recipes weren't necessary.

If you don't own Scully's edition of Scappi, you can view the recipe  
on Google Books. Do a search under lentil Scappi recipes. It's recipe  
254 page 368. It could be a vegetarian recipe although it ends with  
pieces of trench and pike might be eaten with the soup of lentils.

I did find this one OED quote which indicates that they were eaten and  
with what...

1649    Bp. J. Taylor Great Exemplar iii. Disc. xiv. 27   He prefers a  
dish of red *lentill pottage before a venison.

Most of the other interesting OED material is 19th century.


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