[Sca-cooks] Hannele Klemettila's "The Medieval Kitchen

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Wed Sep 26 06:10:41 PDT 2012

>> My copy of Hannele Klemettila's "The Medieval Kitchen: A Social History with Recipes"
arrived yesterday. I've taken a good look at the recipe section. 

The 60 plus recipes seem primarily to be adaptations or slight reworkings of recipes  that have already appeared in 
other medieval cookbooks. These include a number of recipes drawn from SCA authors and members
of this list. His Grace Cariadoc's Miscellany (David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook) is credited as is Cindy Renfrow's Take a Thousand Eggs or More.
Mary Savelli is also mentioned or credited as is James Matterer and the Gode Cookery website.
Many recipes were credited to the published works of Josy Marty-Dufaut, the Scullys, Redon, et al, Hieatt and Butler, Moira Buxton,
and in two instances to Madeline Pelner Cosman's Fabulous Feasts. The Oulu Medieval Society is also mentioned. 

The original recipes and sources are sometimes given and sometimes not. The measurements vary from recipe
to recipe. In one recipe a certain quantity of meat will be carefully specified; in another recipe, the recipe simply calls for
4 chickens and doesn't specify the size or total weight needed. I think that the included recipes are reflective of what the
original published adaptations said. If that author included the original recipe and carefully worked out the amounts, then 
the recipe Klemettila includes here will also include the original and those amounts. If not, then the recipe simply calls for the basics.

Anyway I don't find that the recipe section, pages 147-213 brings much to the table or is all that compelling. 
Relying as it does on already published collections, the work doesn't provide the focus on Northern or Scandinavian recipes that the advance
press seemingly promised. 

Once I get the text read and notes made, I'll be back with more thoughts. 

I will say that it is a very pretty and well illustrated volume with 112 color illustrations with additional B/w line drawings. Several of those
have not been included previously in other volumes or drawn together in one place, so for those of us who like illustrations of cooks or kitchens
the book will be appealing.


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