[Sca-cooks] Swan recipes
JIMCHEVAL at aol.com
JIMCHEVAL at aol.com
Mon Jan 21 17:11:44 PST 2013
While you're at it, perhaps you'd like to include two from Anthimus' 6th
century De Observatione Ciborum (my translation).
The recipe for peacock is listed under "domestic birds" (and so the bird
typically was, even if it seems like a game bird to us). Anthimus was
writing a dietetic, not a recipe book, so if he left out anything like putting
the feathers back on, it may be because that didn't affect the bird's
nutritional impact. Still his instructions seem to assume a bird being cooked much
like any other (even though the Romans did sometimes dress it in its
"Of peacocks, if there are any, the best are the oldest, killed five to
six days before, and well caprientur those which have such meat, and put them
in wine or boil each in its own juices, so that for those who like it put
a moderate amount of honey and pepper in the juices, after they have been
cooked. Younger or tender peacocks should be killed a day or two before."
"Caprientur" might mean marinate or hang, but since scholars better than I
have yet to resolve the issue, I left it as is. Either way this works
nicely enough with turkey. Probably would work for swan, too, since later
medieval texts often pair them (though one version of the Viandier says swan
would be the second course, but peacock the last).
Under "wild birds", one finds this for partridge:
"Partridges are good, especially their breasts. Boiled but not roasted.
Moreover, they are suitable for those who suffer from fluxes of the stomach
or dysentery, and they are good boiled in pure water without any seasoning.
And if possible, put neither salt nor oil on them, only a bundle of
coriander [that is, for us, cilantro], and cook them with this. Eat only the
breast, if possible without salt; otherwise dip it in salt."
No swans, but then no geese either. In general he says, "birds well cooked
in their juices are suitable and, if steamed as soon as they are killed,
yet well cooked, and also carefully roasted some distance from the hearth,
fit." (Note that this breaks down into three methods: in their juices,
steamed - a Roman but not late medieval method - or roasted at a distance from
I just saw today that one Gallo-Roman dig found remnants of an owl that
apparently had been eaten; never seen a recipe for THAT.
Newly translated from Pierre Jean-Baptiste Le Grand d'Aussy:
Eggs, Cheese and Butter in Old Regime France
In a message dated 1/21/2013 4:34:20 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com writes:
And thank you for the additional swan recipe. That was one I didn't have
and I will add it to the exotic-measts-msg file in its next update.
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