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Comment: Edition: 2nd; Book is in very good condition with minor wear to cover, tight binding. Text is clean of any markings, writing, or highlighting. Note to previous owner inscribed on inside front cover.
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Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks Paperback – February 14, 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks + The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy + The Medieval Cookbook: Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 2nd edition (February 14, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802076327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802076328
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'The book is as much a fascinating social document as a cookbook.'

Review

'The recipes are as much fun to read as the meals are to eat.'



'Pleyn Delit is the kind of book that will add class to any creative cook's collection of culinary literature.'



'For the real nostalgia buff ( and anyone planning a medieval fair or feast), this is a must.'



'With this book, I can do two things at once, improve my knowledge of food and food preparation and indulge my love for history.'



'If you are a cookbook collector, don't miss Pleyn Delit.'



'The year's most intriguing and practical cookbook is the scholarly Pleyn Delit...'



'Pleyn Delit has a multitude of virtues ... Both the novice and the expert cook will be able to use it, and there are recipes in it oto please both simple and exotic tastes.'



'[Pleyn Delit] is a complete and actually quite practical book, besides being great fun to just browse through.'


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Day one, I was able to make recipes from ingredients I had on hand.
Amie Whtie
Having the original there enables one to do one's own redaction if the modern one is unsatisfactory, or if one suspects it makes some unwarranted assumptions.
Amazon Customer
This would be great for someone who's looking for uncomplicated and interesting recipes with healthy ingredients.
Tomorryo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Pleyn Delit' subtitled `Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks' by Constance B. Hieatt, Brenda Hosington, and Sharon Butler, all Canadian Ph.D. professional historians, is a scholarly book of very old Western European recipes translated into modern English, modern measurements, and readily available ingredients. Unlike several recent books by Francine Segan on recipes of Shakespeare's time and recipes of ancient Greece and Rome, this is a genuinely scholarly book with much less flash and much more exposition on how recipes were translated from an old English more familiar to Chaucer's pilgrims than 21st century foodies.

One can easily wonder what possible use such a book would be to members of the Food Network generation who do not happen to have any interest in medieval studies. How can one possibly appreciate a cuisine with no tomatoes, potatoes, chilis, corn, or string beans? Well, there are a few things a nonscholar foodie can get from this book.

First, it is an excellent source of recipes for entertaining to a Middle Ages theme. I can easily imagine that after a few years of running through food themes from Provence, Tuscany, Asian Georgia, Lebanon, New Delhi, Saigon, Kyoto, Hong Kong, and Kiev, one can suddenly find themselves at a loss for something new.

Second, for the somewhat more adventurous, who happen to have a green thumb or some nearby friendly greengrocers with an eye to the unusual, there is the opportunity to try unusual herbs and greens, some of which the authors cannot imagine why they have fallen out of favor. In an environment where foodies are searching out nettles and pig's jowls, people will be more than happy to find new scavenger hunt targets such as borage and sorrel.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Cas VINE VOICE on August 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This was my very first medieval-food book. To my amazement, it actually works well as a "mundane" cookbook too. The recipes are presented with the primary source they come from first (translated if the source isn't in at least somewhat-recognizable English), with a redaction following.
Not all the redactions are easy to work with, and sometimes the results are.. well.. uneven (watch out for the sage sauce one that calls for chopped boiled eggs). I suspect that three people making the same recipe would come out with three different dishes. That said, some recipes are just mouthwatering -- a thickened wine sauce for meats went over well at one feast I helped with, and most of the vegetable recipes are tasty and easy to prepare.
A decent bibliography is included with the work, as well as an analysis of period spices and spice mixes. I'd recommend this to anybody interested in medieval cooking -- it dispels a lot of myths and presents a number of dishes that prove that we haven't changed all that much.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Admittedly, this cookbook is not always for the novice. It doesn't tell you how long to cook a roast, for instance. However, if you are into a reenactment hobby (e.g. SCA), definitely get this book and do not get Fabulous Feasts. This book actually gives the source of each recipe so that you can do your own redacting. One of the better easily accessible sources for planning a feast.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Angus Macdonald on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Several years ago, due to have an abiding interest in both cooking and the Middle Ages, I was given this book. I already had To The King's Taste and Fabulous Feasts. Of the three, I recommend Fabulous Feast above all.
Pleyn Delit is a decent cookbook, but several of the recipes are poorly written and must be read three or four times before you get an inkling of what order you must do things in. Some of my friends have become amused with time as each of us created one or another dish independently from each other to wildly varying results.
The support material is decent, but not as extensive as Fabulous Feasts. The recipes are numerous enough and some are quite tasty; sometimes even "period" versions appear for you to compare to the modernized recipe. This book was written first by historians, secondly by cooks. That being said, you can have a lot of fun with this book, just be very, VERY careful when ready the recipes or you may well end up with soup instead of pie filling.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Pleyn Delit offers a great variety of simple to medium hard recipes that can be adapted to your current menu or replace it if the ambition is there. The recipes are tasty and well-explained. Some ingredients are hard to find but for the most part replacement items are named. With this book, I've concocted complete medieval meals as well as odds and ends for special occasions while increasing the depth of my family's usual menus.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Tice on April 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is easily a must-have for anyone who looks to prepare a feast in proper medieval style. The writing is well done, the recipes are succulent, and accessible too! The original text side-by-side with the modern text sets you up to make similar translations for yourself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Connors VINE VOICE on March 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
If there was one book to get on the subject of medieval cooking, it would be this one. It's a selection of recipes from western Europe in the late Middle Ages, mostly French and English (there is a lot of Middle English in this book, and for the most part it's not that hard to read, though much of it is not in the somewhat familiar Chaucer dialect), with a smattering of Italian and even Middle Eastern. For each dish, the original recipe (translated into modern English if not already in middle English) is given along with commentary and a modernized recipe. The authors helpfully point out such things as transcription errors (i.e. a recipe for Sauce Cameline that lacks the critical ingredient of cinnamon) as well as providing an extensive bibliography showing the original sources of each recipe in the book.

It seems that this book is quite popular among Ren Faire and SCA geeks, so if you want some good medieval recipes to start you off, this is the one to buy. It's got a few weaknesses -- despite an extensive bibliography, there is a lack of deep historical background in the book, and there is a heavy emphasis on British recipes that might strike one as a bit odd. It's not the be-all, end-all of medieval cookbooks, but overall, it's a good start, and more than sufficient if you just have to whip up something for the Ren Faire next weekend.
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