- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781606061091
- ISBN-13: 978-1606061091
- ASIN: 1606061097
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Medieval Cookbook: Revised Edition Hardcover – May 8, 2012
$1.28 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
The late Maggie Black was a food historian and freelance writer. She was the author of Food and Cooking in 19th Century Britain (English Heritage, 1985) and Medieval Cookery: Recipes and History (English Heritage, 2003).
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The positive differences in Ms. Black's book is that it is organized by source and that it has many more pictures, both black and white and color photographs of scenes from medieval sources, and line drawings or etchings of food plants and other botanicals. `Pleyn Delit' has virtually no pictures.
The two books share several major sources. Dominating the sources and background of both books is Geoffrey Chaucer's `Canterbury Tales'. While this work contains no recipes itself, if has numerous references to food and beverages, and Ms. Black devotes an entire chapter to recipes cited in this great literary work. The second major work cited in Ms. Black's volume is a pedagogical volume by an upper middle class member of the gentry identified as `The Goodman of Paris'. The narrative identifies him as probably a civil servant, with houses in both the city and the country. After chapters on proper moral deportment, the author gives both menus and recipes for the training of his staff of servants. The book also gives several directions to wife and staff on proper kitchen economics and the care of domestic and captured animals. The third primary source is documents associated with the very sybaritic court of the English king Richard II, whose death started the War of the Roses. I am green with envy at my image of the author's working on this book among the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library and at the British Museum, two shrines of English language scholarship for sure. I have seen both as a tourist and my most persistent fantasy career is one of a scholar.
The pictures in the book are very well chosen to illustrate the literary sources. Pictures of medieval life are taken largely from tapestries such as the famous Bayeux tapestry and similar sources. They are very well selected and, unlike so many other incidental pictures in books on cookery, they are actually given meaningful captions.
Ms. Black and the authors of `Pleyn Delit' take almost exactly the same approach to translating their recipes from old English and identifying the sources of the original text. The recipe translations are equally fine in both books while the scholarly method of citing sources is equally dismal. I simply do not understand these authors use of a plainly obscure method for connecting source in the bibliography to the text in the main part of the book. I am certain these Brits and Canadians use the same scholarly conventions as we Yanks as codified in things like the `Chicago Manual of Style'. This little quibble is for the scholars among us.
The most serious lapse in Ms. Black's book compared to `Pleyn Delit' is in the fact that the latter book has a much more interesting collection of recipes that a modern amateur cook would really find interesting. The very first recipe in `The Medieval Cookbook' is for Frumenty, a simple porridge of cracked wheat, water, stock, and salt with an optional addition of eggs and saffron. The second is Girdle `Breads' which is an unleavened, saffron coloured biscuit of flower, lard, and salt with no leavening. The third recipe is for grilled steaks brushed with either verjuice (an ur-vinegar made from specially grown grapes) or juice from Seville oranges. The fourth recipe is for rabbit. While these four recipes, taking up seven pages of the book are all very interesting from an historical point of view, it makes the book less valuable as a source for modern cooks who may want a good source for a medieval theme menu. To be sure, there are recipes in this book that are worth making today, but `Pleyn Delit' is a better source for actual cooking.
I am very happy to see that the two books agree almost exactly on the use of ingredients and techniques. If you have an interest in history in general and culinary scholarship in particular, get both books. If you are only interested in a source for recipes, get `Pleyn Delit'. It is authentic and a richer source of interesting recipes.
There were several reasons I withheld a 'five star' rating. First, though the author makes reference to how a particular dish would have been prepared in several different ways, only one variation is offered, in some cases markedly unlike the original. Secondly, and to a greater degree, there are not many recipes included. Those provided are illustrations of a category, not collections of, for example, varied main dishes, desserts, or savouries.