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Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks Paperback – February 14, 1996
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'The book is as much a fascinating social document as a cookbook.'(H.J. Kirchhoff The Globe and Mail)
'The recipes are as much fun to read as the meals are to eat.'(Cynthia Spinelli The Tacoma News Tribune and Sunday Ledger)
'Pleyn Delit is the kind of book that will add class to any creative cook's collection of culinary literature.'(Marjorie Gillies The Winnipeg Tribune)
'For the real nostalgia buff ( and anyone planning a medieval fair or feast), this is a must.'(Wilson Library Bulletin)
'With this book, I can do two things at once, improve my knowledge of food and food preparation and indulge my love for history.'(Joanne Bury Muskoka Advance)
'If you are a cookbook collector, don't miss Pleyn Delit.'(Gloria McDade The Toronto Sun)
'The year's most intriguing and practical cookbook is the scholarly Pleyn Delit...'(Sheila Haining The Hamilton Spectator)
'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.'(Lana Phair London Free Press)
'[Pleyn Delit] is a complete and actually quite practical book, besides being great fun to just browse through.'(Jurgen Gothe Western Living)
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a little disappointing really. I collect such books so to see their "We do loads of research, we know" crap... well, they have not researched very well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Neill Bell
Another excellent book on ancient repasts. This is a completely revised edition of the classic cookbook that makes genuine medieval meals available to modern cooks. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Will G.
My wife and I love it. What we learn, we share with our students, and knowing what and how people took their meals adds a dimension of understanding which a standard historical... Read morePublished 11 months ago by jweiss
It is interesting to see that some receipts have very long histories. We use almost the exact same receipts today. Others seem strange and haven't lasted into today's cooking. Read morePublished 15 months ago by A. K. Dunavant
I have this book both in paper and kindle format it is an an easy to understand cookerybook with medival food. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Gunilla Andersson
I've had this book for a number of years and have cooked several dishes out of it. They have all become favorites with my family and I cook them often. Read morePublished on May 8, 2014 by B. Weaves
Day one, I was able to make recipes from ingredients I had on hand. One had no trouble finding ingredients for most of the dishes I've wanted to try. Read morePublished on March 23, 2014 by Amie White
This is a brilliant book.
Background: I am a home cook who likes to focus on local goods, who has various CSA subscriptions, etc. Read more