The Medieval Cookbook

Reviewed by:
On October 20, 2016
Last modified:December 5, 2017


13753252Title:  The Medieval Cookbook
Author: Maggie Black
Genre: Historical cookbook, medieval

I am in the process of arrangering a medieval feast as a larp event, so I am reading cookbooks. I am yet to try any of the recipes, so this review is based on my experience reading it for the first time, rather than actively using it.

The Medieval Cookbook is an introduction to historical cooking for the medieval period. The book is a mixture of history book and historical cookbook as so many of this type of books. This is by fare the oldest (as in publishing year) of the recipe books, that I have read yet and that properly color my option of it.

Each chapter start with an introduction on the type of cooking that is in the chapter and a  bit of food history. Those are quite readable. Each recipe has a the original recipe, an ingredient list and an instruction on how to cook it.

As for the recipes there are quite a few I want to try – it is full of sticky-notes. However I do have some points of criticism:

  • She is using a blender quite a lot which makes it harder to see how to use the recipe in a reenactment setting. It would be fine if there were a paragraph somewhere about how she adapted that.
  • I don’t read old english (as english is not my first language) so when she refers to the original recipe (printed at the top of each page) she looses me. It would have been nice with a translation into modern english.
  • I am really missing a introduction to each dish – many of them complacently foreign to me both because of the name and the age of the dish. So often I have no idea what that recipe is about.
  • Because of the lack of description, I really wish for pictures of the dishes – luckly the internet can often help with that.

However it was an inspiring read and I read it all in a day.

The stats

Published: 2012 by British Museum Press (originally 1992)
Read: October 20, 2016
Format: Paperback

The author: Female, United Kingdoms

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