Thursday, March 7, 2013

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 25 Leche provene

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163)

This manuscript is dated about 1460.

The 200 (approx.) recipes in the Wagstaff miscellany are on pages 56r through 76v.

Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the Yale University Library website.

I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.

Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Myers,


25.  Leche provene
Take mylke of almondyes tempyre hit wyth wyne white wyne and take watyre percellye & oynons cut do there to elys choppyde & boylede do there yne saferone & hole pepyre & hole clowys sesone hit up withe powdyre & salt.


This recipe is a very odd one.  The combination of almond milk, eel, and onions is somewhat unusual in medieval English cookbooks, and the title doesn't make much sense and isn't similar to that of any other English recipe.  However I did find the same recipe in the 14th century French source, Enseignements qui enseingnent a apareillier toutes manieres de viandes.
For milk of Provence - If you want to make milk of Provence, take almonds, then grind them and temper with wine and water, then take whole parsley and onions cut in rings and mix with eels, and fry all together; then take whole saffron and water and long pepper.  [Enseignements (France, ca. 1300)]

The version in Enseignements highlights the issues in the Wagstaff version.  The title is clearly mistranslated, turning "lait" (milk) into "leche" (slice), instead of being made with wine, the almond milk is tempered with "wine white wine", and the instruction to fry all the ingredients together was left out entirely.

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