Tuesday, November 24, 2015

(Stolen?) Recipes from the Tudor Kitchen

A friend posted a link to a review for a cookbook of Tudor recipes that I hadn't seen yet, so I was understandably excited to check it out. Then I found something disturbing. The review included some recipes from the cookbook ... and two of them were mine.

I was not asked for permission to use the recipes, and from what I can tell no credit was given, so I sent off a quick note to the publisher to see what's what and what can be done.

But of course my mind couldn't leave it alone. The review included eleven recipes, and it seemed unlikely that a random selection of eleven recipes from a cookbook would just happen to include the two that were taken from my website .... unless of course more than just those two were copied from elsewhere on the internet, and I only recognized the fact because I wrote them.  So I took another look.

The following recipes are listed in the review:
Salmon Sallet for fish days
Roast capon (Spice roast chicken)
Salmon Rostyd in sauce (Grilled salmon in wine sauce)
To fry whitings (Fried whitefish in apple or onion sauce)
Steamed asparagus spears in orange sauce
Compost (Cold spiced vegetables in wine and honey sauce)
Sweet potatoes in rose and orange syrup
Egges in moneshyne
Tostee (Ginger syrup toasties)
A dysschefull of snowe (Apple puree in snow)
Smartard (Sweet cottage cheese fritters)

There's also another review that includes just two recipes:
A Dysschefull of Snowe – Strawberries on Snow
Steamed Asparagus Spears in Orange Sauce

This makes for 12 different recipes (the steamed asparagus shows up in both reviews).

The first thing I noticed is that they seem to be an odd mix of US and UK measurements. The author is from Wales, and in the intro of his book (available in preview on Amazon.com) he says he did this because the over-sixty crowd is "more acquainted" with the US (non-metric) measures. Huh. I could understand having them all one way or the other, but a mix of the two seems odd.

I started to do some web searches, and it looks like MedievalCookery.com isn't the only place recipes were taken from.
Salmon Sallet for fish days - [Shakespeare's Kitchen by Francine Segan]
Compost (Cold spiced vegetables in wine and honey sauce)  -  [MedievalCookery.com]
Tostee (Ginger syrup toasties) - [MedievalCookery.com]
Smartard (Sweet cottage cheese fritters) - [The Foody UK and Ireland]
A Dysschefull of Snowe – Strawberries on Snow - [MedievalCookery.com]

Some of the recipes have edits, possibly in an attempt to disguise their origins or circumvent copyright law, or possibly because an editor didn't like the original wording, but in each case the source of the recipe is still quite clear.

This means that of the dozen recipes from the book that were featured in interviews, almost half can be found online with a quick search. This is not good.

1 comment:

bbfit1104 said...

That's simply awful. No way the 'over sixty' excuse is believable, the author was so lazy he couldn't even convert measurements to make some sense, let alone write his own recipes.