Food

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COOKING PRESERVED FOODS


Getting rid of the salt of preserved food when you actually wanted to prepare it was done by a number of techniques. The easiest, and therefore the most common, was to cook (or serve) the salted meat with something that would absorb the salt, usually dried peas, beans, bread crumbs or grains (left whole). In poorer kitchens, pureed beans and bacon were used. In richer households, additional fruits or spices would be used to help cover the saltiness of the meat. Since a lot of starch and/or cream was used in these dishes, relatively large quantities of the spices would be needed in order to actually taste them.

Parboiled meats were often served with a separate thick 'anti-salt' sauce.

Frumenty- a thick pudding of whole wheat grains and almond milk (sometimes enriched with egg yolks and saffron was added for color) It was a common side for venison.

Mortrews- boiled white meat or fish was made in a paste by putting them in a mortar and pestle then combined with breadcrumbs, stock and eggs and boiling it again. Last, pepper and ginger were added before serving.

Blank mang (or blamanger) - chicken was shredded and then mixed with whole rice (which had been boiled in almond milk). Then it was seasoned with sugar or salt and then cooked until thick. Last, it would be garnished with fried almonds and preserved anise seeds.

Sauces for salted, as well as fresh, meat became very popular and could be purchased from a professional sauce maker.

"yellow sauce" with ginger and saffron

"green sauce" with ginger, cloves, cardamom and green herbs

"cameline sauce" with cinnamon as the main spice ingredient

In England cameline was prepared by taking "raisins of Corinth, and kernels of nuts, and crust of bread and powder of ginger, cloves, flour of cinnamon, pound it well together and add it thereto. Salt it, temper it up with vinegar, and serve it forth." (Forme of Cury)

Dried fish would be given added flavor by adding mustard or vinegar. The wealthier used sauces or fruits for variety.