Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks / Edition 2

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This is a completely revised edition of the classic cookbook that makes genuine medieval meals available to modern cooks. Using the best recipes from the first edition as a base, Constance Hieatt and Brenda Hosington have added many new recipes from more countries to add depth and flavour to our understanding of medieval cookery. All recipes have been carefully adapted for use in modern kitchens, thoroughly tested, and represent a wide range of foods, from appetizers and soups, to desserts and spice wine. They come largely from English and French manuscripts, but some recipes are from sources in Arabia, Catalonia and Italy. The recipes will appeal to cordon-bleus and less experienced cooks, and feature dishes for both bold and timourous palates.

The approach to cooking is entirely practical. The emphasis of the book is on making medieval cookery accessible by enabling today's cooks to produce authentic medieval dishes with as much fidelity as possible. All the ingredients are readily available; where some might prove difficult to find, suitable substitutes are suggested. While modern ingredients which did not exist in the Middle Ages have been excluded (corn starch, for example), modern time and energy saving appliances have not. Authenticity of composition, taste, and appearance are the book's main concern.

Unlike any other published book of medieval recipes, Pleyn Delit is based on manuscript readings verified by the authors. When this was not possible, as in the case of the Arabic recipes, the best available scholarly editions were used. The introduction provides a clear explanation of the medieval menu and related matters to bring the latest medieval scholarship to the kitchen of any home. Pleyn Delit is a recipe book dedicated to pure delight - a delight in cooking and good food.

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Editorial Reviews

H.J. Kirchhoff
'The book is as much a fascinating social document as a cookbook.'
Lana Phair
'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.'
Jurgen Gothe
'[Pleyn Delit] is a complete and actually quite practical book, besides being great fun to just browse through.'
Gloria McDade
'If you are a cookbook collector, don't miss Pleyn Delit.'
Cynthia Spinelli
'The recipes are as much fun to read as the meals are to eat.'
Marjorie Gillies
'Pleyn Delit is the kind of book that will add class to any creative cook's collection of culinary literature.'
Wilson Library Bulletin

'For the real nostalgia buff ( and anyone planning a medieval fair or feast), this is a must.'

From the Publisher
'For the real nostalgia buff ( and anyone planning a medieval fair or feast), this is a must.'
Joanne Bury
'With this book, I can do two things at once, improve my knowledge of food and food preparation and indulge my love for history.'
Sheila Haining
'The year's most intriguing and practical cookbook is the scholarly Pleyn Delit...'
Highly revised from the 1976 edition to account for the fact that the authors have since seen the actual manuscripts from which the recipes are taken. Includes the original directions and modern, tested recipes for hours d'oeuvres, eggs, and cold dishes; soppes and potages; sauces; bruets, stews, and other boiled fish, poultry, and meat dishes; broiled, baked, and roasted dishes; desserts; and subtleties. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802076328
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 447,119
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Butler co-authored the first edition of Pleyn Delit with Constance Hieatt. She was an editor of the Dictionary of Old English and a talented artist whose illustrations grace the volumne.

Constance B. Hieatt was an emeritus professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.

Brenda Hosington is Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Université de Montréal.

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Table of Contents

Weights and Measures
Hors d'oeuvres, Eggs, and Cold Dishes
Soppes and Potages
Bruets, Stews, and Other Boiled Fish, Poultry, and Meat Dishes
Broiled, Baked, and Roasted Dishes
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Excellent Recipes for 'Period' cooking

    This is an excellent cookbook for the average cook to begin exploring period recipes. In its second edition, the cookbook has also been much improved by the author's consultation of the period sources, in some cases making slight revisions to the recipes as stated in the first edition. As with many historical cookbooks, some experiementation is also apt to occure, as the cook finds other ways to use the techniques of the time with different recipes, which may lead to dishes that equal or surpass those in the cookbook. Overall, an outstanding offering for those interested in the cuisine of the past.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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