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Whatever Happened To English Cooking?


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... 'Roast Beef' (which I believe is still a French insult for the English now).

Yes. The English are still referred to as "les rosbifs", an almost exact parallel to the use of "frogs" to describe the French.

The parallel stops there. I know of no country where they eat *********.

Edited for profanity. I forget which board I am on from time to time.

Edited by slacker (log)

slacker,

Padstow, Cornwall

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am not sure I have a cohorent description or picture in my head of what the English identity actually is! Or at least, not without resorting to some awful P G Wodehouse parody

even in wodehouse bertie wooster's aunt dahlia's personal chef, the perennial target of raids by neighbouring gentry, is french (anatole?)

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Indeed, Anatole, who my Aunt Dahlia stole from the Littles, of course and who keeps Uncle Tom more than sweet.

In the current issue of Medieval History magazine, there's an article on recipes from the 1557 A Proper Newe Booke of Cookerye, written by the Master of Corpus Christii, Cambridge. Alongside fried beans and dressed crab, ite features...

To make a dyshe full of snow

Take a pottell of swete thycke creame, and the whytes of eyghte eggs, and beate them altogether wyth a spone, then putte them in youre creame and a saucerfull of rose water, and a dyshefull of sugar wyth all, then take a stycke and make it cleane, and than cutte it in the ende foure square, and therewith beate all the aforesaid thynges together, and ever as it ryseth take it of and put it into a collaunder, this done, take one apple and set it in the myddes of it, and a thicke bushe of Rosemary, and set it in the myddes of the platter, then caste your snow upon the rosemarye, and fyll your platter therewith. And yf you haue wafers caste some in wyth all and thus serue them forthe.

The writer adds 'Eatng the snow from a sprig of the rosemary is especially heavenly'.

So the Brits were pioneering froth long before El bulli came along...

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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I'm wondering if the British didn't cling to the Fear Of Food school of cookery longer than the rest of the continent.........and I'm thinking restrictive undergarments had much to do with it! Corsets were used by both men and women. British cookery was much concerned with avoiding "upsetting the digestion" (codewords for constipation). I suspect the former caused the latter. Foods that were bland would be filling without tempting one to overindulge, no second portions would be sought (thriftiness!), and overall, one would feel better about this diet, such as it is.

Milktoast, cooked oatmeal, cucumber sandwiches, vegetables boiled until they're limp, roasts cooked beyond 'done"............John Cleese once said that the British attitude towards cookery was, "We've got an Empire to run".

Edited by Susan G (log)

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Indeed, Anatole, who my Aunt Dahlia stole from the Littles, of course and who keeps Uncle Tom more than sweet.

In the current issue of Medieval History magazine, there's an article on recipes from the 1557 A Proper Newe Booke of Cookerye, written by the Master of Corpus Christii, Cambridge. Alongside fried beans and dressed crab, ite features...

To make a dyshe full of snow

Take a pottell of swete thycke creame, and the whytes of eyghte eggs, and beate them altogether wyth a spone, then putte them in youre creame and a saucerfull of rose water, and a dyshefull of sugar wyth all, then take a stycke and make it cleane, and than cutte it in the ende foure square, and therewith beate all the aforesaid thynges together, and ever as it ryseth take it of and put it into a collaunder, this done, take one apple and set it in the myddes of it, and a thicke bushe of Rosemary, and set it in the myddes of the platter, then caste your snow upon the rosemarye, and fyll your platter therewith. And yf you haue wafers caste some in wyth all and thus serue them forthe.

The writer adds 'Eatng the snow from a sprig of the rosemary is especially heavenly'.

So the Brits were pioneering froth long before El bulli came along...

This would be from this book?

16th century English cook book

The text of this (and similar works) are availble on the net. Have made several recipes from it, the chicken pye is very good.

The cream based dishes (snow cream, cabbage cream, triffle, fools, syllabubs, leaches and jellies) from this period till about the 18th century are really popular. Some have even sort of survived till the present (gooseberry fool).

Having people about for dinner tonight and it is has a kind of a historical English theme (only the food).

A English 17th century chicken galantine ("forced chicken").

Macaroni pie (actually Italian).

"Grande Salat" (big salad) 17th century English again

"Cherries Hot" (or "pain perdu" = lost bread) with rhubarb and gooseberry fools.

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I have Elisabeth Ayrton's English Provincial Cooking (available 2nd hand from amazon.co.uk), which has a pleasing selection of varied, traditional English dishes, including a few foreign influences. And plenty of background information and history.

Chloe

Portugal

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