Anything but writing,  Food,  Frivolity,  History,  Isobel Carr,  Research

Familiar Foods From the Eighteenth Century

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet (pun intended). I’ve been coming up blank all week about a topic to post about (nothing was grabbing me). So last night I pulled out my copy of Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy with the intention of finding the strangest, most unfamiliar recipes I could. Instead, I immediately stumbled across apple fritters. APPLE FRITTERS!!! How on earth aren’t our characters living on these?

Apple Fritter Recipe

So now I’m looking for other familiar stuff … and what do I spot but Pain Perdu. FRENCH TOAST!!! Fricken French toast is period. Why aren’t my characters eating this constantly? Also, now I want French toast.

Sure looks like French Toast to me!

Ok, this last one I’m not at all sure about: Flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, butter, cream, and blanched almond flour. It’s not a macaroon, but it’s definitely some kind of almond cookie. Historical cooking sites show me things that seem like shortbread or a drop cookie. They appear to have been around since the Middle Ages, and I’ve never heard of them! So these are now on my list of things to make and taste.

What is a Jumballs?

Any familiar foods you’ve been shocked to discover were period for the characters you were writing or reading about?

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Gail Eastwood
4 years ago

Fun, post, Isobel! I remember discovering “Excellent Small Cakes” in one of the medieval cookery sources and realizing they were essentially raisin cookies (only made with currents, because, you know, small). I have claimed cookies (the edible kind) are period ever since, LOL. I am very inclined now to try French Toast the Hannah Glasse way –soak in milk first, then coat with the egg on the outside. I’ve always mixed the eggs and milk together in one step. Sounds good!!

Isobel Carr
Isobel Carr
4 years ago
Reply to  Gail Eastwood

And that Medieval cookie/biscuit is essentially a Regency Rout Cake.

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