Culinary exoticism

Who’s the bigger glutton, Tony Blair or Queen Eleanor?

Experimenting with recipes from the C14th Forme of Cury in the wonderful Hieatt/Butler edition, I’m struck by the number of expensive and exotic ingredients used, far from the boring old Anglo-Norman cuisine of several centuries earlier. For example, my impression is that almonds–an Iberian speciality–were even more à la mode then than now. The same authors note that “when Queen Eleanor of Castile, homesick for the fruits of her native Spain, sent a ship to bring her some in 1289, the total citrus cargo consisted of 15 lemons and 7 oranges.” I think that comfortably beats Tony Blair’s East African asparagus mousse safari.

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *