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Friday, April 28, 2017


1 Bunch of Parsley
Photo by: Lord-Williams
petroselinoOCast perexil, prexil, Cat 
juvert, L. Petroselinum hortense or Apium petroselinium, Ar. maadanose or baqdounis, Fr. persil, Eng. parsley, rock parsley. It probably originated in southern Europe, some say Sardinia, but it is not confirmed. The Greek name petros indicates that it grows around rocks and stones. Pliny’s fishponds were sprinkled with parsley seed to cure the fish of any infirmity. To ward off intoxication, Greeks wore parsley leaves on their necks. In other European countries, men and women have eaten the seed to increase fertility. Men sprinkled it on their heads to make their hair grow back. Arabs chewed it to dispel halitosis. In Spain, it has been used in all dishes except desserts but including snails. They never eat it as it is poisonous for them. Parsley is not recorded in England until 1548 but it is believed that the Romans took it there.

Stirring in One Direction
Photo by: Lord-Williams

perejilada, OCast perexilada, Eng parsley sauce. See blog titled "manera, una" posted February 24, 2016 for recipe. [Nola. 1989:liiIi-1; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:151]

Also see the following blogs: “cañarejo apio” posted August 8, 2012; for Sent Soví’s recipe for parsley; “manera, una” posted February 2, 2016; for Nola’s recipe liiii-1 "Parsley Dish" and blog titled “alidem” posted August 2, 2012  for Nola’s recipe for Alideme Pottage.  

[Anón/Grewe. 1982:IIII:65:CLXVI, pp 179-180; ES: Lord. Medieval. “cañarejo apio.” Posted August 8, 2012; ES: Lord. Medieval.  “manera, una” Posted Feb 2, 16. ES: Lord. Medieval. blog titled “alidem” posted August 2, 2012;  Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:246; Nola. 1989:xxxi-2; liiii-1; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:170; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44



Parsley Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 bunch of parsley or 1 c parsley leaves
1 slice of bread
2 tbsp  white vinegar
½ tsp white pepper
1 c honey

2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp water


Strip off leaves from a bunch of parsley. Was well and grind in a food processor. Add bread soaked in vinegar and grind. Add pepper and mix well.

Melt honey. Add parsley mixture from food processor. Stir constantly in one direction until blended.

If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little watered down vinegar. It should not be sour. 
Heat two smooth pebbles from the sea or a river. Heat them and when red hot, pick them up with thongs and add them to the sauce. Let cool.

Taste the sauce. The addition of pepper should be noted. It should be sweet and sour.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Examples of Dried Fruits
Almonds, Dates, Hazelnuts and Raisins
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ar. bunduqiyya, Fr. quatre mendianys (four beggars), Eng. hazelnuts, walnuts, raisins, figs, etc., dried fruits and other small items bought by pilgrims during their pilgrimages. They came to be known as “pardons” during the Middle Ages in northern Spain. Actually, they have come to mean a small present taken to someone who for some reason could not join someone else on a trip. Upon the traveler’s return, therefore, this little token showed that the traveler pardoned the other for not accompanying him.

Hazelnuts are produced by the European filbert or hazel tree (Sp avellanas, OCast auellanas, OCat velanes, valanes, avalances, avellanes,  L. Corylus avellana, Fr. aveliuieer, OFr coudree, OE coudre en tens de nois (fruit from the hazel-tree). It is a low tree common to the mountains in Catalonia, Valencia and Alicante. The nuts are eaten raw or toasted. They are added to cakes and other desserts or served plain or caramelized for centuries.

Valencians have converted hazelnuts into horchata, a refreshing drink in hot weather. The nut contains 50-66% oil, which means that they can keep for a long time. As the French, the English made Coudree en temps de nois, hazelnuts sauce. The bark of the tree, for its astringent properties, is boiled in water and drunk. It was used also to stop diarrhea and hemorrhaging. The skin from the roots is more efficacious than that of the branches. The pollen is drunk in warm water as a sudorific. See higo, nuez and pasa.

Sent Soví provides a recipe for walnuts carmelized with honey, cloves, ginger, pine nuts  and pistachios., which must have been quiet a treat when given as a pardon in the Middle Ages.

 [Anón/Grewe. 1982:
LXVIIII:111:CLXIIII:178:166:178 etc; Curye. 1985:181; Dialecto. 1947:288; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]



Caramelizing Walnuts and Pistachios
Photo by: Lord-Williams
3 lbs honey
2 c water
1 lb green walnuts (250 walnuts)
500 cloves
500 pistachios
ginger roots
500 pine nuts


Make a cut in the middle of every walnut on both sides and both ends.

Soak them in cold water for nine days and nights. Change the water daily.

Then scald them on boiling water. Soak them overnight. Put them in a pot with 3 lbs honey and 1 qt of water and cook it to reduce it to ½ qt.

Remove the walnuts from the pot and put them in a basket to drain overnight. Then spread them out on a screen and put them on their ends; leave them overnight.

Heat 13 lbs honey. When it boils, skim well and add the walnuts. Cook until the honey is sticky. Stick every nut with a clove on one end, a pistachio nut on the other a shaving of ginger and 1 pine nut.

Put all the nuts in a sauce dish and pour hot honey over them.

A simplified recipe created by the Medieval Spanish Chef:

Candied Walnuts with Chopped Pistachios
Photo by: Lord-Williams

3 c walnuts
¼ c chopped or ground pistachios
¼ c chopped or ground pine nuts[1]
1 tbsp ginger scrapings
1 tsp ground cloves
1 c honey
1 c butter



Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Heat honey in a sauce pan. Mix it with the other ingredients. 

Spread the ingredients on the parchment paper. Bake 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Break them up and serve.

[1] As pine nuts were not available, more pistachios were added.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Photo from: ronperkins
OCast perdis, L. Perdix perdix, Eng. partridge. It was a popular domesticated or game bird in England and Spain during the Middle Ages. Today, in Spain it is only found in the north, although breed in other parts for hunting. It still inhabits most of England.

It lives with and flies in flocks. English hunters wait for it to fly by but not in Spain. There, hunters go with “beaters” (men with sticks) to areas where the partridge is known to live under bushes. The “beaters” beat them out from the undergrowth and when they fly, the hunters shoot, killing as many as they can with each round.

Once deplumed, it is actually a small bird. Eaters on the average consume one partridge per person. During the Middle Ages, it was thought to be the best edible fowl after rosters, hens and francolins. It was consumed by Hispano-Arabs and the Jews who believed that partridges were an aphrodisiac product. Pounded or mashed partridge with boiled food or that coated with almonds appeared in the Hispano-Arab and Jewish kitchens, which leads one to believe that cookery encompassed the entire Al-Andalus culture. Christians, as pointed out by Villena, served partridge whole, except for the claws and wings. It was frowned upon to carve it for they thought tastier and more appetizing whole. See sisón.

It is interesting to note that of the Spanish medieval culinary manuscripts reviewed only the Anon 13th Century Al-Andalus manuscript contains recipes for partridge and both are Jewish[1].

Geronimo de Huerta in his annotations to Pliny’s Chapter XXXVII of Book 1- wrote: These birds are very beneficial for their use in medicine because the broth in which they have been cooked fortifies the stomach and removes pain from the liver.

It is a remedy for the ilium and jaundice and for this is drunk with red wine. For the ilium the ventricle is milled and mixed with red wine. The dry liver pulverized is drunk for epilepsy. Partridge is boiled with quince and the broth is drunk with fermented wine to cure chylific diarrhea.

The bile is a good remedy infused in the eyes and mixed with other compositions to clear the sight; another bile mixture takes away dark spots. Honey, opobalsam and fennel juice and all that surrounding the bile mixed it with a cup and half of opobalsam and stored in a tin or lead vial has been used to rub on the eyes. Reportedly, these eye drops are so powerful that if one goes blind it restores the sight. The eggs mixed with honey have been used to to clarify the sight and to accelerate birthing.

Stuffing the bird with almond paste
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Hot bile placed in the ears is suppose to cure deafness. The feathers are used for suffocations of the uterus or start menstruation. When burned in a rag, they emit a smell similar to this. The same together with wild cumin and burnt as perfume prevents apoplexy.

Eating partridge as food is supposed to move Venus to give plenty of milk. The egg shells burned and reduced to powder and mixed with sublimated oxide of zinc and wax makes the breasts firm.

Avenzoar maintained that the meat has a tendency toward dryness. If boiled first and then cooked, he advised, it is an astringent but if the broth is consumed before boiling it will loosen up the stomach.

 [Anón/Huici. 1966:102:70-71:106:73-74; Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:
198; ES: Lord. Medieval. "Latón." Posted Feb 10, 15: ES: Lord. Medieval. "Mangarejos." Posted Feb 26, 16; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:51; Jutglar. 1999:214; OXF Eng Dict. 1989:XI:Ow:279-280; Pers. Memories Pascualette. 1993; and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b:27a]



A Unique Way of Cooking Fowl
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 chicken[2]
entrails from 1 chicken
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp water
1 onion ground into juice
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp salsa fina[3]
1 tsp murri[4]
½ c almonds
¼  c breadcrumbs
2 tbsp flour
2 raw eggs[5]
2 hard boiled eggs

2 the hard boiled eggs used as stuffing
1 tbsp chopped rue
1 tsp salsa fina


Clean the chicken. Remove entrails. Put oil, two tbsp water, onion juice with cilantro and salsa fina and flavorings, and a little murri in a pot. Add 2 c water. Grind the entrails, almonds, breadcrumbs and flour in a food processor. Mix with 1 beaten egg.  Stuff the chicken with the paste and two hard boiled eggs, one inserted in the body and the other in the neck. Sew the bird up. Put the chicken in the pot over medium heat. When cooked, remove strings tying the bird together. Remove the almond stuffing and slice. Remove the eggs and chop them with rue. Put the meat in a serving dish. Add the stuffing. Sprinkle the eggs and rue over the chicken with salsa finas. Present it, God willing.

[1] See the Medieval Spanish Chef blog titled latón for recipe titled "Perdiz judía/Jewish Partridge," published Feb 10, 15 and blog titled mangaejos for recipe titled "Plato de perdiz judia/A Jewish Dish of Partridge."
[2] This recipe can admit 4 partridges instead of 1 chicken as there are no more known medieval Spanish recipes for partridge.
[3]See blog titled dárselo published November 29, 2013 for recipe.

[4] See: almorí with Byzantine murri blog published August 25, 2011 for recipe.

[5] The recipe calls for two but as eggs are larger, one is enough. If use partridge eggs use four per partridge.


Friday, April 21, 2017


Photo from: mertivsvyna
OCast perçebes, L. Pollicipes pollicipes, Eng. barnacles, percebes, mollusks, common on the coast of Galicia. They are a saltwater crustace, not a mollusk,  living in colonies and clinging to rocks or anything solid, like boats and piers, in shallow water, especially in the Atlantic.

There consist of over 800 species. They to not have shell, but calcareous plates, surrounding its stalk-like body. Theis ‘stems’ are like an electronic chip today in that a minute circular space contains all the necessary organs, mouth, feathery cirri (slender feet) to strain food from the water and beat it into their stomachs, the intestines, reproductive organs, and anis. There are males and females.
Although responsible for extensive damage to piers, ships and other structures by living on them, the colonies tend to reside in the most dangerous part of the ocean, where no fish will swim because of brutal waves and dangerous currents and undercurrents that can slap fishermen to their deaths by slipping on slimy barnacle excretions or being smashed against barnacle covered rocks and their razor sharp calcareous plates. As human life has come to have a price, the cost of barnacles continually increases.

The best barnacles are from Galicia. They are those on the sunny side of rocks. They are boiled in salt water during the length of time it takes to recite the Lord’s Prayer. By snapping off the stems, the white meat is pulled out and consumed. It should be noted that Roman Catholic countries pride themselves as having the best barnacle cooks. They maintain that clocks are useless when cooking barnacles and shellfish. Some require an Ave Maria and others the prayer to Our Lady.

[Camba. 1995:150; Magna. 2002:28:Peralada:8290; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Peeling Pears
Photo by: Lord-Williams
L. Pyrus communis, Eng 1. pears. Villena advises that they should be quartered lengthwise. If small and mature, it is not necessary to peel them. Large pears should be peeled and the quarters cut into pieces. If boiled, they are peeled, cut and placed in a dish. Generally, during the Middle Ages, fruit was boiled and not eaten raw.

2. pera del cremeño, OCast çermeña, Arag zeremeña, Eng. very small and extremely early pear. Without further description it is not possible to identify the species. Villena describes this to be as small as a little flower. He instructs not to peel it but only remove a little of the top.

[Anón/Huici: 1996:469:476; ES: Medieval Spanish Chef. Cedazo, Postd Oct 10, 12:Corvillo. Posted Aug 19, 13:Janet. Posted Jun 22, 15 etc; Nola. 1989:xvii-3:xlix-1:liii-3 etc; Villena/Calero. 2002:68:ftn 147: :23a:42b:43b]



An Oriental Sweet
Which is Pear Purée
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 c almonds
1 qt pear juice[1]
1 c white sugar
1 tbsp rice or wheat starch[2]
2 tsp rose oil[3]
2 tsp sweet oil[3]
1 tbsp rosewater (optional)
1 tsp camphor (optional)


This is given patients suffering from fever as a food and is serve instead of medicine.
Select pled sweet almonds and gently chop them in a food processor. Add pear juice
and blend well.  Strain through a clean cloth to make almond milk (or juice in this case). Add white sugar.

Pour this into a glazed earthenware dish and slowly heat. Bring to a boil and add dissolved starch and when it thickens add rose oil and sweet oil. Gently heat until diluted and it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and put it in a serving dish.

If the patient has a weak stomach, add rosewater mixed with camphor.

[1] Actually, the recipe gives the options of pomegranate juice, pear juice, that from tart apples, or quince and roasted gourd juice.
[2] If tapioca is used than 2 tsp.
[3] 1 tbsp canola oil was used.


Monday, April 17, 2017


Gourd with Seeds
Photo by: Lord-Williams
They are sun dried or lightly toasted to eliminate any existing poisons in the kernels and sold in the streets especially in Andalusia.

They have been popular at Christmas time when used to garnish main dishes and desserts. Gourd seeds were considered food for a king as seen in Nola’s recipe for Gourd Seed Pudding,

Melon seeds are used in medicines to treat diabetes today. It is now known that melon seeds are known to reduce cardiovascular risks by normalizing blood-fat levels. They contain nutrients, which help to heal wounds. They reduce osteoporosis and promote healthy teeth and bone growth. Melon seeds are rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

[ES: Medieval Spanish Chef. Majar. Posted Feb 3, ’16; ES: Smart Cookery. “Melon Seeds.” Posted Nov 11, 16; Nola. 1989:xx-4; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:211]

See blog titled Majar, published February 3, 2016 for Nola's recipe for "Gourd Seed Pudding."

A Perfect Pudding of Ground Gourd Seeds
with Almond Milk
Photo by: Lord-Williams 

Friday, April 14, 2017


Peeling Cucumber
Photo by: Lord-Williams
L. Cucumis sativus, Ar. khyaar, Fr. concombre commun, Eng. cucumber. The cucumber is a native of India and Tatarstan (formerly the southern half of Russia) and has been used for over 4,000 years by Orientals, Egyptians and Hebrews. The Arabs introduced it in Andalusia by planting it annually between April and June. During the 12th  and 13th  C, it came up in the culinary world and the impetus was felt in Al-Andalus where it was consumed it to stimulate the brain and over the centuries it has been used externally as a cleanser and refresher with yarrow for oily skins.

It was eaten sliced and salted with lentils. This mixture was left 24 hours before consuming. Too, it was drunk as a juice. It was recommended for diabetics. It was also salad food with lettuce, nuts and raisins. As a vegetable, it was served with a sauce or stuffed. Nevertheless, it was considered to be a fruit in the Middle Ages along with other members of the Cucumis family such as watermelon and other melons.

Villena instructed that the two ends should be cut off and discarded and the remainder be quartered lengthwise. During the Middle Ages, cucumbers were pickled as today.

The shape is erotic for some but on the contrary for others. It came to mean fertility, healing and chastity.

Straining Cucumber
Photo by: Lord-Williams
2. cucumber fritter.

See cohombro.

[ES: Herbs. Oct 8, 02; ES: Medieval Spanish Chef. Cohombro. Posted April 24, 13; Pacho. “Cocina.” 1994:155; ES: “Pepino.” Apr 13, 04; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:42b]



4 cucumbers
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking soda
4 c flour
½ tsp white pepper
salt to taste
¼ c melted butter
¼  c chopped mint

olive oil for deep frying


Uniquely Delicious
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Peel and grate cucumbers. Put them in a food processor and grind. Pour them into a strainer. Press them with a spatula to squeeze out the juice.

Combine cucumbers with the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in large bowl. The mixture should result into a soft batter, like a thick pancake batter.

Heat a frying pan. Add olive oil and heat. Fill one tablespoon of batter and drop it on the frying pan. Repeat until there is no more room left.

When fried, place fritters on a paper towel and let sit before serving.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Photo by: Lord Willliams
1. fleshy leaf. 2. stems. 3. spot on the skin of fruit. [Gázquez. 2002:119; Nola 1989:xli-3;
Nola/Iranzo. 1982:170; and Villena/Calero. 2002:40a:40b]

For Nola’s recipe xli-3 Pencas de berzas De trcos de cols (Flesh leaves of cabbages) see blog titled Col forrajera published April 4, 2013.