Basically everything you … Other spices which were popular in medieval times but are not used as much today include: mace; allspice; cardamom; cubeb; spikenard; The most precious was most definitely saffron which was prized both for its flavour and its wonderful colour. Cinnamomum zeylanicum, family lauraceae. The recipe comes from Bald’s Leechbook, a medieval book of various treatments and remedies that’s over 1,000 years old and is written in old English. Herbs and vegetables had to be harvested in quantity and preserved, usually by drying, to last through the long and arduous winter months. F: cannelle / D: Zimt or Kannel / E: canela / I: cannella. You can get most of the herbs and spices you need for medieval recipes in supermarkets and by online order. The changing of types of spices used over the decennia could be indicative of the change in flavor preference from medieval times to early modern times; transitioning from obscure medieval cooking spices to the more typical modern baking spices. Nutmeg is actually the seed inside the shell of the fruit. The plant is native to Liberia and Ghana. The dried seeds of the fruit are the grains of Paradise. In the recipes of today, it is the dried bark of the cassia tree that is used, called cassia or [bastard] cinnamon. ga('create', 'UA-7171950-1', 'auto'); Green pepper is also the berry picked unripe, which can be eaten fresh; it is preserved in brine, frozen or under vacuum. Apr 25, 2020 - Herbs and spices used in the Middle Ages (mostly in Europe). Medieval cuisine was a blend of the freshest, most local ingredients, combined with spices traded across the Steppes, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. In order to do so, he found many herbs and spices provided by Nature, that have been used on and off through the ages, depending on availability and the evolution of tastes and views. During the medieval era, in the absence of fridges and freezers, herbs and spices were importantly used as food preserving agents, specifically for meat based dishes. Now, when it comes to preparing food, seasonings are absolutely vital. In castles, women were often the primary gardeners. A fibrous vivid red envelope covers the seed: the mace. They were more appreciated in the medieval gastronomy of 14th and 15th century France than in that of the other European countries. Cinnamon and liquorice were particularly popular for oral hygiene, with liquorice root chewed for fresh breath and cinnamon used both as a breath freshener and in place of soap.Saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the Middle Ages, was highly prized as a medicine and was believed to treat coughs, breathing problems and liver and kidney infections.Sources: 1. Long Pepper is a climbing liana of the same family as black pepper. It is often assumed that prohibitive prices for spices during the Middles Ages kept them to the fortunate few of the times. Pleasure and practicality went hand in hand in medieval … In the spice mixes for pimen (the ancestor of hippocras) there was also grains of Paradise (called not ycherca), spic nard, nutmeg and mace, cubeb, long pepper, galangal and zedoary (curcuma zedoaria). Spices : Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk on Unsplash - Petra, Jordanian. MEDIEVAL BEAUTIES. Melegueta comes from a Hindi word meaning pepper. The major spices, mainly pepper, ginger and cinnamon, are distinguished from the minor spices of lesser use, depending on the time, the country or the book under consideration. A German price table of 1393 lists a pound of nutmeg as worth 7 fat oxen.Pepper, as well as other spices and herbs, was commonly used as a monetary source. Seasonings such as cinnamon, ginger, cassia, and turmeric were important items of commerce from the earliest evolution of trade. One of the most powerful protective herbs. Photos: Gérard Moncorgé. The choicest saffron today is grown in Spain. This herb amplifies the power of other protective plants. Crocus Platearius, le livre des simples médecines (extract), French manuscript 12322 Bibliothèque nationale de Paris. Herbs and spices can improve your well-being in countless ways. Fierce competition among the giants to control the spice trade led to the … The spice trade is important to the history of food not only because of the trade routes and speculation about how to expand them, but also because of the reasons for the heavy demand in the first place. Many Medieval recipes give an indication of colour for the dishes. Spices will stay fresh for up to 4 years (ground spices last from 3–4 years and dried leaves last from 2–3 years). Try it in this … They can boost immunity, control your blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Others were grown for medicinal purposes. The consumption of garangal develops starting in the 14th century in Europe, but it is already found in the spices bought by the Corbie monastery, in the 9th century: 10 lbs garingal, clove and costus root (sassurea lappa clarke, native to India and of wide use in Roman cooking). For a harmonious flavouring, it is better to grind the clove to a powder, as it was done in the Middle Ages. F: safran / D: Safran / E: azafran / I: zafferano. Mysristica fragans, family myristaceae. The green leafy parts of plants used for seasoning and flavoring food are considered herbs.. Lavender, citron, and rosemary are still used today to deter fleas and moths. Herbs and spices were greatly prized during the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate (ad 750–1258), and, in the capital city of Baghdad, sumptuous banquets hosted by the caliph were prepared with herbs and spices to achieve flavours such as sweet, sour, fragrant, and pungent. Here you will find the most commonly used herbs and spices in this cuisine, along with some recipes so you can start experimenting. There are lots of reputable commercial herb growers: if you are based in the UK a company like Hooksgreen Herbs, at Stone, Staffordshire, will be able to supply all of the herbs you should use in medieval cooking. This had to be pointed out ! Michelle Arnold / Getty Images. [Greater] galangal: Alpinia galanga. See more ideas about Herbs & spices, Herbs, Spices. Family zingiberaceae. Cinnamon flowers are difficult to find in Europe. A taste for the flavors of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, pepper and the like created an increasing demand for spices that could not be grown in Europe’s climate but had to be imported from the East along secret trade routes, over land and sea. can be added some that appear less often in the recipes: It is a spice commonly used today in Middle Eastern cooking (Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Iran) to give an acidic flavour to salads, fish or meat dishes. The first point of view dictates that the information presented in these medieval texts were merely copied from their classical equivalents … Bruise the herbs and spices between the fingers to release the scent. The outer bark is removed and it is cut into strips that curl on drying, giving the cinnamon quills found for sale. New research continues to identify medicinal properties of these herbs, often confirming that they are effective for the purposes they were used for centuries ago. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), wrote about spices and herbs, including saffron, cinnamon, thyme, coriander, mint, and marjoram. According to Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination is an explanation for the "demand, really the craving, for spices in Europe during the Middle Ages, from roughly A.D. 1000 until 1513" (Freedman 1).Paul Freedman, author of other Medieval books including Images of the Medieval Peasant, The Origins of Peasant Servitude in Medieval Catalonia, and Food: The History of Taste, is … The designers of the Cloisters met their goal excellently. Trade in spices had been carried out since at least 2,000 years before the birth of Christ and so, the market was well established by the medieval era. ii) Note again similar use of almonds, raisins (currants) and vinegar or wine; here used as a substitute for medieval verjuice , which … To this list of some fifteen or so spices (how many cooks are there today, still capable of using all?) In Sri Lanka, the spices were controlled by the Portuguese invaders who exploited and over-used the spice growing areas, … Generally speaking an herb is a fresh … Adding herbs and spices is one of the simplest ways to supercharge your diet. Apothecaries, the medieval equivalent to pharmacies, were stocked with supplies of spices which were then carefully mixed with other spices, minerals, and animal products to create an array of medications to be ingested by or applied on a patient. Sage –Stimulate, antibacterial, tonic, diuretic. Hyssop was used to relieve coughs. Tucked under tomatoes and around corn, hidden behind beans and towering above carrots are wormwood and mugwort, lavender and rosemary, tansy and burdock, rue and motherwort. Herbs. Black pepper is the berry picked before ripening; it is dried in the sun. But medieval nobility and peasants alike found at least some relief in an ancient remedy that’s as simple as applying a garlic clove to an open wound or other site that’s prone to spreading infection. Used to … The free eBook Life in the Ancient World guides you through craft centers in ancient Jerusalem, family structure across Israel and articles on ancient practices—from dining to makeup—across the Mediterranean world. Piper nigrum, family piperaceae. Old cook©2002-2020 At the court of Burgundy, in the 15th century, long pepper and grains of Paradise replaced the then common black pepper, though the gentry stayed fond of black pepper. It’s composed of onions, garlic, various spices, and herbs—just what you’d expect from your usual medieval era remedy. While there are certainly texts from the medieval period that denote the uses of herbs, there has been a long-standing debate between scholars as to the actual motivations and understandings that underline the creation of herbal documents during the medieval period. Proof, if need be, of the gustatory sensitivity to spices of the medieval gourmets! According to The gastronomy of the Middle Ages, the flavour of cinnamon flowers was choicer than that of cinnamon. It has spikes of blue, pink, or red flowers and prefers well drained soil. The seven "Must Have" spices are: ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) cubebs (Piper cubeba) galingale (Alpinia officinarum) grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) saffron (Crocus sativus) saunders / red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) (see the list of spice merchants included in this directory) Spices will stay fresh for up to 4 years (ground spices last from 3–4 years and dried leaves last from 2–3 years). Maître Chiquart and Taillevent even used orchil, a lichen that gives a colour blue, and alkanet or dyer’s bugloss, a plant of the same family as borage, that gives a colour red. Noblewomen wore modest linen wimples to cover the head, a look that also served to elongate the neck. Medieval Spices. It is necessary to go to specialized spice stores, nowadays in France, in order to find the hot tasting, hard and black little bunches of tiny seeds, native to India and 2 to 4 cm long. During medieval time in England the calendula herb was commonly used in stews, syrups, and breads. His choice of spices centered mainly on pepper, silphium or laser, saffron, cardamom, ginger (rarely cited) and nard. Rosehips –Anti-inflammatory, nutritive, diuretic, laxative. Many other medieval herbs such as mugwort (pictured below) and musk mallow were onlyfor medicinal use (topical skin treatment etc). The Medieval herb garden was a helpful and beautiful place, if it was used for medicine, seasoning or even quiet meditation. One fascinating piece of history … In addition to being desired by those using medieval medicine, the European elite also craved spices in the Middle Ages. He noted that great care should be given to the preparation of herbs for medical use. Sugar was obtained from sugar cane, which was cultivated in the Middle East, in Spain and in Sicily. It appears that the reference to Paradise in its name was part of this spice’s success. Because it is so expensive, it is sometimes adulterated (curcuma is often substituted for saffron, in the form of powder). Basically everything you might imagine except from the Americas. The European elite ate a lot of spices, first for dietary reasons (spices were supposed to make digestion easier and the medical books were full of prescriptions combining such spice, reputed hot, to such other product, considered cold, for the balance) and also for the sake of social distinction (spices were prestigious, expensive and rare, coming from a somewhat magical Orient). F: noix de muscade et macis / D: Muskatnüsse / E: nuez moscada / I: noce moscata. The difference between herbs and spices is in what part of the plant they come from.. But after the Crusades (1096 to 1291) the international exchange of goods became common and gradually Asian spices (pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom) became less expensive and more widely available. Of the spices commonly used in medieval European cooking, there are seven that are not usually found in local US grocery stores. Saffron of course remains a rare and expensive commodity even today. 4 medium onions, finely sliced. In the 15th century, ginger was the least expensive, and saffron, because its price had become prohibitive, almost disappeared altogether from the table of the Lords. Cubeb was known at the end of the 11th century. A pound of saffron cost the same as a horse; a pound of ginger, as much as a sheep; 2 pounds of mace as much as a cow. Spices were believed to have important medical qualities; spices were ingredients in medieval pharmaceuticals. Concerning the Middle Ages, there is often sumac in recipes of the Baghdad cookery book and we have found sumac again in the Liber de coquina: II.10 De sumachia (sumac), II.11 Recipe pullos (chicken) and V.11 De composito lumbardico (Lombard mix). F: galanga / D: Galanga / E and I: galanga. Eugenia caryophyllata, family myrtaceae. Spices were in great demand to preserve the flavor of food due to the lack of refrigeration and cold storage. It’s not known how much of a peasant’s garden … Fennel and dill were cures for flatulence. Standards of beauty in the Middle Ages, as in any age, were very clear. There are several sorts of cardamom cloves: green cardamom (the most used in cooking), white cardamom (used in Indian pastries) and black cardamom, also false cardamom (adapted for heavily spiced dishes because of its strong camphor flavour). It then turns to the health benefits of spices to medieval food, the origins and imagined origins of spices, spice trade routes, and prices of spices. Since the Medieval cooks didn't have all those coloured vegetables, such as tomatos or sweet peppers, at their disposal, they would easily use saffron to give a yellow coloration to the dishes, and parsley and other herbs for a colour green. White pepper comes from the berry picked ripe, when it is red; only the inner seed is kept. Grains of Paradise, also called Melegueta pepper or Guinea pepper, was often graine in French manuscripts, grayne or greyn of Paris in the English ones. From Sanskrit singabera (in the shape of antlers) Here is a recipe for the medieval dining room- To make water for hand washing at the table, combine lavender, sage, basil, rosemary, and the dried rind of citrus fruit. A stimulant; cure for headaches, heart palpitations, fainting fits, dropsy, gastric ulcers: Spices in Medieval European and Modern Indian Cuisine. F: gingembre / D: Ingwer / E: jengibre / I: zenzero. They alleviate the boredom of same old thing (specifically dull grains and highly salted meat and fish in pre-refrigerator days). Spices were equally prized, and at the elite level a very wide could be accessed: from ginger to galangal, cumin, cinnamon, long pepper, grains of paradise, cloves, zedoary. And there are grains of Paradise in the first part of the Roman de la Rose (1225-1228), verse 1341 written by Guillaume de Loris. The marketplaces of medieval Europe were redolent of the spices that purportedly first arrived with returning Crusaders. 2 … Lesser galanga: alpinia officinarum. The heady and mysterious art of joining flowers and herbs, woods and spices, even animal essences, into beautifully complex layers of scent is a way to spin a seductive cloud of magic that is now known to penetrate the limbic system … But in fact, the study (mainly between 1345 and 1347) of the books of Bartholomew Bonis, a rich 14th century merchant of Montauban, who dealt in spices among other things, shows that the consumption of spices was more important than we might expect, for such a small provincial town of the south of France: Intensive use of spices was characteristic of medieval gastronomy: according to Bruno Laurioux, three quarters of the recipes had spices in them. It has practically disappeared from the shelves of the today’s grocery stores. The Medieval Spice Trade dominated a large portion of the economy in the ancient world. Close up the sweet bags and tuck them in the linens and clothes. The cinnamon tree is 5 to 6 meter tall, native to Sri Lanka and Southern India. Herbs were used a great deal in medieval times for the treatment of ailments. The word saffron comes from the Arabic za'faran, meaning yellow. Saffron is made of the stigmas of the flower of the crocus plant, a perennial bulbous plant, which blooms in the fall and grows in mild climates (From England to Turkey and Iran). According to Bruno Laurioux, you have to wait until the 9th or 10th century before the use of cinnamon starts to develop in cookery. Nutmeg is the fruit of an 18 meter high tree, native to New Guinea and the Moluccan Islands. Believed to dispel demons in medieval times, the essences of flowers and herbs permeated everything—people’s daily ablutions, what they wore, even the cuisine. Herbs proliferate in medieval cuisine, exemplified by the famous green sauce. It was also said to have aphrodisiac properties! The poor might have done especially well as they relied heavily on occult doctors and herbs and spices. Let’s take a look at some of the healthiest herbs and spices to … Consumption of spices varies according to fashion, price and social status. Cumin. Europe's insatiable demand for spices in the late Middle Ages (1200-1500 AD) is a remarkable example of dramatic historic change triggered by consumer preference. In Catalan it was nous de xarch. Some herbs were able to withstand winter in the ground and provided a yearlong bounty. Herbs & Spices The links provided below are to web sites that have historical information about Herbs & Spices as well as some purveyors of spices, including some "hard to find" spices like Cubebs, Grains of Paradise and Long Pepper which were more common in the cuisine of the Middle Ages & Renaissance At least three different kinds of ginger were used then: common ginger, white ginger (from around Madras) and Meccan ginger (having passed in transit through Mecca). Nutmeg was stated in Chrétien de Troyes at the end of the 12th century. There are some, however, for example ambergris, that are difficult if not impossible to come by. Apothecaries, the medieval equivalent to pharmacies, were stocked with supplies of spices which were then carefully mixed with other spices, minerals, and animal products to create an array of medications to be ingested by or applied on a patient. The most comprehensive list of Medicinal Herbs. They are commonly divided into the categories of spices, spice seeds, and herbs.… There are some herbs, however, which you may have to consider growing to have a ready supply. The spices introduced during the Middle Ages included those detailed on the following list. Though most recipes by Anthimus are Roman indeed, we find more ginger in them than in recipes by Apicius. Not part of the Roman spices, nutmeg and mace were widely used in the Middle Ages though. Clove was not found on a list of household spices before the Apici Excerpta by Vinidarius, which is a supplement to Apicius’ De Re Coquina, written probably around 6th century AD. It is found in many recipes "for the sick", and also, in the composition of sweet and sour sauces (rather than honey, because honey was considered too common maybe). It consists in redish orange filaments. Place it above or by a crib to protect infants. But the same Medieval herbs remain available to modern herbalists. In this case the giroflatt (alternate of girofle) is also identified with nagelen, an adverb used in modern Dutch for kruidnagelen (“herb-nails”).Kruidnagelen specifically means cloves therefore in this case I would be confident to say here giroflatt means the spice cloves.. From The Housekeeper’s Pocket Book by … Although spices were used most usually for cooking, some spices did have other domestic uses. But its use declined, starting in the 16th century, when its African origins became known. Apr 25, 2020 - Herbs and spices used in the Middle Ages (mostly in Europe). In the Early part of the middle ages (before the Crusades), Asian Spices in Europe were costly and mainly used by the wealthy. Ginger was of less use in Italy and Spain, during that same period. Culinary plants and herbs were grown for use during the summer and were preserved to add to winter fare. Spices and herbs played an important role in ancient Greek medical science. It is found, along with garum, in most Roman recipes. Spice and herb, parts of various plants cultivated for their aromatic, pungent, or otherwise desirable substances.Spices and herbs consist of rhizomes, bulbs, barks, flower buds, stigmas, fruits, seeds, and leaves. In medieval Europe, cooks combined contrasting flavors and spices in much the same way that Indian cooking still does today. Long pepper brings a flavour that complements that of black pepper and is less hot, thus healthier. Actually, medieval cooks knew well how to use spices, how to measure them out and combine them with bread based liaison and the acid tasting products such as vinegar or verjuice (a delicate balance often forgotten by modern cooks). Herbs we’ll encounter today include: Elderberry –Antiviral, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, astringent, alterative. Long pepper is found in certain recipes of the Forme of Cury, the Viandier de Taillevent or the Menagier de Paris. The King of France Jean le Bon for instance, in the 14th century, bought more cinnamon flowers (a very expensive minor spice) than cinnamon (major spice five times less expensive). In castles, women were often the primary gardeners. Crocus sativus, family iridaceae. Saffron is used for its particular taste. Herbs and spices are not only stellar for flavoring your favorite foods, but many also have outstanding health benefits. Medicinal properties: in small quantities, a digestive stimulant. The spices for cooking or making pimen were bought mostly for feasts: Christmas, marriages or engagement parties. Pierre Poivre was the one to successfully introduce the clove tree to the island of Mauritius. All of these spices were imported to Europe: Pepper - The most sought after spice. The English preferred mace and the French preferred nutmeg. Medieval gardens were full of these kinds of plants, which were used for food and medicine in addition to providing pleasure, relaxation, and refreshment to the senses. The herb is found in many gardens all over the world for subarctic to tropic regions. Southernwood, Alecost/Costmary, Savory and Dittany may not be regular ingredients in every kitchen but they were commonly used in the medieval period. When preservatives are added to foods, they are most often a blend of spices, this is the reason so much of the meat you buy that is already marinated, or even the bag of crisps you purchase has already got the flavor in it.