PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Utilis Coquinario | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: Traditional medieval rice dish
28. Blawmanger. Tak þe two del of rys, þe thridde pert of almoundes; wash clene þe rys in leuk water & turne & seth hem til þay breke & lat it kele, & tak þe melk & do it to þe rys & boyle hem togedere. & do þerto whit gres & braun of hennes grounde smale, & stere it wel, & salte it & dresch it in disches. & frye almaundes in fresch gres til þey be browne, & set hem in þe dissches, & strawe þeron sugre & serue it forth.
- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). London: For the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.
GODE COOKERY TRANSLATION:
Blancmange. Take two parts of rice, the third part of almonds; wash the rice clean in lukewarm water & turn & boil them til they break and let cool, & take milk and add to the rice and boil together. Add white grease & ground dark chicken meat, & stir well, & salt it and place it in dishes. Fry almonds in fresh grease until brown, & set them in the dishes, and strew on sugar & serve it.
Judging by the many versions of this recipe that appear in period cookbooks, it is certain that most (if not all) medieval cooks were at least familiar with this dish. By the strictest definition, Blawmanger (also known as blankmanger) is any bland, white pottage based on almond milk, and (except for a few fish-day versions) contains ground poultry, thickened with rice flour; the standard English flesh-day version was ground capon (or chicken) with rice and almond milk. In some recipes the poultry is in chunks, rather than ground up. Today's modern blancmange is a type of rice-pudding dessert, much beloved by the English, and only bears a slight resemblance to its medieval forerunner.
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