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A Dictionary of
Middle-English
Cooking Terms



The index below covers a range of Middle-English terms used in medieval English cooking texts. Included are some of the more unusual spelling variants for modern words, English words still in use but considered archaic or old fashioned, and words common to England that may be unknown elsewhere (e.g. the names of English river fish).

Currently listed are terms used in Forme of Cury and Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books.



A

abyndoun : Probably a transcription error for "amidon". Wheat starch, or occasionally rye starch. Corn starch can be used as a modern substitute.

aforce : To stuff. (from French)

alay (also: aly, alye, alyth) : To mix with. Similar to temper.

alegar (also: alegur) : Malt vinegar.

alisaunder (also: alysaundre) : Black Loveage (Smyrnium olusatrum).

alkanet (also: alkenet, bugloss) : Dyer's Bugloss (Alkanna tinctoria) or possibly Common Bugloss (Anchusa officinalis). A member of the Borage family. A red colorant.


allowe : A meat roll, usually veal. Possibly from the French word for "dove", which such rolls may be meant to resemble.

almayne : German. In the German style.

amidon (also: amydoun) : Wheat starch, or occasionally rye starch. Corn starch can be used as a modern substitute.

applemus (also: appulmos, appulmoy, apulmos) : A sweet sort of apple pudding, usually containing almond milk.

arbolettys : A baked dish of herbs with eggs.

ardaunt (also: ew ardaunt) : Distilled spirits, such as brandy.

avens (also: auance, herb bennet) : Avens (Geum urbanum). A member of the rose family common to England and much of Europe. Has medicinal as well as culinary uses.


ayren (also: ayrenn) : Eggs. (from German)

aysell : Apple cider vinegar.




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