The Forme of Cury is one of the oldest known instructive cookery manuscripts in the English language. It is believed to have been written at the end of the fourteenth century by the master-cooks of Richard II (1377-1399). The manuscript is in the form of a scroll made of vellum -a kind of fine alfskin parchment. It contains 196 recipes. The word cury is the Middle English word for cookery.

The preamble of the manuscript explains that the work has been given the approval and consent of the masters of medicine and the culinary arts.

The author states that the recipes are intended to teach a cook everyday dishes as well as unusually spiced ans spectacular dishes for banquets.

The Form of Cury is the first English text to mention olive oil, cloves, mace and gourds in relation to British food. most of the recipes contain what were then luxurious and valuable spices: caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper. In this cookery book  we find the recipe Pork in a sage sauce.

Pork in sage sauce (Original tittle: Pygges in sawse sawge)

Take a portion of pork meat*, quarter it into pieces and boil them in water and salt. Take them and let them cool. Take parsley, sage, and grind it with bread and yolks of eggs hard boiled.

Temper it up with vinegar somewhat thick, and lay the pigs in a vessel, cover it with the sauce and serve it forth.

* In the original we find «pigs scalded» as the skin was cleaned with hot water.

Sources: The British Library Board

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