14th-Century Mushroom Pasties

This looks delicious, mushrooms, cheese, pastry, now you’re talking…

A Dollop of History

During the medieval era it was common to forage for edible mushrooms, though there is a surprising lack of actual mushroom recipes in surviving manuscripts. Perhaps this is due to upper-class households turning their noses up at any fungus other than expensive truffles, or maybe it’s because physicians assigned mushrooms “melancholic” properties, which were not to be eaten by the elderly. Maybe, as with bread, those with the skill to do so saw no point in actually writing the recipes down. We will likely never know.

mushrooms From De materia medica
Turkey, Istanbul, mid 10th century
 Pierpont Morgan Library. MS M.652

There are two French mushroom recipes that I know of and both are pies. These are not the only recipes out there; Germans used mushrooms in purees, Italians in tarts and an English recipe – one of my favorites- is a soup that I will release at a later date…

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About 14thcenturypoet

Author of The Legend of Zonza, an historical fantasy based on traditional Italian folk tales...
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