Monday, April 2, 2012

Hild and the well-done unicorn

Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader, Ragini), yesterday I spent a happy April Fool's Day enjoying a medieval cookbook just discovered at the British Museum. There are recipes for codswallop (a fish stew), hedgehog, and unicorn: "Taketh one unicorne," marinate it in cloves and garlic, then fling it on a griddle:

The head seems to be a special delicacy:
But the shins, hooves, horn and tail not so much:
I imagine Hild would have enjoyed a good hedgehog sandwich (though of course as far as we know sandwiches weren't common until the 17th century or so), and badger stew. A bit of swan might have proved tasty. And eels, of course. I suspect she was also partial to potted mushrooms (fried in goose grease). But unicorn? I expect they ate like antelope: not nearly fatty enough for the Anglo-Saxon palate.
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