To Make Frumenty/Furmenty

This post complements the episode ‘Forme of Cury with Christopher Monk’ on The British Food History Podcast.

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10 Comments

Filed under Britain, cooking, food, Mediaeval Age, Podcast, Recipes, Uncategorized

10 responses to “To Make Frumenty/Furmenty

  1. That does look good! The colour is great. I’d have to give it a miss because of the gluten but I’m planning to do a posh gruel video later in the year which has some similarities.

    Btw, not sure if you know, frumenty doesn’t appear as a recipe in the John Rylands Forme of Cury version though it gets added in later versions.

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    • Oh I just assumed it would have been in the John Rylands version as it’s such a staple food.

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      • There is an allusion to it quite a bit later on which may suggest that when the Rylands version was being compiled it was thought it had been included. It may have been an oversight. So perhaps later versions “corrected” this.

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      • Interesting! Maybe it was so well known and simple it wasn’t added, like pastry etc….

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      • Just to clarify my comment:

        I should have said that the FULL frumenty recipe that you give above (recipe no.1 in Hieatt and Butler’s edition) does not appear in the Rylands version of FoC.

        However, ‘Furmente with porpays’ (recipe 68 in the Rylands) does appear later but it doesn’t give the proper, full recipe but simply says: ‘Take blanched almonds, crush them and mix them up with clean water; make frumenty AS BEFORE and add the [almond] milk thereto and serve it with porpoise.’

        But there is no ‘as before’ recipe. So, this is where it may be understood that the Rylands scribes/compilers (and probably the cooks) may have intended to include it, or the scribe writing down the porpoise recipe thought the main recipe was going to be included, but for some reason it got left out.

        I think it was a communication problem. I find this thing fascinating because it gives us an insight into how this fourteenth-century royal cookery book was produced. There are other mistakes and peculiarities in the text that provide us with other insights (e.g. the role of oral transmission in the recipes), but I’ll leave that for another time.

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      • Ah I see! It’s errors and mistakes that makes the people suddenly human. We’ve all made mistakes and it’s nice (I think) to be able to empathise with them.

        I’ll add it to the post bag episode so I can let listeners know

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  2. Meant to ask, was (or is) the Yorkshire frumenty overtly sweet? I’m intrigued that it developed into something sweeter.

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