Caudle

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A caudle is a British thickened and sweetened alcoholic hot drink, somewhat like eggnog. It was popular in the Middle Ages for its supposed medicinal properties.

Origin[edit]

The OED cites the use of the word to 1297. The earliest surviving recipe, from 1300–1325, is simply a list of ingredients: wine, wheat starch, raisins, and sugar to "abate the strength of the wine".[1] In a description of an initiation ceremony at Merton College, Oxford in 1647, caudle is described as a "syrupy gruel with spices and wine or ale added".[2]

Recipes[edit]

Another recipe from the late 14th century has more ingredients and more details on the cooking procedure: mix breadcrumbs, wine, sugar or honey, and saffron, bring to a boil, then thicken with egg yolks, and sprinkle with salt, sugar, and ginger.[3][4] A 15th-century English cookbook includes three caudle recipes: ale or wine is heated and thickened with egg yolks and/or ground almonds, then optionally spiced with sugar, honey, saffron, and/or ginger (one recipe specifically says "no salt").[5] William Carew Hazlitt provides a number of recipes for caudles and possets in his book, Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine.[6]

A related recipe for skyr appears in the early 13th century.[7]

Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 describes it as "a drink of warm gruel, mixed with spice and wine, formerly given to women in childbed".[8]

Etymology[edit]

The word caudle came into Middle English via the Old North French word caudel, ultimately derived from Latin caldus, "warm".[9] The Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 states the word derived from Medieval Latin caldellum, a diminutive of caldum, a warm drink, from calidus, hot.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hieatt and Butler 1985, p. 45, Item 5.
  2. ^ Olmert 1996, p. 174.
  3. ^ Hieatt and Butler 1985, Item 43.
  4. ^ Austin 1888.
  5. ^ Hieatt and Pensado 1988, Items 83, 84 and 139.
  6. ^ Hazlitt 1886.
  7. ^ Grewe and Hieatt 2001, p. 42.
  8. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Caudle". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  9. ^ Harper.

References[edit]