The Forme of Cury

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The Forme of Cury
Forme of Cury-MS 7-18v.jpg
page from late 14th century manuscript[a]
Author The master cooks of King Richard II
Country England
Subject Cookery
Publisher King Richard II
Publication date
c. 1390
Pages scroll

The Forme of Cury (Method of Cooking, cury being from Middle French cuire: to cook)[2] is an extensive collection of medieval English recipes of the 14th century, in the form of a scroll.[3] Its authors are given as "the chief Master Cooks of King Richard II". The modern name was given to it by Samuel Pegge, who published an edition of it in 1780 for the curator of the British Museum, Gustavus Brander.[3] This name has since come into usage for almost all versions of the original manuscript. Along with Le Viandier, it is the best-known medieval guide to cooking.

The scroll was written in late Middle English (c. 1390)[3] on vellum and details some 205 recipes (although the exact number of recipes varies slightly between different versions).

Sample recipe[edit]

Title page of Samuel Pegge's 1780 version, the first printed edition

The following is an example of a recipe taken from Pegge's 18th-century edition of the roll:

Take sawge. persel. ysope. and saueray. quinces. and peeres, garlek and Grapes. and fylle the gees þerwith. and sowe the hole þat no grece come out. and roost hem wel. and kepe the grece þat fallith þerof. take galytyne and grece and do in a possynet, whan the gees buth rosted ynouh; take an smyte hem on pecys. and þat tat is withinne and do it in a possynet and put þerinne wyne if it be to thyk. do þerto powdour of galyngale. powdour douce and salt and boyle the sawse and dresse þe Gees in disshes and lay þe sowe onoward.

In modern English:

Take sage, parsley, hyssop and savory, quinces and pears, garlic and grapes, and stuff the geese therewith, and sew the hole that no grease come out, and roast them well, and keep the dripping that falleth thereof. Take meat jelly[b] and dripping and add in a posset; when the geese be roasted enough; take and smite [cut] them into pieces, and that that is within, and add in a posset and put therein wine if it be too thick. Add thereto powder of galangal, powder-douce and salt and boil the sauce and dress the Geese in dishes and lay the sauce onward.[4]

Modern recreations[edit]

The Café at the Rylands, in Manchester's John Rylands Library, cooked Tart in Ymber Day, Compast, Payn Puff, Frumenty and Gingerbrede, accompanied by Piment (spiced wine), for invited guests in 2009.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The page offers recipes for Drepee ("Take blanched Almandes grynde hem and temper hem up with gode broth take Oynouns a grete quantite parboyle hem and frye hem and do þerto. take smale bryddes parboyle hem and do þerto Pellydore and salt. and a lytel grece." and Mawmenee ("Take a pottel of wyne greke. and ii. pounde of sugur take and clarifye the sugur with a qantite of wyne an drawe it thurgh a straynour in to a pot of erthe take flour of Canell. and medle with sum of the wyne an cast to gydre. take pynes with Dates and frye hem a litell in grece oþer in oyle and cast hem to gydre. take clowes an flour of canel hool and cast þerto. take powdour gyngur. canel. clower, colour it with saundres a lytel yf hit be nede cast salt þerto. and lat it seeþ; warly with a slowe fyre and not to thyk, take brawn of Capouns yteysed. oþer of Fesauntes teysed small and cast þerto.").[1])
  2. ^ Sauce or jelly of meat juices


  1. ^ "The Forme of Cury". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Thys fourme of cury ys compyled of þe mayster cokes of kyng Richard þe secund ... by assent of Maysters of physik and of phylosophye".--"Things sweet to taste: selections from the Forme of Cury". 1996 ISBN 0-86373-134-1
  3. ^ a b c Wright, Clarissa Dickson (2011). A History of English Food. Random House. pp. 46, 50–52. ISBN 978-1-905-21185-2. 
  4. ^ As cooked by Clarissa Dickson Wright on the BBC Four show Clarissa and the King's Cookbook
  5. ^ "Oldest English recipes cooked up at John Rylands". Manchester University. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 

External links[edit]