Herbs in Anglo=Saxon dark age cooking

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Herbs in Anglo=Saxon dark age cooking

Post by FionaDowson »

There are bits on re-enactors websites stating that the Saxons used herbs like thyme and burdock in cooking. Does anyone have a reference for this or any ideas as to what they used for flavouring pottage or did they just eat a plain stew and were grateful for it?

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Medicus Matt
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Re: Herbs in Anglo=Saxon dark age cooking

Post by Medicus Matt »

What we've got is Old English medical/herbal texts (Bald's Leechbook, the Lacnunga and the Herbarium). From them we know what herbs were known (and, in some cases, cultivated) at the time of writing (9th century in the case of Bald, late 10th century for the Lacnunga and the same for the Herbarium, which is a translation of a 5th century latin text).
Their inclusion in culinary recipes is an assumed (but not unreasonable) one.

Best single volume on the subject is Stephen Pollington's "Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing" but other books (not written by friends) are also available.
"I never said that I was here to help."

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