Forme of Cury

14th Century Cookbook

The Forme of Cury, or ‘the (proper) method of cookery’, is probably the oldest cookbook in the world. It was compiled in the late 14th century by the master cooks in the household of King Richard II. Only a few copies of The Forme of Cury survive and this is one of the best and earliest.The book contains one hundred and ninety-four recipes which reveal the amazing variety and elaboration of the dishes available to the elite, including stews, roast dishes, jellies, tarts and custards. Among the recipes are ‘Chyckens in gravey’, ‘Blank manger’ (a white savory stew, from which the word ‘blancmange’ derives),‘Furmente with porpays’ (porpoise in wheat porridge), and ‘Crypses’ (fried pastries).

The manuscript is still in a very worn, and possibly original, binding and it may well have been used as a practical cookery book in an aristocratic or royal kitchen. However, unlike modern recipe books, the Forme of Cury doesn’t give exact quantities or cooking times, so a lot is left to the skill and imagination of the cook.

This iBook contains the complete manuscript along with transcriptions from the Middle English.

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Forme of CuryForme of Cury

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