Meals & dishes II

May 29, 2010

In Lacnuga, an Anglo-Saxon medical text from the tenth or eleventh century, the following small cooking suggestion can be found “wyll in buteran þas wyrte 7 scearfa smale ado . . . beren mela 7 hwites sealtes fela wyl loncge 7 hatne ete” (boil [cropleek] in butter, and shred up . . . add . . . barley meal and plenty of white salt, boil for a long time and eat hot) (Hagen, Ann, 1992, p. 59).

For this possible dish I chose to use a handful of seiersløk (Allium victorialis) which grows outside in the garden (the question if this variety of onions would have been grown during the Viking age should perhaps be the post of another day.)

Anyway, I melted about 150 -200 grams of butter, chopped up the onion leaves and cooked them in the butter, after the mixture had cooked for awhile and the butter started to smell of garlic I added about six handfuls of barley flour. This was left to cook for quite some time. To start with it was rather floury and dry…but after it had cooked for 20 – 30 minutes the consistency started to change and it looked and felt like something between a wet beach and peanutbutter. While it had a slightly sweet smell…it was still somewhat bitter, mainly due to the fact that much of the onionleaves had carbonised during the long cooking.

When repeated I would probably use a bit less flour, remove the onions before adding the barley flour or at least reduce the heat so that it was only simmering. Perhaps some addition of salt would have been a good addition as well.

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