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The Cornish Pasty

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Le Viandier de Taillevent - circa 1300 AD

The Cornish Pasty
presents Le Viandier deTaillevent by Guillaume Tirel - a free web download version of the Medieval book in modern French.


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Click here for the free e-book


Extract from page 2 of the .PDF download:

Pastez de poulaille a la saulce robert pastez de pyions pastez de moton a la ciboule pastez de merles et mauuis pastez de passereaulx pastez de cannes sauluages pastez de cheuereau pastez doison pastez de coulon ramier pastez de perdris pastez de connins pastez de lieures pastez de venoison de cerf pastez de sanglier pastez de lorais pastez de moille pastez de mullet pastez de bresme pastez de truyte pastez danguilles pastez de congre de mer pastez de turbot pastez de rougetz pastez de gornault [pastez daloses] pastez de saulmon lamproye en paste pastez de vache pastez de gigos de mouton tartes couuertes communes tartes descouuertes [tartes a deux visages]. Daulphins fleurs de liz estoille de cresmes tous sucres faiz Belons en facon dung con farciz Tartre iacopine couuerte de orengez par dessus tartes bourbonnaise tartes couuertes talemouse tartre iacopine bien farcie tartres de pommes pastez de poyres crues.

There are twenty-nine mentions of pastez above.









Translation by Mr Henry "Oggy" Trelissick 26 Jan 2010

chicken pasty with sauce robert (1), pigeon pasty, mutton pasty with spring onions (2) , blackbird and thrush pasty, sparrow pasty, wild duck pasty, goat pasty, osgosling pasty(3), wood pigeon pasty, partridge pasty, rabbit pasty (4), hare pasty, pasty of red deer venison, fried pasty, woodpecker pasty (5), (bone) marrow pasty, mullet pasty, bream pasty, trout pasty, eel pasty, conger eel pasty, turbot pasty, red mullet pasty, gurnard pasty, shad pasty, salmon pasty, lamprey en croute, cow pasty (6) gigot of mutton pasty, common covered tarts, uncovered tarts, [tarts with two faces], dolphins, fleurs de lys, stars, made with sugared cream, Stuffed oysters (7), [jacobin tart(8)  covered over with oranges(9)] tartes bourbonnaise, tarts covered with cream cheese (10), [jacobin tart(8) well stuffed], apple tarts, uncooked pear pasty.

(1)     Originally a sauce based on verjuice (grape juice) vinegar and mustard. Nowadays is based on capers.

(2)     Ciboule = chipple

(3)     Cf cloisonne jewellry ?

(4)     Connins =coneys?

(5)     Not totally sure about this one

(6)     Medieval Desperate Dan?

(7)     Belons are a specific sort of oyster. The literal translation is ‘Belon oysters stuffed to look like cunts’ They had a rude sense of humour in those days.

(8)    Can’t find anything closer than this.   JACOBIN TART. Take eels and skin them and cut into short lengths no thicker than half a finger, and take ginger, crumbled cheese, and carry this to the oven and make a tart of it, and sprinkle it with cheese at the bottom, and then put eel on top of that, and then a layer of cheese, and then a layer of crayfish tails, and so on, as long as each one lasts, one layer after another. And put some salt in the milk, and do not cover it; and stick the crayfish feet in the tart, and make a pretty cover separately, to be put on when it is cooked

(9)    Probable sour Seville Oranges.

(10)  Cheese Cake?



The Cornish Pasty is showing this web page not so much because it is instructional about Medieval pasties, where "pastez" was commonly used, but to suggest that the pasties may actually be what is known today as pies.

Wikipedia - Le Viandier: "Le Viandier (often called Le Viandier de Taillevent) is a recipe collection largely credited to Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent. However, the earliest version of the book has been dated to around 1300, about 10 years before the birth of Tirel. The original author is unknown, but it was not uncommon for medieval and early modern recipe collections to be plagiarized, complemented with additional material and presented as the work of later authors.

There are four major versions of it. The oldest manuscript, published in 1395, at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Somewhat later and slightly expanded is the Vatican Manuscript, which is better known because it was reprinted in 1892 by Jérôme Pichon and Georges Vicaire. There is yet another altered manuscript in the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris. In 1485, an edition was printed, considerably altered from the original manuscripts.

It is one of the earliest recipe collections of the Middle Ages. Among other things, it contains the first detailed description of an entremet."


An excellent web resource is here: HERE - this is the Vatican manuscript text in French. There is a translation into English: HERE  - SEARCH FOR <PAST> i.e. abbreviation for pasty/paste/pastry etc. > "pie   Many dishes cooked 'in a pie' would have had the crust discarded (as in modern cooking en croute)." ******************

Perhaps the most useful web resource is the Google books version, this being an edition of all extant manuscripts edited by Terence Scully: there are twenty-four search results for the word translated as "pasty" .....



An aside: confusion may lay in that Le Viandier de Taillevent contains at least two recipes for pastez (translated as pasties):

This is another factual page presented by The Cornish Pasty.


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