First, take your royal sturgeon….

 

from here

It’s always rewarding to find a site that is helpful with medieval research. By this I mean everyday research, not the highly specialised work of historians. This site was stumbled upon because I needed to find out how sturgeon would have been served in the medieval period. Yes, it had been a royal fish since the time of Edward II, but kings did use them as gifts, so my fictional characters are enjoying a rather recherché meal with the Abbot of St Albans, who happens to be a good friend of Edward II’s son, Edward III.

But that’s beside the point, because I was poking around to find out more about medieval sturgeon dishes. And the above site almost dropped into my lap. It’s well worth a leisurely wander around. Not all of it is relevant, of course, but a lot of it is. And almost all of it is interesting.

So don your chef’s hat, settle back, and work up an appetite….! Or not, because the large sturgeon below looks as if it might have an entirely justifiable fancy to turn the tables on you. Why not cook you in white wine and cream and sprinkle you with tarragon?

Sturgeon caught in the Severn, from here

Here’s one recipe:-

from Medieval Cookery :-

This is an excerpt from Ouverture de Cuisine
(France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.)
The original source can be found at MedievalCookery.com

To make Sturgeon pie. Take a slice of Sturgeon three fingers in size, & make it well boiled to draw the scales back, then take cloves of gillyflowers, & plant them into the fish on three sides, then put therein nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, whole laurel leaves, & chopped marjoram, & butter enough: then make a sauce of toasted white bread that is very red without burning, & temper with chaffing wine, & pass through a strainer, put sugar enough therein, & set it to boil, that the sauce is thick, when the pie is cooked cast the sauce thereon.

and another:-

from here

Sorry, I think I’ll stick to plain old fish and chips….

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