06 September 2013

How to cook a unicorn ("Taketh one unicorne...")

A long-lost medieval cookbook, containing recipes for hedgehogs, blackbirds and even unicorns, has been discovered at the British Library...

Experts believe that the cookbook was compiled by Geoffrey Fule, who worked in the kitchens of Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (1328-1369)...

After recipes for herring, tripe and codswallop (fish stew, a popular dish in the Middle Ages) comes that beginning "Taketh one unicorne". The recipe calls for the beast to be marinaded in cloves and garlic, and then roasted on a griddle... 
Additional information and two more images at the British Library's Medieval Manuscripts blog, where it is also noted that -
The recipe for cooking blackbirds is believed to be the origin of the traditional English nursery rhyme "Sing a song of sixpence / A pocket full of rye / Four-and-twenty blackbirds / Baked in a pie."
Via Curiosités de Titam

Addendum: After you enjoy reading this, be sure to read the relevant comments by Margaret and Shaun.


  1. Did you notice that this was posted on April 1, 2012?

  2. I am not so sure about this one...


    ;-) Shaun

  3. so you spotted that too Margaret!

  4. Thank you guys. I had missed this when it was originally published.

    I also noticed that the person wielding the bellows in the image looks a lot like John Farrier's avatar.

  5. And I supposed it was captured by a virgin.

  6. Happy belated April Fools'!



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