The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds & Medieval Stuffed Eggs Recipe

Mediaeval Stuffed Eggs

The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds

& Medieval Stuffed Eggs Recipe

The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds

Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of historical recipes, ingredients and cooking, and I have been working on a Historical British cookbook over the last few years, so I was delighted to accept an invitation to this years International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, my alma mater, as well as trying my hand at cooking some of the recipes that will be featured in this year’s “Feast”, as researched and devised by the well-known food historian, Caroline Yeldham. The theme for this year’s congress is “Empire” and Caroline has taken her recipe inspiration from two interesting cookbooks from the late medieval period, Libre de Sent Sovi and Cuoco Napoletano, with the theme being centred around  cuisine from one of the lesser-known medieval empires The Kingdom of Aragon.

Medieval Stuffed Eggs

Medieval Stuffed Eggs

I was invited to “test drive” some of the recipes that are being served at the IMC feast this year and this recipe for Medieval Stuffed Eggs was the first on my list, as I have a surfeit of eggs at present! Other recipes that were sent to me to try were: Bolognese torte, Chicken turnover, Limonea – chicken in lemon sauce, Sosenga – meat sauce for various meats, Coriander, Armoured Turnips, Chickpeans, Pastanagat (carrot puree), Crespells, White or Elderflower torte and Cherry torte. I will be featuring two or three of these recipes over the next few weeks, so do look out for them. But for today’s recipe, it’s stuffed eggs, and not just your average devilled egg, but eggs that are packed with herbs, spices, fruit and cheese. The recipe was easy to follow in a modern kitchen and the rather unusual method of frying the cooked, stuffed eggs added a different taste and texture to them.

International Medieval Congress  Image of St Martin, used as the IMC logo since 1994, from University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Brotherton Collection MS 2, fol. 245v

International Medieval Congress
Image of St Martin, used as the IMC logo since 1994, from University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Brotherton Collection MS 2, fol. 245v

But back to the Congress - The International Medieval Congress at University of Leeds is a vibrant gathering of around 2,000 medievalists from around 60 countries, who come together to discuss their individual areas of specialism and share their passion for Medieval history. With its full-frontal nudity and epic battles, cult ‘histo-rotica’ fantasy, Game of Thrones, has a significant influence on students when it comes to choosing a degree in Medieval Studies, but that’s no bad thing, according to Axel Müller, Director of the International Medieval Congress at University of Leeds. And this year interest in their subject is at an all-time high. The Congress celebrates its 21st year this year and is the largest event of its kind

International Medieval Congress  The International Medieval Congress is the largest conference of its kind in Europe, with annually over 1,800 medievalists from all over the world attending.

International Medieval Congress
The International Medieval Congress is the largest conference of its kind in Europe, with annually over 1,800 medievalists from all over the world attending.

Whether it’s the hype surrounding Game of Thrones, the debate concerning the location of important medieval battlegrounds across the country or the regional in-fighting to secure the remains of King Richard III, our medieval ancestors are never far from the headlines. Axel Müller says: “The appeal of medievalism is that whilst we recognise it as local to our own experience, time gives it an element of distance and a sprinkling of fairy-tale. Game of Thrones may be a long way from historical fact, but it is a powerful indication of the enduring fascination of our ancestry and shared experience.”

Stuffed Eggs

As well as the obvious lectures, discussion and academic debate, there is of course the Feast: the extravagant medieval feast is a focal feature of the Congress, bringing together cuisine from a ‘forgotten empire’ to honour a variety of medieval recipes, such as traditionally roasted meats, chick peas and unusual cheese-stuffed eggs, not to forget Yorkshire’s finest bitter, specially brewed for the Congress. Over 18,000 gallons have been quaffed so far since 1999, and despite careful planning, delegates still manage to stretch the supply to the limits each year…..

International Medieval Congress  The Leeds Waits process for the start of the ‘Making Leeds Medieval’ Event at the IMC 2013.

International Medieval Congress
The Leeds Waits process for the start of the ‘Making Leeds Medieval’ Event at the IMC 2013.

…..The public are encouraged to come along and get involved in this medieval extravaganza. There are numerous events for people to join in and experience medieval culture, craft and cuisine. Advanced booking is recommended, but tickets for most events are also available on the door. For further information, including ticket availability, and how to buy tickets on-line, please visit the website: Leeds Events. Building on the success of last year’s ‘Medieval Fair’ there will be a range of enjoyable activities will be offered on the University Campus this year. Historical crafts such as mail armour production, spinning, textile production, dyeing and even an apothecary will all be available to the public on Thursday 10 July. The local community are given the chance to enjoy samples of medieval food, fantastic falconry displays, medieval musicians and storytellers.

Medieval Stuffed Eggs

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to attending the Congress and enjoying the feast, but in the meantime, we have these Medieval  Stuffed Eggs to enjoy for our tea, alongside my Elizabethan English Herb and Flower Salad with Honey Dressing recipePlease do check back regularly to see what other recipes I have made, and for now, I can heartily recommend this recipe for stuffed eggs – the fruit and saffron make them extra special – especially when enjoyed with a pint of Yorkshire ale!  Karen 

Elizabethan English Herb and Flower Salad with Honey Dressing recipe.

Elizabethan English Herb and Flower Salad with Honey Dressing recipe.

Medieval Stuffed Eggs

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas, Easter, Formal Party
Region British
By author Caroline Yeldham (From Scully, T, The Neapolitan Recipe Collection Cuoco Napoletano, 2000, University of Michigan Press 0-472-10972-3)
Caroline Yeldham has adapted this medieval recipe from the book The Neapolitan Recipe Collection Cuoco Napoletano, 2000, University of Michigan Press 0-472-10972-3 translated by Terence Scully.

Ingredients

  • 9 eggs
  • 20 grams raisins
  • 25 grams curd cheese
  • 25 grams hard cheese (eg parmesan/pana gradano)
  • 10 grams parsley
  • 10 grams marjoram
  • 5 grams mint
  • Pinch saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and salt
  • Olive oil to fry

Note

Caroline Yeldham has adapted this medieval recipe from the book The Neapolitan Recipe Collection Cuoco Napoletano, 2000, University of Michigan Press 0-472-10972-3 translated by Terence Scully.

Directions

Step 1 Saffron
At beginning of cooking session (or overnight) put saffron required in hot water and leave to soak. Use liquid where saffron is mentioned.
Step 2 Hard boil all the eggs bar 2. Shell and cut in half lengthwise.
Step 3 Remove the yolks and mix with the raisins, cheese, finely chopped herbs, saffron (liquid, as described above) and the spices.
Step 4 Separate the whites of the other two eggs and beat the whites lightly. Mix with the yolk stuffing.
Step 5 Refill the hard egg whites and put together. Fry gently and serve.
Medieval Stuffed Eggs

Medieval Stuffed Eggs

*Featured Post*

(Images of the congress courtesy: Leeds University – all other images are my own)

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve made some 17th and 18th century recipes (go Hannah Woolley!) but I haven’t tried my hand at any Medieval recipes yet. I think it’s mostly that I prefer the creamy buttery Frenchy new-in-the-17th-century flavor combinations. Of course my degree is in Early Modern England so I guess my tastes are consistent!

    I do love how Medieval recipes are simultaneously a bit strange and also rather avant-garde. Have a blast at the conference!

    • says

      Thanks Lauren, I know Hannah Woolley too, and I agree that 17th and 18th century recipes have more cream sauces etc in them, especially if they are French, but what I love about medieval recipes are their use of spices and fruit, similar to what we would perceive as Middle Eastern cuisine today, it’s very exotic and quite exciting, Karen

  2. says

    Delightful recipe! I love historical recipes books, and looking forward to reading your book when it is published. I love saffron, and I can imagine these stuffed eggs are very special

  3. says

    What a fantastic opportunity, Karen! It sounds way more interesting than some of the conferences that I attend. Love stuffed eggs, these look really interesting with the dried fruit and the frying.

  4. says

    Medieval stuffed eggs! Wow, I never would’ve expected such a thing to have medieval origins… such an interesting post Karen! The floral salad looks so exquisite too :) I always enjoy reading your posts, thank you so much for all of the time and effort that you put into each one. It’s not only a culinary delight but one for the mind too! Oh how I wish I could be there at that Leeds Medieval Festival!

  5. says

    The congress sounds right up your street Karen. What fun. I’m not generally a fan of stuffed eggs, but these do sound rather interesting and they look superb.

  6. says

    What a fascinating article! You do get to some absolutely fabulous food events, Karen. I hope you will write it up for us all to enjoy vicariously. Those eggs look like a tempting rendition of the stuffed eggs we used to have on buffets when I was a child. If only they had tasted as good as I am sure yours do.

    • says

      Thanks Deena! I was also surprised by just how many spices these eggs have in the recipe and you are right, it gives a very Malaysian feel, as well as North African feel too – but, we were far more adventurous with our spices then, for those who were rich enough to have them of course. Karen

  7. lorna Thomas says

    I love this recipe, first tried it earlier this year over an open wood fire at camp. It was very well received by our group.

  8. Heidi says

    These look great! I am also looking forward to the Leeds IMC this year I’ll be speaking rather than cooking, It looks like it will be a great event.

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  1. […] The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds … http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/I was invited to "test drive" some of the recipes that are being served at the International Medieval Congress feast this year and this recipe for Medieval Stuffed Eggs was the first on my list, as I have a surfeit of eggs at present! … Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, my alma mater, as well as trying my hand at cooking some of the recipes that will be featured in this year's “Feast”, as researched and devised by the well-known food historian, Caroline Yeldham. […]

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