Growing up near Nenagh where local castle was built in early 1200’s, by Theobald Walter 1st Chief Butler of Ireland. He arrived in Ireland with Prince John who became king John. The first Anglo Normans arrived in Ireland in 1169. The role of Chief Butler was to make sure should the Royalty come to Ireland, this family and their descendants were to feed the Royalty and provide the wine. In fact some of their wealth came from wine ,as they received 10% of all wine cargo value that arrived in Ireland up until a the 16 th century.
So now begins what the Anglo Normans influenced in Ireland
Well apples and nuts were mentioned in early Irish laws, but fruits such as pears, cherry and plums became part of the Anglo Norman secular and non secular orchards.
Fruit was usually cooked, so as composite in honey, wine and new herbs also known as spices. Pepper been a firm favourite, also ginger, cinnamon and
With the humours of hot and cold , fruit was considered cold so by adding spices and herbs made it more digestible.
The Anglo Normans bought the more regular use of Dovecote, warrens, deer parks and agriculture changes in crop and cereal growing. So rabbits, deer, doves, pheasants, more pork and capons as popular foods.
The addition of salt and pepper to food, capons cooked on spit and pork on grids flavoured with pepper, new herbs, fat and new herbs or spices.
Capon on a spit with onion and butter inserted in cavity with cavity closed. Basting in fats, and when cooked a sprinkle of flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Capon is basted as to keep it moist, as in Ireland wild flavoured garlic butter was used to base the capon/pheasant/ chicken
Oatcakes, Salmon flavored with Salt-and pepper and honey , the Irish way, A good alternative method the Anglo Normans liked to cook fish in pot with wine, stock,new herbs/spices. White pancakes with wheat white flour and the white of eggs, with herbs from your kitchen garden cooked in fat made for delicious food between dishes,
Green vert sauces were served with fish, so taking herbs from the garden such as rosemary, parsley, thyme, fennel and chopping or putting in pestle and mortar, grinding it with salt, pepper, gingerand adding it to sweet white wines, verjuice from the grape or crabapple , new herbs and spices and reducing the mix over heat to make a green sauce, some fresh green Spring Onions can be cooked in the sauce.
So finding what the Anglo Norman. The food they brought to the table and cooking dishes in a manner or style of Anglo Norman. Food mostly cooked in pots on hot gridiron and griddles, spits and breads baked in ovens near the grounds of castles and monastery. The use of bread as trenchers, also wooden trenchers, mopping up the liquid food with bread and swallowing it down with wine.
Peas were preferred over beans, flavoured with garden herbs, salt and pepper, sweetened with some honey.
So if you have not guessed by now pepper was a firm favourite with Anglo Normans, pepper came in all shapes and sizes, long pepper cubebs, while salt came in blocks the both needed to be crushed either, pestle and mortar, a mill etc….
Holmes,U.T. 1952. Daily living in 12 th C as recommended by
Schemed.A2002.A proper Newe Booke of Cookerye,
Kelly, F Early farming in Ireland
Red Book of Ormond
Walk around Nenagh