A Medieval Recipe For Healing the Stomach

Daily life in the middle ages was like the fine line between Carnivale and Lent, as immortalized by Pieter Bruegel in 1559. It’s a battle between feast and famine, a lifestyle of fasting and abstinence or a lifestye of drunkeness and revelry (Il Corpo nel Medioevo, J. LeGoff).

When carnival in Venice ends, one probably needs a dish to comfort their stomach, aid in digestion, and make everything feel better. This is a good recipe for doing just that:

Vivanda da fare bon stomacho – Toy pome codogne e lessale e mondale e pestalle, e toy late de mandole e distempera queste codogne e miti a coxere; quando è cocto mitige specie dolze poche e zucharo assay.

A Dish to Make the Stomach Well – Take two quinces, peeled and cleaned, and add to boiling water. When they are soft, drain and pour almond milk into the saucepan to cover the fruit. Mash (or blend) everything together and allow to simmer at a low heat. When it reaches a creamy texture ass 100 grams of sugar and a few sweet spices (nutmeg & cinnamon). In medieval times you would take this custard to the Epices de Chambre, a room where you enjoy tasty food.

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You could serve this with cooked wine:

Vino cocto – A fare vino cocto, toy vino vermeglo el piú fino che tu poy avere e bono miele; mitilo a bolire insieme e alquanto fiore de canella, e bolia tanto ch’ el torne el terzo e per iiij bichier de vino volo essere uno pien de melle.

Cooked Wine – To make cooked wine boil full-bodied red wine with acacia honey or wildflower honey (at a ratio of 1:4) until it is reduced by a third. Turn off the head and add cinnamon to taste. Let cool and filter by straining.

Consume within a few days.

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