Jacobean, eh? I m not sure Pepys would have appreciated that - it smacks of dangerous popery. Nor, I think, would he have liked gourmand . Perhaps the
Message 1 of 2
, Jun 28
Jacobean, eh? I'm not sure Pepys would have appreciated that - it smacks of dangerous popery. Nor, I think, would he have liked 'gourmand'. Perhaps the Telegraph writer meant 'gourmet'.
From: terry foreman <terry.foreman@...> To: pepysdiary-yahoogroup <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
evelyndiary@... Sent: Friday, 28 June 2013, 21:36 Subject: [pepysdiary] Potted histories: syllabub
Here's an unusual recipe, though, be warned, it requires immediate access to a
cow. Take a sweet alcoholic drink – cider, perhaps, or fortified wine - and
add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Then, place the mixture beneath your
bovine assistant's udders before milking their contents straight into the
Sound bizarre? That's the traditional way of making syllabub, one of Britain’s
oldest and most delightfully-named desserts. You think you know it – but the
mousse-like mixture of whipped cream and alcohol that goes under the name
today is, you may have guessed, a slightly different recipe to the original.
While the etymology of the word syllabub isn't clear, the first recorded
reference to the treat dates back to 1537, when a character in the anonymous
drama Thersytes declares that “You and I...muste walke to him and
eate a solybubbe!”
“Eate” is an interesting choice of verb, however, because the dish was
arguably more akin to a drink than a food. It consisted of a frothy head of
milk or cream floated on top of sweetened alcohol: people sipped the drink
and used a spoon to scrape off the creamy foam. In later years, the affluent
could buy special syllabub pots which had a spout through which the liquid
part could be politely sucked. These classy dinner party pieces were the
sixteenth century's fondue sets.
So ubiquitous was the dish that it has been compared,
not inappropriately, to today’s frappucino. Famous gourmand
Samuel Pepys (always a useful barometer of Jacobean tastes) mentions
slurping down a syllabub at several points in his diary. In fact, syllabub
was well-known enough back then to be even be used metaphorically, as a
synonym for something light and inconsequential: compared to Latin and Greek
books, English tomes were but “whipped syllabub”, sniffed one learned
gentleman in 1768.
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