Washington: A medical historian at McGill has discovered and translated (from Latin) what is believed to be the earliest medieval recipe book.
It is dated around 1140, 150 years earlier than previous known example of this kind of manuscript.
The manuscript was originally the property of the Durham Priory and Wallis discovered it in a library at Cambridge University.
It is probably the work of a doctor, and was written at a time when medical treatments were often intimately tied in with nutrition.
It includes a recipe for an aphrodisiac (containing lots of ginger), along with recipes for “hen in winter” and sauces based on ingredients like parsley, sage, pepper, garlic and coriander.
The manuscript also contains information about how to make a variety of medicinal ointments.