Manuscripts and Special Collections

Recipe of the Month: Pickled cauliflowers

August 1st, 2011 at 08:08

18th-century recipe books are full of pickles and preserves. Before refrigerators and freezers were invented, fresh food went off very quickly. The summertime glut of fresh produce needed to be managed, and made into jams and savoury pickles. Most of the traditional pickle recipes, like this one, were quite time-consuming, involving a number of separate boilings and coolings of the pickle mixture before it was finally bottled and sealed.

This recipe comes from Elenor Mundy’s book, which was begun in 1728.

Collyflowers (MS 86, p.114r)

The whitest Collyflowers cutt in little bitts – boyl them, not tender enough for common eating. Let your Pickle be of white wine Vinegar, Cloves, black pepper, Gingar, Jamaica pepper and salt, boyle it well, and scome it clean, & when it is cold, & they [the collyflowers] are well drain’d and cold allso, pour it upon them. Boyle their Pickle every day for 4 days, be it cold every time before you put it to them. Tye your Pott you keep them in very close.


scome = scum, e.g. remove the scum that forms on the surface of the boiled pickle mixture

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