Freseyes or Strawberye (Strawberry Sauce)

Recipe from Handout

1 lb. frozen or fresh strawberries
1 cup red wine
1 cup strained almond milk
2 Tbsp. rice flour
1/2 cup currants
dash white pepper
1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. galingale
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. butter
pinch saffron
pomegranate seeds

In a blender, combine strawberries, wine, and almond milk. Blend until smooth. Pour blended mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice flour and stir until mixture thickens slightly. Add currants, red wine vinegar, butter and spices. Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Spoon hot sauce into a saucer and garnish with pomegranate seeds. This goes very well with roast chicken.

Source for Recipe Presented

Harleian MS 279 - Redaction by Cindy Renfrow
From Take a Thousand Eggs or More: A Collection of 15th Century Recipes, volume 1, by Cindy Renfrow, page #206 (c) 1990, 1997. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Notes and additional versions

Harleian MS. 279. Potage Dyvers.
Cxxiij. Strawberye. Take Strawberys, & waysshe hem in tyme of yere in gode red wyne; (th)an strayne (th)orwe a clo(th)e, & do hem in a potte with gode Almaunde mylke, a-lay it with Amyndoun o(th)er with (th)e flowre of Rys, & make it chargeaunt and lat it boyle, and do (th)er-in Roysonys of coraunce, Safroun, Pepir, Sugre grete plente, pouder Gyngere, Canel, Galyngale; poynte it with Vynegre, & a lytil whyte grece put (th)er-to; coloure it with Alkenade, & droppe it a-bowte, plante it with (th)e graynys of Pome-garnad, & (th)an serue it forth.

Diversa Ciberia 13. Freseyes.
Streberyen igrounden wy(th) milke of alemauns, flour of rys o(th)ur amydon, gret vlehs, poudre of kanele & sucre; (th)e colur red, & streberien istreyed abouen.

Note that the original has the sauce colored red or purple with Alkanet, a member of the borage family which is toxic. So authenticity in that point is not recommended for modern dining.

Strawberye is a good example of a period recipe that results in extremely different redacted versions, ranging from sauce for meat to dessert soup to dessert pudding. You should also be aware that strawberries in period were like our wild strawberries today: tiny and seedy.

The Harleian 279 version is redacted in Pleyn Delit #114, where it is called "Strawberry Pudding" and grouped with desserts.
In Pleyn Delit #58, the Diversa Ciberia (Curye on Inglysch) version is given as Strawberry Sauce for meat.
Constance B. Hiett, Brenda Hosington and Sharon Butler. Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. Second Edition. Copyright 1996. Published by University of Toronto Press.

p. 64 Traveling Dysshes (dessert)
Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke. Traveling Dysshes: or Foods for Wars, Peace, and Pot-lucks. Copyright 1995, 1996 by Patricia O. McGregor.

p. 50 Fabulous Feasts, uses Strawberye as an example when discussing sour-wine products added to sweet or heavy foods to make a dish pungent or "poignant".
p. 149 Fabulous Feasts, Strawberye Sauce for Byrdes (Strawberry Cream Sauce for Fowl) does not contain vinegar, only strawberries, heavy cream, white wine, cinnamon, salt and honey, thus making its redaction different than either of the above originals.
Madeleine Pelner Cosman. Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony. 1976, 1995: George Braziller, Inc.

Stefan's Florilegium Period strawberries and strawberry recipes.
Don't miss this thread. There's an article in it from Kerri Canepa with notes from a Collegium class that is quite useful.
Stefan's Florilegium Period cherries and cherry dishes. Recipes.
This thread compares the Strawberye recipe given here with the next recipe in the manuscript, one for a cherry sauce.

Cariadoc's Miscellany (Desserts, Appetisers, Etc.)

Lewis Palmer's redaction


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