The Return of the Skirret

Old fruitNicola here, and today I am talking about food, and in particular historic vegetables. If you look at old menus from hundreds of years ago – for a banquet at Hampton Court Palace for King Henry VIII, for example – there are plenty of dishes that might cause us to shudder. “Meat tile” anyone? It consists of chicken first simmered and then sautéed, served with a spicy sauce of crayfish tails, almonds and… toast.   Then there are pies with songbirds in them, lampreys in sauce… It’s all a matter of taste. One thing I had not realised, however, was that our ancestors ate vegetables that have completely disappeared from the menu today. I assumed that vegetables had evolved in that we eat the same things although they may look and taste different as a result of being grown commercially. However, I have never met anyone who has eaten a skirret.

Read more