|Detail of a unicorn on the grill in Geoffrey Fule's cookbook, England, mid-14th century (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 137r).|
Experts believe that the cookbook was compiled by Geoffrey Fule, who worked in the kitchens of Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (1328-1369). Geoffrey had a reputation for blending unusual flavours – one scholar has called him "the Heston Blumenthal of his day" – and everything points to his hand being behind the compilation.
After recipes for herring, tripe and codswallop (fish stew, a popular dish in the Middle Ages) comes that beginning "Taketh one unicorne". The recipe calls for the beast to be marinaded in cloves and garlic, and then roasted on a griddle. The cookbook's compiler, doubtless Geoffrey Fule himself, added pictures in its margins, depicting the unicorn being prepared and then served. Sarah J Biggs, a British Library expert on medieval decoration, commented that "the images are extraordinary, almost exactly as we'd expect them to be, if not better".
|A lady bringing the unicorn's head to the table (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 137v).|
|The remains of the unicorn (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 138r).|
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