Friday, September 18, 2009

Cambridge Sauce.

There must be a Cambridge Sauce, surely? Having established the tenuous history of Oxford Sauce yesterday, I felt obliged to seek out the existence and history of Cambridge Sauce. I did not have much success. I could not believe that Cambridge would let it self be out-reciped by its traditional opponent, but there is even less in the usual resources on sauces named for it than there is for Oxford. And once again, The Oxford English Dictionary does not mention any such thing as Cambridge sauce, which is of course highly significant.

There is however, in spite of the OED’s omission, such a thing as Cambridge Sauce to be found. It appears in The Modern Cook (1860) by the very-briefly cook to Queen Victoria, Charles Elmé Francatelli. It appears in very little else, I am afraid, so I am not sure of its historic relevance.

Cambridge Sauce.
Take the yolks of six eggs boiled hard, the fillets of four anchovies, cleaned, and put them into a mortar with a tablespoonful of French capers, some tarragon, chervil, chives, and a little burnet, blanched; pound these well together with a teaspoonful of English mustard, the same quantity of French, and some pepper and salt; moisten with good salad oil, and a little tarragon vinegar, taking care that the sauce be kept rather thick. Having sufficiently moistened the sauce take it out of the mortar into the tammy, placed over a dish for that purpose, and proceed to rub the sauce through the tammy in the same manner as a purée; pass the back part of a knife along the under part of the tammy in order to detach therefrom any adhesive particles; take the sauce up into a small basin, to be kept on the ice till wanted for use, and just before sending to table add some chopped parsley. Observe that this sauce be kept about the same degree of thickness as reduced velouté sauce; salt must be used in moderation owing to the presence of anchovies in the composition.

By way of recompense for the paucity of sauce recipes, I also give you Cambridge Pudding.

Cambridge Pudding.
Beat up four eggs with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 of flour very smoothly; then add 1 lb raisins and 1 lb of the fat of a cold loin of veal, or of suet, evenly chopped; butter a mould, put in the pudding, tie it tightly in a cloth, and let it boil five hours.
Murray’s Modern Cookery Book, London, 1851.

Quotation for the Day.

Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A pound of raisins, a pound of suet, 4 eggs and only 1 Tablespoon each of flour and sugar? I'm not sure I'd call that a pudding, but rather braised raisins (assuming that's the proper term for plumping raisins in fat). Would it really solidify? (And would you eat it if it did?)