Check out the VERY FIRST episode of my brand new podcast, History Bites. Every month or so we will explore a new food history topic. This month's subject is the food of pirates, just in time forInternational Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is September 19th. Enjoy!
Roly Poly Recipe
Plum duff is sometimes also called roly poly. Here is a Victorian recipe adapted from The Victorian Kitchen Book of Pastries & Puddings that uses suet in the crust.
1 1/2 cups finely chopped beef suet
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cold water
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup warm water
In a small saucepan, heat the raisins and water over low heat until the raisins plump and thicken. There should be little water left. Mash with a fork or run through a food grinder to make a paste.
With a fork toss the suet and flour together, then gradually mix in water, handling lightly. When a coarse dough starts to form, pat together with hands, kneading once or twice, and roll out into rectangle. Spread raisin paste over rectangle and roll up lengthwise to form a long roll. Seal edges with a little water and place seal-side down on a greased baking sheet in a hot oven (400 F) for about 30 minutes or until pastry is nicely browned. Serve hot or cold plain or with a pouring custard.
Pease Porridge Recipe
1 pound dried split yellow peas
1/2 pound salt pork, finely diced and rinsed
Soak peas in water to cover overnight. Drain and place with salt pork in a stock pot with plenty of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until peas are very soft and as thick as you like. Porridge will thicken as it stands. Serve hot or cold with ground pepper and hard tack.
Eat Like a Pirate Bibilography
Here are some of the wonderful books and resources I consulted in making my first ever podcast.
Feeding Nelson's Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era by Janet MacDonald
"Food at Sea in the Fighting Age of Sail" from British Food in America
Congotay! Congotay! A Global History of Caribbean Food by Candice Goucher
Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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