Friday, August 7, 2015

FRENCH BREAD HISTORY: Renaissance/sixteenth century bread

This is the sixth in a series of posts on the history of French bread. The preceding post was on late medieval bread outside Paris; the next post in the series is on seventeenth century bread. Further information on bread history can be found on Facebook in the Bread History Lounge. - If you want to MAKE Renaissance bread, click here.

It is certain that bread holds the first rank among the things which feed Man.....Bread alone never displeases, in health or sickness, it is the last appetite lost, and the first recovered in illness... Bread includes in itself everything pleasant and agreeable one might taste in other foods.... Thus then as the life of Man consists above all other foods in the use of bread, who cares for his living and his health must choose bread according to his fortune, state and nature.

According to Wikipedia: “The French Renaissance traditionally extends from (roughly) the French invasion of Italy in 1494 during the reign of Charles VIII until the death of Henry IV in 1610.” That is, roughly the “long” sixteenth centuryThe French Renaissance was less spectacular than the Italian and has left, if anything, less traces on culture than the Medieval period which preceded it; it may be most useful as a way of delineating the period just after the Middle Ages.

French bread in this period had some reputation; Calanis (1553) says that Roman bakers had learned to make the best kind of bread “from a Frenchman name Jacquet”. It probably had not changed greatly since the late medieval period. Images of breads from this period vary little from medieval images, though arguably the frank hemisphere of medieval times can be seen to flatten somewhat over time, producing a slightly raised disk not very different from some Roman images. But some new terminology does begin to creep in.

This is also the period where documentation of bread-making begins to appear. Several works appeared in this period which provided more details on this than had previously appeared. Bruyerin de Champier wrote de Re Cibaria in Latin in 1560; this touched on a number of aspects of bread. Charles Etienne also wrote a work in Latin – de Nutrimentis (1550) – which explored bread but his most well known work, l'Agriculture et maison rustique, was in French. His own first edition (1564) says almost nothing about bread, but in 1570 his son-in-law, Jean Liébaut, expanded on it, drawing in part on the earlier works in Latin, and provided the most extensive look at French, or even European, bread up to that point.

Most, though not all, of what follows, comes from Liébaut. Much of this information probably applied to earlier centuries as well, just as some did to later centuries. On the other hand, mentions of things like corn (maize) follow Columbus' discovery of the New (to Europeans) World.

The types of bread

The three major types of bread were still the prime ones in Paris. In 1523, a decision of Parlement listed white bread of Chailly, pain bourgeois and pain de brode. In 1577, Henry III ordered that bakers have "three kinds of bread" for sale: "the white bread called pain de Chailly", "moderately white bread, called pain bourgeois" and "black bread, called pain de brode". The same statute notes that they may make pain de chapitre ("chapter bread"). This is in addition to the standard three breads, and corresponds to other breads of especially good quality, such as the miche and fougasse.

In listing different kinds of breads Liébaut says that the key difference is in the way they were sifted. (He refers here to the darkest bread as household bread – pain de ménage, though the meaning of the latter would vary over the centuries.)
From whole wheat, and from which nothing has been separated, is made household bread . From that from which all the coarsest bran has been removed is made pain bourgeois. From that from which all bran has been removed is made the small white loaf. From that from which the coarsest white flour has been removed, leaving the finest, is made pain de chapitre, wafers, communion wafers [pain à chanter], tarts, cakes and other pastry breads [sic]; a bread is also made of essentially pure bran, in which are still found large stalks and straw, which is for dog food.
Pain de bourgeois remained the common bread it had been in medieval times. At the start of the seventeenth century, Cotgrave would define it in English as "crible bread, between white and brown; a bread (that somewhat resembles our wheaten, or cheat) a loaf whereof is to weigh, when 'tis baked, 32 ounces”.

Though the term pain de Chapitre only appears now, both the concept and the actual object probably existed earlier. The term means “chapter bread”, referring to an ecclesiastic chapter. Le Grand d'Aussy would write in the eighteenth century that it was so named because it had been invented by a baker of the Chapter of Notre Dame; this is the most common explanation for the name. But among the breads listed in earlier records was pain de chanoine (“canon's bread”), In a record from 1261, the bread of the monks (panis conventualibus) was treated as synonymous with miche. In other words, the idea of monks' bread overall being particularly fine, and even equivalent to the finest white bread, was an established one by now. It is not unlikely that the idea of “chapter bread” was simply yet another way of referring to, basically, “food as good as the monks”. (Note that one reason monks' bread might have been finer was that they had their own bakeries and were not dependent on urban bakers for the quality of their bread.)

At the start of the next century, De Serres would say that pain de chapitre differed from pain de menage only in being flatter and less raised. Cotgrave defines pain de chapitre as "a fine white, hard-kneaded and flat manchet, weighing about 16 ounces."

In the eighteenth century, Le Grand would describe it as “very white”, but writes that “without being as hard as biscuit it was nonetheless of so hard [“firm”] a dough that one could only knead it with the feet or even with a wicker bottle or a wooden bar; as [was still done in the eighteenth century] for Italian pasta.” By his time, he writes, it was far less popular, as were all breads made from the harder (that is, less hydrated) doughs. From both Cotgrave and Le Grand then it is clear that, fine as it was, it was a harder bread than those that came later.

Also in the eighteenth century, Malouin described it in the same terms and treated it as the same as two other breads: "This bread was very famous two hundred years ago, under the name of Pain de Chapitre, or bread of Gonesse, in Paris, and Fouasse in Caen. It was the bread made with the most care: it was given as the masterpiece for the reception as a master baker."

Whether or not the bread of Gonesse was identical with pain de chapitre, it began now to have the reputation it would keep for the next two hundred years, as it began to replace the bread of Chailly as the most admired bread in Paris. In advising farmers to make money from their domestic products, Liébaut writes that they can do so "still more from the sale of bread..., as we see with the laborers of Gonesse near Paris."

In general the terms shifted in this time for an especially white bread (whether it was functionally equivalent to pain de chapitre is impossible to say). The term pain de bouche (“mouth bread”) also referred to especially good white bread, but was typically used in relation to large private households. Etienne treats this as synonymous with mollet or "Court bread", which he describes as "the lightest of all, and full of holes; carefully kneaded, full of leavening, and of well-risen dough." The term pain mollet (“softish bread”) already existed in the fourteenth century, when it appeared as a person's family name. It also appeared, but very rarely, as a standard bread in some town statutes. But only in the sixteenth century did it begin to become a common term for the best upscale bread. At the start of the seventeenth century, Cotgrave would define it as "a very light, very crusty, and savory white bread, full of eyes, leaven, and salt." By the end of that century it would have taken on a far more prominent role.

The idea of pain benit (blessed bread) was already centuries old at this point, but Liébaut might have been the first to describe it – as "badly kneaded, badly risen, and rather badly baked" and difficult to digest. This description is surprising, since in later centuries this was so like brioche that ultimately that finer bread was simply substituted for it.

And now, the BOOK:

Before the Baguette: The History of French Bread

Also available as an epub : Smashwords ebpub version

Preview on Amazon's "Look Inside" 
or take a peek at the Table of Contents here:

Methods and materials

Liébaut is probably the first to document aspects of bread-making which are only referenced in earlier texts, including the grains and other materials used.


Liébaut defines leavening quite precisely as sourdough:
Leaven, called in Latin Fermentum, because it swells and rises over time, is a piece of dough left from the last bread-making, covered and enclosed in flour, which is soaked, to remove the excessive glutinosity and viscosity from the flour one wants to use to make dough for bread: this leavening takes on a sourness over time which brings a grace and a better taste to the bread, and so we see that the more breads have leavening, the more pleasant and healthy they are than those that have less leavening.
He explains that this was made in different ways in different regions. What is more, it varied by grain: wheat dough was used to make that for wheat bread, rye for that of rye; salt, vinegar, verjuice or the juice of wild apples could be added. It even varied by type of wheat; in examining the different wheats from different regions, he actually suggests different strengths of leavening for wheat from different regions.

He also gives details on using it. For instance, during the summer, the leavening must be refreshed with cool water at noon; and again, scrupulously, at five and at nine.

Notably, one thing he does not discuss – and which is not yet mentioned in bread trials, for instance – is the age or generation of the leavening. This would become a fundamental aspect of leavening in later French baking, but the fact that Liébaut does not even mention it suggests that it was not yet an important consideration in French bread baking.

Liébaut is also the first (since Pliny) to discuss using yeast (that is, brewer's yeast) in bread making. He points out first of all that pastrymakers used it, largely because sourdough added too distinct a taste to pastry (bearing in mind nonetheless that pastry at this point was far from the fine confection it would become). But he further writes that the Flemish used yeast (made by boiling wheat and skimming the foam that appeared on the top) which was why "their bread is much lighter than ours." As with Pliny centuries earlier, one would think that this knowledge would have led to the writer's culture using this method. Yet the French at this point were still not using yeast in bread baking.

Wheat and water

Liébaut now addresses two nuances not previously mentioned in baking: the type of wheat and the type of water. His careful analysis of the former would prove unusual and little like it is found even later; his emphasis on the importance of the type of water would be echoed by other writers going forward.

Whether these were already considered in earlier centuries and simply unrecorded, or were in fact new developments, is impossible to say. But Liébaut makes careful distinctions between the wheats from different regions and between the types of water used in making dough. In discussing the actual making of bread, Liébaut insists on the importance of the specific wheat. He almost describes it as like the grapes grown in different regions for different wines:
The most excellent, healthiest and best of all Grains for making bread is bread wheat, which, as it is different and of various sorts according to the regions, the countries, the land, the soil where it grows, and according to the care of its laborer, thus breads of different sorts, as much in flavor and taste as in nourishment, are made from it.
The best wheats of all France, he says, and the most used at Paris, were those of Beauce, [Ile de] France, Brie, Picardy, Champagne, Bassiny in Burgundy; though he allows that those of Bery, Saintonges, the Angouleme region, Limoges, Normandy, Languedoc, and Limagne of Auvergne "are not to be despised". He analyzes each of these in some detail, describing too the bread produced with the grain of each and how the grain responds to milling.

With the wheat of Beauce, for instance, “which in truth holds the first rank among all the wheats of France", the farmer's wife must be extremely careful about everything. For the wheats of other regions, he says to use less leavening, more warm water, etc. He portrays the wheat of Picardy as almost intractable, requiring "difficult" baking in a hot oven, which in turn makes it crustier, keeping the heat from penetrating inside: "This is what makes the bread always stay thick;" “a thick and coarse loaf from a dough of Picard wheat requires a longer and greater baking than a small loaf made of the wheat of Beauce or of [the Ile-de-] France.”

These remarks were probably accurate for their period. But later writers do not make such fine distinctions.

He also insists on the importance of the particular water: "Well water is the heaviest among them, thus making the bread heavier: water from a fountain or a river, being lighter..., also makes the bread lighter". In the winter, he recommends using warm water and writes more of how hard the dough must be worked than of the time at which to refresh it.

The idea that the exact type of water was an essential consideration in bread making would be a fundamental one going forward, even after Parmentier demonstrated that it had no effect.

Other touches

Liébaut provides a number of other random details which, taken together, paint a vivid picture of the bread of this period.

In discussing milling, he recommends hard millstones over soft, because the latter "always leaves some gravel while turning, which mixed into the grain take away all the grace and flavor of the bread." Which is to say that some French wheat included bits of stone from the milling. He further points out that, if in other countries wheat might be manipulated before being ground, in France: "so the wheat is, so it is sent to the mill." For better or worse...

When making bread with salt, anise or another additive, he writes, these must be added in while kneading the dough. Not only does he treat salt here as just one more additive, which may or may not be added to bread, but he makes it clear that flavorings like anise were not unusual in the bread of this period.

Once dough has been prepared, he writes, "divide it into orbicular portions, sufficiently large and thick, to be put in a reasonably heated oven so that the bread is cooked enough according to the size, thickness and quality of its dough... If the oven is too hot, the bread will be scorched on the crust, and will remain badly cooked inside.” (His mention of "orbicular" - that is, spherical - portions is a rare mention of the actual shape of the bread.)

He says that the oven is the best place to cook bread, because it heats it on all sides, but he expects that some will make bread on the hearth or on a grill, even if that leaves only one side cooked. Other sources too refer to cooking bread under the coals or under a pottery bell. While it is somewhat surprising to see these primitive methods referenced this late in French history, they probably made sense for anyone whose local lord or monastery forbade them having their own oven.

Liébaut even goes so far as to give advice about eating bread. For instance, he advises against eating the crust "even though it tastes better than the crumb" and says that its defects are why bread crust was scraped (chappelé') at the tables of great Lords. (In later centuries, the product of this scraping – the chapelure – would itself become a commercial product.) He even addresses how much bread one should eat (basically saying, “it depends....”)

Interestingly, he specifically says that bread should not be eaten warm and fresh from the oven – the reverse of Anthimus' advice centuries earlier to eat it “warm every day” (cottidie calentem) when possible. Liébaut does note however that doctors highly recommended the odor of bread coming out of the oven, sprinkled with wine, for those who were feeling poorly.

Other baked products

At this point in French history, pastry and other baked products had begun to split off from bread and were increasingly made by specialized trades separate from bread-baking. Still, Liébaut includes a number of these in his overview of bread.


Though biscuits had probably existed in France since Roman times, and certainly since the central Middle Ages, the word long referred only to the hard-baked breads which gave it its name (“twice baked”). But by this period the concept had begun to expand. Liébaut writes first of the long-standing kind, made now with rye, maslin, barley, or oats – that is, of inferior grains – "suited to feed sailors who undertake long trips at sea" because it was barely leavened and long-lasting (he also recommends it for the besieged). Another was similar, also barely leavened, but made of wheat flour, and suited to those with syphilis. Liébaut is one of the first to mention the third; that is, a luxurious form of this formerly coarse food. He describes types made with the best flour, with added sugar, cinnamon, pepper or ginger, sometimes anise, to be eaten at Lent as a dessert.

The fact that people ate these at Lent suggests some pretext at least of deprivation, but in later centuries flavored biscuits would be frankly eaten as treats.

He also says that doctors recommended biscuit to those with catarrh and gout.

Gingerbread and milk bread

After this, he mentions the spice bread of Rheims, made with honey and pepper or cinnamon; this was essentially, in Anglophone terms, gingerbread, and would be an enduring French favorite. Almost as an after-thought, he says that "courtesan bakers made bread with milk." Though this was already done in earlier centuries, at this point it was clearly considered a great luxury. It is interesting too that he does not say this in regard to pain mollet, which would be characterized by that difference later on.


In discussing pastry, Liébaut already straddles the boundary between the rich sweets that would define such products going forward and the bread-like products which were at its origin. Even a farmer's wife, he says, may want to make cake, tarts, etc, to give her master and mistress several times a year.
Such pastries are of diverse sorts according to the matter from which they are made, the manner of their baking, their appearance, the times when they are used, and the region where they are made. The matter and so to speak the base of every sort of pastry is the finest flour passed through a strainer or a fine sifter, in which several other added things diversify the pastry.

Waffles and wafers

The first examples he gives are still near descendants of bread:
One will make waffles of fine wheat flour well soaked in water and kneaded for a long time, to give it some thickness, and mixing in some finely powdered salt, then cooking all this between two irons first warmed in a moderate fire, then rubbed with walnut oil: one sees such waffles made at the entries of Churches on days of high holidays and feasts of patron saints for the most gourmet; one can make finer and softer waffles by soaking the fine flour in white wine and water mixed together, carefully kneading it: then adding egg yolks, a little sugar and salt, and baking all this between two irons, having inside several interlocking separations in the form of small squares, after having rubbed the said irons with fresh butter or olive oil; such waffles are presented as desserts at solemn banquets.
Liébaut is already calling these “waffles” (gaufres) but the distinction between a wafer (oublie) and a waffle barely existed at this point. What had been the communion wafer (also made between two hot irons) was already evolving into the richer product defined in the later part of these instructions; even the medieval wafers used for dessert probably did not have egg yolks and sugar in them.

Note that if a little sugar is added to this treat, it is still very close to a bread. Still finer variations on these had existed for several centuries, though Liébaut may be the first to provide a detailed description of a “master” for instance:
What is called a mestier in Paris is made of the same fine wheat flour soaked in water and white wine, and a little sugar added, all baked between two irons like the waffles, but not as thick: wafers are made with honey instead of sugar: missal bread otherwise called hymnal bread is similar to wafers, only no honey, sugar or any sort of leavening is added in the flour with which it is kneaded following the institution of our religion.
This last of course is the communion wafer, which arguably was the basis for all the others.

Fine pastries

Liébaut then goes on to describe other similar pastries, but which clearly came closer to today's idea of these – estriez, brideveaux, etc. He includes here marzipan, made with various types of nuts and rose sugar, and which he describes as "the healthiest". Popelins, he writes are made with the same flour, kneaded with milk, egg yolks and fresh butter (that is, already very like a brioche). Puff pastry (gateaux feuilletez) was then made with less flour and no milk. Regrettably, he does not describe the technique made to use this, though it is noteworthy that it was already made with butter.

From here he moves to tarts, beignets, etc; that is, foods closer to our modern idea of pastry. "All sorts of pastries are more for the pleasure of the mouth than for the health of the body" he adds. By the next century, such luxury sweets would be far more clearly associated with the idea of pastry.

Other uses for bread

Aside from related baked products, Liébaut mentions some other uses of bread in his time

Thin slices of toast were sometimes eaten at the end of a meal "to dry too moist a stomach" and, “principally in fat persons”, to keep foods from being distributed to parts of the body too quickly. Toast, eaten often, was even said to help lose weight. On the other hand, toast with sugar and cinnamon (not then called “cinnamon toast”) was said to help appetite.

Pieces of bread toasted on coals were called cluets and used to make “very agreeable” sauces by soaking them in wine and water, then straining them and adding spices.

Liébaut praises "washed bread" as being very beneficial to health and writes that the ancients were said to have literally washed slices of bread in water, but that "in this time... we do not wash it in water, but in meat bouillon, like that of veal or capon, perhaps out of regard for our delicacy and weakness, greater than was that of the ancients' bodies." Instead of washed bread, he writes that people of his time used panade, or pain fraisé (“ruffled bread”):
Crumble with the hands the crumb of a white bread, not fresh, but cooked the day before, or grate it finely, then soak it a few hours in warm water, or in cool water, which one changes three or four times, finally it is slowly cooked on a low coal fire in an earthen pot with buttered water, or some other fat. Those who want to make it finer, soak it, and cook it in some bouillon of capon or chicken, or other such meats. stirring it often and for a long time with a spoon.
This is said to be good for long term invalids, but also for the healthy, and for those trying to cure pox. He also recommends it for nursing babies and says that it is better than “the gruel one usually prepares for them of cow's milk and the best flour”. He adds that starch, made in bread or gruel, can have a similar effect.

Other grains than wheat

Though wheat was by far the preferred grain for bread, other grains were used, and even products which were not grains. Foremost among these were barley and rye, the two grains long associated with bread for servants and others less well off.

Liébaut describes rye bread as "very black, heavy, pasty, of a viscous essence, and melancholic;... difficult to digest [and so] suited to rustics and village folk, not great lords and people of ease"; though he adds that doctors advised such bread to the great lords at Court during the summer to "soften the stomach". Even then, the bread had to be made of well-sifted flour. To remove rye's glutinosity it was “good to mix it with barley flour, or rather wheat, or take the finest rye flour; it will have the color of wax if you put something heavy on top of it while it is hot." Rye was thought to be full of bran, which Liébaut says was also true of barley and oatmeal. The sick, instead of tisane, cider or beer, etc. could use a breaded water made with rye bread beaten into water.

He adds that the women of Lyon "to be beautiful and have nice skin, solid and succulent bodies, use only rye bread." Champier also notes that rye was used for pasties of hare, stag and similar meats (Le Grand says, “black meats”), because it better preserved them; Liébaut says simply that pastrymakers used it in general because it lasted longer.

Maslin (méteil) was typically made by mixing wheat with rye. Though in theory this would result in a lesser quality bread, Liébaut says that bread made with maslin was “one of the best, and easier to digest”. Though he does not call it maslin, he also says that Court doctors ordered a bread made of a similar mix served to the King and great lords “to use at the start of a meal, principally in summer, to loosen the stomach”.

Barley, even the best, would yield a dry, friable bread of a harsh taste if not mixed with other grains; the same was true of secourgeon (see below). "Neither the one nor the other is good for the master, nor the farmer, rather for the servants, and then" when grain was expensive. It too was full of bran, "that is also why the bread that is made from it loosens the belly."

Bruyerin wrote that people in lower Normandy and Brittany made bread from oats “but there is no doubt that it is unpleasant.” Liébaut advises against it, not only "because it is very unpleasant", but because making flour from oats “is to deprive livestock of pasturage”. Oatmeal on the other hand was “welcome at the table of great lords”.

Millet and its close relative panic, already mentioned among the Gauls, were still common now in Gascony and Bearn. Both commoners and great lords ate it. Liébaut's description of the bread made from these is interesting not only for his own period, but for the glimpse it provides of what such bread was probably like centuries before: “It is very dry, light and easily crumbles...of a pleasant taste when it is freshly baked and well made, above all when it is eaten hot coming out of the oven; because then it has a very pleasant sweetness... [but] when it has hardened, it loses all its grace.” It lasted long enough however for bakers to take it hot from the oven and sell it in the streets.

Elsewhere he says that the people of Bearn were called “milleted” (miliacés) and describes how they made what he called miques:
They take three or four pounds of millet flour for the morning, and as many for the evening, putting this on the fire on a cauldron in which are five or six pounds of water, letting it boil, until it swells to the lip of the cauldron: and taking it off the fire, work it very well with a round stick, until the dough is broken and fine, then taking it from the cauldron, cut it with with a thread into several pieces, and eat it with cheese or salted whey.
Liébaut may be the first to write of corn bread in France, though at this point he calls corn "Turkey wheat" or even "wheat of India": "Its flour is whiter than our wheat, but the bread made from it is coarser, thicker, and of more viscous substance." If it is used in times of high prices or shortages, he says, it should be mixed with wheat.

Liébaut is one of the few to mention escourgeon (also called scourgeon). This is a very poor grain which he calls a wild or degenerate wheat, then used in most of Perigord and Limousin. But in English it is called six-row barley (also, “bere”). He traces its French name to secours (“help”), saying that it is the “help” of the poor in times of shortage. As rarely as it is mentioned elsewhere, it is still found today.

He also mentions spelt, a grain once common in France, but little used at this point. He says that it makes an excellent bread, but also that the Italians then used it for “very singular” frumenty.

Liébaut refers to semolina (semoule) as the flour of a "very exquisite wheat", which did not then exist in France and was only imported (from Naples "and Italy") (though he also says it was grown in Provence, which had just become part of France in 1486). It was used to cook in beef bouillons or gruels. "It is as fine as the best flour," he says, "yet not white, but of a half-blond color". The term today refers to the middlings of durum wheat and this is probably what he then had in mind.

He also mentions sarrasin ("Saracen") wheat; that is, in English, buckwheat, which is not in fact a wheat at all. It is most known today in France for its use in crepes, largely in Brittany. In Liébaut's time it was fairly common and used for meat bouillons and gruels. He also says it was used for tartinages with cheese and butter (the French word then referred to certain flour-based treats, not the buttered bread it would suggest today).

With these grains, Liébaut also lists all the legumes which cannot be used to make bread "except in time of famine, or when grains are lacking, or extremely expensive", such as “peas, beans, rice, lentils, chickpeas, chichling vetch, lupins, phaseols [probably kidney beans at this point], vetch, fenugreek and other such". He further lists other inappropriate crops or other foods that had been used for bread "as we see in unfortunate times," including bread of oats, barley, fish dried in the Sun, acorns, chestnuts, fern roots "as has been seen in lower Brittany": "further bricks, tiles, slate, as is told of the Sancerrois, who when they were besieged, made and ate bread of slate."


This wealth of new information gives some idea not only of sixteenth century bread, but of the bread before that. It is impossible however to sort out exactly what was then new and what had not greatly changed in over a century. It is clear however that some things – such as baking under the coals – had endured since Roman times and others – new terms for the best bread, the rise of Gonesse – were just appearing. The concern for the type of water used in baking first appears now, but may have existed, undocumented, before. On the other hand, the later care about the age and generations of sourdough, for instance, does not yet seem to have been taken.

All of these are incremental concerns and the shifts in French bread-baking in this period were, in the main, subtle ones. Far more dramatic changes were to come in the next century.


Calanis, Prosperus, Traicte pour l'entretenement de sante 1553

Bruyerin, Jean-Baptiste, De re cibaria: libri XXII. 1560

Stephani, Caroli, De Nutrimentis 1550

Guénois, Pierre , L. Charondas, Jacques Jol, La grande conference des ordonnances et édicts royauxx...

de Serres, Olivier, Le théatre d'agriculture 1617

Le Grand d'Aussy's classic chapters on bread, as well as those on pastry and sweets, are now available in English:

Rose, Anthimi De observatione ciborum epistula ad Theudericum, regem Francorum 1877

For my own English  translation: Anthimus, How to Cook an Early French Peacock: De Observatione Ciborum - Roman Foodfor a Frankish King (BilingualSecond Edition) 

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