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Author Notes: One of two spice blends, Poudre Forte is the stronger, coarser brother of Poudre Douce. If Poudre Douce was a gentle lady dressed in lace, Poudre Forte would be a rough and tumble blacksmith. Both recipes I brought back from my annual time travel vacation to 1371 AD.
Every summer, a group of us move into a local park and put on an educational display of what life was like in Medieval England (they let me cook, it's fantastic). A fellow 14th Century adventure taught me these two recipes, and like any good medieval cook, I've played with the ingredients until I have found just the perfect ratio. In the Middle Ages, every cook had their own secret blend of strong and sweet powders, often changing with the season.
Poudre Forte and Poudre Douce (strong powder and sweet powder) are staple seasonings in medieval europe. Poudre Forte is excellent for meat and savoury dishes, use it anywhere you would pepper. Poudre Douce for sweet desserts; replacing cinnamon in any sweet dish. But don't feel restricted to the usual sweet and spicy boundaries. Next time you bake apples, sprinkle some Poudre Forte on top for an amazing taste sensation.
Makes 1/4 cup (ish)
tablespoons Pepper corns
teaspoon Ground cinnamon
pinch Ground ginger
teaspoon Sugar (white, brown or even any dry sugar substitute)
bay leaf, powdered (optional)
- Grind the peppercorns and mix together the other ingredients.
- Store in airtight container at room temperature, best if used within a year, but will keep much longer.
- Use as a replacement for pepper in cooking or even on your table. Use it everywhere. In savoury dishes, sweet ones, whatever makes you happy.