French spice blend (16th century)

February  9, 2018
0 Ratings
Photo by Wikipedia commons
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 1 cup (128g)
Author Notes

This spice blend reflects medieval trade and tastes, but is very much usable today. You may recognize its granddaughter recipe in Quatres Epices. Either may be used in savory dishes (braised or roasted meat) or as a baking spice. Or, following Swedish and Arabic customs with cardamom, add a spoonful to ground coffee before brewing. I have liked and cooked with this blend for years. It also makes a nice gift, bottled alone or packed with related ingredients. Grains of paradise, galingale and long pepper (illustrated above) are aromatic and worth a search in stores or at online spice merchants. Adapted from Livre fort excellence de cuysine, 1555. —Nancy

What You'll Need
  • 5 tablespoons (about 38g) ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons (about 30g) ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (about 22g) ground black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons (about 15g) ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon (about 7g) ground clove
  • 1 tablespoon (about 7g) ground galingale (if n/a, use more ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon (about 7g) ground grains of paradise (if n/a, use cardamom)
  • 1 tablespoon (about 7g) ground long pepper (if n/a, use more black pepper)
  1. Get whole spices if you can and grind in a coffee grinder or blender. Measure & mix.
  2. Or, if whole spices are not available, use the freshest ground ones you can get. Measure & mix.
  3. Put in air-proof container, and keep in a dark, cool cupboard for up to a year.
  4. If you want to make less or more, pick another measure (e.g., teaspoons) but maintain the proportions used here.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • creamtea
  • AntoniaJames

2 Reviews

creamtea October 23, 2019
Food history--love it!
AntoniaJames September 19, 2019
Love this. ;o)