Source: This recipe taken from Forme of Curye, ab. 1390 A.D. (Page 80r). The images below are from the original manuscript as digitized by the John Rylands University Library and the 1780 printing edited by Samuel Pegge.

Erbolate from Manuscript

Erbolates from Samuel Pegge

Original Recipe:


Take parsel, myntes, sauerey, & sauge, tanse, ferbeiyne, clarry, rewe, dytayn, fenel, southrenwode, hewe hem & grynd hem smale, medle hem hem up wiþ ayron. do butter in a trap. & do þe fars þer to. & bake hit and messe hit forth.

My Translation:


Take parsley, mint, savory, and sage, tansy, verbena, clary, rue, pepperwort, fennel, southernwood, chop them and grind them small, mix them up with egg. Place butter in a baking dish and do the mixture thereto and bake it and mess it forth.

My Interpretation:

1 oz fresh herbs
1 tsp. butter
8 eggs

Remove woody bits from herbs and chop finely. Beat egg with fork and mix in chopped herbs. Coat baking dish with butter and pour egg mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until egg is set.

Notes on the Recipe:

Many of the herbs listed in this recipe are not commonly available at most grocery stores. Fresh mixed herbs is substituted for ease.

Notes on the Transcription & Translation:

The original text and transcription preserve the shorthand of writing that was common practice in the late 14th century. I have taken the liberty of spelling each word fully in my transcription for clarity.

The following words I chose to define based on information in both the Middle-English Dictionary and a Modern Dictionary:

ferbeiyne - verbena

dytayn - pepperwort


Media Information. Digital image. Erbolate. The John Rylands University Library, Jan. 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.This is a digitized image of page 80r of the Forme of Cury housed at The John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England. This codex, written on vellum, dates from the late 14th century.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. Forme of Cury London: Society of Antiquaries, 1780. The Forme of Cury. Greg Lindahl. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.

Pegge, Samuel. The Forme of Cury. London: J. Nichols, 1780. Google Books. 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 June 2012. <>.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. The Forme of Cury The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Forme of Cury, by Samuel Pegge. Project Gutenberg, May 2005. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. This is the transcription of Forme of Cury of the Samuel Pegge edition originally published in 1780.

Stratmann, Francis Henry, and Henry Bradley. A Middle-english Dictionary Containing Words Used by English Writers from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1891. Print.
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