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White Jelly

Translation of a 16th century Italian Recipe.

From Christoforo di Messisbugo, Banchetti composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale (Lucio Spineda, Venice, 1610)

p101v/r A fare gelatia bianca per piatti dieci. (To make white jelly for ten plates.)

Take a large beaker of the whitest wine that you can find, and take eight calves' feet, or wethers' feet, or pork, not being able to have others, and a little salt, and make it boil for a good hour, and when the meat has boiled three quarters of an hour, and in an ounce and a half of ground ginger, and three entire nutmegs, and when it has boiled a quarter of an hour, take all these things out, and strain the mixture, and add in two pounds of fine sugar, and the well beaten whites of ten eggs, and bring it to the boil. Then have well whitened almond milk passed through a strainer, and pass the mixture through a strainer another time putting these things together, and pass the whole through a hosen, and it will be whitest with the almond milk, and put in it a little starch flour which has passed through the strainer.

If you want to make it yellow, put in saffron.

If you want to make it red, Sandolo, or Pezzola, will make it clear red.

If you want to make it green, beet juice, or parsley will be good, but in the juice of the crushed herbs, is best.

If you want to make it blue, the blackberries which are out of sight, or fresh, or dried will be good.

If you want to make it red, the blackberries which open to the colour red.

If you want to make it carnation, the carob will fit the purpose.

If you want to make it purple, the wild cherry, and marron cherry, will be necessary.

But these are a little important, and can alter many foods, good in the muddy [jelly], and the clear.