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<- to Chaucer's Cook

The Cook's Portrait from the 'General Prologue'
The Cook
From the Ellesmere Manuscript

Audio Reading by Anniina Jokinen, ©2006.
Anniina studied Chaucer at UCLA under V. A. Kolve.

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.

A COOK they hadde with hem for the nones,
To boille the chiknes with the marybones
And poudre-marchant tart and galyngale;
Wel koude he knowe a draughte of Londoun ale;
He koude rooste and sethe and broille and frye,
Máken mortreux and wel bake a pye.
But greet harm was it, as it thoughte me,
That on his shyne a mormal hadde he,
For blankmanger, that made he with the beste.



[AJ Notes:]

379. for the nones, for the nonce; for the occasion.
380. chiknes, chickens.
        marybones, marrowbones.
381. poudre-marchant tart, a tart, powdered spice mix, possibly made from nutmeg, pepper, etc.
        galyngale, a sweet spice made from cypress root.
382. Wel koude... Londoun ale, he was a good judge of London ales.
383. rooste... sethe... broille... frye, roast... boil... broil... fry.
384. mortreux, a medieval stew made with chicken and pork. See recipe.
385. greet harm, a great detraction.
        as it thoghte me, in my opinion.
386. shyne, chin.
        mormal, an oozing sore.
387. blankmanger, blancmanger or blancmange, a dessert made with rice, milk, and sugar. See recipes.
        that made he with the beste, he was one of the best at making it.


Pollard, Alfred W., ed. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Vol I.
London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1907. 20.

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Copyright ©1996-2023 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created on October 29, 1998 by Anniina Jokinen. Last updated on February 4, 2023.


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