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(funeral) baked meats
Posted: 16 September 2009 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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"Funeral baked meats” is famous from Hamlet and I had assumed baked meats referred to roast beef/venison/pork/suckling pig etc.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Baked Meat

means meat-pie. “The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table” (Hamlet); i.e. the hot meat-pies (venison pasties) served at the funeral and not eaten, were served cold at the marriage banquet.

Presumably those pies and pasties were cooked in shortcrust pastry, and such meat (and veg) pies are still popular in the UK and the Antipodes, but not in the States where pies are fruit with a different kind of pastry I believe. (This is true of British fruit pies anyway.)

Dictionary.com has:

bake⋅meat
  /ˈbeɪkˌmit/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [beyk-meet] Show IPA
–noun Obsolete.
1.  pastry; pie.
2.  cooked food, esp. a meat pie.
Also, baked meat.

Origin:
1350–1400; ME bake mete, OE bacen mete baked food. See bake, meat

I am surprised these sources stress pies and pastry. Maybe it was to make them more filling and easier to sell on the street, also concealing the dodgy contents? What did they call an unadorned hot meat collation as at a banquet of the well-to-do like you see of Henry VIII in TV productions? Maybe the ME definition above didn’t involve pastry or covered both normal and pastried. When was pie and pasty adopted making the meaning clearer? OED?

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Posted: 16 September 2009 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The word bake-meat or baked meat dates to Chaucer’s time; it appears in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (c.1386) in the description of the Franklin, line 342–46

A bettre envined man was nowher noon.
Withoute bake-mete was nevere his hous,
Of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous
It snewed in his hous of mete and drinke
Of all deintees that men koude thinke.

At this early date, mete or meat was not restricted in meaning to flesh. It was used to to refer food generally. So a bake-meat or baked meat did not necessarily refer to what we today would call a meat pie. It was simply a pastry of any type. Chaucer makes this distinction clear by emphasizing the Franklin’s wealth enables him to serve bake-mete made with fish or flesh.

As far as I can tell from the OED, the term baked meat never specifically restricted itself to flesh, retaining the archaic sense of meat.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Presumably those pies and pasties were cooked in shortcrust pastry, and such meat (and veg) pies are still popular in the UK and the Antipodes, but not in the States where pies are fruit with a different kind of pastry I believe.

This is true in general, but the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to which many Cornish miners emigrated, is still famous for its pasties.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, excellent point Dave, from what you said I now I recall sweetmeat:

“sweet⋅meat
  /ˈswitˌmit/
–noun
1.  a sweet delicacy, prepared with sugar, honey, or the like, as preserves, candy, or, formerly, cakes or pastry.
2.  Usually, sweetmeats. any sweet delicacy of the confectionery or candy kind, as candied fruit, sugar-covered nuts, sugarplums, bonbons, or balls or sticks of candy.
Origin:
bef. 1150; OE swētmete (not recorded in ME)”

Similarly in Shakespeare “deer” meant any kind of animal, cognate with modern German tier, tiergarten (zoo) I think.

What was the ME definition of a pastry? Anything tasty served in any course? My understanding has probably been distorted by our modern sense - choux, shortcrust, puff, the brittle one used for fruit pies, etc

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Posted: 16 September 2009 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Presumably those pies and pasties were cooked in shortcrust pastry, and such meat (and veg) pies are still popular in the UK and the Antipodes, but not in the States where pies are fruit with a different kind of pastry I believe.

There is chicken pot pie which is popular enough in the States, and it is a savory pastry.

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Posted: 17 September 2009 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A bakemeat, from the 15th to the 17th century, meant any food cooked in a pastry crust. It might be filled with anything - meat, fish, fruit, vegetables or custard. A well-known 15th-century collection of recipes, Harleian MS 279, instead of being divided into fish, meat, desserts etc. as we would expect today, is organized into three sections:

Pottages – i.e. wet-cooked food (literally, food cooked in a pot), in all degrees of wetness, from broths through stews and compotes to dishes that would set near-solid when cold, such as pease pudding and jellies.

Lechemeats - i.e. anything dry and solid enough to be served in “leches”, i.e. slices.

Bakemeats : the recipes in this manuscript include what we would now call pies, tarts, pasties and quiches. Here are a couple:

A bake Mete.
Take an make fayre lytel cofyns; þan take Perys, & yif þey ben lytelle, put .iij in a cofynne, & pare clene, & be-twyn euery pere, ley a gobet of Marow; & yf þou haue no lytel Perys, take grete, & gobet hem, & so put hem in þe ovyn a whyle; þan take þin commade lyke as þou takyst to Dowcetys, & pore þer-on; but lat þe Marow & þe Perys ben sene; & whan it is y-now, serue f[orth].

Take and make fair little coffins (pastry cases); then take pears and peel them clean, and if they are small, put three in each coffin, and between each pear lay a piece of [bone] marrow; and if you have no small pears, take large ones and cut them up, and so put them in the oven a while; then take your commade* just as you use in doucettes, and pour thereon; but let the marrow and pears be seen; and when it is [baked] enough, serve it forth.
* A mixture of strained eggs, milk, sugar or honey, coloured with saffron.

A bake Mete Ryalle.
Take and make litel cofyns, and take Chykonys y-soþe; o þer Porke y-soþe, and smale y-hackyd; oþer of hem boþe: take Clowys, Maces, Quybibes, and hakke wiþ-alle, and melle yt wiþ cromyd Marow, and lay on Sugre y-now; þan ley it on þe cofynne, and in þe myddel lay a gobet of marow, and Sugre round a-bowte y-now, and lat bake; and þis is for soperys.

A Royal Bakemeat.
Take and make little coffins (pastry cases), and take boiled chickens or boiled pork, chopped small, or some of both; take cloves, mace, cubebs, and chop all together, and mix it with crumbled [bone] marrow, and add enough sugar; then lay it on the coffin, and put a piece of marrow in the middle, and sprinkle enough sugar around it, and let it bake; and this is for suppers.

Adding bone marrow to a bakemeat filling for richness was a standard medieval practice, of which the shredded suet in mincemeat is the last echo. ( I have tried it and it’s delicious.)

Medieval pastry was called paste. (Shakespeare uses “pastry” to mean “room where pastry is made” – when the Capulet household is in a tizzy, we are told that “the Nurse [is] cursed in the pastry”.) It seems mostly to have been shortcrust – there are occasional hints, but only hints, of puff pastry . Some pie crusts were intended to act only as preserving containers for the filling, and weren’t meant to be eaten; these were made with poorer-grade flour, often rye. But many recipes for pastry specify “fine flour”, eggs, butter and other expensive ingredients such as saffron and sugar, and this pastry was certainly meant for eating.

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Posted: 17 September 2009 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Similarly in Shakespeare “deer” meant any kind of animal, cognate with modern German tier, tiergarten (zoo) I think.

I don’t think so. This is true of Chaucer, but the shift to the modern sense of deer had occurred by Shakespeare’s time. The OED contains no cites of deer = animal after the 15th century.

There may be a line from the bard where this is true, but the OED doesn’t seem to know of it. (Which is pretty definitive; the OED doesn’t miss Shakespeare quotes as a rule.)

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Posted: 17 September 2009 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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King Lear: Act III, Sc. IV
But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom’s food for seven long year.

Tom was feigning madness, however. I don’t know.

A pastry (delicacy, as in Danish nowadays) and pastry (for encasing foodstuffs) - how long have these been distinct?

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Posted: 17 September 2009 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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My Riverside Shakespeare does gloss this use in III.iv.138 of deer as “animal.” But it also notes that lines 137-39 are “adapted from the romance Bevis of Hampton.” That’s an older work that appears in many different versions, so I’m not sure what version or where in the manuscript this supposedly comes from. Also, Riverside sets these lines apart, as if they were quotes. It may be that Shakespeare is quoting the older work, presumably familiar to the audience. But there’s not enough meat here to figure out what’s going on.

Someone has probably written an article on this. Next time I’m in the UC library, I’ll try and look it up. (If I remember to do so.)

[addition]

I found a reference that includes the lines from Bevis:

Ratons and myce and soche smale dere
That was hys mete that seven yere

Tragedy of King Lear, edited by Jay Halio.

So it does appear that Shakespeare is using an archaic term here because he is paraphrasing familiar lines.

[ Edited: 17 September 2009 08:02 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 17 September 2009 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes, Shakespeare could have been using an allusion, or an archaic word still recognisable to his audience like if we say “I’ll be bound” or “yclept” which would usually signify an eccentric or a lover of language, maybe. It also rhymes nicely.

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Posted: 18 September 2009 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It’s apparent that he translated for the modern audience, ratons becoming rats and mete, food.  He seems to have kept the dere as deer for the rhyme.  Perhaps the lines themselves had done the up-dating on their own, the archaic meaning of deer having kept itself, pinned by the rhyme.

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Posted: 20 September 2009 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Is American “pizza pie” from the shape? I’ve never heard it used elsewhere.

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Posted: 22 March 2011 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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How interesting.  Just this morning I was watching a Good Eats episode wherein Alton Brown made chicken pot pie three ways.  He’s made meat pies like you’re talking about on other episodes.

Probably the closest thing most people get to a pastie around here is a burrito.  Considering the popularity of Hot Pockets™ (blech!) one would think meat pies would be more commonplace.

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Posted: 22 March 2011 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Somehow meat pasties conjur up a quite different image for me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasties

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Posted: 23 March 2011 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Iron Pyrite - 22 March 2011 07:24 PM

Somehow meat pasties conjur up a quite different image for me.

It always does for me, but somehow my libido never quite made it out of 7th grade! When I first saw this word in an advert in Iron Mountain, Michigan I pronounced it the way I learned it. I was quickly disabused!

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Posted: 23 March 2011 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Dave Wilton Posted: 17 September 2009 07:07 PM
Similarly in Shakespeare “deer” meant any kind of animal, cognate with modern German tier, tiergarten (zoo) I think.

Mrga is Samskrta (in its late, classical form) for deer but, in earlier references (such as in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata), it clearly means game—the four-legged (as opposed to birds) type. Interestingly, mrga included monkeys, usually called banara (sub-human), also known as chaturbhuja (chatur=four + bhuja (hands); I should have included four-handed in my definition but monkeys were never considered game. No connection with baked meat, though.

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