Friday Food: William Kitchiner’s Recipe for Wow Wow Sauce, 1817

William Kitchiner claimed to have a medical degree, but there is no evidence of his ever actually attending university.  His eccentric, epicurean dinner parties are his primary claim to fame.  He also invented a condiment he called Wow Wow Sauce, which became popular in the nineteenth century.

Kitchiner takes scientist’s approach to cooking in The Cook’s Oracle.  He published specific instructions for cooking techniques, an explanation of the chemical processes of cooking, and a table of weights and measures.

Wow Wow Sauce for Stewed or Bouilli Beef

From The Cook’s Oracle

Chop some Parsley leaves very finely, quarter two or three pickled Cucumbers, or Walnuts, and divide them into small squares, and set them by ready; — put into a saucepan a bit of Butter as big as an egg; when it is melted, stir to it a tablespoonful of fine Flour, and about half a pint of the Broth in which the Beef was boiled ; add a tablespoonful of Vinegar, the like quantity of Mushroom Catsup, or Port Wine, or both, and a teaspoonful of made Mustard; let it simmer together till it is as thick as you wish it, put in the Parsley and Pickles to get warm, and pour it over the Beef, — or rather send it up in a Sauce-tureen.

Obs.—If you think the above not sufficiently piquante, add to it some Capers, or a minced Shallot, or one or two teaspoonsful of Shallot Wine (No. 402), — or Essence of Anchovy, — or Basil (No 397), — Elder, or Tarragon (No. 396), or Horseradish (No. 399), or Burnet Vinegar ; or strew over the meat, Carrots and Turnips cut into dice, — minced Capers, — Walnuts, — Red Cabbage, — pickled Cucumbers, — or French Beans, &c.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

Don’t miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB will be participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.

Kelli Hansen is Print Collections Librarian in Special Collections and Rare Books, where she focuses on outreach, instruction, and reference.

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