Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

frumenty a ‘porridge’ made from wheat. The name is derived from the classical Latin frumentum meaning corn (in the general sense of the word). In the Middle Ages it seems to have been a staple food but as time progressed the dish appeared only on special occasions and with slight regional differences.

In the preparation of frumenty, new wheat is shelled, cooked slowly in milk, and flavoured and sweetened. This glutinous mass, which is known as creed (past participle of the verb ‘to cree’) wheat, used to be available ready dressed. Modern recipes which include butter, cream, sugar, rum, or brandy to produce something like a liquid Christmas pudding have little in common with the traditional forms of frumenty.