Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Galantine a culinary term in both English and French, whose derivation presents complicated questions which have been summarized by Ayto (1993).

In early English cookery books, the term referred to a sauce, previously written as ‘galandine’ and before that as ‘cameline’. Even in the late 17th century it is clear from the recipes of Robert May (1685) that galantine then was a dark-coloured sauce made with vinegar, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, and sometimes other spices.

Further back still, before developing into the name of a sauce, galantine had meant simply the jellied juices of fish or meat. This sense lingered on in France and eventually, in the 18th century, crossed the Channel to England and assumed there, as in France, its current meaning of a preparation of white meat, ‘boned, cooked, pressed, and served cold with aspic’ (NSOED).