Saturday, December 22, 2007


If pirates were blown off course, or failed to take any ships, then they could easily run out of food and get very, very hungry. Pirates rarely ate a healthy diet, and without the vitamin C to be found in fresh fruit and vegetables they were likely to catch a disease called scurvy.

PIRATES' COOKERY SPOT Salmagundi was a favorite pirate meal when food was plentiful. The pirate Bartholomew Roberts ate it for breakfast on the day that he died, when trying to avoid capture by a British warship in 1722. Perhaps he ate a bit too much and couldn't get away!
Here's how to make it:
Salmagundi: A light snack for a hungry pirate

Meats: 1 turtle, 1 fish, 1 chicken, 1 pig, 1 cow, 1 duck, 1 pigeon.
Marinade: Red wine, spices. Accompaniments: Cabbage, pickled herring, anchovies, mangoes, onions, grapes, eggs (hard­boiled), pickled vegetables.

Seasonings: Garlic, salt, pepper, mustard seed, oil, vinegar.

For this spicy West Indian dish, first roast all the meats. Cut into
chunks and marinate for several hours in spiced red wine. Remove, and mix with all remaining ingredients, having first chopped them into bite-sized pieces. Season to taste.

Bread did not keep long at sea, so instead pirates ate plain biscuits, made of flour and very little water. Shaped into flat cakes, they were baked very slowly and then packed for storage in canvas bags. They quickly became infested with black-headed weevils, which had to be taken out before the biscuits could be eaten. For a tastier version for today's seafarers, try this biscuit recipe:

8 oz plain flour 5 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 oz butter 2 fl oz milk

1. Sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, work the butter well into the mixture.

2. Stir in just enough milk to make a smooth, soft dough - not too sticky to be handled. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently for about a minute.

3. Roll the dough out with a lightly ­floured rolling pin, to between a (1/4 - 1/2 in.) thick.

4. Use a round cutter (or the floured top of a glass) to cut out your biscuits. Arrange on a buttered baking sheet.

5. Bake at 450° for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and done. Serve with butter and jam.

Take this quiz to discover if you must see a doctor and be bled by leeches at the next port.

1.Do you have any of the following?
Sore gums (Score A)
Rumbling stomach (Score B)

Itchy feet (Score C)

2.Which of the following have you noticed?
Dirt on your shirt (Score B)
Lost your sea legs (Score C)
Big red blotches under the skin (Score A)

3.Which of the following do you frel when you wake in the morning?
Extremely fed-up (Score C)

Extremely poorly (Score A)

Extremely hungry(Score B)

How to Discover if you have Scury:

Mostly C's: You are a frustrated pirate who has spent to much time on dry land.

Cure: Get to sea.

Mostly B's: You are a starving pirate who has run out of clean clothes.

Cure: Make some filling ships biscuits and eat them while soaking in the bathtub.

Entirely A's: You are a sickly pirate, and probably have scurvy. If you develop these symptoms on land, put on your sea boots and get to the doc quick.

Cure: Stop at the next port for some oranges and green beans. Indulge.