Intrepid brewer dangers scalding to recreate recipe for long-lost medieval mead

Screenshot of honey caramelizing in pot

Enlarge / A medieval type of mead referred to as “bochet” requires caramelizing uncooked honey in a cauldron over an open flame. (credit score: Screenshot/Gemma Tarlach/Gastro Obscura)

Ah, mead, that candy, honeyed alcoholic beverage that has been a staple at Renaissance festivals for many years (together with large turkey legs). It is also more and more standard amongst dwelling craft brewers because it’s comparatively simple to make. These in quest of a singular problem, nonetheless, are turning to a particular type of medieval mead referred to as bochet. The one identified detailed recipe for bochet dates again to the late 14th century and was misplaced for hundreds of years, till it was rediscovered round 2009.

Fermentation generally has been round for millennia, and mead (“fermented honey drink”) particularly was brewed all through historical Europe, Africa, and Asia. Maybe the earliest identified reference to such a beverage (soma) is present in a sacred Vedic e-book referred to as the Rigveda, circa 1700-1100 BCE. Mead was the drink of alternative in historical Greece; Danish warriors within the Outdated English epic poem Beowulf cavort in King Hrothgar’s mead corridor; the Welsh bard Taliesin (circa 550 CE) is credited with composing a “Music of Mead”; and mead options closely in Norse mythology.

There are lots of totally different forms of mead from all around the world. However bochet is a particular selection as a result of it requires caramelized honey; extra spices are optionally available. This makes it enticing to craft brewers on the lookout for one thing a bit bit totally different—brewers like Gemma Tarlach, who not too long ago detailed her experiments making bochet in an interesting article for Atlas Obscura.

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