Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

Cabbage Pottage

October 15th, 2012 by KM Wall

Cabbage, Quince and Melon - Fra Juan Sanchez Cotan

Caboches in Potage.
Take Caboches and quarter hem and seeth hem in gode broth with Oynons y-mynced and the whyte of Lekes y-slit and corue smale, and do yer-to safron and salt, and force it with powder douce.
-Pleyn Delight, #14. (from Form of Cury, c. 1390)

Caboche – cabbages
potage – pottage – (see also poddish and porridge) – a dish of vegetables alone or with meat, boiled to softness in water and appropriately seasoned.
corue – to cut
safron – saffron
force – ie. farce – to season with spice
powder douce – a powder to sweeten; sweet spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg) mixed with sugar




onions, peeled, chopped small

leeks, white parts, rinsed and cut small


cinnamon, ginger, cloves or nutmeg and /or mace (if this sounds like apple pie spice, you may already have it on your shelf)


saffron (optional)

Quarter cabbage, paring away the core and any wormy or buggy or droopy leaves.
Put in salted water to clean. Drain and seethe cabbages in broth with chopped onions and/or leeks cut small. Cook until soft. Season with salt. Add saffron – just a little will fragrance the whole dish and turn it golden.  Add ground spices – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, mace – to your taste. Add a pinch or two of sugar to highlight the spice.
Serve over toasted or fried bread.

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One Response to “Cabbage Pottage”

  1. [...] in 2013 has been a fantastic week; my highlights include cooking the first cabbage pottage, dirtying my apron within the first hour of being in the village, quite literally getting back to [...]

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