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  • That Was Genius Team

Episode 130 - Kiss Me Under The Cabbage Arch (Sam and Tom Week)

Tom's Notes:

It’s Tom and Sam week! My most favourite and least favourite topics.

I begin by researching people in history called Sam Datta-Paulin. Unfortunately, no one of any historical interest, worth or value has ever been called Sam Datta-Paulin; nobody; no one. When you google this name, it comes up with a picture of a void; a dark, miserable and easily forgettable void.

So I began researching your surnames, and my results were quite interesting. Datta is a common name in India and Bangladesh and is from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gift’ or ‘given’. There are three Dattas in my Encyclopaedia Britannica. Datta is common in a number of different Hindu castes, namely the Choo-Choos; a caste who commonly work in the transport industry, particularly looking after trains, and the Twiggy-Legs, who are commonly employed in agricultural to ensure that chickens’ legs don’t get too muscular. Interestingly, and back to fact here, Datta is also an alternative name for Dattatreya, a Hindu diety who was originally a yoga teacher. But that’s enough Hindu mythology/religion because it’s all very chaotic and confusing. I also didn’t find anyone particularly amusing in my research so I moved on to your other surname.

Paulin is a common French name, as of course you will know, and whereas Datta means ‘gift’, Paulin is from the Latin ‘Paulus’ meaning small. Sam Small Gift. Make your own jokes listeners. Unfortunately no one in history with the surname Paulin who I really wanted to research; although a French resistance fighter was quite interesting.

So, I moved on to your given name followed by some of your favourite hobbies. ‘Sam train’ led me to a famous American train robber but I might talk about him at some point in the future. I then thought what else does Sam like? Ah! He likes other people’s penises. Search ‘Samuel Johnson’. Ah yes! The famous 18th Century English writer; actually very interesting person, maybe one for a future episode. He wrote one of the most popular early dictionaries and interesting fact, probably suffered from Tourettes. Historians have worked this out from the prevalence of the phrases ‘fuck-bucket’, ‘up your arse’ and ‘wank-sock’ from his dictionary. “Serendipity, noun, an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by fuck bucket!” “Receivership, noun, the position or function of being a receiver in charge of administering up your arse!” “vow, noun, a solemn promise, pledge, or wank-sock!”

What else does Sam like I thought to myself? Pegging people! Samuel Pegge. Aha! Samuel Pegge, who, in the 18th century, published a ‘The Forme of Cury’; a 14th century cookbook detailing 196 medieval recipes, and this is what I settled upon for my contribution this week.

So, The Forme of Cury is thought to have been written in around 1390 by someone associated with the court of King Richard II. Samuel Pegge, who was a churchman and antiquarian, was asked to copy the document so that it could be published by the document’s owner; a chap who worked for the British Museum. Samuel Pegge did as he was asked and the cookbook was published in 1780. As mentioned, it’s one of the oldest English cookbooks and contains many very exotic ingredients; particularly spices that would have travelled from a very long way away. Some context, the Mongol Empire had grown through the 13th century, so in the 100-200 years prior to cook book, and this brought the majority of the silk road under the control of the Mongols which actually led to safer and faster flow of goods along the silk road (not just silks, but spices). Also, the Mongol empire opened up Asia for European visitors; Marco Polo being the most famous. We see in this cook book that spices were reaching England, and in enough volume for an unknown cook to include them in his/her cook book.

There is a rather long and dense preface, with not much to note. Pegge does tell us that a version of this document was presented to Elizabeth I as a gift, which I’m sure went down very well.

There is also this pertinent point; “most of the American fruits are exceedingly odoriferous.”

Now the fun part: you see this document is written in 14th century English, which means it is rather tricky and ambiguous to read, but that’s why I thought it would be fun. Let’s give an example; the introduction: “fome of cury was compiled of the chef Maister Cokes of kyng Richard the Secunde kyng of .nglond aftir the Conquest. the which was acounted þe best and ryallest vyand of alle csten .ynges and it was compiled by assent and avysement of Maisters and phisik and of philosophie þat dwellid in his court.”

Now let’s be silly, and look at some of the recipes with minimal effort to understand what the Middle English actually means.

The following recipe is a tantalising suggestion that Europeans had discovered Australia long before the 17th century.


Take the lire of the Deer oþer of the Roo parboile it on smale peces. seeþ it wel half in water and half in wyne. take brede and bray it wiþ the self broth and drawe blode þer to and lat it seeth to gedre with powdour fort of gynger oþer of canell [2]. and macys [3]. with a grete porcioun of vineger with Raysouns of Coraunte

The following requires a very specialist ingredient: gees. It’s important to separate the gees from the bees. If you can’t get a hold of any bee gees, other high-pitched, shiny toothed, purveyors of funk will do.


Take Gees and smyte hem on pecys. cast hem in a Pot do þerto half wyne and half water. and do þerto a gode quantite of Oynouns and erbest. Set it ouere the fyre and couere [2] it fast. make a layour of brede and blode an lay it þerwith. do þerto powdour fort and serue it fort.

Ah, ah, ah, ah, Stayin’ alive!

How deep is your broth?

You should be braising

More than an onion

Brocolli! When the peeling’s done and they’re in season

DOUCE AME [1](but seek her permission first)

Take gode Cowe mylke and do it in a pot. take parsel. sawge. ysope. saueray and ooþer gode herbes. hewe hem and do hem in the mylke and seeþ hem. take capouns half yrosted and smyte hem on pecys and do þerto pynes and hony clarified. salt it and colour it with safroun an serue it forth.


Take Almandes blanched. bray hem and drawe hem up with faire water, make furmente as before [2] and cast þer furmente þerto. & messe it with Porpays.

Would you like to hazard a guess as to what Porpays are? Porpoises.

Having given you examples of the actual recipes, I will now just list a few more recipe titles.


“OOO! You wouldn’t believe what they were eating!”


“What’s your prediction for this fight Clubber Lang?” “Payn fondew!”


Italians haven’t changed have they?


No thank you.


Presumably similar to wombles. If they are, I recommend knocking them over the head with a brick, strip them down and roast them whole. The fur burns off.

And finally….


Rumour has it this was a favourite meal of Martin Luther, he liked a Diet of Worms. Boom, boom! A Protestant Reformation joke for you all.

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