Friday, November 22, 2019

Mange, of Various Sorts

Many Regency novels talk about blancmange, either as part of a dinner or as a comparison to someone’s complexion, character, or personality. But beloved author Gail Eastwood recently made me realize there are more than one type of mange. Who knew? 

Blancmange is pale and quivering, so you can see why being compared to it might not be a good thing. It’s a milk-based pudding (in the sense we use pudding today in America), hence the blanc or white name. It’s also often flavored with almonds, though the Incomparable Mrs. Beeton, in her Book of Household Management (1861, after the Regency), recommends arrowroot or laurel leaves to season it. Think of it as rather bland panna cotta. Regency folk were quite fond of pouring it into molds and putting it on the table during the dessert course, though Mrs. Beeton seems to think it could be your supper. (Dessert for supper—my kind of lady!)

Jaunemange is yellow but almost as quivering. It’s still a pudding, but the base is egg yolks and it’s flavored with lemon or orange juice, hence the name jaune or golden, yellow. Another key ingredient was isinglass, a gelatin-like substance made from the bladders of sturgeon or other fish. It too was poured into a mold, but it was placed on the table at an earlier course to go with meats like lamb, veal, or prawns.

So, if you are seeking another dish to consider at your next feast, Thanksgiving or otherwise, you might consider adding a little mange. There are a number of contemporary recipes out there like this one and this one

And speaking of Thanksgiving, Marissa and I will be off celebrating next week. Come back in December for more tidbits about history and writing. And presents. ;-)


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Fun post, thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, Lynn! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well!

Unknown said...

There is also blanc mange in my medieval cookbook and I’ve made it. It’s a rice dish with almonds.

Regina Scott said...

Interesting! That sounds better than the recipes I've seen.