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History Cookbook: Burstin and Milk

This recipe is in categories Prehistoric, Breakfast, Vegetarian
About this recipe
Healthiness : (75 votes)
Difficulty:  1 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: Very easy.
Preparation Time: 2 mins
Cooking Time: 2-4 mins
Number of servings: Recipe is for 1 person.
Serving suggestions: Serve on its own as a kind of porridge with honey.
This is a vegetarian recipe

This is a meal made from grain and milk. Prehistoric peoples began to farm, growing early grain crops and keeping some livestock, sheep and goats for example.

There are no written recipes as such but archaeological finds give us some indication of what was available to eat and how it might have been prepared or cooked. Much food was still collected or hunted but, as people learned how to make pots, liquids could be boiled over fires, so that porridges, stews and soups could be made much more easily.

This recipe reflects the use of grains and milk in Neolithic and Bronze Age diet. Milk would often have been from goats or sheep rather than from cattle. Burstin is actually made from hulled six row barley grains. We have used barley meal for this recipe - this is available from health food shops.
  • 1 cup barley meal (originally the grain would have been hand ground in a quern)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 pint of milk
  • tablespoon of runny honey (optional)
  • Food blender
  • Pan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Large bowl
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Put the barley meal in a pan. (as you are unlikely to have a quern or grinding stone, use a food processor to grind the pearl barley to make a coarse meal) Bulgar wheat will also work but takes time to soften and is probably best added to the milk and then slowly warmed
  2. Add the milk and warm slowly
  3. Stir well to avoid lumps
  4. Once the barley meal is soft, serve
NB You may prefer this with a little honey drizzled over for sweetness, or serve as the main carbohydrate, with cold or hot meat and some vegetables
Burstin and Milk - print view  Burstin and Milk - print view

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Name: Tom 8th September 2018
this is wonderful. I like this post. Best wish for you
Name: Nomster 16th December 2013
Goat milk would be more authentic than cow's - and is now widely available and is more suitable for those with low lactose tolerance.
Name: Bob 30th August 2010
i like it
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