Blancmange

From Academic Kids

Blancmange, pronounced, is a jelly dessert made of milk and/or cream, sugar, gelatin or cornstarch, and flavoring (usually almond). It is set in a mould and served cold.

Blancmange originated in the Arab world and reached medieval Europe through Sicily and Spain. Its basic form involved shredded capon flesh, and almond milk or ground almonds, often with rosewater. In the 16th century, a meatless version using cream, sugar and eggs was developed, and towards the end of the 17th century, a new kind of blancmange, a calf's foot or hartshorn jelly flavoured with almond and rosewater, and perhaps including milk, was introduced. In the 19th century, this was prepared using arrowroot, today cornflour is used.

The term blancmange is derived from the Middle English blankmanger, from Old French blanc mangier : blanc, white (of Germanic origin) + mangier, to eat, food (from Latin manducare). Several medieval recipes for blancmange have survived, and the dish is mentioned in the prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It also features prominently in several sketches by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Blancmange was the name adopted by Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe for their moderately successful synthpop group (active 1980-1986). Their biggest hit was "Living on the Ceiling" (1982). See Blancmange.

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