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Swans – Food or Menace?

posted Nov 12, 2014, 2:44 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush   [ updated Nov 12, 2014, 4:04 AM ]
By Toadflax Nosely 

While it still remains to be seen whether the recent increase in the number of swans frequenting the villages of the Shire is the result of fowl play, there can be no doubt: their numbers are increasing eggs-ponentially. And I'll have you know adult swans are tall enough to bite the noses of adult Hobbits, even when the latter are standing up. Clearly, something needs to be done, lest the swans become a menace to Hobbits, and fortunately swans are eminently edible! Thus, the sensible way to reduce their numbers is the time-honoured Hobbit way: By eating them!  

Now, one does not simply eat swans: They need to be cooked first. And so me and my daughters have been to The Mathom House archives (and other archives) looking for directions on how to cook this delicious bird. What follows are some of the recipes we discovered.


A Swan Pie, to be eaten cold.


Skin and bone your Swan; lard it with Bacon, and season it with Pepper, Salt, Cloves, Mace, and Nutmeg, to your Palate, and with a few Bay-leaves powder'd lay it in the Pie; stick it with Cloves; lay on butter, and close the Pie: When it is bak'd, and half cold, fill it up with clarify'd Butter.

(The library reference below for this entry has other swan pies, too!)

It is traditional to put a mock swan on top of a swan pie. You can carve a mock swan out of butter, but use a butter mock-swan on top only if it's a serve-cold pie!







A traditional recipe: Roasted swan with Chaudon


1. For to dihyte a swan. Tak & vndo hym & wasch hym, & do on a spite & enarme hym fayre & roste hym wel; & dysmembre hym on þe beste manere & mak a fayre chyne, & þe sauce þerto schal be mad in þis manere, & it is clept:

2. Chaudon. Tak þe issu of þe swan & wasch it wel, & scoure þe guttes wel with salt, & seth þe issu al togedere til it be ynow, & þan tak it vp and wasch it wel & hew it smal, & tak bred & poudere of gyngere & of galyngale & grynde togedere & tempere it with þe broth, & coloure it with þe blood. And when it is ysothe & ygrounde & streyned, salte it, & boyle it wel togydere in a postnet & sesen it with a litel vynegre.

(A contemporary translation of this recipe may be found in the library reference below)

Also I saw somewhere where they did not carve the Roast Swan before serving, but had skinned the swan with care not to tear the skin and put the fowl back in its skin after it was roasted and then served it.



Another recipe we came across is for Swan Meat Burgers but really if you mince the swan anyway it's much tastier to turn the meat into spam and make a yummy Spam Pie.

Swam - spam made of swan meat.


Last, but not least, Cream Puff Swans! These are absolutely delightful pastries even if they have no swan in them.

For the choux pastry:
40gm butter
1/2 cup water
50gm flour
2 eggs

1 yolk , beaten ,for glazing

For filling:
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
50 gm sugar
2/3 cup fresh milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whipped cream

Icing sugar for dusting

1. Bring water and butter to boil. using a low flame, add flour and stir till non stick . Cool.
2. Add eggs and stir till smooth. put in a piping bag and pipe about 12 rounds onto a greased baking plate.
3. Brush each round with egg yolk. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 30 mins till golden and dry.
4. Pipe the remaining dough into an "S" shape with more thick at top of the "S" to mark the head of the swan. Using a toothpick, scratch a deep cut for the eyes.
5. Bake in the oven is the same manner.
6. Combine eggs, cornflour, sugar and milk , stir over low heat till thicken and smooth. Add butter and vanilla. Stir till smooth.
7. Slice choux pastry open resemble a lit . Cut the lit into half resemble the wings of the swan. Fill the custard into the pastry and pipe whipped cream on custard.
8. Fix back the wings and the head in position so to look like a swan in the picture.
9. Sieve icing sugar over the swans.

You can find the author, Toadflax Nosely, at 1 Brookbank Street, Oldfurlong, The Shire.


(( OOC: I claim no copyright to recipes or images. If you feel you have rights to any of these which are being violated by their presence in this article, do complain and the offending content shall be removed.

For completeness' sake, here are references to the location of these recipes in the World Wide Library:
http://researchingfoodhistory.blogspot.dk/2012/10/peacock-pye-and-swan-pies.html
http://www.godecookery.com/mtrans/mtrans52.html
http://www.opensourcefood.com/people/marianne49/recipes/cream-puff-swan#full ))
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