Salmagundi is a traditional British food that has been popular since the 1500s. It typically contains a combination of cooked meats, boiled eggs, anchovies, pickles, and salad leaves such as lettuce and endive. The dish was traditionally served cold as part of a buffet.
Salmagundi was initially considered an Italian dish, although more recent research suggests it was of British origin. It was mentioned in a cookbook published in 1594, and the dish gained popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries.
As well as cooked meats like chicken, ham, or beef, a salmagundi typically includes hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies salted or cured in vinegar and pickles.
It is usually served cold, usually as part of a buffet meal on a large platter, garnished with fresh herbs like parsley, chervil, and chives.
The French version of the dish includes lobster, shrimp, and smoked fish.
The cold salmagundi was popular with the aristocracy and often served as a main course at feasts and banquets.
The dish has various regional variations, with different ingredients being added. In Ireland, cabbage is often added, whereas in Scotland, apple slices are usually included.
The Tudors were especially fond of the salmagundi; in England and France, the dish was associated with entertaining visitors and for special occasions.
The salmagundi took its culinary influence from all over the world, including French, Dutch, and Spanish flavors.
Theories of the name's origins, salmagundi, include derivations from the French verb salmigondis, similar to the English verb 'to jumble' and the Spanish phrase salmón y condiments meaning 'salmon and condiments.'
Salmagundi has been a popular way to use leftovers and stretch provisions during scarcity.