Want to eat like a pirate on Talk Like a Pirate Day? Marauding buccaneers didn't leave cookbooks behind, and we rarely run across a description of what pirates ate. The fact is that living at sea with no refrigeration made food storage a nasty business. One reason rum was so important is that it helped to make stagnant water and moldy food palatable. But they did have a recipe or two.
In the West Indies, a popular pirate dish among marauders was salmagundi, a stew of the odds-and-ends of meat and vegetables thrown into a communal pot and heavily seasoned. In his book Pirates and Piracy, author David Reinhardt provides a litany of ingredients one might find in the cauldron and the manner of preparation:
Included might be any of the following: turtle meat, fish, pork, chicken, corned beef, ham, duck and pigeon. The meats would be roasted, chopped into pieces and marinated in spied wine, then mixed with cabbage, anchovies, pickled herring, mangoes, hard-boiled eggs, palm hearts, onions, olives, grapes and any other pickled vegetable available. The entire concoction would then be highly seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, and mustard seed and soaked with oil and vinegar.