Food in Medieval Times
Fascinating information on available foodstuffs, their uses, and their cookery is contained in this engaging, readable book. Expressions and cultural traditions in use today that are lost in food history are brought to life here. The work is based on careful review of a number of original texts and sources, which include literature, account books, cookbooks, religious texts, archaeology, and art. The quotes from literature and examples from art, archaeology, and religion give life to the writing. This book is heartily recommended as informative, interesting reading. Highly recommended. All levels.
[O]ffers excellent historical overviews and is a highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Culinary History collections.
New light is shed on everyday life in the Middle Ages in Great Britain and continental Europe through this unique survey of its food culture. Students and other readers will learn about the common foodstuffs available, how and what they cooked, ate, and drank, what the regional cuisines were like, how the different classes entertained and celebrated, and what restrictions they followed for health and faith reasons. Fascinating information is provided, such as on imitation food, kitchen humor, and medical ideas. Many period recipes and quotations flesh out the narrative. The book draws on a variety of period sources, including as literature, account books, cookbooks, religious texts, archaeology, and art. Food was a status symbol then, and sumptuary laws defined what a person of a certain class could eat--the ingredients and preparation of a dish and how it was eaten depended on a person's status, and most information is available on the upper crust rather than the masses. Equalizing factors might have been religious strictures and such diseases as the bubonic plague, all of which are detailed here.