"This book takes the reader on a gastronomic journey through the Middle Ages, offering not only a collection of medieval recipes, but a social history of the time. The eighty recipes, drawn from the earliest English cookbooks of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are presented in two formats: the original middle English version and one adapted and tested for the modern cook. In a fascinating introduction, the author describes the range of available ingredients in medieval times and the meals that could be prepared from them--from simple daily snacks to celebratory feasts--as well as the preparation of the table, prescribed dining etiquette, and the various entertainments that accompanied elite banquets. Each chapter presents a series of recipes inspired by a historical event, a piece of literature, or a social occasion. Here we find descriptions of the grilled meats consumed by William the Conqueror's invading forces; the pies and puddings enjoyed by the pilgrims in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales; and the more sumptuous fare served at royal feasts and Christmas celebrations. The author ends with a discussion of herbal recipes for various ailments. Beautifully illustrated with lively dining scenes from illuminated manuscripts and tapestries, this book serves up a delightful literary and visual repast for anyone interested in the history of food and dining. "--
The late Maggie Black was a food historian and freelance writer. She was the author of Food and Cooking in 19th Century Britain (English Heritage, 1985) and Medieval Cookery: Recipes and History (English Heritage, 2003).
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