Cooking and Dining in Medieval England

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9781903018873: Cooking and Dining in Medieval England
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The history of medieval food and cookery has received a fair amount of attention from the point of view of recipes (of which many survive) and of the general context of feasts and feasting. It has never, as yet, been studied with an eye to the real mechanics of food production and service: the equipment used, the household organisation, the architectural arrangements for kitchens, store-rooms, pantries, larders, cellars, and domestic administration. This new work by Peter Brears, perhaps Britain's foremost expert on the historical kitchen, looks at these important elements of cooking and dining. A series of chapters looks at the cooking departments in large households: the counting house, dairy, brewhouse, pastry, boiling house and kitchen. These are illustrated by architectural perspectives of surviving examples in castles and manor houses throughout the land. There are chapters dealing with the various sorts of kitchen equipment: fires, fuel, pots and pans. Sections are then devoted to recipes and types of food cooked. The recipes are those which have been used and tested by Peter Brears in hundreds of demonstrations to the public and cooking for museum displays. Finally there are chapters on the service of dinner and the rituals that grew up around these. Here, Peter Brears has drawn a strip cartoon of the serving of a great feast (the washing of hands, the delivery of napery, the tasting for poison, etc.) which will be of permanent utility to historical re-enactors who wish to get their details right.

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This new work by Peter Brears, perhaps Britain's foremost expert on the historical kitchen, looks at these important elements of cooking and dining. A series of chapters looks at the cooking departments in large households: the counting house, dairy, brewhouse, pastry, boiling house and kitchen. These are illustrated by architectural perspectives of surviving examples in castles and manor houses throughout the land. There are chapters dealing with the various sorts of kitchen equipment: fires, fuel, pots and pans. Sections are then devoted to recipes and types of food cooked. The recipes are those which have been used and tested by Peter Brears in hundreds of demonstrations to the public and cooking for museum displays. Finally there are chapters on the service of dinner and the rituals that grew up around these. Here, Peter Brears has drawn a strip cartoon of the serving of a great feast (the washing of hands, the delivery of napery, the tasting for poison, etc.) which will be of permanent utility to historical re-enactors who wish to get their details right.

Review:

This is an important and authoritative book.'--Constance B. Hieatt"Speculum" (01/01/0001)

If you have any idea of how people ate in England six hundred years ago, you may well have gotten it from Hollywood productions featuring castles in which rollicking banqueters dined exclusively on whole suckling pig, and practiced their belching and food-throwing at table. It won t come as any surprise that what makes good movies can make bad history. If you are interested in food, cooking, and historic recipes, and you want to get a more accurate picture than Hollywood offers, Peter Brears is your man.'--Rob Hardy"

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9781903018552: Cooking and Dining in Medieval England

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Publisher: Prospect Books, 2008
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