[Sca-cooks] Newish Book about Medieval Cooking
johnnae at mac.com
Mon Feb 1 10:18:33 PST 2010
Anything by Peter Brears is worth looking at!
My review of this book appeared in TI sometime back
In part, here's what I wrote:
"Cooking and Dining In Medieval England features some 200 plus
historically accurate and tested recipes and variations. This
selection covers a full range of medieval English dishes, ranging from
meats, poultry, fish, pottages, vegetables, sauces, tarts, pies, and
various sweets. snipped Brears provides a critical study that examines
and reconstructs “the precise rituals and customs of dinner” in
medieval England. The author brings an unusual architectural and
historical perspective to the subject. He writes “Even in the last
twenty years the lack of such knowledge has seen leading architectural
historians publishing completely speculative, unreasoned nonsense….we
really should expect that archaeologists should know that a boiler is
not an oven and that food historians should know that meat is roasted
in front of a fire, not over it, but these and other very basic
misunderstandings are still commonplace. We should feel great sympathy
for those involved in historical re-enactment who wish to give great
accuracy to their work, but still find it difficult to obtain the
essential information they require. Although later research will
surely find faults in this book, it will at least improve the present
situation, and hopefully fuel further useful debate.” Here we have a
book written by a scholar that addresses the real questions raised
when we attempt to recreate medieval English cookery.
In addition to the recipes and text, the book contains 75
excellent B/W line illustrations that are fully documented with source
notes, plus two B/W cartoon panels that explain and illustrate in
annotated sequences “Archbishop Neville’s Enthronement Feast” from
1466 and “Serving a meal in the Chamber.” Thirty pages are devoted to
the bibliography and separate section of footnotes.
All in all this is a marvelous and valuable book and sure
to become a necessary and much loved reference volume in the libraries
and kitchens of the Society’s Cooks."
It also won the most prestigious award given for cookery books in the
It's worth adding to your shelf.
On Feb 1, 2010, at 1:03 PM, Susan Lin wrote:
> Anyone have an opinon about this book? I have a friend who works in a
> library and they just got it - she offered to bring it to me to look
> at and
> I'd like to know if she should waste her time.
> Cooking and Dining in Medieval
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