[Sca-cooks] Leftovers, questions and discussion [long]

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Sep 9 14:33:47 PDT 2010

A number of books and papers deal with this topic of markets, trade,  
pricing, adulteration and the sale of "off meats", bad pies, watered  
down ale and wine, and underweight bread. [Described by one source as  
"Early Regulation of Sale,— In the middle ages bakers were subjected  
to special regulations in all European lands. ... in the interests of  
bread consumers, and no doubt were intended to secure fair dealing on  
the part of bread vendors.]

They range from volumes that might be in a local public library to  
academic works found on university shelves. Some are available on  
Google Books. Most are not.

For example

See page 65 in Food in medieval times  By Melitta Weiss Adamson
The chapter on cleaning in Daily life in the Middle Ages  By Paul B.  

Medieval Italy: texts in translation  By Katherine Ludwig Jansen,  
Joanna H. Drell, Frances Andrews contains chapters on oil vending and  
grocers in 1318 Florence.

More comprehensive: chapters in The Cambridge Economic History of  
Europe: The agrarian life of the Middle Ages  By Michael Moïssey Postan

Both the presses at Cambridge and Oxford have issued numerous  
encyclopedias on economics, the law, agriculture, history of the  
Medieval period, history of various countries etc that will contain  
relevant sections. Again reference volumes at university libraries.

Once you finish with the books, the papers can be searched through  
Article First and found. Oh and there should be dissertations.... A  
project to occupy several weeks anyway.

Johnna (playing librarian yet again)

Morgana asked:
>> I've been following this thread and it occurs to me that  
>> unscrupulous vendors would use cheap available vinegars and herbs  
>> to mask anything questionable.  Do I have any proof?  No.  I don't  
>> think they would have left a record of their misdeeds, but it makes  
>> a twisted kind of sense.

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