This volume is the first to present all four extant manuscripts of the Viandier de Taillevent. The texts of the 220 recipes are in their original French and a complete English translation is provided. Variants between the four manuscripts represent more than a century of modifications in gastronomic tastes and culinary practices in French seigneurial life. The commentary and notes trace the significance of these modifications and indicate the influence the Viandier exercised on more recent cookery books throughout Europe. This critical edition also includes a glossary and a bibliography. In addition, selected recipes have been adapted for modern use and arranged in a menu for six people.
Savoir-Faire is a comprehensive account of France’s rich culinary history, which is not only full of tales of haute cuisine, but seasoned with myths and stories from a wide variety of times and places—from snail hunting in Burgundy to female chefs in Lyon, and from cheese appreciation in Roman Gaul to bread debates from the Middle Ages to the present. It examines the use of less familiar ingredients such as chestnuts, couscous, and oysters; explores French food in literature and film; reveals the influence of France’s overseas territories on the shape of French cuisine today; and includes historical recipes for readers to try at home.
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.
Eating and drinking are essential to life and therefore of great interest to the historian. As well as having a real fascination in their own right, both activities are an integral part of the both social and economic history. Yet food and drink, especially in the middle ages, have received less than their proper share of attention. The essays in this volume approach their subject from a variety of angles: from the reality of starvation and the reliance on 'fast food' of those without cooking facilities, to the consumption of an English lady's household and the career of a cook in the French royal household.
Expert food historians provide detailed histories of the creation and development of particular delicacies in six regions of medieval Europe-Britain, France, Italy, Sicily, Spain, and the Low Countries.