LOS ANGELES—In a newly revised edition, The Medieval Cookbook (Getty Publications, $24.95, hardcover) 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 Medieval Cookbook
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
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Available at bookstores or through Getty Publications (800-223-3431). Distributed to the trade in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press and in the U.K. and Europe by Orca Book Services.