Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections: Literature, Culture, and Food Among the Early Moderns

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 376 pages
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We didn’t always eat the way we do today, or think and feel about eating as we now do. But we can trace the roots of our own eating culture back to the culinary world of early modern Europe, which invented cutlery, haute cuisine, the weight-loss diet, and much else besides. Aguecheek’s Beef, Belch’s Hiccup tells the story of how early modern Europeans put food into words and words into food, and created an experience all their own. Named after characters in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this lively study draws on sources ranging from cookbooks to comic novels, and examines both the highest ideals of culinary culture and its most grotesque, ridiculous and pathetic expressions. Robert Appelbaum paints a vivid picture of a world in which food was many things—from a symbol of prestige and sociability to a cause for religious and economic struggle—but always represented the primacy of materiality in life. Peppered with illustrations and a handful of recipes, Aguecheek’s Beef, Belch’s Hiccup will appeal to anyone interested in early modern literature or the history of food.
 

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Contents

1 Aguecheeks Beef Hamlets Baked Meat
1
2 The Sensational Science
33
3 The Cookbook as Literature
66
4 The Food of Wishes From Cockaigne to Utopia
118
5 Food of Regret
155
6 Belchs Hiccup
201
7 Cannibals and Missionaries
239
Crusoes Friday Rousseaus Emile
287
Notes
307
Select Bibliography
343
Index
363
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About the author (2008)

Robert Appelbaum is professor of English literature at Uppsala University, Sweden.

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