The Medieval Kitchen: A Social History with Recipes

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Reaktion Books, Sep 15, 2012 - Cooking - 230 pages

We don’t usually think of haute cuisine when we think of the Middle Ages. But while the poor did eat a lot of vegetables, porridge, and bread, the medieval palate was far more diverse than commonly assumed. Meat, including beef, mutton, deer, and rabbit, turned on spits over crackling fires, and the rich showed off their prosperity by serving peacock and wild boar at banquets. Fish was consumed in abundance, especially during religious periods such as Lent, and the air was redolent with exotic spices like cinnamon and pepper that came all the way from the Far East.

In this richly illustrated history, Hannele Klemettilä corrects common misconceptions about the food of the Middle Ages, acquainting the reader not only with the food culture but also the customs and ideologies associated with eating in medieval times. Fish, meat, fruit, and vegetables traveled great distances to appear on dinner tables across Europe, and Klemettillä takes us into the medieval kitchens of Western Europe and Scandinavia to describe the methods and utensils used to prepare and preserve this well-traveled food. The Medieval Kitchen also contains more than sixty original recipes for enticing fare like roasted veal paupiettes with bacon and herbs, rose pudding, and spiced wine. Evoking the dining rooms and kitchens of Europe some six hundred years ago, The Medieval Kitchen will tempt anyone with a taste for the food, customs, and folklore of times long past.

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User Review  - Strider66 - LibraryThing

Pros: comprehensive, lots of great sidebars with extra information, mentions numerous sources, lots of illustrations, recipes to try Cons: text is dry This is a well organized book on what people in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

Ok, in truth I did not read this book from start to finish. I did, however, review the beautiful illustrations, and read a number of passages about food and nutrition in the Middle Ages. For anyone who enjoys cooking, I would say check this title out! Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Hannele Klemettilä is a postdoctoral researcher at the Academy of Finland and a specialist in medieval cultural history.

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