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Old 05-26-2016, 06:47 PM   #1
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New (to me book) Seven Centuries of English Cooking

Hey all, still new here, so nice to meet everyone.

So, excited I just found a great reference cookbook, to wit: Seven Centuries of English Cooking by Maxime de la Falaise. ISBN 9780802132963

I was recommended this by a friend who is also interested in re-creating old recipes in a modern kitchen (well, we have a small apartment, lets say for me a semi-modern kitchen? I don't have a mixer for instance).

This cookbook is divided up into five main chapters, basically up to the 16th century, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th with recipes, an appendix, and a comprehensive glossary.

Each chapter has a comprehensive introduction, which talks about the food trends of the age both in socioeconomic, ingredient, and cultural terms, as well as going into the main chefs and cookbooks that survive. Also a bit of food-ways, how food was eaten, when it was eaten, and how it was enjoyed. Talks quite a bit about ingredients, and how they were sourced.

It then presents recipes giving both the original text, and an interpretation for a more modern kitchen.

This is a trade paperback book, so no big glossy food porn photos, has lots, though, of b/w engravings and illustrations from period texts to look at. The recipes are sometimes brief, but an effort has been made to translate the early idea of cooking (i.e. pinch of this, dash of that, cook for 'a fulle while on fire hotte', etc to something a contemporary cook can understand.

I've been having a glorious time going through it, and suggest you take a look.

Plus, there is a recipe for an eel pie, which was all the rage in the 16th century, and sounds awesome. My wife thinks it sounds like the worst thing she has ever encountered in her life (I bet if I just made it she'd love it, happened with escargot, I had to make them into a tort, and have her ask what it was, that is another story), so now I can threaten eel-pies at her. As I do all the grocery shopping and cooking, this is a credible threat.

I've been experimenting with some of these recipes, and will be posting them here and again, but I wanted to put up a review of the book, so that people knew what I was talking about. I think I am going to refer to this as much as I do to Dariana Allen's books, and that is huge.

Going to post a pie recipe I made two days ago soon, as soon as I figure out my notes, as usual, I spilled what looks like milk on them, so had to dry them out a bit.

Take a look at this book, it is fairly cheap, and has some great if not recipes, ideas to start from.

Oh, and please don't buy from Amazon, remember they are evil. If so, not on my recommendation.

Best,

TBS

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Old 05-26-2016, 07:05 PM   #2
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That sounds really interesting. I love books like this. I'll take a look at it, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from you about it.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing more from you about it.
Well, as usual, I'm going to be really into it for about six months, incorporate it into my cooking skills, and move on to someone that makes a pre-columbian Aztec cookbook. I am serial monogamous in my cookbooks, but at least I learn something every time.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:26 PM   #4
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Sometimes I wish I was that focused I typically have several books going at a time. There is *so* much to learn...
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