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Food in Early Modern England 1500- 1760 -- review

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  • Michael Robinson
    Food in Early Modern England Joan Thirsk Continuum, 396pp, £30, ISBN 9781852855383 John Evelyn would find our agonies about food all too familiar. He was
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 19, 2007
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      Food in Early Modern England

      Joan Thirsk
      Continuum, 396pp, £30, ISBN 9781852855383

      John Evelyn would find our agonies about food all too familiar. He was
      impressed with the modern `miracles of art' whereby plants were forced
      in hot beds and meats and fish were preserved for months or years; but
      nothing tasted better or was more wholesome than fresh ingredients. He
      was preoccupied by healthy diets, noting that `husbandmen and
      laborious people [were] more robust and longer lived than others of an
      uncertain, extravagant diet'. Others, from the 16th century through to
      the 18th, who were lucky or rich enough to be able to eat wild
      produce, rated their taste far above cultivated or reared foods. They
      hated that the seasons were being blurred by technological advances in
      preserving foodstuffs; that commercialisation of the food market led
      to bland standardisation; that man was losing touch with nature. With
      these boons came forgetfulness; in 1827 one writer noted that many
      former staples — borage, burnet, fennel, caraway, mangetout, peas,
      saffron and sorrel — were disappearing from the tables of the lower
      classes as tastes became homogenised.

      Continued:-
      http://www.spectator.co.uk/printer-friendly/books/29024/making-a-virtue-out-of-necessity.thtml
    • Terry Foreman
      Michael, Nice review of what seems to be a neat book -- another for Additional Reading? The mere mention of fennel made my mouth water for certain Italian
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 19, 2007
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        Michael,

        Nice review of what seems to be a neat book -- another for Additional Reading?
        The mere mention of fennel made my mouth water for certain Italian sausage,
        and it's late morning.

        Terry F


        At 07:52 AM 4/19/2007 +0000, you wrote:
        >Food in Early Modern England
        >
        >Joan Thirsk
        >Continuum, 396pp, £30, ISBN 9781852855383
        >
        >John Evelyn would find our agonies about food all too familiar. He was
        >impressed with the modern `miracles of art' whereby plants were forced
        >in hot beds and meats and fish were preserved for months or years; but
        >nothing tasted better or was more wholesome than fresh ingredients. He
        >was preoccupied by healthy diets, noting that `husbandmen and
        >laborious people [were] more robust and longer lived than others of an
        >uncertain, extravagant diet'. Others, from the 16th century through to
        >the 18th, who were lucky or rich enough to be able to eat wild
        >produce, rated their taste far above cultivated or reared foods. They
        >hated that the seasons were being blurred by technological advances in
        >preserving foodstuffs; that commercialisation of the food market led
        >to bland standardisation; that man was losing touch with nature. With
        >these boons came forgetfulness; in 1827 one writer noted that many
        >former staples — borage, burnet, fennel, caraway, mangetout, peas,
        >saffron and sorrel — were disappearing from the tables of the lower
        >classes as tastes became homogenised.
        >
        >Continued:-
        >http://www.spectator.co.uk/printer-friendly/books/29024/making-a-virtue-out-of-necessity.thtml
        >
        >
        >
        >
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