Food in Early Modern Europe

Food in Early Modern Europe

by Ken Albala


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Rarely do we read about the roles of food in history. Yet its study offers us a humanizing look at those who lived before us. This unique book examines food's importance during the massive evolution of Europe following the Middle Ages. It was a time when even forks and table manners were remarkable and new. Food became a cardinal concern in explorations of the New World, as well as a fundamental element of global trade. Agricultural revolution gave rise to new farming methods. Science illuminated diet and nutrition. Food historian Ken Albala has written the perfect book for students and other readers interested in the myriad aspects of food in Early Modern Europe.

This book answers such questions as: Why did people toil and travel for certain foods, such as spices, when they were already surrounded by an abundance of edible plants at home? How did foods fit in the ritual life of the ordinary villager? Why were people expected to avoid meat for long periods? Why were nobles and peasants expected to eat different food than the lower classes? How did cooking methods differ from our own? This guide also includes many period recipes, never before available in English, along with evocative illustrations and a timeline.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313319624
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/2003
Series: Food through History
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

KEN ALBALA is Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. He specializes in food history and is the author of Eating Right in the Renaissance (2001).

Table of Contents

Time Line


Food and People



Cuisine by Region

Religion and Food

Concepts of Diet and Nutrition

Food in Literature and Related Food Genres


Suggested Further Readings


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