Saturday 3 November 2012

Recipes from Various Historic Periods

Recipes throughout British History:

I have a fascination with historic recipes and I've personally translated and redacted recipes from Ancient Roman, Medieval English and Elizabethan English cookery books. I've also re-created historic Ancient recipes based on historic and archaeological evidence.

Below are links to various historical periods along with the recipes on this blog from those periods. I also include links to complete cookery books covering that period which are available from my main site, Celtnet recipes.

As a note, the historic periods defined here refer to the various periods of British history.

The Ancient Period (10 000 BCE to 43 BCE)

The Ancient recipes period covers the point at which the ice sheets of the ice age retreat from Britain and people begin to settle the Islands again (about 10 000 years ago, to 43 CE when Claudius succeeded in his conquest of Britain. This being when Britain enters the historic age.


The Roman Period (43 CE to 410 CE)

In British terms, the Roman Recipes period (or, more correctly the Romano-Celtic period) covers the point from when Claudius achieved the conquest of Britain.

Recipe Books:


The Medieval Period (1066 to 1485)

Traditionally, the Medieval Recipes period is defined as the time from the Norman conquest (1066) to the end of the Normal line of kings, where Henry Tudor ascends to  the throne. The period prior to the Medieval being the dark ages. This is also the period where the first recipe books begin to be written, mostly as part of court records.

Recipe Books:


The Tudor and Elizabethan Periods (1485 to 1603)

The Tudor and Elizabethan Recipes period is the historical age of the Tudor kings and queens, beginning with the ascension of Henry Tudor to the throne and ending with the death of Elizabeth Ist. This is when Britain begins to emerge into the modern age. This is also when printing comes to Britain and there is an increase in literacy and an explosion in the printing of cookery books.

Recipe Books:


The Stuart Period (1603 to 1714)

The Stuart Recipes period represents the union of the crowns of England and Scotland, when James Ist ascends to the throne of England with the death of Elizabeth Ist. It also covers the Interregnum (1649 ti 1660) Cromwell's Commonwealth, following the execution of Charles Ist. The Stuart Period ends with the death of Queen Anne who had no heirs.

Recipe Books:


The Georgian Period (1714 to 1837) [the reigns of George Ist to George IVth, inclusive]

The Georgian Recipes period represents the time of the House of Hanover, the reigns of George Ist to George IVth, inclusive and represents when Britain comes into the true modern age, with the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. There is huge social change and enormous changes in dining practices.

Recipe Books


The Victorian Period (1837 to 1901)

The Victorian Recipes period is the only British historical period covering just the reign of a single monarch, Queen Victoria. It's when the British Empire is at its height and the industrial revolution is in full swing. New foods are coming in from all over the world and the diet is expanding, though frugality and simplicity remain the culinary watchwords.

Recipe Books:


Modern Period

The Modern Recipes period I am using as a very general and generic term to cover almost all the recipes from the 1900s to the present day, the exception being:

Fusion Recipes

Fusion recipes are the latest recipe trend, where ingredients and cooking methods from different cultures are blended to create new styles of dishes.

If you are interested in recipes and historical recipes in particular, here are two of my own historical recipes eBooks. The first is the Proper New Booke of Cookerye, the second oldest recipe book in English published in 1545. The second is Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery from exactly 300 years later (1845). The whole text is presented, with translations and modern redactions of the recipes. The Eliza Acton book also comes with the additions made to the US version of the book.

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