Author: Amanda Herbert

Revisiting Christopher Heaney’s How to Make an Inca Mummy

In this last “revisiting” post in our August 2020 series, we return to a piece by Christopher Heaney in 2016 to learn about sixteenth-century Europeans and their use of the dead in medical recipes. Practitioners believed that preserved bodies were powerful ingredients — but as Heaney shows, whether these bodies…

Waste Not Want Not: Leftovers – the Afterlives of Early Modern Food

By Amanda E. Herbert As part of Before “Farm to Table”: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures project, a $1.5 million Mellon initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’ll be working on a new book, Leftovers: the Afterlives of Early Modern Food. In this…

Cooking with Others, Learning with our Bodies

by Fabio Parasecoli I am not a chef. I am just a moderately proficient homecook (you can check what I cook on my Instagram account @fparasecoli) I have not been to culinary school (although maybe… at some point…). I have never gone through any kind of formal process to learn about…

January 2020: a Taste of “Before ‘Farm to Table’” Part II

Dear Recipes Project community, Happy 2020! This month we’ll mark the new year by highlighting some discoveries from the Before “Farm to Table”: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures project, a Mellon initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Several of this month’s posts…

January 2020: a Taste of “Before ‘Farm to Table’” Part I

Dear Recipes Project community, Happy 2020! This month we’ll mark the new year by highlighting some discoveries from the Before “Farm to Table”: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures project, a Mellon initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Several of this…

Milk Punch: A Drink that Keeps ‘Years by Sea or Land’

Milk punch is further clarified when it is run through a fine-weave cloth. We used a flour sack dish towel here, but several layers of cheesecloth would also be fine.  By Emily Beck and Nicole LaBouff From the summer of 2018 through the early spring of 2019, we were collaborators…

Stockfish and the Texture of Trust in the Early Modern Period

By Jack B. Bouchard “Stockvisch muss man bleüwen – One must beat stockfish” declared Balthasar Staindl in the first line of a lengthy entry on cooking cod in his 1544 Kochbuch.[1] Wielding a blunt instrument, the sixteenth century cook was meant to hammer away at the flesh of a desiccated,…

Making Musk Julep: Sugar Coating a Bitter Medicine

By Susan Brandt Popular eighteenth-century pharmacopoeias often included animal-based substances such as musk, which might seem nauseating to the modern palate. In The New Dispensatory Containing the Theory and Practice of Pharmacy (London, 1753), William Lewis describes musk or moschus as “a grumus substance like clotted blood, found in a little…

The Pressure Cooker was Not an Instant Success

By Jennifer Egloff “What’s in your Pot tonight?” This question is often asked on Facebook pages dedicated to the Instant Pot and other electronic pressure cookers.  While many people know that the pressure cooker existed prior to becoming trendy during the past few years, it may come as a surprise…

Colonizing Condiments: A (Very) Short History of Ketchup

ByAmanda E. Herbert Today we imagine ketchup as the ultimate modern American food (and it is true that we like to put ketchup on…well, a lot of things).  But ketchup’s origins are found in Asia, and its adaptation into the thing that resembles our thick, modern-day ketchup began in early…

Eating Right in 1950s Educational Films

By Jonathan MacDonald There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything, or so argued the creators of Coronet Instructional Films. In their mission to educate American youth in the post-World War II decade, the Coronet film catalog made sure that children and teenagers knew the steps…

Archaeology and early modern glassmaking recipes: The case of Oxford’s Old Ashmolean laboratory.

By Umberto Veronesi The product of human ingenuity, glass perfectly embodies the alchemical power to imitate nature by art and since the Bronze Age it has proved an incredibly hard substance to classify. Although glass only requires sand, salts and the action of fire, a quick look at any recipe…

Tales From the Archives: FOLLOW THE RECIPE! UN/AUTHORIZING MUSLIM WOMEN’S COSMETIC EXPERTISE IN THE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN WEST

The Recipes Project is now six years old, and that means we host a lot of content! We now have over 700 posts in our archives. (And thank you to our contributors for sharing such a wealth of knowledge on recipes.) But with so much material on the site, it’s easy…

The “Nutrition Song”: Imperial Japan’s Recipe for National Nutrition

Nathan Hopson This is the first in a planned series of posts on nutrition science and government-sanctioned recipes in imperial Japan. In May 1922, Japan’s preeminent nutritionist, Saiki Tadasu, released a recording of his “Nutrition Song,” performed by opera star Hanafusa Shizuko. Saiki, a medical doctor who had received a…
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