Markets to Manners: Cooking and Eating in Early Modern Europe


Spring 2012


4th Floor Classroom


Deborah L. Krohn

The expansion of the world in the early modern period led to many types of revolutions, among them that of the dining table, which was closely tied to that of the printing press and the garden. New markets and the advent of printed cookery books led to the prolif­eration of prescriptive literature aimed at a broad audience, from country homemakers to the chefs of princes. This course examines the relationship between foodstuffs, the objects created to serve and display them, and the vast literature of prescription that appeared to suggest ways to prepare and serve food. Comestible gifts and the vessels employed to transport or serve them became instrumental in the maintenance of diplomatic relations between neighbors and nations. Readings include relevant texts of Norbert Elias, Fernand Braudel, and Stephen Mennell, as well as primary texts such as the 14th-century Viandier by Taillevent; Le Menagier de Paris; Chiquart’s Du fait de cusine; and other early recipe compendia, including De honesta voluptate from 15th-century Rome. Course requirements include class reports and a research paper. 3 credits. satisfies pre-1800 requirement