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Fabulous Feasts was the best that there was twenty five years ago. However, Cosmer fudged the redactions and made undocumented substitutions. Maggie Black's the Medieval Cookbook is very good. So is Cindy Renfrow's Take a Thousand Eggs or More. There has been a great deal of research done by both historians and foodies is available on line and in print.
Having said that, my favorite is Peter Brear's All the King's Cooks. It is more about the organization of a royal kitchen than just recipes. But I am an Anglophile and his study of Hampton Court is outstanding.
Judy, I have his shilling cookery for the people...What an amazing insight to the life of of an incredible man. Chef at the Reform club
My book starts as letters to his friends, describing his dealings with the "labouring classes" in the 1850's. and continues as a kind of narrative all the way through.
He wanted to teach the working classes and ignorant poor to cook.(his words not mine) And had a bloody good go at it.
A lovely chapter is where Soyer introduces the latest in vogue utensil for todays batchelor...The frying pan.
He is both informative, patronising and condescending, often within one paragraph, but mostly entertaining wouldnt you say?
Food in History by Reay Tanahill is an awesome read - it tracks the history of cooking from prehistoric man and the times of boiling animals in their skins up to when it was published in the seventies, with more of a focus on what food can tell you about the changing habits of people and the growth of civilization. If you want an in-depth study of the evolution of cooking styles and tastes, this might not be for you - but I learned a lot about how farming has evolved and shaped the history of man. Readable enough to open at any page and get immediately immersed.
Will be trying out some titles in this thread (: