Cook up the past with these historical cookbooks.

Cook up the Past with these Historical Recipe Books

Do memories of your childhood flood back to you after tasting a batch of oatmeal cookies that remind you of the ones your mom used to make? Do you recall a certain event or ceremony based on the meal that was served? Are your memories from your last trip to Italy or Spain tied to the thought of the delicious food you ate while you were there? I for one associate many memories with the tastes, smells, and sights that I experienced while in the moment. And the best way to bring the past to back to life can be by recreating these sensory experiences. This got me thinking: how fun would it be to spend an afternoon cooking up the past with recipes from historical cookbooks? So on that note, here is a roundup of historical cookbooks to add to your wish list. With these recipe books, you can take a culinary journey through time, starting from the ancient Mediterranean, to the Medieval Arab world, to Renaissance Europe, through Jane Austen-era England, and all the way to Audrey Hepburn’s 20th-century kitchen. So, get cooking!

5 Historical Cookbooks You Need Now


1. ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME

Cook up the past with this historical cookbook called The Philosopher's Kitchen: Recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome for the Modern Cook. Take a trip back to the ancient Mediterranean with Francine Segan’s The Philosopher’s Kitchen: Recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome for the Modern Cook. To make this historical cookbook, the author dug up the classics and took hints from Plato, Aristotle, Homer, and Cicero on what they would have eaten thousands of years ago. She then created modern interpretations of these dishes, illustrated with beautiful photographs by Tim Turner. The recipes are accompanied by clever asides that offer fascinating tidbits on the historical context of the meal, offering us a peak into the elaborate feasts, banquets, and ceremonies that would have taken place.

Available on Amazon here.

2. MEDIEVAL ISLAMIC WORLD

Cook up the past with this historical cookbook called Sheherazade's Feats: Foods of the Medieval Arab World.The Islamic empire spread over vast new territories over the course of the 7th and 13th centuries. The region entered a golden age of arts, scholarship, architecture, and last but not least, food. Through both trade and conquest, the people of the Medieval Arab world were introduced to new cultures, new ingredients and new culinary techniques. Scheherazade’s Feasts: Foods of the Medieval Arab World, includes more than a hundred recipes from this era, allowing us the chance to experience a taste of their time from our own kitchens.

Available on Amazon here.

3. RENAISSANCE EUROPE

Cook up the past with this historical cookbook called Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook.

The same duo that brought us The Philosopher’s Kitchen has also created a historical cookbook with recipes from the age of the Renaissance. Francine Segan and Tim Turner’s Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook features original recipes from the 16th and 17th centuries that have a modern twist. Food-related Shakespeare quotes and historical anecdotes on the rituals and social graces that surrounded the experience of dining in this era are woven throughout the book. Be sure to try the lobster with pistachio stuffing and seville orange butter for dinner with a raison and caper-dressed winter salad to start.

Available on Amazon here.

4. REGENCY ENGLAND

Cook up the past with this historical cookbook called Dinner with Mr. Darcy: Recipes Inspired by the Novels of Jane Austen.For anyone that has ever wanted to recreate the oh-so-romantic candlelit dinners that you assume Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy must have had  beyond the last pages of Pride and Prejudice, this cookbook is for you. Inspired by the food that Jane Austen comments on in her novels and letters, Dinner with Mr. Darcy: Recipes Inspired by the Novels of Jane Austen gives contemporary cooks a great selection of Regency-era dishes to cook up for a picnic, tea party, or dinner party.

Available on Amazon here.

5. THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY KITCHEN

Cook up the past with this historical cookbook called Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother's Kitchen.Audrey Hepburn is without a doubt one of the most iconic women of the twentieth century, known for her elegant style, loveable films, and her dedicated work as a humanitarian. However, how many of us have been left wondering what Hepburn was like off screen and at home. In this collection of 50 recipes and reflections compiled by her son, titled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen, we get a glimpse into the times she lived in, as well as an idea of who Hepburn was as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a cook.

Available on Amazon here.
WHICH RECIPE ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO TRY? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE HISTORICAL COOKBOOK OR CULINARY TIME PERIOD THAT ISN’T INCLUDED IN MY ROUNDUP? I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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Cook up the past with these historical cookbooks.

 

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Isn’t Audrey just lovely? 🙂

  1. This is a wonderful post! I’ve always been curious to try food from history. The Renaissance Europe cookbook is right up my alley 🙂 Dinner with Mr. Darcy looks tempting too! Thank you for the recommendations!

    1. Hi Anna, thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad you liked it. I totally agree; I’ve always been curious as well! What better way to get a taste of the past? 😉

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