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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

153: Anonymous, A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye (London, c.1558)

This is the only known example of the c.1558 edition of A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, a popular cookery book designed for ‘middling’ households. It was owned by Matthew Parker, Master of Corpus Christi (whose silver is displayed at the start of the exhibition), and his wife, Margaret. A seasonal guide to game and fowl is followed by menus for dinners (midday meal) and suppers, including ones for ‘fyshe dayes’. Spices – cinnamon, ginger, mace, and pepper – are used in moderation. Sugar is included in many savoury dishes, sometimes combined with vinegar for the sweet-and-sour effect, typical of Tudor cooking. This book has few signs of ‘wear and tear’, indicating that it was unlikely to have been used in the kitchen.

The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge</p>

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