Books for Cooks caught my eye because R likes to cook. But I really love the historicity of it.
An excerpt from “Medieval food:”
There are over 50 hand-written medieval cookery manuscripts still in existence today. Some are lists of recipes tucked into the back of guides to medical remedies or apothecaries’ instruction manuals. Others focus on descriptions of grand feasts. But most are devoted to recording the dishes of the medieval kitchen. …
A nobleman’s diet would have been very different from the diets of those lower down the social scale. Aristocratic estates provided the wealthy with freshly killed meat and river fish, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Cooked dishes were heavily flavoured with valuable spices such as caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper. Other commonly used ingredients included cane sugar, almonds, and dried fruits such as dates, figs or raisins. The wealthy treasured these goods which were imported from far away lands, and were hugely expensive. Indeed, there was an ancient department at the Royal court called the ‘spicery’, which was entirely devoted to spices. Spicy sauces were extremely popular, and entire professional careers were dedicated to saucemaking.
All fruit and vegetables were cooked – it was believed that raw fruit and vegetables caused disease…. Gardeners grew fresh herbs which were used for both medical remedies and cookery, and were therefore an essential part of the nobleman’s garden.
Found from Mirabilis.