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The Medieval Cook
By Bridget Ann Henisch
Boydell and Brewer, 2009
This book takes us into the world of the medieval cook, from the chefs in the great medieval courts and aristocratic households catering for huge feasts, to the peasant wife attempting to feed her family from scarce resources, from cooking at street stalls to working as hired caterers for private functions. It shows how they were presented in the art, literature and moral commentary of the period (valued on some grounds, despised on others), how they functioned, and how they coped with the limitations and the expectations which faced them in different social settings. Particular use is made of their frequent appearance in the margins of illuminated manuscript, whether as decoration, or as a teaching tool.