The Book of Comfit Making 1580-1660
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Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
From the introduction:
“Comfits appear not infrequently as trimmings and decorations on period dishes. They are normally sugar covered pills, the ancestor of the modern aniseed ball. Occasional recipes for comfits appear in period cookery books but the key text is a 12 page treatise buried inside Hugh Platt’s “Delights for Ladies.” This section in reproduced in full at the end of this work. The first part is a modern interpretation of Platt’s work and the second a collection of period comfit recipes,”
A staplebound pamphlet. 20 pages