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:
“This book sets out to give all the period recipes for boiling lamb and mutton between 1580 and 1660. Much of the sheep rearing at the period was primarily for wool production leading to a substantial amount of ancient mutton on the market a fact reflected in the predominance of mutton over lamb recipes. This is even more significant when it is remembered that these books were written for the affluent as is clear from the common use of expensive imported ingredients. Cost was not a problem for these cooks and the emphasis on mutton also indicates a preference for the flavour or texture.”
A staplebound pamphlet. 28 pages.