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 Chapter 1:
“The late 16th and early 17th century concept of a salad varied in some respects from the modern idea. While vegetables formed the principal or sole component, they might be cooked or preserved as well as fresh. The dish was not even necessarily even edible as one of the prime functions was display…. Recipes were long lived. Two of the recipes in this book…. appeared in Thomas Dawson’s ‘The Good Huswife’s Jewel’ in 1596, were copied in ‘A Book of Cookerie’ in 1629 and again in ‘A Book of Fruits and Flowers’ in 1653. The recipes may well have originated even earlier and continued in use after these dates.”