Early 17th Century Imported Foods
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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:
“The English were largely self-sufficient as a nation in food in the early 17th century. However although the staples were all produced at home or from the neighbouring seas, there was a wide range of luxury products that were imported. The use of these imports was by no means confined to the upper classes, although the rich undoubtedly used them far more often and copiously… This volume covers only foodstuffs where the bulk of British consumption was produced overseas… an attempt is made to briefly consider the nature and form of each import, its origins, the amount imported and its price, during the late 16th early 17th century, who used it and what the nearest available modern equivalent is.”
Staplebound pamphlet. 32 pages.