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:
“Reproduced here are many of the published menus for this period [1580-1660]…
“Although [feasts and banquets] are used almost interchangeably today, in the late 16th and early 17th century there was a clear distinction between the two. A banquet was composed overwhelmingly of sweets, fruits, often preserved, cakes and wafers. A feast was composed of 2 or 3 courses each made up of a substantial number of dishes.”
Staplebound pamphlet. 24 pages.