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Preserving Fruit 1: Stoned and Soft Fruit (Volume 69)

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by Stuart Peachey
Regular price $21.95

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This item is backordered and will ship as soon as the publisher resupplies us.

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.


The Food and Cookery in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England series presents a systematic survey of existing records of ingredients and equipment employed in the period. In addition to concise explanations of how such items might have been used and how they might have been significantly different from what is implied by current terminology, they include citations from various period and later records to demonstrate the geographic and class distribution of everything from kitchen implements to social gatherings.

From the introduction: "The vast majority of banqueting dish recipes are composed of fruits recipes which are usually whole fruit, sometimes cored and peeled, boiled and stored in a thick sugar syrup which sets like a jelly. These were sometimes served as preserved fruits but might also be used as out of season ingredients for dishes such as fruit tarts and pies...These were not mass produced products, preserving recipes often uses only a pound or two of fruit and can take days to complete. These were dishes for upper elite women to play with in order to impress their peers [as with period competitive cake making] and not mass storage products. The frequent mention of the importance of colour and appearance demonstrates the social rather than dietary nature of the product."

Staplebound pamphlet. 52 pages. Sketches and black-and-white photographs.

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