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Antiquitates Culinariae

by Richard Warner
November 02, 2021
3 min.
“The Ars Coquinaria, or art of cookery, originated not in Luxury: but in Necessity. […] From this necessity then, arose the Art of Cookery, or practice of combining different kinds of food together, and seasoning, tempering, and correcting them with various herbs, spices, oily ingredients.”

Welcome back to the subject of British cuisine, a topic on which we already published Hazlitt's Old Cookery Books.

Today we publish a masterpiece entitled "Antiquitates Culinariae, or the curious tracts relating to the culinary affairs of the old English with a preliminary discourse". It is one of the reference texts of British gastronomic literature. The style is announced already from the frontispiece, with its aesthetic impressiveness and the refined fonts of the title.
This is an ambitious manuscript in which Reverend Richard Warner comments on the historical importance of gastronomy in old cookery texts. The reverend makes no secret of his intention to highlight the cultural importance of gastronomy in the long preface that introduces the reader to the work. To the point that the recipes become almost secondary, a sort of pretext to dialogue with the reader, to show him/her the value that food has had in history and the influence that it continues to exert on many levels in society.

Not a smooth read, the language is at times peremptory, though extremely fascinating.

Happy reading!




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