Posts By: Elisa Tersigni

Before the Thanksgiving turkey came the banquet peacock

Lavish dinners—and the cookbooks and instruction manuals for how to execute them—were popular during the Renaissance, and they emphasized the art of food, in addition to—and at times, over—its taste. Peacocks were thus an ideal banquet food because their colorful plumage made for artful display. But over the early modern period, turkeys came to replace peacocks as the customary food of ceremonies and holidays.


Much Ado About Stuffing: Recreating an early modern stuffing recipe

Today, turkey and stuffing are central fare on the holiday table. But turkeys weren’t even known in England until the 1520s, when they were introduced by explorers returning from the Americas. Turkey was immediately popular in England; within a hundred years, turkeys had become a common Christmas food. The story with stuffing is less clear…. Continue Reading »



Tastes of the Mediterranean: Italian food before Italy

Italian regions share a culinary history that is rooted in the ingredients, tastes, and techniques that came out of early-modern innovations, explorations, and cultural movements.


Savory biscuits from a 17th-century recipe

Interested in adding variety to your Thanksgiving dinner? Try this modernized 17th-century recipe for savory biscuits based on a manuscript in the Folger collection.