Posts Categorized: Recipes-and-foodways

The three most popular recipes from Before ‘Farm to Table’

With the Folger’s four-year Before ‘Farm to Table’ project drawing to a close, we’re revisiting three of the most popular early modern recipes adapted by the project team and shared on the Shakespeare & Beyond blog. Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, the inaugural project of the Mellon initiative in collaborative research,… Continue Reading »


Spilling the beans: The Islamic history of coffee

Before there were Starbucks and the quirky coffeeshops masquerading as cozy work corners for many of us, there was the mid-17th century coffeeshop boom in England. During the 1600s, the general conversation about coffee nodded to its status as the Islamic other. Othello, the Shakespearean Moor, was turned into a villain and likened to coffee… Continue Reading »


Recipe: A 17th-century potato pie with marrow and dates

Sweet potato pies, a beloved staple of North American fall and winter cooking, are baked out of mashed or blended sweet potatoes mixed with condensed milk, eggs, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace, and allspice. Few Americans and Canadians would think of such a dish as traditionally English, yet many cookery books written in England during the seventeenth century show that English people made and enjoyed pies like this. We decided to try one of these recipes, found in the Folger collection, during our recent Pi Day celebration.


Early modern recipe combinations to get you through the winter

We’ve shared so many early modern recipe adaptations on this blog that it might feel overwhelming to choose from them all. That’s why we’ve created some delicious combinations for you to experiment with over the holidays and beyond. You’ll find recipes for breakfast, teatime, a fancy holiday meal, and more.




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.


Roast joint of mutton: A recipe from ‘Fat Rascals’

John Tufts is an award-winning actor and the author of “Fat Rascals: Dining at Shakespeare’s Table,” a cookbook featuring over 150 authentic recipes straight out of Shakespeare’s plays. Here, he shares his recipe for a roast joint of mutton, inspired by a line from Henry IV, Part 2.