Love-in-idleness, a flower also called pansy or heartsease, plays an important role in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as Marissa Nicosia explores.
Posts Tagged: Before ‘Farm to Table’
Marissa Nicosia adapts an early modern recipe for heartsease cordial. This purple pansy syrup was used to “clear the heart” – to treat the chest and lungs or to reduce fever – but also for healing heartaches and other amorous ailments.
Explore turmeric, cinnamon, mint, and sugar to learn more about plants as food, and what they reveal about the early modern age and today.
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 »
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 »
Follow the turkey on its fascinating journey from America to Europe to the Mughal and Ottoman empires, through early modern trade networks.
Learn about the early modern precursor to turducken (a huge turkey pie with duck but no chicken) and make your own mini pies using this adapted recipe.
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.
Even though the combination of eggs and sugar along with butter and flour forms the cornerstone of baking, the idea of poaching eggs in sweet wine, or adding sugar to your scrambled eggs, might seem heretical to many. But this is exactly how egg dishes were often prepared in the upper-class households of early modern England. In a time when sugar was still a luxury commodity, enmeshed in colonial trade networks, and purchased at the cost of countless human lives, its inclusion in practically every dish became a marker of wealth and status among elite households across Europe. The two recipes presented here will strike many modern readers as unusual.
Why was herpetophagy (eating reptiles and amphibians) linked with madness in Shakespeare’s “King Lear”? Unpack the cultural anxieties involved in early modern English encounters with unfamiliar dietary norms.