I have always been just a little bit obsessed with food and cooking. It’s a pretty good hobby, I’ve found – it’s delicious, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and I rather enjoy doing something that rewards you with a nice meal at the end. It was probably inevitable, given how long I’ve spend studying social history on and off that I’d get around to learning more about the history of food and cooking.
This blog is a part of my Masters dissertation, and so will be limited in scope – broadly covering the Georgian and Victorian periods. Food history seemed pretty specific a topic at first; but of course, it isn’t. People have needed to find and eat food since the beginning of time, and cook it since we discovered fire. Maybe even earlier – who’s to say ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have a favourite recipe for their prehistoric salads? (Don’t look at me for that, sorry. Prehistory’s murky like that, and no ancient Delia Smith ever painted pictograms on a cave wall to describe exactly how to whip up a light lunch for two. That we know of.)
It’s nice to think so, though – food and taste are humanising because they are so universal. Everyone has to eat, and there’s a reason people serve food at awkward work parties – everyone has at least that in common. It’s the same with people from history – it’s an experience you can share with someone long-dead. I hope anyone who comes across this blog finds it interesting too.