- February 2000 · 255pages · 234x156mm
- ·Paperback - 9780708316474
A richly detailed account of the culinary world of fourteenth-century Paris. At the centre of this account lies the Menagier de Paris, a medieval manuscript covering all aspects of food preparation and household skills, written by a well-to-do knight for his fifteen-year old wife. Through her meticulous study of the manuscript, Nicole Crossley-Holland paints a vivid picture of life in a knight’s household: his city residence with it’s walled vegetable and herb garden; his home farm which provided meat and dairy produce; the country estate where he trained sparrow hawks and hunted wild boar. The author gives a comprehensive description of medieval food economy. Methods of food preservation, cooking techniques, recipes and presentation are thoroughly explored. Menus, ranging from the simple and everyday to elaborate wedding feasts, are described in detail. The author of the Menagier has remained anonymous for over six hundred years. Now, in a remarkable piece of scholarly detective work, Nicole Crossley-Holland reveals his identity.
'features a detective-style inquiry into the identity of the man and his residences.' (French Review) 'a masterpiece of scholastic research and will be of interest to anyone with an interest in medieval studies.' (Wisconsin Bookwatch) 'This book is clearly based on lightly worn scholarship and meticulous research.' (New Welsh Review) 'Crossley-Holland with her usual thoroughness and painstaking scholarship provides convincing proof of the Menagier's identity...a fascinating an exhaustive tableau of the lives of the medieval gentry and their cohorts...judiciously illustrated...Crossley-Holland shows a keen perception of society in the middle ages.' (French Review) 'it is when she comes, in part 3, to understanding and interpreting medieval recipes and culinary techniques that the author really comes into her own. The effect is positively mouth-watering as she all but cooks the dishes in front of the reader. The book is attractively illustrated...Altogether it is a most agreeable, not to say salivating, read.' (Economic History Review)