General Sources

The table below lists the bibliography of general sources about food and food history to be found on our bookshelves. Scan the list, or Sort using the Region column, or use the Search box to find a keyword.

SourceMCG comments, or from others (cited)
A History of Cookbooks : from Kitchen to Page over Seven Centuries. Henry Notaker. 400 pages. Oakland, California : University of California Press, 2017. ISBN 9780520294004
A History of Food. Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat. 824 pages. Wiley-Blackwell, 1994. ISBN 631194975
A History of Food in 100 Recipes. William Sitwell. 360 pages. 1st edition. Little, Brown and Company, 2013. ISBN 316229970
A Matter of Taste: the Definitive Seasoning Cookbook. Sylvia Windle Humphrey. MacMillan Co., NY, 1965. ISBN noneComplete list of every imaginable herb, spice, or seasoning, along with the origin of each substance. Useful in making substitutions, and knowing whether something was available in period in which forms. Since it was written in the 60s, some info may be out of date.
A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes. Clifford A Wright. 840 pages. . William Morrow Cookbooks, 1999. ISBN 688153054
A Miscellany. David Friedman, Elizabeth Cook (Cariadoc and Elizabeth). 366 pages. . CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. ISBN 1463789327A collection of recipes, articles, poems, and stories related to historical recreation of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, especially within the Society for Creative Anachronism. It includes more than three hundred period recipes, each with both the original and worked out version, articles on medieval cooking, and may other subjects.
Art, Culture, & Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy. Phyllis Pray Bober. 442 pages. The University of Chicago Press, 1998. ISBN 226062538Both ancient & medieval food is discussed in depth. Extensive footnotes and bibliography, also an index.
Bread: A Global History (The Edible Series). William Rubel. 160 pages. Reaktion Books, 2011. ISBN 1861898541
Charlemagne’s Tablecloth: A Piquant History of Feasting. Nichola Fletcher. 272 pages. 1st edition. New York : St. Martin’s Press, 2005. ISBN 312340680
Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization. Paul Kindstedt. 272 pages. . Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012. ISBN 1603584110We consider this book the best cheese history.
Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices (California Studies in Food and Culture). Andrew Dalby. 184 pages. . University of California Press, 2000. ISBN 520227891
Fabulous Feasts: Mediaeval Cookery and Ceremony. George Braziller. 224 pages. Reprint. George Braziller Inc., 2002. ISBN 080760898XThe first half of this book has useful information. Ignore the recipes.
Fast and Feast – Food in the Medieval Society. Bridget Ann Henisch. 270 pages. Illustrated. Penn State University Press, 1976. ISBN 271012307Good background stuff, lots of social history on preparation and presentation of food. Well documented.
Harvest of the Cold Months: The Social History of Ice and Ices. Elizabeth David. 432 pages. . Viking Adult, 1995. ISBN 670859753
Oxford Companion to Food. Alan Davidson. 907 pages. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 192806815Awesome.
Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History). Silvano Serventi, Francoise Sabban. 416 pages. . Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 231124422Be aware that this book may show some cultural biases.
Renaissance Recipes (Painters & Food). Gillian Riley. 96 pages. . Pomegranate, 1993 . ISBN 1566405777There are modern recipes based on interpreting artwork. There are no original recipe texts.
Since Eve Ate Apples: Quotations on Feasting, Fasting, and Food from Beginning. March Egerton. 366 pages. . Tsunami Press, 1994. ISBN 963770918
Spices and Comfits: Collected papers on Medieval Food. Johanna Maria van Winter. 400 pages. . Prospect Books, 2007. ISBN 1903018455
The Appetite and the Eye: Visual Aspects of Food and Its Presentation Within Their Historic Context. Angus Wilson, Editor. 112 pages. . Edinburgh University Press, 1991. ISBN 748601015
The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe (The Food Series). Ken Albala. 248 pages. 2nd edition. University of Illinois Press, 2017 . ISBN 252083075
The British Museum Cookbook: 4,000 Years of International Cuisine. Michelle Berriedale-Johnson. 160 pages. . Abbeville Press, 1992. ISBN 1558593675There are modern recipes, no original texts of recipes.
The Culture of Food. Massimo Montanari. 232 pages. . Wiley-Blackwell, 1996. ISBN 631202838This book’s information focuses on Italy.
The Food Chronology: A Food Lover’s Compendium of Events and Anecdotes, from Prehistory to the Present. James Trager. 800 pages. . Owl Books, 1997. ISBN 080505247XProvides a history of the evolution of food and food availability from prehistory to the present day, and covers agriculture, nutrition, retailing, and the culinary arts. Fun, light history of food-related factoids. There is a small section on food of the pre-1600 period.
The Food History Reader: Primary Sources. Ken Albala, Editor. 536 pages. . Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. ISBN 857854135We love Dr. Albala’s research. Try to buy this book on sale or second hand, it’s pricey.
The Kitchen in History. Molly Harrison. 142 pages. . Osprey, 1976. ISBN 9780850450682Illustrated text, from pre-history to the publication date of 1972.
The Meal: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2001 . Harlan Walker, Editor. 300 pages. . Prospect Books, 2002. ISBN 1903018242This volume of papers presented at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2002 has some articles of interest on food before 1650.
The Medieval Cook. Bridget Ann Henisch. 256 pages. . Boydell Press, 2013 . ISBN 1843838265
The Medieval Cookbook. Maggie Black. 144 pages. . British Museum, 2012. ISBN 714128295
The Medieval Kitchen: A Social History with Recipes. Hannele Klemettilä . 230 pages. . Reaktion Books, 2012. ISBN 9781861899088
The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy (La Gastronomie au Moyen Age: 160 Recettes de France et d’Italie). Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, Silvano Serventi. Edward Schneider, Translator. 304 pages. English. University Of Chicago Press, 1998. ISBN 226706842A good introduction to the subject for beginning researchers.
The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today. Barbara Santich. 178 pages. Paperback. Chicago Review Press, 1996. ISBN 155652272XThere are original recipes. We do not agree with some of the translations.
True History of Chocolate. Sophie D. Coe, Michael D, Coe. 280 pages. 3rd edition. Thames & Hudson, 2013. ISBN 500290687
Vegetarianism: A History. Colin Spencer. 400 pages. . Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002. ISBN 1568582382
All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present. Steven Mennell. 397 pages. . University of Illinois Press, 1996. ISBN 252064909
Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver: Stories of Dinner as Works of Art. Carolin C. Young. 364 pages. . Simon & Schuster, 2002. ISBN 743222024
The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals. Marcia Reed. 189 pages. . Getty Research Institute, 2015. ISBN 1606064541The Edible Monument considers the elaborate architecture, sculpture, and floats made of food that were designed for court and civic celebrations in early modern Europe. (Google Books)

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