In 1615 the poet and writer Gervase Markham published an extraordinary handbook for housewives, containing advice on everything from planting herbs to brewing beer, feeding animals to distilling perfume, with recipes for a variety of dishes such as trifle, pancakes and salads (not to mention some amusingly tart words on how the ideal wife should behave).
Aimed at middle-class women who would share in household tasks with their servants in the kitchen, this companionable and opinionated book offers a richly enjoyable glimpse of the way we lived, worked and ate 400 years ago.
Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment – and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.