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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 699: Keynote Lecture 2016: Cookbooks, Health Books, Drug Manuals: Culinary Recipes in Search of a Genre (Language: English)

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 13.00-14.00

Introductions:Melitta Weiss Adamson, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, University of Western Ontario
Paul Freedman, Department of History, Yale University

In medieval Europe cookbooks started appearing only towards the end of the period. With over fifty recipe-collections ranging in length from several to several hundred recipes, Germany boasts the richest cookbook tradition, with all the extant manuscripts dating from ca. 1350-1500. A recently discovered Durham recipe-collection from the 12th century predates the oldest German cookbook by some two hundred years and is proof that European culinary recipes were recorded much earlier than previously known. The collection of ten sauce recipes which claim Poitou as their place of origin is written in Latin and included in a codex of medical recipes. The talk will explore the early beginnings of European culinary writing in the context of medieval medicine by using Germany as an example. It will look at monastic medicine, such as the medical writings of the nun Hildegard von Bingen, and the pharmacopoeias and regimens of health associated with the newly established medical schools and those by physicians from Germany and elsewhere who studied there. These sources illustrate the important role medical literature played in the early transmission of culinary recipes when a proper genre was still lacking as well as in the genesis of the late medieval cookbook.

Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment.