Simmering Through the Ages: A Culinary Journey Through History! Hardcover – 1 Dec 2009
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At first glance, one might come to believe that "Simmering Through the Ages" is just another cookbook, but nothing could be further from the truth! I have been interested in historical cooking for decades and have never run across another book of this magnitude.
Dr. Roland Rotherham, a professor and lecturer on King Arthur, is also a food historian and has been collecting ancient recipes for many years. Mr. Simon Smith lives in Lichfield and but spends a great deal of time in the south of France where he caters to major celebrities, and these men have come together to bring this remarkable book to life!
Rotherham is an expert on Medieval and ancient cultures, is a member of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, and The Fellowship Of The Knights Of The Round Table Of King Arthur. He's the epitome of the "perfect English gentleman," and so it comes across as a shock, initially, to find that "Roly," as he's known in intimate circles, has a riotous sense of humor! Rotherham and Smith bring historical recipes back to life, showing photographs of the finished dish on each page, and have translated the recipes from their original ancient language to modern English in order that any cook can follow them. And yet, there is nothing dry about the book - Rotherham's hilarious humor is dotted throughout the book. Recipes from Ancient Egypt to Victorian dishes are highlighted in a most entertaining and yet informative way. Being a huge medieval history fan, myself, I found the recipes from that era the most fascinating, including "mediaeval mince-meat; boar and bear pie; and Norman era rabbit and apple pie."
Historical background is given on the recipes, as well, and it becomes apparent that our ancestors did not simply exist on hard bread, gruel and turnips. They were far more skilled than many have given them credit for, and the dishes are as welcoming today as they would have been a thousand years ago!
Everyone who reads this book is sure to be delighted with it, and anyone who is interested in ancient history, historical recipes, or who are living history interpreters will find this book to be of immense value. In fact, a copy should sit in every historians library! My hat is off for a job well done, gentlemen!
Tamara J. Eastman
Author and Historian