Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-4422-4894-6 • Hardback • October 2017 • $88.00 • (£68.00)
978-1-4422-4895-3 • eBook • October 2017 • $83.50 • (£64.00)
Katherine McIver is a professor emerita of art history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the author of Women, Art, and Architecture in Northern Italy, 1520-1580: Negotiating Power (winner of a Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Book Award), the editor and contributor of Wives, Widows, Mistresses, and Nuns in Early Modern Italy: Making the Invisible Visible through Art and Patronage (2012), and has also written about dining in Gastronomica and New Perspectives on the Early Modern Italian Domestic Interior. She is the author of Cooking and Eating in Renaissance Italy (Rowman, 2014).
1 Cooking in the Middle Ages: An Introduction
The Cook and the Written Word: Medieval Cookbooks
The Literary Sources: Poems, Short Stories, Household Inventories and
2 The Cook and his Staff
Hierarchy in the Kitchen
The Datini Cook or Women in the Kitchen
3 The Cook and his Kitchen
The Datini Kitchens
4 The Cook and his Resources
Food Preparation Techniques
Cooking Methods and Techniques
5 Bringing the Meal Together
Planning and Making a Meal
Orchestrating and Serving the Meal
Cooking and Eating with the Datini
Katherine A. McIver explores kitchens, cooking, food, and eating in medieval Italy by focusing her study on different sources (cookbooks, literary sources, and household inventories). She allows the reader to enter, understand, and appreciate food culture and history, which is not as easy or simple as one might think. Thanks to the richness and variety of the documentation, chapter by chapter the reader can imagine daily kitchen scenes, at whatever social and economic level: the hard work of the cook and his staff, the kitchen equipment, the preparation of meals and their ingredients, the idea of setting up feasts and banquets.
— Renaissance Quarterly
Katherine A. McIver’s Kitchens, Cooking, and Eating in Medieval Italy offers a multifaceted view of food preparation, consumption and organization in Medieval Italy. It is well-written and well-researched. It is a delightful prequel to her earlier work, Cooking and Eating in Renaissance Italy.
— Andrew F. Smith, culinary historian
Combining a novelist’s eye for evocative detail with an historian’s close study of primary sources, many of which are unavailable in English translation, Katherine McIver transports us to Italy’s late medieval kitchens and dining spaces. From the material culture needed for a meal, through the foodstuffs and culinary techniques employed, to the persons involved—whether as diners, supervisors, cooks, or scullery workers—the bustle, arduous labor, and often elegant results are vividly illuminated in this meticulous portrait of gastronomic life.
— Cathy Kaufman, president, Culinary Historians of New York; adjunct professor of Food Studies, The New School University
This remarkable book transports the reader's imagination back to the smells, tastes, and sounds of medieval kitchens. Focusing on the practical, technical needs of a late medieval cook, McIver reconstructs the fascinating world of practices, ingredients, and techniques used by cooks in a wide range of medieval kitchens. The book offers an especially valuable and detailed study of the kitchens and food ways of the Datini merchant family in Prato in the later fourteenth century.
— Alison A. Smith, Professor of History, Wagner College