DINING WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE by Madge Lorwin

DINING WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here's the challenge; read it: I warrant there's vinegar and pepper in't."" What Sir Andrew said in Twelfth Night applies to this scrupulously researched Elizabethan cookbook. Madge Lorwin has taken foods mentioned in the plays and found recipes contemporary to Shakespeare in sources preserved primarily in the British Museum, such as Thomas Dawson's The good huswifes Jewell or Robert May's The Aecomplisht Cook. Arranged in a series of banquets for favorite characters (but reduced to serves-four quantities), they offer a modernized working version following the more savory language of the originals, as in these instructions for pancakes: ""Take a pint of Curds made tender of morning Milk, pressed clean from the Whey. . . ."" Adapted for American kitchens they include pickled mushrooms, roast kid, ""soops"" of carrots, marrow pudding--recipes using a large proportion of everyday ingredients and infrequent exotica (essence of ambergris). In addition there are comments on 16th-century techniques, manners, preferences, and an abundance of incidentals: old bread recipes used beer yeast; one person was assigned to chip off the burn from bread--oven heat was that uneven. ""It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops forth such fruit.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1976
Publisher: Atheneum