Early modern food calls to us from across a vast historical gap. How do we interpret its meanings and effects, then and now? Our project responds through traditional scholarship, imaginative thinking, database creation, and the adaptation of recipes, bringing food from the archives to our dining tables.

Illustration of mushrooms
Pattern made up of illustrations of palm trees

Adapting and Making

Cooking Early Modern Food:
A Conversation

There’s nothing straightforward about cooking from early modern recipe books. In this live chat conversation, the team debates what it means and why it matters.

Make History Tonight

Want to try your hand at cooking an early modern dish? These recipes offer a sense of the past for the modern kitchen.

Find more recipes on Shakespeare and Beyond.

Cooking Early Modern Food:
Experiments in the Modern Kitchen

Ready for more recipes from the Folger’s collections? These recipes have been updated and adapted for our exhibition, ‘First Chefs,’ for a special menu at our partner restaurant, America Eats Tavern, and for classroom research by Amherst College undergraduates.

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Edible and Inedible

The definition of food is as much social as biological. In these blog posts, the team’s postdoctoral researchers explore the boundaries of early modern edibility.

Thinking and Writing

Members of the BFT team continue to write about their findings in scholarly venues, uncovering new ideas in the Folger’s rare books, prints, and manuscripts. Our BFT scholars have written scholarly essays about early modern foodways uncovered in the Folger’s rare books, prints, and manuscripts.

Illustration of pie
Pattern made up of illustrations of palm trees