A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age

A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age, Volume 4

by Beat Kümin

Beat Kümin is Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of The Communal Age in Western Europe c. 1100-1800 (2013), Drinking Matters: Public Houses and Social Exchange in Early Modern Central Europe (2007) and The Shaping of a Community: The Rise & Reformation of the English Parish c. 1400-1560 (1996). He is also the editor of A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age (2012), Political Space in Pre-industrial Europe (2009) and The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History (2nd Ed., 2014), amongst other volumes. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2014
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4454-8 (online)

    978-0-8578-5026-3 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-6999-5 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age
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The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries form a very distinctive period in European food history. This was a time when enduring feudal constraints in some areas contrasted with widening geographical horizons and the emergence of a consumer society.While cereal based diets and small scale trade continued to be the mainstay of the general population, elite tastes shifted from Renaissance opulence toward the greater simplicity and elegance of dining à la franàaise. At the same time, growing spatial mobility and urbanization boosted the demand for professional cooking and commercial catering. An unprecedented wealth of artistic, literary and medical discourses on food and drink allows fascinating insights into contemporary responses to these transformations.

A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age presents an overview of the period with essays on food production, food systems, food security, safety and crises, food and politics, eating out, professional cooking, kitchens and service work, family and domesticity, body and soul, representations of food, and developments in food production and consumption globally.