During the 17th century literacy rates were very low and a good education was often the privilege of the upper classes. As such, recipe books were considered high status objects.
The example featured on our exhibition touchscreen dates from 1625-1680 and belonged to Lady Ann Fanshawe, wife of the English Ambassador to Spain. It contains a mixture of culinary and medicinal recipes with several crossed out, implying they were tested and found to be unsuccessful. It also includes one of the first ever ice-cream, or ‘icy cream’ recipes.
Does the way we prepare and eat food still reflect our status in society? Please leave a comment below and join the discussion!
Courtesy of the Wellcome Library and Archive