BBC program “The Supersizers Eat…” with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins recreate the foodways of different time periods:

  • Ancient Rome
  • Medievaldiets based on the 4 humours; religious fasting with fish; meats swimming in sauce; pepper!
  • Elizabethan
  • Restoration
  • French Revolution
  • Regency
  • Victoriandinner service à la française replaced by a la russe; adulterated foods.
  • Edwardianbig meals; weight gain; practical jokes; vegetarians and suffragettes; Fletcherism.
  • 1920sthe desire to be thin; smaller meals; more drinks.
  • 1940sWWII rationing; Victory gardening; foraging; Common-Hall Feeding Centers or British Restaurants.
  • 1950s
  • 1970s – more calories; more fats; alcohol; more walking, dancing and socializing to work it off; don’t talk about the food; packaged foods; fewer meals in the dining room.
  • 1980s

And here’s another British time-line of cookery in video…

Food distribution from 600 AD to the 1700s appears to have had more human dynamism than after the Industrial Revolution. Producers of the food items, loudly hawked their specialty foods door-to-door, walking in the streets, or at a public market (similar to our Farmer’s Markets)–often using song or rhymed verse. Here are pictures of our past “supermarkets,” food prep, and dining experiences in the English-speaking world from the book, Short History of the English People…. Hover your cursor over each photo for a description, and click on the picture for an enlargement.

See wonderful photos at Food History Jottings

What were the cooking skills in ancient Ohio? –say 10,000 years ago in Green Township, Ohio; or, in 8000 to 500BC or in other ancient Ohio times…


by Rena

A bag of sugar slumps on the cover of the book written by Elizabeth Abbott Sugar: A Bittersweet History or you may prefer to read Peter Macinnis’s earlier book Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar

Here’s a sketch of the adoption of sugar:

1000s+: mostly used in medicines, also sultans, caliphs [New Guinea crop] “A Persian visitor claimed that in 1040, the sultan’s bakers transformed 162,000 pounds of sugar into a life-sized tree and other sweet replicas.” — Sugar: A Bittersweet History

1400s+: Royals, nobles, knights [addition of Mediterranean crop]

1500s+: European merchant class. [addition of New World crop]

1600s+: working classes

Video: Lighting a Tudor fire without matches.

The Tudor Period was from about 1485 to 1600. Hampton Court was built for Wolsey circa 1514, before Henry VIII attained it in 1529. More information about tudor cookery, and more videos at

Viking Breads from 400 -1050 AD contained finely sieved flours from flax (Linum usitatissimum) and gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa), both high in fat, and fine flours made from vetches, peas, and fieldweeds. The bread was unleavened. Some bread also had blood and hulled barley as ingredients. Read full article.

The vetches may have fooled a hungry Viking into thinking he or she was full for weeks at a time. Research is being done today for dieting purposes.

The name Dim Sum was first used in the year 960, translating to Touch of the Heart, meaning one just ate a little bit of them.

Dim Sum has 6 themes:

  • Dumplings
  • Buns
  • Fried Dim Sum
  • Steamed Dim Sum
  • Rice rolls
  • Desserts