pre-1600

Early medieval European longhouses had an open fire under the highest point of the building. The “kitchen area” was between the entrance and the fireplace. … Read wiki Medieval Kitchens.
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The kitchen remained largely unaffected by architectural advances throughout the Middle Ages; open fire remained the only method of heating food. European medieval kitchens were dark, smoky, and sooty places, whence their name “smoke kitchen”. In European medieval cities around the 10th to 12th centuries, the kitchen still used an open fire hearth in the middle of the room. In wealthy homes, the ground floor was often used as a stable while the kitchen was located on the floor above, like the bedroom and the hall. In castles and monasteries, the living and working areas were separated; the kitchen was sometimes moved to a separate building, and thus could not serve anymore to heat the living rooms. In some castles the kitchen was retained in the same structure, but servants were strictly separated from nobles, by constructing separate spiral stone staircases for use of servants to bring food to upper levels. An extant example of such a medieval kitchen with servants’ staircase is at Muchalls Castle in Scotland.

With the advent of the chimney, the hearth moved from the center of the room to one wall, and the first brick-and-mortar hearths were built. The fire was lit on top of the construction; a vault underneath served to store wood. Pots made of iron, bronze, or copper started to replace the pottery used earlier. The temperature was controlled by hanging the pot higher or lower over the fire, or placing it on a trivet or directly on the hot ashes. Using open fire for cooking (and heating) was risky; fires devastating whole cities occurred frequently.

Leonardo da Vinci invented an automated system for a rotating spit for spit-roasting: a propeller in the chimney made the spit turn all by itself. This kind of system was widely used in wealthier homes. Beginning in the late Middle Ages, kitchens in Europe lost their home-heating function even more and were increasingly moved from the living area into a separate room. The living room was now heated by tiled stoves, operated from the kitchen, which offered the huge advantage of not filling the room with smoke.

Freed from smoke and dirt, the living room thus began to serve as an area for social functions and increasingly became a showcase for the owner’s wealth. In the upper classes, cooking and the kitchen were the domain of the servants, and the kitchen was set apart from the living rooms, sometimes even far from the dining room. Poorer homes often did not have a separate kitchen yet; they kept the one-room arrangement where all activities took place, or at the most had the kitchen in the entrance hall.

The medieval smoke kitchen (or Farmhouse kitchen) remained common, especially in rural farmhouses and generally in poorer homes, until much later. In a few European farmhouses, the smoke kitchen was in regular use until the middle of the 20th century. These houses often had no chimney, but only a smoke hood above the fireplace, made of wood and covered with clay, used to smoke meat. The smoke rose more or less freely, warming the upstairs rooms and protecting the woodwork from vermin.

* Thompson, Theodor, Medieval Homes, Sampson Lowel House 1992

In the Roman Empire, common folk in cities often had no kitchen of their own; they did their cooking in large public kitchens. Some had small mobile bronze stoves, on which a fire could be lit for cooking. Wealthy Romans had relatively well-equipped kitchens. In a Roman villa, the kitchen was typically integrated into the main building as a separate room, set apart for practical reasons of smoke and sociological reasons of the kitchen being operated by slaves. The fireplace was typically on the floor, placed at a wall—sometimes raised a little bit—such that one had to kneel to cook. There were no chimneys.

The houses in Ancient Greece were commonly of the atrium-type: the rooms were arranged around a central courtyard. In many such homes, a covered but otherwise open patio served as the kitchen. Homes of the wealthy had the kitchen as a separate room, usually next to a bathroom (so that both rooms could be heated by the kitchen fire), both rooms being accessible from the court. In such houses, there was often a separate small storage room in the back of the kitchen used for storing food and kitchen utensils.

Nearly 80% of the Ancient Greeks were involved with agriculture. They didn’t ignore the pleasures of eating, but valued simplicity.

Ancient Greek Breakfast: Undiluted wine (their wine was often sweet and fruity) mixed with bread / bread crumbs.

Ancient Greek Foods (partial list): Fish; pig; roe deer; lamb; wild fowl; stews, stock; stuffing; cheese; beans and lentils, eggs; shellfish; diluted wine; grains were barley, wheat, spelt, rye; vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes; cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, leeks, onion, yellow and white turnips, kale, lettuce, pumpkins, winter squash; hors d’oeuvres-sized foods such as meatballs, sausages, forcemeats, fish croquettes, and galantines (de-boned stuff meat); olives and olive oil; vinegar; honey; spices including pepper, lovage, rue seed, oregano, mint, wild celery, pennyroyal, cinnamon, cumin, parsley, curry, dill, coriander; roses; garum (in place of salt); fruits and nuts such as figs, dates, raisins, pomegranates, bayberries, pine nuts, almonds.