Cooking with Shakespeare

by Mark Morton, Andrew Coppolino


Examines the food culture of Shakespeare's England and provides original and modernized versions of more than 180 period recipes.

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March 2008


Pages 336
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics World History/Culture
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    Hardcover: £47.00/51,00€/A$79.00

Feasts, banquets, and everyday meals were central to daily life in Elizabethan England, a world reflected so lavishly in Shakespeare's plays. This book helps students and general readers learn more about Shakespeare's food culture. An introductory essay discusses the culinary customs of Shakespeare's era. This is followed by more than 180 recipes from Elizabethan times. Recipes are grouped in chapters according to types of food and are accompanied by modernized versions for today's chefs. Passages from Shakespeare's plays relate the recipes to his texts and help students use food to gain a greater appreciation of his world and works.

An introductory essay discusses food in Elizabethan society. This is followed by the heart of the book, a collection of more than 180 recipes from Shakespeare's world. Recipes are grouped in chapters on particular types of food, such as fish and seafood, pork, vegetables, beef and veal, and beverages, and are accompanied by modernized versions for contemporary cooks. Passages from the plays relate the recipes to Shakespeare's works and help students understand both his plays and the world in which he lived. The volume closes with a list of hard to find ingredients, a chart of wages and prices from Shakespeare's day, sample menus, a glossary, and a bibliography of period cookbooks, secondary works, and electronic resources.

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsWilliam Shakespeares Works and Their Abbreviations1. Introduction2. House Fowl3. Beef and Veal4. Mutton and Lamb5. Pork6. Game7. Fish and Seafood8. Vegetables9. Eggs and Dairy10. Fritters, Fricassees, and Puddings11. Broths, Pottage, and Sops12. Breads, Wafers, and Pastry Shells13. Salads14. Pies and Tarts15. Biscuits and Spiced Breads16. Stewed Fruits, Candied Spices, and Sugar Plate17. Sauces and Powders18. BeveragesAppendix 1: Hard to Find IngredientsAppendix 2: Wages and PricesAppendix 3: A First Course and the Second Course for Fish DaysAppendix 4: Dialogue for TabletalkeGlossaryBibliographyIndex



"This book ventures beyond literature and cookery into history, etymology, and sciences....Thorough, exemplary, logical, and unflinchingly authentic, the volume is a labor of love and thoughtful scholarship. Offering 189 recipes (some delicious), the book features a 67-page introduction on period ideology, dietary theory, law, pharmacology, etiquette, and economics. There are four appendixes, including Hard to Find Ingredients (substitutions/sources for hyssop, isinglass, verjuice, etc.) and Wages and Prices....The recipes are irresistible to read, if not always to cook--baked porpoise, swan's-blood pudding, and an aphrodisiac tart with sparrows' brains (the authors suggest substituting a teaspoon of Spam). In the fully quoted and cited original recipes, the authors note details that might escape readers' attention, e.g., carving breast meat from a live chicken....This wonderful book joins such titles as Francine Segan's Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook (2003). Highly Recommended."Choice

"A rich, fun survey of early cooking methods and recipes for modern readers and librarians interested in culinary history."Midwest Book Review

"Cooking with Shakespeare is packed with information that will interest culinary historians, lovers of Shakespeare, and foodies alike."Gastronomica

"The introduction outlines the material and ideological conditions surrounding the production and consumption of food in Shakespeare's time. Each of the 189 entries couples a recipe taken from an early modern source with a related reference in Shakespeare, a short discussion of important terms in the recipe or quotation, and a translation of the recipe into modern terms....Bon appetit."Studies in English Literature

"...Cooking with Shakespeare should set a new standard for cookbooks about food and cookery of 16th-century England....Cooking with Shakespeare should satisfy almost everyone with an appetite for the subject."Repast

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Food in Colonial and Federal America cover imageFood in the United States, 1890-1945 cover image

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