Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victorian America / Edition 1

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Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts offers a delightfully flavorful tour of dining in America during the second half of the nineteenth century. Susan Williams investigates the manners and morals of that era by looking at its eating customs and cooking methods. As she reveals, genteel dining became an increasingly important means of achieving social stability during a period when Americans were facing significant changes on a variety of fronts - social, cultural, intellectual, technological, and demographic. Focusing on the rapidly expanding middle class, Williams not only examines mealtime rituals, but she looks at the material culture of Victorian dining: the furniture, the furnishings, and the growing array of accouterments - from asparagus tongs to sardine servers and lace doilies - that supported genteel expectations for tableside behavior. She also explores changing ideas about meals - how they fit into the daily schedule and what kinds of food and drink came to characterize specific meals and menus. Complementing Williams's analysis and descriptions is a lavish array of illustrations, as well as a rich sampling of recipes from the diaries and cookbooks of the era. The result is at once an informative look at life in Victorian America and a sumptuous celebration of a key moment in the country's culinary experience.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This lively and informative volume gives a good general picture of the eat ing patterns of the middle and upper classes in late 19th-century America. Separate chapters are devoted to ``The Victorian Middle Class,'' ``Etiquette of the Table,'' ``Dining Rooms and Their Furnishings,'' and ``Fashions in Food and Drink.'' The book concludes with a discussion of typical menus and a selec tion of period recipes. The final copy apparently will contain numerous black-and-white photographs and line drawings, although this reviewer has not seen them. With its many choice quotations and entertaining anecdotes, this well-written book should appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommend ed. Joyce S. Toomre, Russian Re search Ctr., Harvard Univ.
Williams (history, Fitchburg State College) investigates Victorian eating customs, cooking methods, and foodstuffs, revealing how genteel dining became an increasingly important means of achieving social stability, particularly for the middle class, during a period when Americans were faced with significant changes. Includes numerous recipes, b&w photographs, and drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870499128
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Proper and Prosperous: The Victorian Middle Class 1
2 The Mandates of Manners: Etiquette of the Table 15
3 The Altar of Gastronomy: Dining Rooms and Their Furnishings 49
4 The Bountiful Pantry: Fashions in Food and Drink 91
5 Front Soup Tureen to Pudding Dish 141
Breakfast 158
Lunch 164
Dinner 168
Tea 185
Supper 191
Holidays and Special Occasions 196
Table of Weights and Measures 205
Beverages 206
Breakfast Cakes, Muffins, Tea Cakes, and Bread 212
Breakfast Cereals and Porridges 218
Eggs and Egg Dishes 220
Soups 224
Fish 229
Removes: Meat, Game, and Poultry 236
Entrees 243
Vegetables 251
Salads 257
Provisions for Picnics 261
Kickshaws, Pickles and Relishes 263
Fruit and Preserves 272
Desserts 280
Treats 296
Notes 301
Bibliography 315
Picture Credits and Descriptions 321
Index 327
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