Although food historians can rely on written evidence to provide them with early recipes and references to dishes that might have been, the only other sources available to them are archaeology (which never preserves a trifle intact), art history (which doesn’t go back that far) or the history of language for the names of things will often tell much about their origins. Food enthusiasts will, therefore, spend much time recounting how a dish got its name, but often they will be peddling nonsense or mythology and what we really need is a historian of language. William Sayers is just that and in this collection of essays and articles he explores the riches of medieval English (and sometimes other tongues) to tease out unfamiliar facts about our food heritage. He looks at a wide range of topics: the bun; fish names; bee keeping; bread making; the strawberry; the haggis; stock; kitchen staff; frumenty; the pig and pork products. His approach is rigorously linguistic, but the facts are always curious and amusing for the engaged reader.
|Publisher:||Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
William Sayers is Adjunct Professor at Cornell University and writes mainly on medieval western European languages and literatures, in particular on Old Norse, Old Irish, and Anglo-Norman French, and, more recently, on English etymology. He is the Cornell University Library’s selector for French, Italian, Netherlandic, and Scandinavian languages, literature, and history.