In the Age of Puddings: Historic English and America Cookery

In the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, London, UK
In the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, London, UK

Robert Fitch answered my question, “porridge was the staff of life” for the common person until the 18th century. No wonder working the palace was a coveted job – even for a spit turner.

The Hampton Court Palace kitchen cooked two meals for approximately 600 people daily consuming in one 16th century year 1,240 oxen, 8,200 sheep, 2,330 deer, 760 calves, 1,870 pigs and 53 wild boar.

When porridge was the staff of life: cookery at Hampton Court Palace

A pudding steaming in the hearth at the Thomas Massey House (c.1696) Broomall, PA
A pudding steaming in the hearth at the Thomas Massey House (c.1696) Broomall, PA

Puddings were a major component of the English and American table during these centuries and often served as the foundation of a one dish meal in this age of cooking on an open wood fired hearth.

Clarissa Dillon on the great age of English puddings

Clarissa Dillon, one of the foremost authorities on 16th-18th century English and colonial American cooking, tackles the often confusing interpretations of our shared culinary past.

Dr. Clarissa Dillon
Dr. Clarissa Dillon

I believe both Fergus and Clarissa would agree that a 17th/18th century middle class diet was healthy only if the diner was physically very active, but it’s tasty. London’s Chef Fergus Henderson and Philadelphia’s Dr. Clarissa Dillon have never met yet share a no-nonsense and unsentimental approach towards the diet of their 17th and 18th century Anglo ancestors.

Eighteenth century appetizers from two culinary historians

Marrow bones at St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
Marrow bones at St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK

When St. John Bar & Restaurant at 26 St. John Street, London, was a smokehouse in the 18th century, located a couple blocks from the centuries old Smithfield Market, Hampton Court Palace had a chocolate kitchen catering exclusively to the large royal household.

Chocolate was a London fad when oysters were fast food

King's dining room, 18th century, Hampton Court Palace, London, UK
King’s dining room, 18th century, Hampton Court Palace, London, UK

 

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Suite101

 

St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
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One thought on “In the Age of Puddings: Historic English and America Cookery”

  1. As always, very enjoyable and informative. I have lots of histories, including the history of tea, the history of opium, and Bill Bryson’s magnificent ‘At Home’ which is a history of the home. But is there anywhere a History of Food?

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