The Kitchen, Food, and Cooking in Reformation Germany


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.8 X 9.1 X 0.9 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Volker Bach is a freelance translator, English teacher at a private language school in Hamburg, and freelance historical cooking instructor at Hamburg University English Department. He has published one book on culinary history.


Bach's monograph is a valuable resource, both for those with a specific interest in culinary history and for historians of early modern Germany who seek to develop a fuller picture of the lives their subjects lived. It is perhaps a professional hazard for historians that, in our fascination with texts and ideas and laws, it can sometimes be tempting to forget that early modern Germans, from Luther and Charles V to peasants in Bavaria or Alsace, were fully embodied human beings. They engaged in the world around them not only with their minds but also with their senses, and Volker Bach's book is an excellent way to gain insight into an important aspect of their everyday lived realities. Seasoned scholars and nonspecialists alike will find much of value in his work.
A much needed book: extremely clearly written, Volker Bach's The Kitchen, Food, and Cooking in Reformation Germany sets the scene carefully and with much knowledge of general history. A thorough introduction for all food scholars, lucid, comprehensive and analytical, including an excellent selection of expertly translated and commented recipes that in themselves provide a very good introduction to the culinary world that is Volker Bach's topic. Added bonus: an erudite glossary of culinary terms of the time as well as a list of further sources. Altogether not only highly recommended, but in my mind indispensable for food historians - would have saved me much research of my own while writing Beyond Bratwurst: a History of Food in Germany.
An impressively researched book that brings together much primary source material previously unavailable to the English reader. This is an entertaining read that includes details about a wide array of aspects of Early Modern German eating habits, from everyday eating utensils to regional farming techniques to debates over gluttony and heavy drinking. The book is also notable for the inclusion of numerous recipes for foods ranging from bread to cabbage to cheese. Recommended for anyone interested in German food or the history of European foodways more generally.