Life in the Victorian Kitchen, Culinary Secrets and Servants Stories

B2184

It has been said that an army marches on its stomach, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that nations can be judged by their cuisine. The Victorians were at a turning point in the preparation of British food. The author has provided a comprehensive review of the Victorian kitchen and how it was supported, painting a vivid picture of Victorian life and complementing the range of Victorian themed books produced by the publisher. This is a delightful account of the part food played in Victorian life and contains many surprises for most readers.

reviews.firetrench.com

brn.firetrench.com

nthn.firetrench.com

ftd.firetrench.com

NAME: Life in the Victorian Kitchen, Culinary Secrets and Servants Stories
DATE: 070215
FILE: R2184
AUTHOR: Karen Foy
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 152
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: cooking, preserving, cultivation, imports, social change, servants, cooks, country houses, rural cottage, urbanization, Empire, crops, animal husbandry, social classes, culinary skills
ISBN: 1-78303-639-4
IMAGE: B2184.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/orgh43r
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: It has been said that an army marches on its stomach, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that nations can be judged by their cuisine. The Victorians were at a turning point in the preparation of British food. The author has provided a comprehensive review of the Victorian kitchen and how it was supported, painting a vivid picture of Victorian life and complementing the range of Victorian themed books produced by the publisher. This is a delightful account of the part food played in Victorian life and contains many surprises for most readers.

Until the Victorian period, Britain was an agricultural society. There were already significant towns and cities, but life was still dictated by the countryside. The Industrial Revolution started out in the 16th Century but its major achievements fell mainly in the 18th Century. It had two significant effects on British life. It provided the technologies that were to see Britain triumph over its traditional foe, France, and embark on a Century of relative peace and prosperity, that allowed the rush for Empire and provided both a huge international market for its products and a wealth of raw materials sent back from Empire in return. There was also the huge revolution socially, as people were drawn from the land into the teeming cities and factories. Society changed, but so too did the availability and preparation of food.

Where the Tudors had eaten anything they could raise or hunt, the 17th Century saw a more dependable supply of produce. The Agricultural Revolution was marked by the building of stately homes in landscaped parks, surrounded by land that was tilled by new machines and managed in crop rotation to maintain fertility and improve the quality of crops. By the Victorian era, the country house was well-established with its army of servants and preparation of good quality food ingredients. It also saw the construction of ice houses that allowed livestock to be killed and butchered, to be stored in ice packed galleries. This early form of freezer/refrigerator ensured a supply of meat through the winters and into the new year. Root crops were stored in hales to provide the counterpart to beef, pork and lamb. For the rural cottage the changes were fewer, but the quality and quantity of food improved and the famine was largely banished except for Ireland where potato blight was to create a deep famine that saw large numbers leaving Ireland for the Americas and other distant lands.

Towards the end of the Victorian era, there were so many changes that all impacted on the kitchen. The railways allowed produce from all parts of the British Isles to be available across the country. Fish could be landed at distant British ports and be available in hours in London and other urban areas. Poultry could be transported and all manner of fresh food. There were also many advances in the kitchen with labour saving devices, the availability of gas and electricity to augment or replace wood and coal as fuel. There was much that remained unchanged or continued alongside the new.

For the Victorian, food was important and Victorians consumed large meals, even in the humbler home. All of these factors are included in this excellent study, told with enthusiasm and ably illustrated by a fascinating photo plate section.

Leave a Reply