Staging the Table in Europe: 1500-1800 (Paperback)

Staging the Table in Europe: 1500-1800 By Deborah L. Krohn Cover Image
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A first of its kind exploration of early modern European culinary history.

Staging the Table in Europe represents the first book-length study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century illustrated handbooks for cooking and dining that provided instruction for nearly every element of the dining experience, from expertly carving meats and fruits to folding napkins into animal forms, performing tableside magic tricks, and creating tablescapes for courtly banquets. Deborah L. Krohn opens a window into a world of culinary spectacle and sheds light on what became a pan-European culture of elaborate performance surrounding the preparation and presentation of food.

Krohn shows that the rise of instructional manuals followed the decline of formalized, in-person modes of craft education, such as guilds and familial instruction. More broadly, she demonstrates how these manuals illuminate the material and social worlds of their readers. Beautifully illustrated, Staging the Table in Europe reveals the rich material culture that accompanied lavish banquets and state events as well as everyday dining, enabling readers to imagine the tastes, smells, and sights of Europe’s early modern culinary world.

About the Author

Deborah L. Krohn is associate professor at the Bard Graduate Center.

Praise For…

"Deborah Krohn’s meticulous parsing of European table literature through the three centuries covered by this study makes her an eloquent and trustworthy guide. The book has been beautifully produced, with a rich hoard of visual materials gracing virtually every page."
— The World of Fine Wine

"Referencing 16th and 17th century cookery manuals and artifacts, Staging the Table focuses on the highly respected skill of carving and explores how what was once reserved for the privileged became accessible to the masses, thanks to the broader publication of these manuals and the information within . . . Like its source material, Staging the Table in Europe is a collection of culinary resources, a thoughtfully documented compendium in and of itself, that can exist independently from its original purpose."
— Culinary Historians of Canada
Product Details
ISBN: 9781941792360
ISBN-10: 1941792367
Publisher: Bard Graduate Center
Publication Date: May 17th, 2023
Pages: 200