Cookery through the Ages

Ref: C2228252

The course starts with an overall timeline of the major changes in food technology and sources, then studies a few periods in depth starting with Roman and medieval. For each one, we look at where food came from, how social history affected food and vice versa, how it was served, and how food has affected our language. On the way we will study some specific foods such as sugar, and the potato, look at how the really spectacular feast items were produced, and the various forms of evidence available to us and how they can be interpreted. This is normally a ten week course rather than eight, so to some extent the choice of subjects will be made by the class. Each session will normally end with a few recipes for you to try at home. Since this is Spring term, the final session may include a look at Lent and Easter traditions.

Course aim

To discover the changes in cookery from ancient times to this century, with an emphasis on British history.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Have an overall understanding of what ingredients are possible in each era
  • Refrain from putting four and twenty blackbirds in a pie, despite knowing how to do so
  • Have a healthy distrust of historical remedies, and of modern interpretations of historical recipes
  • Be able to criticise a commercial "medieval banquet"

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

An interest in food (eating, if not cooking), a minimal grasp of British history. If you want to bring along any interesting books, that will be very welcome but not required. It would be useful to have an Internet connection so as to receive copies of the slides and recipes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Cookery through the Ages

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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