A Recipe for Gingerbread, courtesy of a 17th-century manuscript

Clara Peeters, A glass of red wine, a sprig of rosemary, and sweetmeats on a pewter platter (also known as Allegory of Marriage), c. 1607. Current whereabouts unknown.

In early November, I participated in EMROC’s Transcribathon, and I ended up transcribing a seventeenth-century recipe for gingerbread. The recipe opened up a fascinating window into the history of gingerbreads and other sugary, spiced confections that straddled the line between “dessert” and “medicine” for early modern diners. To read more about my experience participating in the Transcribathon, and to learn more about the history of gingerbread, go here: “To Make Ginger Breade” : Transcribing a 17th-Century Gingerbread recipe.”

Have you ever participated in this Transcribathon? As I wrote in my piece, next year I would love to get together with a small group. Food is meant to be convivial, and I’m starting to think that food history should be, too.

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