[This is an article from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. For copying details, see the Miscellany Introduction.]

Cooking from Primary Sources: Some General Comments

One definition of what the Society is about is "studying the past by selective recreation." Period cooking is one of the few activities that really lets us do this, in a sense of "study" that goes substantially beyond merely learning things that other people already know. There are thousands of pages of period source material available, and I would guess that most of the dishes have not been made by anyone in the past three hundred years. As with many things, the best way to learn is to do it; the following comments are intended to make the process a little easier.

When working with early English recipes, remember that the spelling has changed much more than the language and is often wildly inconsistent; one fifteenth century recipe contains the word "Chickens" four times-with four different spellings, of which the first is "Schyconys." It often helps to try sounding out strange words, in the hope that they will be more familiar to the ear than to the eye.

Recipes rarely include quantities, temperatures, or times. Working out a recipe consists mostly of discovering that information by trial and error. You may find a modern cookbook useful in doing so. The idea is not to adapt a modern recipe but to use the modern recipe for information on how long a chicken has to be boiled before it is done or how much salt is added to a given volume of stew. That gives you a first guess, to be used the first time you try the dish and modified accordingly.

It is sometimes asserted that real medieval food would be too highly flavored for modern palates. Our experience with recipes that do contain information on quantities suggests that this is not true. For many years we made Hippocras, from the recipe in Menagier de Paris, using about half the ratio of sugar and spices to wine specified in the original, because otherwise it came out too sweet for our tastes. Recently Jeremy de Merstone (George J Perkins) pointed out to us that, while the pound and ounce used in Paris in 1391 were approximately the same as the modern pound and ounce, the quart was equal to almost two modern U.S. quarts-which implied that, by modifying the recipe to taste, we had produced almost exactly the proportions of the original, correctly interpreted. The same conclusion-that medieval food, although hardly bland, was not extraordinarily spicy-is suggested by our experience with other recipes.

Two reference books that we have found helpful are the Larousse Gastronomique and the Oxford English Dictionary. The former is a dictionary of cooking, available in both English and French editions. The latter, which is also useful for many other sorts of SCA research, is the standard English scholar's dictionary; it contains a much more extensive range of obsolete words and meanings than an ordinary dictionary. Also, Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks and Curye on Inglysch contain glossaries.

An approach to developing recipes that we have found both productive and entertaining is to hold cooking workshops. We select recipes that we would like to try and invite anyone who is interested to come help us cook them. The workshop starts in the afternoon. As each person arrives, he chooses a recipe to do. Anyone who feels too inexperienced to do a recipe himself helps someone else do one. The details of how the recipe is being prepared-quantities, temperatures, times and techniques-are written down as the dish is prepared. The afternoon and early evening are spent cooking, eating, and discussing how to modify the recipes next time. Many of the recipes in this book were developed at such sessions. We have never yet had to send out for pizza.

Tourney and War Food

Suppose you are going to a tournament and want to bring period food to eat and share during the day. Suppose you are going to a camping event, such as the Pennsic war, and expect to be encamped for something between a weekend and two weeks. What period foods are likely to prove useful?

For both one day events and wars, we have accumulated a small collection of period foods and drinks that can be made in advance and kept without refrigeration for an almost unlimited period of time. They include Hulwa (p. 82), Hais (p. 64), Prince-Bisket (p. 65), Gingerbrede (p. 64), Excellent Cake (p. 66; this is actually slightly out of period), Khushkananaj (p. 68), Sekanjabin (p. 86) and Syrup of Pomegranate (p. 87). The last two are drinks that are prepared as syrups and diluted (with cold water for sekanjabin and hot water for granatus) just before being served. The syrups are sufficiently concentrated so that, like honey or molasses, they keep indefinitely.

For a one day event we will often also bring a cold meat or cheese pie; Spinach Tart (p. 62) is one of our favorites. In addition, one can bring bread, cheese, sausage, nuts, dried fruit-all things which were eaten in period and can keep for a reasonable length of time.

A camping event, especially one more than two days long, raises a new set of challenges and opportunities-period cooking with period equipment. One of the associated problems is how to keep perishable ingredients long enough so that you can bring them at the beginning of the event and use them at the end. One could keep things in a cooler with lots of ice-especially at Pennsic, where ice is available to be bought. This is, however, a considerable nuisance-and besides, it is unlikely that either coolers or ice were available at a real medieval war.

Better solutions are to choose dishes that do not require perishable ingredients, or to find period ways of preserving such ingredients. One of our future projects along these lines is to work out some good recipes for salted or dried fish, which was an important food in the Middle Ages and one that keeps indefinitely. Our most successful preserving technique so far is to pickle meat or fowl, using Lord's Salt (p. 93). The pickled meat is strongly flavored with vinegar and spices, so we pick a recipe to use it in that contains vinegar or verjuice in its list of ingredients. We wash most of the pickling solution off the meat and make up the recipe omitting the sour ingredient (and any spices that are already in the pickled meat). Two recipes that work well with pickled chicken are Veal, Kid, or Hen in Bokenade (p. 44) and Coneyng, Hen, or Mallard (p. 45).

There are a number of other possibilities for non-perishable period dishes that we are still exploring. They include two recipes using dried beans (p. 11). They also include one very familiar dish-macaroni and cheese, known in the Middle Ages as Macrows or Losyns (p. 91).

Creative Medieval Cooking

It is sometimes claimed that the dishes served at an SCA feast are medieval even though they do not come from any period cookbook. The idea is that the cook is producing original creations in a medieval style. After all, there is no reason to assume that all, or even very many, medieval cooks used cookbooks.

In principle, this is a legitimate argument-if it is made by an experienced medieval cook. Since we do not have the option of living in the Middle Ages, the only practical way to become an experienced medieval cook is by cooking from medieval cookbooks. In my experience, however, the people who make this argument have rarely done much, if any, cooking from period sources; their "original medieval creations" are usually either modern ethnic dishes or modified versions of standard modern recipes.

Even if "creative medieval cookery" is done by taking period recipes and modifying them, it is a risky business. Unless the cook has extensive experience cooking medieval recipes in their original form, he is likely to modify them in the direction of modern tastes-in order to make them fit better his ideas of what they should be like. But one of the attractions of medieval cooking is that it lets us discover things we do not expect-combinations of spices, or ways of preparing dishes, that seem strange to modern tastes yet turn out to be surprisingly good.

I would therefore advise anyone interested in medieval cooking to try to keep as closely as possible to the original recipe. There may, of course, be practical difficulties that prevent you from following the recipe exactly-ingredients you cannot obtain, cooking methods you cannot use ("hang it in a chimney where a fire is kept all the year"), or the like. But I do not think it is ever desirable, when first cooking a dish, to change it merely because you suspect that if you follow the recipe you will not like the result. The people who wrote the recipes down knew a great deal more about period cookery than we do; it is our job to be their students, not their teachers.

Period, Ethnic, and Traditional

There is some tendency for people in the Society to assume that all ethnic food is period. Thus, for example, "oriental" feasts generally consist of dishes that one would find in a modern Chinese or Japanese restaurant. On the same principle, traditional or "peasant" cooking is sometimes included in feasts, even when there is no evidence that the particular dishes were made in period.

The assumption is a dangerous one; America is not the only place where things change over time. The fact that a dish was made by your grandmother, or even that she says she got it from her grandmother, may be evidence that the dish is a hundred years old; it is not evidence that it dates from before 1600. While traditional societies may appear very old-fashioned to us, there is ample evidence that such societies in general, and their cooking in particular, change over time. Potatoes are an important part of traditional cooking in Ireland, and tomatoes in Italy. Yet both are New World vegetables; they could not have been used before 1492, and were not in common use in Europe until a good deal later than that.

If we had no sources for medieval recipes, foreign or traditional dishes would be more suited to our feasts than hamburgers and french fries or Coke and pizza; even if they are not actually medieval, they at least help create the feeling that we are no longer in our normal Twentieth Century world. Similarly, if we had no sources for period dance, modern folk dances would fit into an event better than disco dancing. Since we do have sources for both period recipes and period dances, there seems no good reason to use out-of-period substitutes.

Late Period and Out of Period Foodstuffs

To do period cooking, it is desirable to avoid ingredients that were not available to period cooks. "Period," for the purposes of the SCA, is defined as pre-seventeenth century. Since most of the ingredients that are available now and were not available during the Middle Ages came into use between 1500 and 1700, it is not always easy to know which of them were available before the year 1600.

One solution is to avoid all of the new ingredients, thus, in effect, moving the cutoff date back to about 1492. This makes a good deal of sense as a way of learning what early cooking was like. We already know what a cuisine that includes the new foodstuffs is like-it is all around us. If we restrict ourselves to ingredients that were available throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, we are likely to learn a good deal more about how period cooking differed from modern cooking than if we include in our cooking anything that might possibly have been in use somewhere in Europe by late December of 1599.

While there is much to be said for such a voluntary restriction, nothing in the rules or customs of the Society requires it of all cooks. Those who are willing to use late foodstuffs, providing they were in use before 1600, are left with the problem of determining which ones meet that requirement. This article is an attempt to do so.

Corn, potatoes, cocoa, vanilla, peppers -essentially the whole list of New World foods-were used in the New World long before Columbus. Since almost all Society personae are from the Old World, it seems reasonable to limit ourselves to foods that came into use in the Old World before 1600. A further argument in favor of doing so is that we have-so far as I know-no Aztec cookbooks. (There are, however, descriptions by early travellers of what the natives of the New World ate and how they prepared it. References can be found in Finan and Coe.) Although potatoes were eaten during the fifteenth century, they were not eaten in the dishes for which we have fifteenth century recipes.

Most of our period feasts are based on the cooking of a very limited part of the Old World. So far as I know, all period cookbooks used in the Society are either Western European or Islamic. For the purposes of this article I will therefore be mainly concerned with the availability of foods in Western Europe prior to the year 1600-more precisely, with the question of what foods were sufficiently well known so that they might plausibly have been served at a feast.

In trying to determine which foods were available in Western Europe before 1600, I have relied on a variety of sources. They include the Oxford English Dictionary (used primarily to determine when and in what context the English name of a food was first used-hereafter OED), cookbooks, and secondary sources including the Larousse Gastronomique (LG) and the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition (EB).

Most of the new foodstuffs of the sixteenth and seventeenth century came from the New World, but there were some important exceptions. I will start with them.


The coffee plant is apparently native to Abyssinia. The use of coffee in Abyssinia was recorded in the fifteenth century and regarded at that time as an ancient practice (EB). I believe that there is a reference in one of the Greek historians to what sounds like coffee being drunk in what might well be Abyssinia, but I have not yet succeeded in tracking it down.

Coffee was apparently introduced into Yemen from Abyssinia in the middle of the 15th century. It reached Mecca in the last decade of the century and Cairo in the first decade of the 16th century (Hattox).

The use of coffee in Egypt is mentioned by a European resident near the end of the sixteenth century. It was brought to Italy in 1615 and to Paris in 1647 (LG). The first coffee house in England was opened in Oxford in 1650 (Wilson), and the first one in London was opened in 1652 (EB). The earliest use of the word is in 1592, in a passage describing its use in Turkey (OED) .

It appears that coffee is out of period for European feasts and late period for Islamic ones.


The use of tea in China and Ceylon goes back to prehistoric times. According to the Larousse, it was brought to Europe by the Dutch in 1610 and to England in 1644. According to the OED, it was first imported into Europe in the 17th century and first mentioned in a European language (Portuguese) in 1559. The first use of the word in English (in the form "Cha") is given as 1598; the passage seems to describe its use in China.

It appears that tea is out of period for European feasts and (since it was being brought from China by sea rather than overland) even further out of period for Islamic feasts. It is, of course, in period for Chinese and Japanese feasts. So far as I know, iced tea is a modern invention.


The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti, an Italian manuscript of the fourteenth century (based on an Arab work of the eleventh century) mentions bananas as something which "we know of .. only from texts or tales from merchants from Cyprus or pilgrims from the Holy Land. Sicilians ... know them well." It is clear from the accompanying picture that the artist had never seen a banana. The first bunch of bananas is said to have reached England in 1633 (Wilson).


Molasses is a residue from the process of refining sugar. Treacle was originally the name of a medical mixture one of whose ingredients was honey. It originated in classical antiquity and survived into the Middle Ages; at some point molasses or sugar syrup began to be used instead of honey for the base. "When the production of molasses in Britain's refineries out-stripped the needs of both apothecaries and distillers, it was sold off in its natural unmedicated state as a cheap sweetener. Its name of molasses was taken by the early settlers to America. But in Britain in the later seventeenth century the alternative term 'common treacle' came into circulation, and thereafter it was known simply as treacle" (Wilson).

Since, according to Wilson, England had its own sugar refineries by 1540, it is unclear whether molasses would have been used as a sweetener in England before 1600. The word "Molasses" first appears in English in 1582 and all of the pre-1600 references are to its existence abroad. Molasses is, however, mentioned by Hugh Platt in the 1609 edition of Delights for Ladies; I have not been able to find a copy of an earlier edition. Presumably molasses would have been used earlier in areas where sugar was grown, such as Spain, Sicily and the Middle East.

Chemical Leavenings

So far as we can discover, both baking soda and baking powder are far out of period. According to the 1992 Old Farmer's Almanac, Saleratus (Potassium Bicarbonate) was patented as a chemical leavening in 1840. Hartshorn (Ammonium Carbonate) was used for stiffening jellies by about the end of the sixteenth century (Wilson) but we have found no reference to its use as a leavening agent prior to the late 18th century.

New World Foods


Sweet potatoes are described in 1555 as growing in the West Indies. By 1587 they are said to be "brought out of" Spain and Portugal, and described as venerous (aphrodisiacal). In 1599 Ben Johnson describes something as "above all your potatoes or oyster pies."

Ordinary potatoes, according to the OED, were described in 1553 and introduced into Spain shortly after 1580. They reached Italy about 1585 and were being grown in England by 1596. By 1678 the potato is described as "common in English gardens."

The Larousse gives somewhat earlier dates-1539 or 40 for the original importation into Spain, 1563 for the introduction into England ("but its cultivation was neglected there") and 1586 for the reintroduction by Sir Francis Drake. In 1593 several farmers were engaged to grow it in France, but in 1630 "the Parliament of Besanç on, from fear of leprosy, forbade the cultivation of the potato." In 1619 "Potato figures among the foods to be served at the Royal table in England."

Both sorts of potatoes were being grown in parts of Europe before 1600, but it is not clear whether either was common enough to have been served at a feast. If served, potatoes would almost certainly have been regarded as a novelty. I know of no period recipes using potatoes.

According to Crosby, the sweet potato arrived in China "at least as early as the 1560's."


The earliest reference in the OED to maize, the British name for the grain that Americans call corn, is from 1555. All of the pre-1600 references are to maize as a plant grown in the New World. Knowledge of maize seems to have spread rapidly; a picture of the plant appears in a Chinese book on botany from 1562. Pictures appear in European herbals from 1539 on. Finan concludes that they represent at least two distinct types of maize, one similar to Northern Flints, the other similar to some modern Caribbean varieties. Grains are variously described as red, black, brown, blue, white, yellow and purple.

How soon did maize become something more than a curiosity? Leonhard Fuchs, writing in Germany in 1542, described it as "now growing in all gardens" [De historia stirpium-cited in Finan]. That suggests that in at least one European country it was common enough before 1600 so that it could have been served at a feast-although I know of no evidence that it in fact was, and no period recipes for it. As evidence that it would not have been served at a feast, John Gerard wrote, in 1597: "We have as yet no certaine proofe or experience concerning the vertues of this kinde of Corne, although the barbarous Indians which know no better are constrained to make a vertue of necessitie, and think it a good food: whereas we may easily judge that it nourisheth but little, and is of a hard and euill digestion, a more convenient food for swine than for man" (Crosby). Gerard's conclusion seems still to be widely accepted in Europe. In West Africa, however, Maize was under cultivation "at least as early as the second half of the sixteenth century..." and in China in the sixteenth century (Crosby). There is also one reference to its being grown in the Middle East in the 1570's (Crosby).

Before leaving the subject of maize, I should mention that there have been occasional attempts to argue that it either had an Old World origin or spread to the Old World prior to Columbus. Mangelsdorf discusses the arguments at some length and concludes that they are mistaken.

I know of no evidence that either corn starch or corn syrup was used in period.


The first European reference to the tomato is apparently in a book published in Venice in 1544; it describes the tomato as having been brought to Italy "in our time" and eaten in Italy "fried in oil and with salt and pepper." It appears from later references that tomatoes were used as food in both Spain and Italy from the 1500's on. The first printed recipes using tomatoes appear in Italian at the end of the 17th century, and are described as "alla Spagnuola." The first use of "Tomato" in English occurs in 1604, in a description of the West Indies (OED). As late as 1753, an English writer describes tomatoes as "a fruit..eaten either stewed or raw by the Spaniards and Italians and by the Jew families in England." But another writer, at about the same time, asserts that the tomato is "now much used in England," especially for soups and sauces. (Most of this is from Longone.)

It appears that tomatoes are out of period for northern Europe and late period for southern Europe, but that no period recipes using them are known to exist.

Capsicum Peppers

The term "pepper" refers to two entirely different groups of plants. The spice pepper, both black and white, is the fruit of any of a group of related Old World trees, and is routinely mentioned in period cookbooks. The capsicum peppers, which include both hot peppers (chili, cayenne, paprika, etc.) and sweet peppers, are New World. According to the OED, the first English use of the word "chili" is in 1662. According to Dewitt and Gerlach, there is a Spanish reference to hot peppers from the New World in 1493; apparently the seeds had been brought back by Columbus. They assert that peppers are mentioned in Italy in 1526 and in Hungary (in a list of foreign seeds planted in a noblewoman's garden-as "Turkish Red Pepper") in 1569. They also say that "according to Leonhard Fuchs, an early German professor of medicine, chiles were cultivated in Germany by 1542, in England by 1548, and in the Balkans by 1569." Assuming that both the dates they give and those they attribute to Fuchs are correct, it sounds as though chile peppers, at least, had spread through much of Europe by 1600. This does not, however, imply that they were in common use. We have not found any period recipes using capsicum peppers, nor period references to their being served at feasts.


Some beans are New World, some Old World. Crosby lists "lima, sieva, Rangoon, Madagascar, butter, Burma, pole, curry, kidney, French, navy, haricot, snap, string, common, and frijole bean" as American, and mentions that soybeans are Old World. I believe that broad beans, aka fava beans, are also old world. According to Crosby, the haricot bean "was in Europe by at least 1542, for in that year the botanists Tragus and Leonard Fuchs described and sketched it. It was probably grown in appreciable quantities in France by the end of the century; otherwise, why would the Englishman, Barnaby Googe, write of it as the 'French bean' in 1572?" There is also one reference to kidney beans and French beans being grown in the Middle East in the 1570's (Crosby).


With peanuts, as with corn, there has been some controversy over their origin. The OED describes them as native to the New World and West Africa. Higgins discusses the evidence at some length and concludes that the peanut is a New World plant that was introduced into West Africa early in the sixteenth century, probably by the Portuguese, and into the East Indies at about the same time, probably by both the Portuguese and the Spanish. European explorers in Africa a century later observed peanuts, maize, cassava, and tobacco, and concluded that they all were native. He cites Chevalier, Auguste, "Histoire de L'Arachide.," Rev. Bot. Appl. & d'Agr. Trop. 13 (146 & 147):722-752. According to Cosby, peanuts were grown in China in the sixteenth century.

There is some archeological evidence for peanuts in China at a much earlier date, briefly discussed by Simoon, but my conclusion from his discussion is that the evidence is probably wrong.

The OED reports no uses of "peanut" (or "groundnut" as a synonym for "peanut") prior to the eighteenth century.

Pumpkin, Squash, Gourd

It seems to be well established that at least three of the four cultivated species of Cucurbita (C. pepo, C. moschata and C. maxima) existed in the New World long before Columbus; the fourth (C. ficifolia) is "ordinarily not thought of as a cultivated plant" (Whittaker), but apparently has been cultivated in the past. Whitaker argues, on the evidence of the absence of these species in the fifteenth century European herbals and their presence in the sixteenth century ones, that they were introduced into Europe from the New World. A variety of C. pepo similar to the squash now known as "Small Sugar" is illustrated in an herbal of 1542. What appears to be a field pumpkin is illustrated in 1560, with other varieties appearing in later herbals during the century. Whitaker concludes that "none of the cultivated species of Cucurbita were known to the botanists of the Western world before 1492." If so, all varieties of pumpkins, squash, and vegetable marrows are inappropriate before 1492; some were known in the sixteenth century, but may or may not have been sufficiently common to be used in feasts.

There is, however, a plant translated as "gourd" in both Italian and Islamic cookbooks before 1492. The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti shows a "Cucurbite" that looks exactly like a green butternut squash-a fact of which Whitaker seems unaware when asserting the absence of all varieties of Cucurbita from pre-sixteenth century sources. I am uncertain whether Whitaker is correct and the medieval gourds and Cucurbite are a different plant, perhaps no longer cultivated, or whether he is wrong and some modern squashes are Old World as well as New World.

"The white-flowered gourd, Lagenaria sicereia," seems to "have been common to both Old and New Worlds" (Whitaker). I am told that the Italian Edible Gourd is a species of Lagenaria and is available from, among others, J.L. Hudson, Seedman (P.O.Box 1058, Redwood City, CA 94064. It might be a good guess for a period gourd, although the description does not fit the gourd pictured in The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti. Simoons describes a Lagenaria that is used in modern Chinese cooking. We have obtained what we think is the right gourd from a Chinese grocery store, and used it in one or two period recipes with satisfactory results.

Pineapple and Guava

These are New World fruits that were being grown in India in the 16th Century (Crosby).

Blueberry and Cranberry

It appears from comments by Simmons that the term "blueberry" describes a number of different New World species of the genus Vaccinium; the bilberry, which is a member of the same genus, is Old World. The blueberry produces "larger and better flavored berries than the European bilberry." According to McGee, "The cultivated blueberry, a native of the American east, north, and northwest, has been purposely bred only since about 1910 ... ."

According to McGee, Cranberries are also species of Vaccinium. According to several earlier sources, there is disagreement as to whether they are members of Vaccinium or belong in a separate genus, Oxycoccus. There are both old world and new world cranberries, but "the commercial cranberry ... is an American native." (McGee) The word "cranberry" seems to have come into use with the new world variant of the berry.

It sounds, in both cases, as though a jelly made from modern berries would correspond pretty closely to something that might have been eaten in Europe in period, but individual berries would look noticably different from their old world relatives. We do not, however, know of any period recipes using either berry.


According to the OED, the word "allspice" is first used in 1621 and "vanilla" in 1662. Both are from the New World. They might have been used earlier in Spain or Italy, since South American foods seem to have reached those countries earlier than England.


A drink made from cocoa was drunk by the Aztecs; according to the Larousse, it was unsweetened, flavored with vanilla, and drunk cold. Cocoa was brought back by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century; they flavored it "with chillies and other hot spices" and made it "into a soup-like concoction." The first recorded use of chocolate in England was in 1650. The Larousse notes that "All this, of course, was still cocoa, or drinking chocolate. It is not definitely known exactly when chocolate was first sold for eating, probably not until Victoria's reign."

According to Black this conclusion is mistaken. She cites chocolate almonds being produced by 1670, and the use of chocolate "to flavour little light cakes called `puffs' " and as a dinner dessert, with one recipe dating from 1681.

The OED gives the first use of "Chocolate" in English as 1604, in a history of the Indies. References to drinking it start in the 1660's. The word "Cocoa" appears much later.

It appears from this that a drink made from cocoa beans is in period, at least for Spanish personae, although the drink would be very different from modern cocoa. The use of chocolate as a food or an ingredient in foods appears to be well out of period.


The first reference to turkeys in the OED is in 1555. According to the Larousse, Brillat-Savarin says that turkeys came into use in Europe in the 17th century. There seems to have been some confusion initially with the guinea fowl, which is an Old World bird; it is therefore hard to be certain which early mentions of turkeys refer to what we now call turkeys. It seems likely, however, that turkeys were being eaten in Europe before 1600.


Black, Maggie, "Seventeenth Century Chocolate," in Petits Propos Culinaires, 14, June 1983.

Coe, Sophie, articles on Aztec and Inca food in Petits Propos Culinaires, 19, 20, 21, and 29.

Crosby, Alfred W. Jr., The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, Greenwood Publishing, Westport CT, 1972.

Dewitt, Dave and Gerlach, Nancy, The Whole Chile Pepper Book, Little, Brown Co., Boston 1990.

Finan, John J., Maize in the Great Herbals. Chronica Botanica Company, Waltham, Mass. 1950.

Hattox, Ralph S., Coffee and Coffeehouses, The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1985.

Higgins, B. B., "Origin and Early History of the Peanut" in The Peanut-The Unpredictable Legume, A Symposium, The National Fertilizer Association, Washington, D.C. 1951.

Longone, Jan, From the Kitchen, The American Magazine and Historical Chronicle Vol. 3 No. 2 1987-88. A careful discussion of the history of the tomato, and my principal source on that subject.

Mangelsdorf, Paul C., Corn: Its Origin Evolution and Improvement. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1974.

McGee, Add cite here

Alan E. Simmons, Growing Unusual Fruit, Walker and Company, N.Y. 1972.

Frederick J. Simoons, Food in China, CRC Press, Boca Raton 1991.

Judith Spencer, tr., The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti (late fourteenth century Italian).

Whitaker, Thomas W., "American Origin of the Cultivated Cucurbits,"Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1947.

Wilson, Anne, Food and Drink in Britain. This is an extraordinarily careful and detailed book.

This essay is still growing; I am looking for additional information to make it more complete. If you come across any, please write.

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir