Eleanor Barnett is a historian of food and religion, with a PhD from the University of Cambridge. As @historyeats on Instagram, she posts daily food history facts, paintings, and recipes to a lively community of food and history fans - come and join us!
Her research to date has focused on food and eating in the context of the Reformations, as a way of better understanding the divisions between Protestants and Catholics in early modern England and Italy. Her latest academic article, forthcoming in Renaissance Quarterly, looks at the centrality of food in the construction of heterodox religious identities as found in Venetian Inquisition records.
At Cambridge, she co-founded the interdisciplinary research network, Cambridge Body and Food History group, and has run several food history conferences and workshops. Among other broad writings in the field of food history, she has contributed to Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500-1800, which accompanied the exhibition of the same name at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
A classic tome of Italian cooking by the famous Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi, who was personal chef to two popes! Accompanied by a set of engravings that demonstrate the practicalities of kitchens and kitchen equipment in his day.
Written at a time of dearth in England, this recipe book offers a fascinating look into 16th century thrift! Recreating his parsnip cake made without ‘spice,
or sugar’ I was reminded that throughout history people have developed creative (and delicious!) ways of preserving food and reducing food waste.