Shakespeare and bake: Elizabethan-era food


Fruits were preserved in honey and mostly enjoyed in tarts, cakes and pies. Photo: Flickr/Karen Roe

Amidst the topics of love, tragedy, kings, queens and madmen, there is another subject that appears in many of William Shakespeare’s fine works. Food. The Bard mentioned food over 2,000 times in his collected works, and the word “feast” appears well over 100 times. Let’s not even get started on wine.

Although Shakespeare introduced ghastly recipes such as the three witches’ disgusting gruel in Macbeth or the pie containing the flesh of Queen Tamora’s sons in Titus Andronicus, rest assured that “wool of bat and tongue of dog” or “lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing” weren’t high in demand at dinner tables during the Elizabethan era (1558-1603).

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