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Stuart Civil War

Tastes of History for All

Alongside grain, the peas and beans that made up a very large part of the diet of the medieval poor, remained the undisputed main staple food. During the 17th century, however, scepticism towards New World imports such as potatoes and maize softened among the general populace. The potato in particular found new appreciation in northern Europe, where it was a much more productive and flexible crop than wheat.

Before the Early Modern period, the social drinks of Europe had all been alcoholic. Increased contact with Asia and Africa, and the discovery of the Americas, meant that Europeans came into contact with tea, coffee and drinking chocolate. Yet it was not until the 17th century that all three products became popular as social beverages. All three, however, remained very expensive.

Tastes Of History’s display recreates a simple kitchen to transport visitor back in time to experience the sights and smells of an England ruled by the Stuart kings, and of Civil War.

Discover more about:

  • The diets of rich and poor.

  • The foods available in 17th century England.

  • New World discoveries.

  • The spice trade worth its weight in gold.

  • Cooking tools and techniques.​

Watch as We:

  • Prepare a selection of dishes from the period.

  • Sample the results.

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Click to learn more about: Food in the 17th Century

Click to learn more about: 'Marlborough Pie'

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