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Storing & Preserving

Keeping Foods Fresh in England

Storing provisions required dry space that was rodent-proof. In this illustration for "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse," Wenceslaus Hollar shows commonly-used strategies: egg baskets, barrels, covered earthenware jugs, hanging meats on nails, and placing pies on shelves. The round pie behind the mouse is called a coffin. Coffins were an economical alternative to ceramic pie dishes. The hard rye crust was not eaten and could be re-used. The top crust was removed and portions were scooped out and served to the diners.

Wenceslaus Hollar. Etching from The fables of Aesop, paraphras'd in verse. By John Ogilby. London, 1668.

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