Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Folger Exhibitions
• Past Exhibitions
Fooles and Fricassees

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Fooles and Fricassees: Food in Shakespeare's England

September 10, through December 30, 1999

Shakespeare and his contemporaries were familiar with a wide range of foodstuffs and seasonings and had strong opinions about the flavor and quality of what they ate. The changing seasons gave them greens, roots, herbs, fruits, and nuts, many of which were gathered in hedgerows, fields, and forests, as well as in kitchen gardens. People enjoyed breads made from a variety of flours, ate every part of the animals that came their way, and used clever tricks to trap birds, feeding them with aromatic herbs to flavor their meat. The diet of sixteenth-century English men and women varied with the seasons, and their foods provided medicine as well as sustenance. While some foods were imported from the Continent, the average diet was based on local specialties.


By the end of the seventeenth century, new developments in agriculture, imported foods, beverages, and seasonings, and a palate that had shifted from sweet to salty had changed the way the English ate. Books on herbs and medicine, laws governing the baking of bread and the importing of spices, household accounts, gardening journals, and even student plays, as well as printed and manuscript recipe books, permit us to see into the gardens, kitchens, butteries, and cellars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and to experience some of the food grown, prepared, and stored there.

Stocking Your Cupboard
Learn More

Farms and Orchards
Learn More

Staples of Every-day Dining
Learn More

Quenching Your Thirst
Learn More

Health Manuals
Learn More

Importing Recipes
Learn More

Storing & Preserving
Learn More

Speak of Your Courtesy
Learn More

Christmas Feasts & Fancies
Learn More

Learn more about the fascinating world of sixteenth- and seventeenth century food and drink explored in Fooles and Fricasses in the exhibition catalog.

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623