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Shakespeare’s Kitchen

  • Santa Fe Woman's Club 1616 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe, NM, 87505 United States (map)

Shakespeare’s language is full of the everyday world of 400 years ago and its food. From the traditional country market town of Stratford with simple roasts and few spices, to groaning banquets at Court (where perhaps the Players snatched the leftover “broken meats” after the show!) he would have been familiar with the whole range of Elizabethan and Jacobean cooking.

But what was food all about in that golden age and how does it differ from, and complement, our twenty-first century tastes? If you want to voyage to a nobleman’s house in 1606 for a banquet today, what would you choose to prepare that would be both authentic and tasty?

$10 payable at the door

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Suzanne Cross has been studying medieval and Elizabethan food since 1975, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art published a “curiosity” book about the cooking at the Court of Richard II, c. 1390. Her first “Queen’s Banquet” involved capon and Orangeado Pie in 1977. Since then, she’s presented Shakespearean Banquets in Santa Fe and points east and will discuss not only the fine points of food in Shakespeare’s Day, but recipes (including “kickshaws”) you can create to celebrate your own inner Will.

Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.
— Robert Shallow in 2 Henry IV