Gastronomical History (The Food Thread)

Titus Groan

Active Member
Jun 14, 2018
Food is key. From G.R. Martins plums, pies and roasted pigs to the Nutrition Goo found in sci-fi, characters will have to be fed at one time or another. While reading an excellent history of Victorian sweet-making I thought "wouldnt it be handy to have this kind of information collected in one thread?"

Here is the sweet-making article: The Lollies and Sweets of the Victorian Era: a Steampunk Perspective

and the only other resource that comes to mind is Supersizers, a british reality tv show where a food critic and a comedian eat like the people of a historical era for a week. The Regancy episode is quite fun.

So please post any interesting food facts, history and tidbits that you come across!

Guillermo Stitch

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2018
Dickens is good for this - he can't get through a book without listing the items of a good spread roughly a dozen times or more. More pies and birds than anything else. I think he used it as a feelgood factor to warm up a scene. I once wrote a loooong description of meal in one of my books which was meant as kind of absurdist send-up and was based on some reasonably rigorous research into Elizabethan banquet recipes. I'd post the excerpt here but I'm not sure if that would be appropriate, self-serving, or tangental to the thread...
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Joshua Jones

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2017
Maryland, USA
Food, and how the characters interact with their food, can also be a great way to establish the nature of life in a given society or group. I have one faction where a mid level salesman can afford a suite on a cruise liner (to be fair, in faction, it is an economy suite, but it is still a two bedroom suite which rivals anything Royal Caribbean has on their ships) and a surprise lobster dinner in space from a portion of his relocation bonus. Their military vessels are never out of port for more than a month, because they stock steaks and other luxury rations for all crew. In fact, they have learned that giving prisoners emergency rations is an effective way to cause them to defect, as these are vastly superior to the typical meals of many other nations. This is possible because they are absurdly wealthy from their near energy monopoly (imagine the oil wealth of the entirety of OPEC, Russia, and the United States combined and you have a rough idea of how wealthy this nation is), and food is one of the things I use to illustrate this.

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