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The Decadent Cookbook (Literary Cookbooks)

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This is not a normal cookbook but a slightly sinister and highly literate feast of decadent writing on food. There are dishes from the tables of Caligula and the Marquis de Sade, a visit to Paris under seige (where rat was a luxury), some unexpected uses for cat food and some amblongous recipes from Edward Lear. There should be something to delight and offend everyone.


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This is not a normal cookbook but a slightly sinister and highly literate feast of decadent writing on food. There are dishes from the tables of Caligula and the Marquis de Sade, a visit to Paris under seige (where rat was a luxury), some unexpected uses for cat food and some amblongous recipes from Edward Lear. There should be something to delight and offend everyone.

30 review for The Decadent Cookbook (Literary Cookbooks)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Robert Collins

    I love cookbooks that are different from the normal, oh boy this different Blood Fritters, Soles in Coffins, Death on the Nile, Mock hedgehog to name but a few. This also book with class pice of literature in the book & erotic dishes. It perhaps not an easy cooking to use b7t it is fun book This book has a favourite recipe on p123.I have two naughty black Tom cats, so a recipe How to cook a cat in Tomato sauce is perfect as the idea of 'Skinning cat' is very applying when Oscar drops a Silent I love cookbooks that are different from the normal, oh boy this different Blood Fritters, Soles in Coffins, Death on the Nile, Mock hedgehog to name but a few. This also book with class pice of literature in the book & erotic dishes. It perhaps not an easy cooking to use b7t it is fun book This book has a favourite recipe on p123.I have two naughty black Tom cats, so a recipe How to cook a cat in Tomato sauce is perfect as the idea of 'Skinning cat' is very applying when Oscar drops a Silent but deadly at night on my knee when is curled up tight or when Snowball pinches my pork pie. The Dog À La Beti sounds good special the idea of stuffing a banana were sun does not shine I can think few dogs that like do that too or people.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    I am not, by nature, an adventurous eater. I tend to stay away from overly spicy foods and I eat no shellfish and little actual fish. And my heart condition points me towards less voluptuous eating in general. But Dedalus has never steered me wrong with it's decadence-related publications, whether reprinting old classics (Monsieur de Phocas, Monsieur Venus, et. al) or these beautiful little guidebooks to the further realms of indulgence. The focus here is mining history for examples of the excess I am not, by nature, an adventurous eater. I tend to stay away from overly spicy foods and I eat no shellfish and little actual fish. And my heart condition points me towards less voluptuous eating in general. But Dedalus has never steered me wrong with it's decadence-related publications, whether reprinting old classics (Monsieur de Phocas, Monsieur Venus, et. al) or these beautiful little guidebooks to the further realms of indulgence. The focus here is mining history for examples of the excessive, the outre, the repulsive and the enigmatic. And providing recipes when possible. We start, as decadence always must, with the Romans (one can assume earlier civilizations plumbed even greater depths of excess but we have no records of such, just legends, and records are the lifeblood of a sensibility built on transient sensations). As I'd recently finished re-watching I CLAUDIUS, this seems apt. Romans ate all kinds of things, including snails fattened on milk, doormice (which sound like European squirrels), peacock ("peacock meat is black but tastier than that of any other bird") and flamingo. Next, it's those models of Christian temperance and charity, the medieval Popes, who needed a hearty repast to keep up their strength while torturing Jews, Muslims and other, non-Catholic Christians (whipping must be exhausting and the rack wheel is sheer drudgery). This is followed by a short dissertation on the medieval fad for food sculptures. The tradition of "black" or "funeral meals" is examined next (Gravlax, a Scandinavian dish featuring buried/putrefied salmon, can be seen as a deliberate parody of the Christian mystery). This, naturally, leads into the concept of the use of blood as a primary cooking ingredient or foodstuff. And after death and blood, what could be more natural than rot, and it's various uses in adding piquancy to food (think moldy cheese, aged meat, thousand-year eggs, etc.)? Such is the topic of the chapter "Corruption and Decay". Next, a short digression on the unthinkable (but historically common) - the consumption of cats and dogs (and rats!) - lean times lead to meaner meals (fatten up your dogs now, bad times are coming...) Ah, but what of that most decadent of possibilities, the eating of an endangered species? Yes - covered, with some special attention paid to "Panda Paw Casserole". I once decided that liverwurst was probably the most "death-infused" foodstuff that ever existed and the inevitable chapter on the noble sausage seems to bear me out, with numerous hideous examples of the old "intestine stuffed with stuff" - a few of which sound delicious. Charles Lamb then enthuses over the joys of suckling pig (with a side route into the moral quandary of whether whipping an infant pig to make it more tender is justifiable if the pleasure derived from eating it is greater than the cruelty - a question we still dodge today whether we know it or not. The piglet has little say in the matter, more's the pity). From there it's on to desserts (the Marquis De Sade, it seems, had quite a sweet-tooth) and pastries and extravagant constructions made by bakers that test the limits of confectionery architecture. After a short detour into "eating as cruelty" and (as might be considered inevitable) cannibalism, the book winds up with angelic and demonic foods and a short section on absurd and nonsense foods from Edward Lear ("Nonsense has been defined as decadence under the sign of the comic"). All of the above discussion are provided with recipes, of course. This book is exactly how you'd like a topic like this to be covered - neither a boring cookbook of endless weights and measures, nor a dry and exhaustive history that drains off the fun. Instead, its a swift, witty tour through a sensibility applied to a historical staple (a blueprint that also applies to The Decadent Gardener & The Decadent Traveller). Oh, the book is a bit padded with excerpts from classic and not-so-classic sources - essays, short stories, dining segments from novels and memoirs (all to set the mood, of course): Gustave Flaubert on Carthaginian feasts from Salammbo; Tobias George Smollett on a failed recreation of a Roman feast from The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle; a decadent papal banquet (including an edible girl) from The Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf by David Madsen; an excerpt from Le club des Hachichins by Théophile Gautier about a drugged-up meal (the man who struggles endlessly to lift his glass to his lips whilst laughing uncontrollably is a great detail!); a meal for the dead from The Odyssey; the full text of the short story "The Glass Of Blood" by Jean Lorrain, a character study of a reserved actress of great talent and the young, consumptive step-daughter she loves (perhaps more than she should?) and whom she sends to the slaughterhouse to drink fresh blood for vitality; A visit to a degenerate old roue who eats only decaying food from The Lives of Dandies by T.M. Heathcote (I can find no trace of this author or book anywhere!); Henry Labouchere on eating dogs, rats and cats.; The full text of Louis de Bernières' short story "Labels" about a mania for collecting cat food labels that leads into poverty, eventual consumption of the contents and then riches; Charles Lamb on suckling pig (as mentioned); an excerpt from Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans in which arch-decadent des Essientes suffers a midnight toothache and needs go pursue a common tooth-puller; an extremely decadent meal (including crustaceans scooped out and filled with sweet cream) from L'anglais décrit dans le château fermé by André Pieyre de Mandiargues; and finally an orientalist vision of a feast from Vathek by William Beckford Some of the actual recipes seem daunting (or impossible) to pull-off, but others seem quite manageable. The grotesque foodstuffs don't shock me very much, as one understands the desperate need by hungry peoples to use every possible nutrition source available - who was the first man to look at a lobster and say, "oh yeah, gotta eat that!" anyway? So, anything I'd like to try? Why, yes, thanks for asking: İçli Köfte - a Turkish crusted meatball; Mock Hedgehog; Koliva - a Greek sweet for the Dead; Pear Coffins; Crimson Tart (the name of a profligate superheroine?); Yellow Sausages; Frankfurters Flambe; Hot Lightning (blood sausage, Apples and Potatoes); Deviled Bones (mustard-coated, peppered meat joints); Kromeski (Polish croquette with bacon); Ladies Thighs (a minced lamb patty) Deviled Peppers (hot, but eaten cold) Deviled Ham Toasts (spicy!) Mephistophelian Sauce (spicy sauce to put over turkey) and Himmel Und Erde (Heaven and Earth - Potatoes, Apples, Salt and Bacon) But I don't really cook. Maybe I should start!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eadweard

    Yum. "GLIRES (ROAST DORMICE) This is the recipe from Apicius: Slit open and gut four dormice and stuff then with a mixture of minced pork and dormouse (all parts), pepper, nuts, stock, and laser (i.e. wild African fennel). Stitch up and roast on a tile or in a small clay oven. Serve as they are, or as described in Satyricon, with honey and poppy-seeds." --- " FLAMINGO STEW Another dish for the intrepid. Flamingoes are not easy to find outside Africa, except in zoos. But guests will appreciate the Yum. "GLIRES (ROAST DORMICE) This is the recipe from Apicius: Slit open and gut four dormice and stuff then with a mixture of minced pork and dormouse (all parts), pepper, nuts, stock, and laser (i.e. wild African fennel). Stitch up and roast on a tile or in a small clay oven. Serve as they are, or as described in Satyricon, with honey and poppy-seeds." --- " FLAMINGO STEW Another dish for the intrepid. Flamingoes are not easy to find outside Africa, except in zoos. But guests will appreciate the effort, and you can do all sorts of exciting things with the plumage. Pluck and gut a flamingo. Place in a pan with water, aniseed, salt and a little vinegar, and boil. When half cooked, add a bunch of chives and coriander leaves tied in a bundle. Towards the end of cooking, add some boiled wine to give it colour. Take a pestle and mortar and grind up pepper, cumin, coriander, laser root, mint and rue. Add vinegar, dates and some of the cooking broth, then pour the lot into the pan. Thicken the sauce with starch, then serve. You can use the same recipe for parrot. SAUCE FOR ROAST FLAMINGO Grind pepper, lovage, celery seed, parsley, mint, dried onion, fried sesame seeds and dates with a pestle and mortar. Pour in wine, honey, stock, olive oil, vinegar and boiled wine. Mix well." --- 'LIVE’ PEACOCK WITH SMALL BIRDS Skin the peacock, starting from the breast, leaving the head, wings, tail and feet attached to the skin. When it’s gutted and cooked, let it cool and arrange a piece of iron in the shape of a half moon to grip the middle of the body, and another piece in the shape of the moon to go through the neck; another half-moon piece lower than the first to hold up the tail, and two small rods inserted into the thighs. Then carefully stretch the skin over the body, arranging it so that the neck, tail and feet stand firm on the irons, and the whole thing looks as if it is alive. You can fill the body with a variety of small live birds, and put fire in its mouth using acqua vitae and camphor or other substances. The board should be surrounded with branches of boxwood or myrtle, and there should be a hole under the wings so that when the Carver begins to carve the birds can fly out. --- "The golden age of food sculpture lasted from about 1500 to the First World War, but there were pioneers before then and it’s not entirely forgotten even now. Scraps of the old magnificence survive in the oddest places… The bakeries of King Stanislas gave birth to the most ingenious fantasies. One day four servants placed on the royal table a huge pie in the shape of a citadel. Suddenly, the lid rose and out of the pie jumped Bébé, the King’s dwarf, dressed as a warrior, with a helmet on his head and a pistol in his hand, which he fired, terrifying the ladies." --- " There are those who believe that jugged hare can be made without the blood, that it tastes just as good using stock instead. One should treat such persons with contempt. They are the sort who think that the Brahms double concerto sounds just as good without the cello part." --- "Another of the great civilisations, the Aztecs, raised a breed of hairless chihuahuas especially for eating. When the Conquistadors arrived and found dog on the menu, they were of the same opinion as Mademoiselle, that this was evidence of the worst form of barbarism. They, the Spaniards, used dogs as befits civilised and Christian men - to hunt down fugitive Indians and tear them to pieces."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Branden William

    Medlar Lucan and Durian Gray are back at it again with another brilliant publication. This time, they bring us the most enigmatic, excessive, luxuriously extravagant decadent-related stories in gastronomy, as well as providing century-old recipes and useful tips for decadent dinners with friends in between. "Decadent cooks go one step further and make sculptures of the food itself. If like is to be spent in the pursuit of the extravagant, the extreme, the grotesque, the bizarre, then one's diet Medlar Lucan and Durian Gray are back at it again with another brilliant publication. This time, they bring us the most enigmatic, excessive, luxuriously extravagant decadent-related stories in gastronomy, as well as providing century-old recipes and useful tips for decadent dinners with friends in between. "Decadent cooks go one step further and make sculptures of the food itself. If like is to be spent in the pursuit of the extravagant, the extreme, the grotesque, the bizarre, then one's diet should reflect the fact. Life, meals, everything must be as artificial as possible-- in fact works of art. So why not begin by eating a few statues?" The Decadent Cookbook is a wicked and exciting place altogether. The first chapter begins in decadent Rome. Eating was one of the great pleasures of the age. Murder was its great vice. The only surviving Roman cookbook was written by Apicius, who liked nothing better than clashing flavors and the use of rare, improbable beasts. Dormice, flamingoes, sea-urchins, cranes-- practically everything that moved was slaughtered and cooked and served up as wittily and elegantly as possible. Dinner parties were of great importance and a checklist detailing a do-it yourself dinner with Caligula is given, including such ingredients as hiring plenty of slaves for the evening, inviting naughty friends and a good poet willing to read his works, as well as providing vomit buckets and finger bowls, and issuing invitations in the form of verse epigrams. Recipes for flamingo stew, small roast testicles, rose-hip and calf's brain custard, milk-fed snails, and authentic Roman wine are given. Next we visit the kitchens of Renaissance popes. Methods of cooking frog, bear, porcupine, guinea-pig, dormice, and peacock are detailed as well as general stuffing recipes for all spit-roasted animals. An excerpt from "Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf" by David Madsen follows-- the story of a decadent papal banquet that includes an edible girl. My favorite line: "Much to my surprise however, it was a lady (I use the term cautiously) whose face was buried deep between the shuddering thighs, sucking, slurping shamelessly, her long tongue darting rapidly in and out of the private opening hidden beneath the bush of black hair. I can well imagine what sort of cream she hopes to find there." We move from here to Renaissance Italy, with a short dissertation on food sculptures and its magnificence during its golden age. More recipes follow-- roast hedgehog being the most interesting of the bunch. Theophile Gautier's "Le Club Des Hachichins" is next-- a story about an intoxicating meal which causes great hallucinations due to a magical green paste mixed in with the food. This, of course, comes as no surprise. The Club des Hashischins was a Parisian group dedicated to the exploration of drug-induced experiences, and included such members as Hugo, Baudelaire, and Balzac. The Club des Hashischins inspired the creation of my own literary group still in its novice stages-- the Club des Opiophilos-- which focuses on the further exploration and understanding of opiates and their eventual legalization. The chapter I fancy the most, The Gastronomic Mausoleum, is next. The tradition of black-themed meals and funeral meals are examined. We are then reminded of the infamous meal concocted by the arch-aesthete Jean Des Esseintes in Huysmans' A Rebours-- the dining room is draped in black, the paths are dusted with charcoal, the ornamental pond filled with ink, a black tablecloth covered in baskets full of violets and scabious, the accompaniment of a hidden orchestra playing funeral marches, guests waited on by naked negresses wearing only slippers and silver stocking embroidered with tears, turtle soup is served, rye bread from Russia, black olives from Turkey, black pudding from Frankfurt, game served with sauces the color of licorice and shoe-polish, dark-fleshed cherries, dark wines... nearly the perfect black-themed meal ever thought of. This is followed by death-themed recipes with names such as Soles in Coffins and Death on the Nile. Death is then followed by blood, and its use as a main cooking ingredient. The 17th century Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory is mentioned as the original vampire, and her blood rituals are described for those unfamiliar with her orgies of blood-letting. "Blood makes an excellent basis for a Decadent meal. Dark, heavy, rich and sinister, it combines beautifully with other Decadent themes: vice, corruption, incest, and death." A cannibalistic buffet of blood-filled recipes follow, as well as Jean Lorraine's short story, "The Glass of Blood"-- a story about drinking fresh blood for vitality. After death and blood, is rot. Aged-meat, moldy cheeses, thousand-year eggs, and Baudelaire's poem, 'Une Charogne'. Recipes dealing with a morbid fascination of decay and corruption follow, and then for the most decadent of all chapters, I Can Recommend the Poodle. Here, recipes concerning one's own pet is considered. Cats, dogs, rats. What ever happened to Gerard de Nerval's pet lobster? It was plunged into a pot of boiling water and eaten, of course. The origins of eating dog are explained. "The truth is that no compelling argument exists as to why dogs, cats, or rats should not appear on the menu of a highly esteemed restaurant or on the table of an elegant supper party. It seems much more likely that the problem stems from a lack of good recipes." Next is the eating of endangered species. "The true Decadent will wish to go further. His yearning for the bizarre and the exotic will constantly lead him to explore more and more remote culinary regions." "Imagine being presented with the last Dodo, stuffed and roast. Would not every bite be savored to the full, knowing that nobody would ever be able to prepare the dish again?" Japanese Ibis, the parrot owl of New Zealand, the Tasmanian wolf, and Panda Paw Casserole are some of the recipes that you will find in this wonderful section of the cookbook. The decadent sausage is next. A short digression on intestines filled sausages. "Decadents, like clapped-out French monarchs, are always on the look-out for elixirs to restore their rogered constitutions. They should never overlook the sausage." Many recipes involving sausage are given-- the most of any section in the cookbook. Charles Lamb then enthuses over the joys of suckling pig and whipping piglets in order to make them more tender. It impossible to talk about decadence and food without mentioning the greatest Decadent of them all-- the Marquis de Sade. As food played a central role in his fiction, the Marquis de Sade certainly had a sweet tooth. A short dissertation on cannibalism and then the most decadent of desserts recipes, pastries, puddings, and baked-goods are layed-out in grand fashion. The Chancellor's Buttocks, Lady's Navels, Virgin's Breasts-- all luscious-sounding desserts, indeed. Another excerpt from the Decadent Handbook itself, A Rebours is given. This time des Essientes suffers a midnight toothache. The cookbook then concludes with angelic and demonic foods and a short section on absurd and nonsense foods. "Hell is offered pictured as a gigantic kitchen, with roaring flames, spits, cauldrons, toasting forks, gridirons, etc-- all briskly cooking the carcasses of sinners while grinning fiends look on and prod them from time to time to see if they are done." Whether you choose irreverence or the deeply religious lifestyle, the important thing is simply to be one or the other. In Baudelaire's poem, 'Le Voyage', he ends with the following words: "Heaven or Hell, who cares?-- into the unknown in search of the new." "No matter how exotic or exquisite an experience might be, it always becomes dull with repetition. So the Decadent pushes on, trying new, even-riskier sensations." Some of these decadent recipes seem impossible to muster up, however others are more manageable. Since reading this book, I've bought rabbit, alligator, turtle meat, and have been cooking gourmet-style delicacies similar to what one would find in a high-end fine-dining establishment. As I journey further and further into the curious world of gastronomy, The Decadent Cookbook has provided me with much-needed recipes to fulfill my incredible culinary desires. After all, Decadence with world-weariness, ennui, and weltzschmertz. Does it not? Next on the reading list is The Decadent Gardener, which just arrived in the post this evening.

  5. 4 out of 5

    H L

    I'm going to start my journey through my cookbook shelves with this delightful tome, of which I am compelled to share my favorite recipe. Now, as should any cook with a third party recipe, I've adapted this to meet my own needs and circumstances, but I trust you'll find it inspiring and true to the heart of the decadent guide's main thrust. Cat in Tomato Sauce (Cat in Tomato Sauce is a traditional Winter Solstice feast in Alta Brianza.) On the eve of the Summer Solstice, select a succulent cat and I'm going to start my journey through my cookbook shelves with this delightful tome, of which I am compelled to share my favorite recipe. Now, as should any cook with a third party recipe, I've adapted this to meet my own needs and circumstances, but I trust you'll find it inspiring and true to the heart of the decadent guide's main thrust. Cat in Tomato Sauce (Cat in Tomato Sauce is a traditional Winter Solstice feast in Alta Brianza.) On the eve of the Summer Solstice, select a succulent cat and tie it to a post. Feed it, as often, and as much as it cares to eat, sparrow livers braised in heavy cream. Other songbird livers may be substituted should sparrows be in short supply, but under no circumstances should any pigeon sweetmeats be offered. Beat the cat for an hour a day, two hours on Sunday, with a stiff banana stalk to redistribute the fat in the adipose tissue. Three days before the feast, cease feedings, and stake the cat spread-eagled in a snow bank to complete tenderization. Should one live in an area bereft of snow, four hours of additional daily beatings may substitute for the cold immersion. On solstice eve, make a marinade from a cup of vinegar, some sprigs of thyme, and two cloves of garlic, finely chopped. Skin the cat; any of the numerous well-known methods are acceptable, or feel free to improvise. If the cat makes excessive noise, beat it with a fresh banana stalk until it stops. Gut, and wash well. Preserve sweetbreads, rectum and brains for dessert tart or other uses. Cut into pieces, and cover with marinade in a large earthen pot. Leave at room temperature overnight. At first dawn of solstice morning, add two pounds of chopped tomatoes, a tablespoon of ground red pepper, two apples split in half, half a chopped onion, and a cup of oil. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until meat is tender. Remove the cat and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce. Strain the broth and return to pan. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add 1/4 cup Calvados, raise to a boil, and deglaze pot, scraping the bottom to release any solids. Lower heat and reduce to 1/4 cup of liquid. Season to taste with coarse Black Sea salt and additional ground red pepper. Prepare a platter with a bed of warm Blood Polenta ringed with brandied apple wedges, distribute the warm cat pieces on top, and drizzle with prepared sauce.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosminah

    I first read this book in 2000, while in England. It was a dark winter, and I believe the main light in my bedsit hadn't been working for nearly 2 months. So this amusing dark book seemed fitting. Decadent? Very. I fondly recalled the short story called "Labels" from chapter 7: I Can Recommend the Poodle. I searched for my own copy upon returning to US, and almost gave up when I learned it had been reprinted with a cover that didn't match the theme of the other Medlar and Durian books, which my I first read this book in 2000, while in England. It was a dark winter, and I believe the main light in my bedsit hadn't been working for nearly 2 months. So this amusing dark book seemed fitting. Decadent? Very. I fondly recalled the short story called "Labels" from chapter 7: I Can Recommend the Poodle. I searched for my own copy upon returning to US, and almost gave up when I learned it had been reprinted with a cover that didn't match the theme of the other Medlar and Durian books, which my O.C.D. could not compromise on. Luckily, I found my own copy at a used book sale at the bargain price of $2. I can confirm my favorite story is still Labels, but I am also very motivated to follow the recipe of "the Monster Egg," (or Boiled Egg Gargantua) detailed in in chapter 3: the Edible Galleon. To quote from the back cover review: this is not a normal cookbook but a slightly sinister and highly literate feast of decadent writings on food. Oh may wee.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steve Coughlan

    Decadent, decadent, decadent. I'll never match the levels described in this book, and never want to. It provides recipes, practical and impractical, for things we eat, but in quantities too vast to comprehend; things we might eat but don't (mostly odd animals and bits of animals we don't usually see on a plate unless disguised as a hot dog); things we could eat be wouldn't (as in the chapter "I Can Recommend the Poodle"); and things we shouldn't and wouldn't eat (what's left? Cannibalism, real a Decadent, decadent, decadent. I'll never match the levels described in this book, and never want to. It provides recipes, practical and impractical, for things we eat, but in quantities too vast to comprehend; things we might eat but don't (mostly odd animals and bits of animals we don't usually see on a plate unless disguised as a hot dog); things we could eat be wouldn't (as in the chapter "I Can Recommend the Poodle"); and things we shouldn't and wouldn't eat (what's left? Cannibalism, real and faux). The recipes are entwined with pieces of fiction and non-fiction describing decadent meals through history, some with accompanying decadent behaviors (when you're jaded, you look for "interesting" alternatives in more than menus, so sex and other lifestyle choices also enter the subject matter). Fascinating, horrifying, and just enough "I think I could make that, and it sounds good!" to make it worth the squeemish parts.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    This isn’t a book full of recipes you’d want to try at home. While taken from history, they often have such esoteric, bizarre or disgusting ingredients that they read more like jokes than anything else. But make no mistake. These are real recipes taken from actual cookbooks that existed long, long ago. Alongside these recipes are the histories and times that inspired them. From sieges that had people eating animals they never thought they’d touch to elegant feasts featuring outrageous dishes calc This isn’t a book full of recipes you’d want to try at home. While taken from history, they often have such esoteric, bizarre or disgusting ingredients that they read more like jokes than anything else. But make no mistake. These are real recipes taken from actual cookbooks that existed long, long ago. Alongside these recipes are the histories and times that inspired them. From sieges that had people eating animals they never thought they’d touch to elegant feasts featuring outrageous dishes calculated to titillate jaded palates, this book gives us a glimpse into how truly inventive the human gastronomic appetite can be.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Richard C.

    This book on decadent foodstuffs tells you, among other things, what the Romans ate at their orgies. It’s a seriously weird book but also a source of great entertainment. I dipped into it for inspiration when writing my own upcoming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey. Richard ( www.richardcmorais.com )

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    What a brilliant idea, and superbly executed. This is a spoof that is so well written you wish you were able to attend some of the over the top feasts (eating a meal on the coffin of the dead hosts family??)... also the recipes for endangered species sound delightful...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I liked how odd this one was and am tempted to actually make something from it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Reddy Katzy

    Bloody Brilliant read - very different from most other books

  13. 5 out of 5

    Velvetink

    epub bookfinder

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jannon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emerald Hames

  19. 4 out of 5

    H.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lysa

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pantscat

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aristide Torchia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gray

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paco

  25. 5 out of 5

    Winter

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Irwin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Garden of

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nevena

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sonja Hodak

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hodgson

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