Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Blogger on Food in the Golden Age of Amsterdam

Author Catherine Mambretti did a very interesting guest post at a blog called "Judy's Stew" -- Judy's Stew: Food in the Golden Age of Amsterdam. This interested me in connection with the blog posts I did last week, especially Favorite foods of the Dutch Golden Age and Embarrassment of Riches.

Mambretti was looking for information specifically on the food of the Jewish population of 17th century Amsterdam for a historical novel. Now she's looking for publishers for her book. Note: her post has a lot of introductory material before it gets to the interesting part about what people ate in that era.

A key paragraph lists the main foodstuffs available in that era:
Because it was the undisputed leader in world trade during the 17th century, Holland had an amazing array of choices of foods--perhaps more extensive than any other European country. They had all sorts of spices and tea from Asia, all sorts of New World vegetables and nuts (tomatoes, potatoes, maize [small, kernel corn], squash, sugar cane, chocolate), and tropical fruits, including lemons, tangerines, and occasionally pineapples. Because Holland was a coastal nation, they had copious fresh seafood, including herring, eels, salmon, sturgeon, mussels, mollusks, and crustaceans. Like most of Europe, they had game (venison, fowl, wild boar) and domesticated cattle (beef, pork, lamb, and goat). Their dairy products were famous even then. They farmed grains, berries, and orchard fruits, such as apples, pears, pomegranates, peaches, plums, and prunes.

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