Eating History

Eating History
Eating History presents a recipe book of sorts, formed through the conversations that occurred as part of a cultural engagement project initiated by Laura Mansfield. Eating History entailed taking material from the Home Studies Collection – a collection of over 700 recipe books, household manuals and domestic handbooks held in Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections – to different community groups in Manchester.

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Handling the material, talking about recipes, ingredients and food, conversations quickly extended to touch upon subjects ranging from cooking for families, learning English, Kurdistani new year celebrations, working in factories, Irish immigration, being welcome or unwelcome in the city, Syrian conflict, dancing, looking after children with scarlet fever and wearing new gloves to church on a Sunday – in short, everything other than food. The archive material was used as a catalyst for conversations in the manner that sitting around a table to eat is a format for sharing, learning and talking with the other guests. The recipes collected together here present the ingredients and dishes that triggered conversations, memories and anecdotes. They are taken from books found in the Home Studies Collection dating from 1696 to 1933, as well as transcriptions from the personal accounts of project participants. 


Eating history builds upon Laura's ongoing publication project FEAST and our continuing work with her on food related publications and events. 


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