Living History
Donate to LHVW

Food – To Die For: Food Preparation in the Georgian Era

Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
2 years ago
1,776 posts

Thought this was a most interesting article.

Food – To Die For: Food Preparation in the Georgian Era

"Miss Bates, let Emma help you to a little bit of tart–a very little bit. Ours are all apple-tarts. You need not be afraid of unwholesome preserves here. I do not advise the custard.”

So says the ever-cautious, Mr Woodhouse, in Jane Austen’s Emma as he entertains his guests at supper. Yet Mr Woodhouse’s fears were not entirely in his imagination.

...

In 1851 The Lancet, medical journal, commissioned a doctor from the London Royal Free Hospital to examine the adulteration of thirty common foods. The study revealed that China tea contained 45% sand and dirt together with traces of sulphate of iron; lard contained carbonate of soda and caustic lime; coffee included chicory, mangel wurzel (root vegetable) sawdust, and acorns; cocoa and chocolate were coloured with earth and included arrowroot and Venetian lead; sweets (candy) were found to contain chromate of lead, sulphate of mercury and various other noxious flavourings and colourings. Red lead and other chemical colourings were found to be routinely used in foodstuffs such as “Red Leicester Cheese.”




--
Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
2 years ago
1,776 posts

Until I read this I had no idea that the adulteration of food was such a problem!  I thought that proper food preservation would have been the biggest issue.  Can you imagine ... bleh ...




--
Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Tiamat Windstorm von Hirvi
@tiamat-windstorm-von-hirvi
2 years ago
352 posts

"Horrible Histories" has done some stomach-churningly good work on this theme.




--
Antiquity Hedgewitch
Claire-Sophie de Rocoulle
@claire-sophie-de-rocoulle
2 years ago
112 posts

Tiamat Windstorm von Hirvi:

"Horrible Histories" has done some stomach-churningly good work on this theme.

I was just thinking - Tat can only be surprised by this if she haven't seen Horrible Histories XD

Although the quality is terrible I did find this

Sadly I couldn't find the Victorian Era clip with the plaster ice cream with dandruff sprinkles on top being sold to kids. It really makes you appreciate food regulations today. 

Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
2 years ago
1,776 posts

It's true, I haven't had much to do with Horrible Histories!  I like to idealize my history ;)




--
Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site