Wiedza, narracja i smak: staropolskie książki kucharskiei porady kulinarne jako źródło historyczne


  • Jarosław Dumanowski Instytut Historii i Archiwistyki, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, ul. Bojarskiego 1, 87-100 Toruń https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4288-0179

Słowa kluczowe:

17 w. -- Polska, książki kucharskie staropolskie, przepisy kucharskie nowożytne, historia jedzenia



The article explores the potential of old cookery books and culinary guides as sources for historical research. In addition to problems of source analysis methodology and data on the condition and availability of such sources, it discusses wider issues concerning the aims, character and prospects of research on the history of food. In order to use cookery books and culinary guides it is necessary not only to master more or less traditional methodology of historical research but also to know a lot about nutrition, biology and culinary traditions. Denying such texts the status of source material results from lack of critical source analysis and gaps in knowledge on nutrition. There are few surviving texts which could be used for research on the history of food in the Old Polish period. Sources from the 19th c. are abundant, which, however, has not stimulated the development of research so far. In Polish historiography the history of food is still associated with the Annales school, which limits the applicability of culinary sources. On the other hand, the development of modern history of culture and growing interest in the history of knowledge, beliefs and cultural practices draws our attention to the previously unexplored potential of such sources. The article has resulted from works on publishing Old-Polish texts within the “Monumenta Poloniae Culinaria” project and from works on dispersed sources within the National Programme for the Development of Humanities. Analysing thousands of more or less detailed recipes, which include loads of information on food products, cooking techniques, taste, diet and religious restrictions, makes it possible to trace the changing attitudes to food and its social and cultural functions. Recipes included in printed cookery books differed from those surviving only in manuscripts as to authors, addressees, the type of advice, practicality and social representativeness. Printed texts, which exerted most impact, were often supplemented with ideological prefaces or commentaries concerning the profession of the cook, national and social identity, and nutritive, aesthetic and symbolic values of food. It is not always the case that such texts overtly and unambiguously reflect nutritional standards. It is only an analysis of the context of their publication and of their reception that enables us to study culinary fashions, to discover references to other texts and ideas, to capture the style of cooking and to decipher messages expressed in the language of taste. Cookery books and culinary guides fi rst of all bring information on dietary knowledge, the usage of food products and cooking techniques and their social and cultural evaluation. Like other sources, they should be studied within wider contexts, with due consideration for the features of this particular text genre, and alongside other types of sources.


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Jak cytować

Dumanowski, J. (2014). Wiedza, narracja i smak: staropolskie książki kucharskiei porady kulinarne jako źródło historyczne. Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej, 62(4), 527–539. Pobrano z https://journals.iaepan.pl/khkm/article/view/806



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