Feasting in Shakespeare’s Plays

a culinary journey through the imaginative world of Shakespeare

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Pub Date 01 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 21 Jan 2021

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This excerpt (The Merry Wives of Windsor) from Feasting in Shakespeare's Plays was edited on December 24, 2020. We welcome your thoughts! If you gave us your comments on the earlier version, let us know if your current feedback would be different from your earlier review.


Greetings and salutations!

Have you ever wanted to know more about the lighter side of Shakespeare without having to dive into a pile of research materials...perhaps be entertained by light reading and still learn interesting information? If so, here is a book for you. Feasting in Shakespeare's Plays will guide you on a journey through Shakespeare's world from a perspective that anyone can easily relate to: culinary delights!

Foodstuffs were mentioned often in Shakespeare’s plays. But how often have we stopped to take notice of the tastes and smells that shape our imagination as we read or watch his stories unfold? Author Rie Sato skillfully interprets Shakespeare's plays from this angle, illustrating examples of how the master of language used food as double and triple entendres.

"I tried to understand what Shakespeare intended to communicate to his audience by using food as a conduit," says Sato. "Understanding Shakespearean food, I believe, can help us get closer to his world."

To better grasp Shakespeare's use of metaphors and symbolism, the author also shares her research on the cultural, social and historical environments that framed the age in which Shakespeare's plays were set.

The author provides references to English period cookbooks and recipe collections, and includes her personal recipes that were painstakingly adapted to today’s modern kitchen. This is not a cookbook, but rather a guide for the Shakespeare enthusiast to "feast" on his plays (author's pun intended) by enjoying the pleasures of traditional fare and its preparation methods.

ArtTrav is pleased to present another one of its specialty travel books, this time to help you re-examine Shakespeare's writings by way of food and cooking. Artistically presented and fun to read, the contents will enrich your mind as you accompany legendary characters eating their way through their situations. The contents currently open for review include one chapter and a few representative recipes. More chapters will follow soon. Please note that the recipes are still undergoing final kitchen testing so details are subject to change. We are certain this book will be most delightful to a wide audience.

This excerpt (The Merry Wives of Windsor) from Feasting in Shakespeare's Plays was edited on December 24, 2020. We welcome your thoughts! If you gave us your comments on the earlier version, let us...

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ISBN 9784904402252
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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Difficult to judge a book on just one chapter, but here goes: I have always been intrigued by food of Shakespearean times, their use of costly spices and (to us) odd combinations, so I was looking forward to reading this excerpt. The cover is tentative - it needs to be “dressed up” A LOT to appeal, i.e. use a food stylist and professional photographer. I expected sumptuous crockery/glass/silver/pewter backgrounds or at least one artistically designed sweetmeat. Contrary to the title, there are no recipes in this excerpt, just the mention of some ingredients used. Again, this may be remedied at a later date or covered in an appendix. There are just 11 pages of text without any images. Again, I really wanted images and suspect they will be forthcoming in later versions. There are some surprising food facts mentioned, but I wished for a more in-depth analysis. Some word choices seem to be non-idiomatic and there are some grammar mistakes, even in the blurb. All in all, an interesting angle on Shakespeare, but needs work.

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What a fun book this could be! Sadly, this was only an extract, but I enjoyed what I read. Sato investigates and discusses references to food in a number of Shakespeare's plays. The work feels very academic and is clearly well researched and references many cooking manuals of the time. I like how Sato takes a play, and researches what each reference to food would have actually meant at the time. There were also a few photos provided for guidance. I am not sure I will ever read Shakespeare in quite the same way again. Any references to food will always make me questions and wonder what the food might have looked like and what it took to prepare it. Undoubtedly, Shakespeare will have chosen each dish to supplement his story lines and I think I might be overlooking different ways to interpret the play. I think this book will appeal to a limited audience, but would be an enjoyable read for the right persons: anyone teaching or studying this period, and anyone interested in culinary history.

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I can't wait to see the whole book, it is a little hard to know how it will turn out with just 17 pages to be reviewed. That being said, so far I am enjoying the book and think it is a great idea, look forward to the completed work.

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Tainted meat... venison in particular... eating of it could not have been any safer in Shakespeare's day as in ours. I was old this fallacy in grade school and often wondered how ancestors could possibly have survived what would, at the very least, end us up in the hospital! lol! Anyway, the book looks like it be of interest not only to Shakespeare fans, but arm chair historians, and cooks, as well. English majors may enjoy this book as well. It is hugely entertaining, in my opinion. Mind, I only received Preface and Chapter 1 for my Kindle, but it looks to be a good read.

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Very, very interesting! I great book to read if you love history, cooking or anything to do with Shakespeare!

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It's hard to judge a book on just one chapter but it looks very interesting. Looking forward to the rest. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

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Shakespeare's Recipes is a food/cooking/commentary collection of the foods and dishes mentioned in the plays of the Bard. Due out 1st Feb 2021 from the author, Rie Sato, the page count information and formatting were not provided in the excerpt given for review purposes. This is a very short (13 page) excerpt for review which doesn't contain any recipes. It does contain an intriguing stream-of-consciousness running commentary on some mentions of food from various canonical Shakespeare plays. The partial excerpt of chapter one mostly concerns Falstaff and his epicurean (and romantic) exploits in Merry Wives of Windsor. There are brief mentions of sweetmeats and venison, with some attendant quotes from the play(s) (Cliff notes version: Falstaff appears in three plays (Henry IV 1-2, MWoW), and is eulogized in Henry V. The language in this excerpt, while perfectly readable and understandable, is clearly either translated or written by a writer whose primary language facility isn't in English. It's not particularly distracting, but it is noticeable. There are numerous instances where words are substituted for other similar words, nobilities for nobles, pursues for ensues, and several others. As stated, this is an early eARC excerpt and these issues would normally be fixed in the editing process, but since this is a self-published book, it's worth noting. As it is now, I am truly intrigued by the premise, but less than enthusiastic about the implementation. Three stars in its current form. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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While the premise of this book is fascinating, it is difficult to review a cookbook with only one chapter to go on. Feasts in Shakespeare’s Plays is especially appealing to Shakespeare lovers and English majors. Rie Sato has obviously done plenty of research and while she names some of the dishes that she plans to include in the book based on Shakespeare’s plays, there are no actual recipes in the review copy to try and use to review the cookbook. A good reviewer is expected to prepare at least a recipe or two from a cookbook to make sure the instructions are both easy to follow, understandable to cooks at all levels of expertise, and that they turn out right. Since there are no real recipes in the review copy, this is impossible. While the sample prose is not only interesting, but well-written, it is not complete, and no reviewer will be able to judge whether or not it is a viable cookbook that will actually used to cook from. A good cookbook also contains photographs, and there are some excellent photos in this sample; hopefully when the recipes are added, they will be relatable and worth preparing. I think it is impossible to actually review a cookbook without at least a sample of the recipes included and the way that they will eventually be presented. Sato should have waited to send out the review copies until she had decided on her format for each recipe. This is just like having an idea and then putting the idea out for everyone to judge without putting any proper documentation out to support the idea. As an English major, a caterer, and Shakespeare lover, I don’t think it is fair to give this book stars until I see the actual book with actual recipes. Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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This is not enough to review. This isn't anything more than a description of the book. Honestly, even one chapter isn't enough. I don't really understand the thought process behind this, as other review copies of cook books are the full book. I thought it would be interesting but it's more confusing than anything else.

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