A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages (Hardback)
  • A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages (Hardback)
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A Hermit's Cookbook: Monks, Food and Fasting in the Middle Ages (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 02/06/2011
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How did medieval hermits survive on their self-denying diet? What did they eat, and how did unethical monks get around the rules? The Egyptian hermit Onuphrios was said to have lived entirely on dates, and perhaps the most famous of all hermits, John the Baptist, on locusts and wild honey. Was it really possible to sustain life on so little food? The history of monasticism is defined by the fierce and passionate abandonment of the ordinary comforts of life, the most striking being food and drink. "A Hermit's Cookbook" opens with stories and penportraits of the Desert Fathers of early Christianity and their followers who were ascetic solitaries, hermits and pillar-dwellers. It proceeds to explore how the ideals of the desert fathers were revived in both the Byzantine and western traditions, looking at the cultivation of food in monasteries, eating and cooking, and why hunting animals was rejected by any self-respecting hermit. Full of rich anecdotes, and including recipes for basic monk's stew and bread soup - and many others - this is a fascinating story of hermits, monks, food and fasting in the Middle Ages.

Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 9780826423931
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Extract featured in the Platelicker section--The Big Issue
Full page extract featured--,
Extract featured in the Platelicker section--,
Extract Featured--,
Reviewed in The Church Times
This is a sparkling book, hugely informative about monasticism in general and hermits in particular with the addition of some surprisingly appetising recipes. Mortification and nettles turn out to be only one part of the story of how hermits battled with the devil; hospitality and humility were equally important as was a good knowledge of bread-making and a sound digestion. Tree bark is probably not to everyone's taste.--Sanford Lakoff
Extract Featured--Sanford Lakoff
Extract featured in the Platelicker section--Sanford Lakoff
Full page extract featured--Sanford Lakoff
'What underlies this entertaining, informative account of monastic diet is the unexplored issue of food consumption as a means exercising individual and social control... this is a book that does more than it says on the tin.'--Sanford Lakoff

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