Museum returns to tastes of 1600s

Visitors to the Clifton Park museum get to see how cooking was done in the 17th century.
Visitors to the Clifton Park museum get to see how cooking was done in the 17th century.
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DISHES from England’s distant past were served up at a South Yorkshire museum during a day of history talks and food demonstrations.

Re-enactors in 17th century costume showed off their culinary skills at Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham, recreating meals from the time of the Civil War 400 years ago.

To add to the spirit of authenticity, they cooked the food on the museum’s vintage range, creating a host of tasty treats including honey cake, cheese pie, biscuits and marmalade.

Lorna Pedley, a museum assistant who took part in the re-enactment, said there was a “fantastic atmosphere”.

She said: “Everyone was given the chance to taste a sample of some of the food and, if they liked it, they were able to buy some of the cakes in the granary café.”

Diets in the 1600s were limited to foods that were in season, as well as meat and fish for those with enough money.

Later in the century new delicacies were introduced to England, such as bananas and pineapples, while tea, coffee and ice cream also became available for the first time.

Poor people ate plain foods such as bread, cheese, onions and a stew-like dish called potage.