On 6th January 2023 the FoodCult team presented a panel of 7 papers at the SHA annual conference in Lisbon. These papers represented individual ongoing workpackages, but also our efforts to integrate our approaches towards developing a deeper understanding of diet and food culture in Ireland.
Marc Meltonville, FoodCult’s ‘Brewer in Chief’, will present a paper featuring our recent research at the ‘Ale Through the Ages’ Conference at Williamsburg VA. The paper, ‘Beer & Roses, building a Tudor brewery’ reflects on the process of recreating historic beers and the challenges of authenticity. The conference runs from 11-13th November.
Delighted to announce the publication of a new open access article in The Historical Journal. The article, which is based on the forensic analysis of household accounts from Dublin Castle transcribed as part of the Food Microhistories work-package, explores the role of food and drink in the demonstration and negotiation of power in Ireland.
Delighted to announce the publication of a new open access article in Food and History. The article, “Food and Social Politics in Early Modern Ireland”, is a deep analysis of fictional representations of food in Gaelic Ireland. It demonstrates the acceptance and interpretation of broader cultural food ideas in early modern Ireland. The article received an honourable mention by the jury for the the Food and History biennial prize.
After almost three years of preparation, last week finally saw the completion of the brewing experiment at the Weald and Downland Museum. Four barrels of sixteenth-century beer are in the last stages of fermentation, having been brewed with carefully selected yeast, heritage grains, and period equipment. These will soon be moved to three different labs for analysis.
Prof John Morrissey at University College Cork, who researched and reconstituted the yeast will undertake analysis from a microbiological perspective. Prof Janet Montgomery at Durham University is examining the isotopes in the beer. She will measure the change in O-isotopes from cold water to beer. This will help better understand how oxygen isotopes are used to examine human mobility and migration. In addition, C,N and S-isotopes will be examined to better understand beer in dietary studies.
Finally, nutritional analysis is taking place at the School of Biosciences, Nottingham University, under the direction of Dr Stephen Lawrence. This will allow us to consider in great detail, the dietetic value of beer in early modern society.
The entire process has been filmed by Storylab at Anglia Ruskin University, under the direction of Dr Shreepali Patel. This film will show the immense interdisciplinary efforts involved in bringing this project to life, following the story all the way from the archive to the finished beer.
Results to follow soon…
We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting preliminary results from the project at two forthcoming conferences.
27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists
The conference takes place online and in Kiel, Germany. Meriel will present a paper on the emerging evidence for plant remains in the Mapping Diet database. This will focus on cereals and fruits to highlight the challenges and benefits of an interdisciplinary approach, key gaps in knowledge, and how the FoodCult project is addressing these issues.
Some of these preliminary results will also appear in a forthcoming publication:
McClatchie, Flavin and O’Carroll, “Unearthing a new food culture: fruits in early modern Ireland” in Valamoti et. al. eds. Cooking with Plants in Ancient Europe and Beyond: interdisciplinary approaches to the Archaeology of Plant Foods (Sidestone Press, forthcoming 2021)
4th Annual National Monuments Service archaeology conference: “Nexus: People and Places Through Time”
On the 18th October, Susan will present the preliminary results from the Brewing project which is due to run from 1st-19th September. The paper will focus on the interdisciplinary methods used by the team to recreate sixteenth-century beer, our findings with regards to the brewing process, and the quality of the end product, in nutritional terms.
On Tuesday March 23rd 2021, Susan will join food historians Allen J Grieco and Peter Scholliers in a panel discussion on ‘Food and Drink Cultures Through the Ages’. The discussion will be moderated by Beat Kümin, Professor of Early Modern European History and GRP thematic lead for ‘Food Cultures’ at the University of Warwick.
We are delighted to announce the publication of an article on the project’s aims and methods in the first issue of the new European Journal of Food, Drink and Society. Congratulations to Michelle Share, Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire and Dorothy Cashman on a wonderful initiative, and the team looks forward to making further contributions to the journal in the future.