Title

Food for Healing: Convalescent Cookery in the Early Modern Era

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Department

History

ISSN

1369-8486

Volume

43

Issue

2

DOI

10.1016/j.shpsc.2011.10.024

First Page

323

Last Page

328

Publication Date

6-1-2012

Abstract

Despite major theoretical shifts in early modern nutritional theory, from humoralism to chemical and mechanical systems, the form and structure of convalescent cookery remained remarkably constant throughout the era and to a large extent even down to the present. In medical texts, cookbooks and in the popular imagination convalescent food generally mirrored food for infants, being soft and bland, based on dairy and grains, as well as foods considered highly nutritious yet easy to digest like concentrated broths. This article traces the development of ideas about convalescent food and how little they change over time.