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a tale of Restoration intrigue by

Molly Brown

Food and drink

Saffron, imported pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinammon were all used to flavour dishes. They each had medicinal uses and were burned as fumigants. Later sugar became an established item, the odour of coffee replaced that of cinammon, and tobacco smoke (especially after the Plague) was establishing itself as a universal disinfectant. By 1674, spices were declining, and were rarely used with meat.

Potatoes were disliked so much that in a book called Systema Agriculurae (published in 1669) there were recipes for using the potato in bread, paste, puddings and custard, in order to disguise its taste as much as possible.

Some Restoration recipes


Hashed Meat
From The Queene-Like Closet or Rich Cabinet by Hannah Wolley:

The Duke of York's Favourite Sauce
Pepys's Diary, 10 February 1669:

Fricasse of Oysters
From The Queene-Like Closet or Rich Cabinet by Hannah Wolley:


Candied Flowers

Plague Water

From John Chamberlayne, The Manner of Making Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate... with their Vertues, 1685:

A new innovation
Pepys' Diary, 9 March 1669:

A bill of fare for gentlemen's houses of lesser quality

How to make a cup of coffee

The diet at St. Bartholomew's Hospital

Other lifestyle pages

Restoration fashion

The many loves of Charles II

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(c) 1996, 1997 Molly Brown