Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Joanne V. Bowen
American cuisines did not develop in isolation, but instead were influenced by a constant flow of information, individuals, and material culture between the colonies and the rest of the Atlantic world. These, in turn, interacted with the specific agricultural, social, and economic conditions and goals of residents in each colony. Food was a powerful symbol of identity in the English world in the eighteenth century, and printed English cookery books were widely available. What colonists ate, however, also reflected what was locally available, and resources could vary significantly between colonies. Meat usage is one aspect of cuisine that is directly observable in the archaeological record. This study employs a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the utility of printed eighteenth-century English cookery books to model and predict meat usage in the British American colonies, and to explore if or how meat usage and the larger cuisine varied from colony to colony. to do so, archaeologically-recovered faunal materials from sites in colonial Connecticut and colonial Virginia were compared against a model of meat usage constructed from a rigorous textual analysis of several popular printed cookery books and other texts available to colonists in the eighteenth century. The central aims of this research are to establish a baseline understanding of colonial American meat cuisine to allow for assessments of the ways the cuisine of the American colonists varied from their English peers, and to contextualize colonial British America cuisine in the ecological, political, and social worlds of eighteenth century Anglo-America.
© The Author
Lightfoot, Dessa Elizabeth, "“God Sends Meat and the Devil Sends Cooks”: Meat Usage and Cuisine in Eighteenth-Century English Colonial America" (2018). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1530192810.