Teaching with Recipes

Contemporary cooking is driven by engaging recipes, but for students and scholars, historical recipes can provide valuable insight into the past, as these texts have been recorded for thousands of years to document ways to feed, preserve, heal, and transform. Drawing upon examples from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, we will explore how recipes—whether culinary, household, medical, or alchemical—can be used in classroom settings. Teaching with recipes can reveal new ways to consider themes as diverse as scientific experimentation, premodern communication, health and medicine, the environment, and the cultural transmission of marginalized groups. Participants will be provided with a guide to digital resources featuring recipe content from American and European institutions and examples of remote and in-person classroom activities based on historical recipe sources.