London Walks for Londoners

 

1830s Kitchen

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, May 17, 2021 Under: Regency

1830s Kitchen

If people were transported back to a kitchen from the 1830s, what would be the most obvious differences? Paul Couchman, The Regency Chef, has the answer.


Paul Couchman: If we could all go back in time If you went through the kitchen door, I imagine you'd be hit by the heat. Because what you've got is a big old range that used to use and a big sort of cast iron heated box, really, and they'd glow and they'd burn Argas so it would have been absolute boiling hot. So that's the first thing you notice is the great big old range.


On the other side, they would have had a massive dresser. So that's why we've addressed this now, but we bake really full of storage. Big kitchen table. You can imagine a big wooden kitchen table in the middle, and then all of these people that would have been there. So there would have been probably about four or five, manly women actually, in the kitchen all working together.


And the kitchen itself is very labour intensive. So there's none of the devices we have now, obviously. So you have to grind things. You have to chop things very small. You have to push things on through a sieve, so you can imagine all that activity going on. And then if you look above you in this space of the kitchen, you've got a skylight which would allow ventilation and sun light.


It’s beautiful, the light that comes in from above and you’d see a beautiful tiled floor as well. They were big spaces because it needs to fit all these people in, so our modern day kitchen is a lot smaller as we don’t need that space. We have a lot more gadgets.


Hazel Baker: What were some of the most expensive ingredients that would have been used in a Regency kitchen?


Paul Couchman: A few of them we know now as expensive. Cause I was looking for this recipes for saffron buns. Saffron is the most expensive spice, probably the same price they say of gold.


And in this period that we were, it was actually manufactured where you probably know, or may, which will grow naturally. You would get saffron for Saffron Walden and in Cornwall as well.


Hazel Baker: And also Saffron Hill in Clerkenwell, that's how it got its name. Hard to imagine that now it's in zone one.


Paul Couchman: So, yeah, incredibly expensive, but they did use it a lot. And I suppose it's necessarily the ingredient is it it's the amount of time it takes to, to prepare the food.


Hazel Baker: So manual labour, that's got to be one of the big expenses, hasn't it?


Paul Couchman: Yeah, of course. Because if you think about it and this, this is always what I love about it. If you think about anything that's processed or mashed at this point, you're now, like baby food or any puree'd food. That would have taken absolutely ages to make. And so had the highest status. So if you had to a puree on your table, in this period in 1830s, people would know instinctively that it was full of kitchen maids, probably spending a few hours, pushing that through a fine sieve to get to that texture. Whereas now we have a machine that can do that in seconds. And so we don't see that as high status.


So things like jelly and ice cream, which is mass produced stuff now, but that would have been actually made in-house. It would have taken someone days to make. You needed to start with extracting the gelatine from the cows feet, things like that, all of those processes. Now we buy jelly in a packet. It’s just very different.


Hazel Baker: And so we think of jelly is cheap food and they thought jelly is as high stakes food. It's amazing. Isn't it? So I'm just thinking 1980s, when I was growing up, if you went to a kid's party, you'd get jelly and ice cream, expensive things in the Regency period.


Paul Couchman: Yeah. Two high status.


You can learn more about Regency food, flavours and fashion in episode 55 of our Podcast: The Regency Chef: https://londonguidedwalks.uk/055-the-regency-cook.php

In : Regency 


Tags: regency  food  house 
comments powered by Disqus
 

Tags

"online bookings' cpd #earthrise 17th 1830s 1930s 20th 50th a abbey adele afternoon afternoon tea age ages alastair ancient and animals annie anniversary apps architecture arsenal art arts attack autumn awards baker bank bankside barbican barrier bathhouses battersea bazalgette bear beasts bells bexley bishopsgate black blackfriars blitz bloomsbury bombers book books borough bowie breakfast brewery brick bridge britain british bronze bronze age brunch buckingham burger burlesque buses cab cabaret cake canal canary captain carl carol caroline carols cathedral cemetery cenotaph century chapman charles charlton cheap cheapside cheese childhood chips chiswick chocolate christmas church city city of london clapham clerkenwell cocktails coffee coffeehouses common company concert corporate covent covent garden covid-19 cream crime cross crown cruise crystal danson david day december deptford dick dickens dinner dinosaurs do dock dockland museum dragons dreamtime earth east eat eating eats ecommerce edward edwardians edwin egypt elizabethan end engineering ernst event events exhibition exhibitions facebook fairytale fall family fantastic farringdon fashion february festival film finance fire first fiscus florence folklore food for francis free friars gallery galliard garden george georgian georgians german germany gibb gift globe grade great greenhithe greenwich group guided guides gun half hall halsk harle harry potter hats havering havering hoard hawksmoor hazel heroes hidden highbury hill hilton history holloway homes hot hotel house housing how i ian ianmcd ice ice cream icelandic ii iii in india inigo islington italian iv jack jack the ripper jack's james jenny jewels johns jones joseph katharines kelly kenneth kew gardens kids kidstours killer kim kings kingston lambeth lane lewis lights limestone literature liverpool locations londinium london london bridge london's londoners lunch lutyens macaulay magnus management maritime market markets martyr mary matilda maufe mayfair mcdiarmid measure medical medieval memorial middle military millennium mock-tudor modern modernist montague month monument moorgate mosaic murder murderers museum museum of london docklands music musicals mystery n7 national gallery national history museum ned new newcomen news nhs nichols night nightingale nurse of old street oliver open opera paddington palace palaces pancakes pandemic panoramic park parties path pauls people philip photo photograhy photography photos pizza places plague plantation plays plumstead podcast poetry pokemon polly pop poplar port prince priory private tours pub public pubs purbeck qe2 queen queenhithe quirky recording regency reid religion rembrandt renaissance restoration ripper river road rob roman romans roundhouse royal saga salute saxon sculpture scupture seacole second serial servants sewers shakespeare shoreditch siemens sir slave slavery small smartphone smith smithfield smithfields soap soho somme south southbank southwark spitalfields spy squirrels ss st statue stories stow street stuart stuarts studios subscription suffragettes sugar summer susan sydenham tate taxi tea ten term terror thames thamesmeade the theatre thiepval things things to do thrifty thriftytheatre to tour tours tower trade travel truman tudor tudors tumblety twelfth twist und underground update v&a ve victims victoria victorian victorian london victorians viking virtual vouchers wales walk walking walks wall war water werner west wharf wheeler whitechapel wilde wildlife willelm william windrush wine winter women wood woodland woolwich world wyatt york zachary 1666 1888 2019 2020

LONDON GUIDED WALKS:

LEARN MORE:

CONNECT WITH US:

USEFUL LINKS:

Site by Hazel  |  Photographs by Hazel or Ian