Skip to main content

The Banquet

Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe (The Food Series)

Ken Albala


List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/19/2007)


The importance of the banquet in the late Renaissance is impossible to overlook. Banquets showcased a host’s wealth and power, provided an occasion for nobles from distant places to gather together, and even served as a form of political propaganda. But what was it really like to cater to the tastes and habits of high society at the banquets of nobles, royalty, and popes? What did they eat and how did they eat it?

In The Banquet, Ken Albala covers the transitional period between the heavily spiced and colored cuisine of the Middle Ages and classical French haut cuisine. This development involved increasing use dairy products, a move toward lighter meats such as veal and chicken, increasing identification of national food customs, more sweetness and aromatics, and a refined aesthetic sense, surprisingly in line with the late Renaissance styles found in other arts.

Praise For The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe (The Food Series)

“This engrossing work covers a great deal of culinary ground, and will interest many readers. . . . This is a truly fascinating look at how people ate four hundred years ago.”-- Sixteenth Century Journal

“A pleasure to read and a solid contribution to gastronomic history.”--Historian

University of Illinois Press, 9780252083075, 248pp.

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

About the Author

Ken Albala is an associate professor of history at the University of the Pacific. He is the author of Eating Right in the Renaissance and other books.