2021 Herbs & Spices Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food 2020


ISBN: 978-1-909248-72-4
400 pages; 246×174 mm; paperback; b&w illustrations
Published July 2021
Price: £ 30.00 UK
$ 50.00 USA


Herbs & Spices

Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2020

Herbs and Spices (Oxford Symposium 2020) was the first gathering to happen entirely online, as the V-Symp came to be known. We managed to cook a meal together with Sri Owen’s turmeric lamb curry, a memorable achievement for all. We heard about making curry with the spice known as stone-flower, Parmotrema perlatum, a dried lichen fungus. Yes, it was a shame not to touch and smell it, but you can read about its cooking (steamed, fried, you name it) in Priya Mani’s paper. You will discover that in medieval cooking, saffron was used more often than green herbs, for colour of course, but also for that subtle flavour that makes basic food interesting. All kinds of peppers, saffrons, galangal, similar to Thai ginger get a very thorough airing. Fascinating reading, and of course, a warm and welcoming online group that made us all feel a part of a real Symposium, even though St Catherine’s College was far away.



Mark McWilliams

Opening Plenary Paper

Gastrophysics: The Psychology of Herbs and Spices Charles Spence

OFS Rising Scholar Award Winner

‘Half-Coloured with Turmeric’

The Visual Function of Spices in Early Modern Britain
Julia Fine

Symposium Papers

The Rise and Fall of Certain Herbs Ken Albala

A Visual History of Basil Lauren Allen

Season to Measure: Measurements in Early Culinary Recipes and their
Relation to Medicine
Volker Bach

Melegueta or Grains of Paradise: To be ‘Pepperish’
Scott Alves Barton

Cheating the Senses
Nina Bauer

Travelling with a Hairy Heart, or Where Cooking with Annatto Can Take You
Janet Beizer

Shichimi: The Spice, its Trade, and Centuries of Food Business Survival in Japan Voltaire Cang

From Acapulco to Manila, Culinary Spices to Medical Supplies: Useful Plants Introduced to the Philippines in the Age of the Galleons

Marianne Jennifer Datiles, Francesca Scotti, Vivienne Lo, and Michael Heinrich

Grass Fed: Cannabis Cooking in the United States
Rebecca Federman and Jessica M. Pigza

The Savoury Course at Oxford and Cambridge Colleges
Paul Freedman

Vodka in Early Modern Muscovy: Foreign Doctors, Travelling Herbalists, and
the Tsar’s Kitchen
Alexandr Gorokhovskiy

Foraged Food of Nepal: A Short History of Stinging Nettle
Binti Gurung

Perils of Popularity: How Popularization Leads to Ultimate Degradation
Ian Hemphill

The Road That Spices Travel is No Longer Silk
Peter Hertzmann

Captain James Cook, Scurvy, and the Use and Misuse of Herbs
Heather Hunwick

A Journey Back in Time Taste: Herbs and Spices in Medieval German Cuisine Helmut W. Klug, Christian Steiner, Fritz Treiber, Julia Eibinger, and Astrid Böhm

The Chilli Diaspora: Unravelling Evidence from Sixteenth-Century Botanicals Michael Krondl

‘Good Old Things’: The Transformation of Wild Herbs from Common Sustenance to Aristocratic Luxury in Early Modern England
Gina Rae La Cerva

Just Mad About Saffron: A Note on Jewish Memory and Pharmacology
Joshua Lovinger

Stone Curry: Parmotrema perlatum as a Secret Spice in Indian food
Priya Mani

Cinnamomum Zeylanicum: Continuing Voyages of Discovery
Jennifer Moragoda

What Does Prestige Taste Like? The Divorce of Saffron from its Cultural Context James O’Donnell

‘A Spice of Idolatry’: Seditious Spices and Ginger Anxieties in Jonson’s

Bartholomew Fair
Taylor Parrish

Isot: The Pepper on Hot Rooftops
Tuba Şatana

Season with Money, Prestige, and ‘Civilization’: Culinary Herbs and Spices in Colonial Congo (1885-1960)
Eva Schalbroeck

‘This is all very well, but where in Ireland can you get fresh tarragon?’: Myrtle
Allen and Herbs: Towards the Creation of an Irish Food Identity
Regina Sexton

The Geopolitics of Saffron and the Puzzles of Saffron Arithmetic
Richard Warren Shepro

Pepper and Paradox in the Roman Imagination
Jeremy Simmons

The Wild Yuzu: Japan’s Little Treasure
Aiko Tanaka

Ambiguous Aromatic Umbellifers and Other Obscure Characters: On the
Intricacies of Recreating China’s Culinary Past
Robban Toleno

A Twenty-First-Century Spice: A Journey to Madagascar and the Promise and
Peril of the Wild Tsiperifery Pepper
Amy B. Trubeck, Eric Bishop-von Wettberg, and Maya Moore

The Curious Case of Asafoetida
Sharmila Vaidyanathan

Herbs and Spices in the Court Cuisine of Medieval Cyprus: Food in the Cyprio-Gallic Style
William Woys Weaver

Food for the Soul: The Rabbis’ Cinnamon
Susan Weingarten

Lessons from the Chilli in China
Gerald Zhang-Schmidt