The ReSEED Project and the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESHTE) announce the launch of the e-book “From manuscript to the table. Cooking recipes from the 18th century” (original title in Portuguese: Do manuscrito à mesa. Cozinhar receitas do século XVIII).

The room where the session “Seeds and agricultural changes in Europe (XV-XX centuries)”  organised by the ReSEED Team took place at the Rural History Conference in Uppsala, Sweden.

This open-access publication is the last output of the successful partnership between the project and the Institute, namely with the Master in Innovation in Science and Culinary Arts (MIAC), whose 8th edition (2019-2020) embraced the challenge that gave name to this collaboration: “Changing times, changing wills?”

Working together with a precious historical source – the manuscript by Francisco Borges Henriques (1715), practically unknown and closed for more than 100 years in the National Library of Portugal – the aim was to build a theoretical and practical path to cook culinary recipes from the early 18th century according to the current requirements for healthy, tasty and sustainable food.

After months of research, tests, adaptation in terms of ingredients and techniques, and a public debate (with only a short tasting due to pandemic restrictions), the e-book (in Portuguese) now brings to the wide public the best recipes successfully tested and reinterpreted by (at that time) the students.


Some book pages

The selection included in the e-book is composed of 12 starters, 8 vegetable dishes, 8 fish dishes, 12 meat dishes, 19 desserts and 5 drinks. Each recipe is presented in its reinterpreted version, with reference to its author, and also in the version originally written by Francisco Borges Henriques, at the beginning of the 18th century. Without losing the essence of the original recipes, in the reinterpretations the differences in terms of flavours and mainly textures are notorious, although some cooking methods from the 18th century show similarities with those still in use. The book brings a contemporary menu, with the necessary updates of weights and measures, which can be reproduced in a domestic environment.

The e-book is one more result of the historical research carried out within the scope of the ReSEED project, which has been allowing us to see how eating habits in Portugal (and in the Iberian Peninsula) have changed, integrating new elements, excluding others, adapting techniques and utensils to transform or create recipes that have become locally emblematic.

It is time to try the recipes!