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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.


The Free Thinking Festival Essay - Inside a Pirate’s Cookbook: A Culinary Journey through the 17th Century

November 17th, 2015

Episode 1061 of 1341 episodes

The 1667 recipe book by Sir Kenelm Digby featured tea with eggs brought from China, sugared mallow-leaves that cured gonorrhea and ‘pan cotto' cooked by Roman Cardinals. Digby had journeyed far and wide to collect his dishes, feasting with pirate chieftains in Algiers and munching melons in the eastern Mediterranean. Joe Moshenska of the University of Cambridge explores Kenelm Digby’s culinary travels, revealing startling contacts between Britain and the East, between alchemy and cookery, and between the past and the present. The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of an annual scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics at the start of their careers who can turn their research into fascinating broadcasts. The Essay was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. If you want to hear Joe Moshenka discuss his research you can download The Essay and conversation as an Arts and Ideas podcast. Producer: Torquil MacLeod

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