Dinner is served
Dinner is served! Books on culinary culture
Exhibition from 10 October 2015 through 31 January 2016
People have cooked their food from time immemorial. For centuries eating was mainly a necessity of life, but today it has become a way of life. More cookbooks are being published than ever before, new cooking blogs are shooting up everywhere and cooking programmes are extremely popular.
Cookbooks are the focal point of Dinner is served! From recipe books for all sorts of household remedies, eighteenth century handwritten cooking notebooks and standard works for housekeeping schools to pre-war advertising publications, popular cooking magazines and glossy coffee table books.
In the first room the earliest Dutch books about eating and cooking are displayed. In the other rooms, various themes are used to show how our cooking and eating habits have developed over the centuries. Modernization and mechanization have radically changed our way of cooking and the availability of all kinds of exotic ingredients has had a profound influence on what we eat. The appearance of the cookbook has also experienced a metamorphosis. Closely printed books, giving only concise kitchen guidance have changed into elegantly designed, richly illustrated culinary bibles.
Is there then no resemblance at all between our current eating traditions and those of ages past? On the contrary! Diets and nutritional advice seem to be timeless phenomena; Dutch party fare includes a number of unmissable favourites and there have always been top chefs. The books in the exhibition come from the extensive collections of the Royal Library and Museum Meermanno.