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Victorian Kitchen Foods

When the 19th Century dawned only the very poorest were still cooking over open fires, although these did have a grate and a hob.

After Victoria came to the throne, the terraces of small houses being built for the influx of workers from the country into the factories, all had a small black cast-iron kitchen range as standard.

Country house kitchens just having larger ranges and more of them. These large country kitchens still used vast quantities of copper pans and utensils, still to be seen in many a National Trust house kitchens.

But mass produced cast iron pots were being used by the working classes for cooking. Kitchenware being white glazed crockery and stoneware, tin mugs and plates for the workers and the lower working classes; cheap decorated pottery tea cups and plates for best.

Towards the end of the third decade of the 19th Century, great strides had been made in the kitchen.

Cooking facilities had made a great deal of progress and this was reflected in the dining room and in what people ate.

The rapid rise of the railways revolutionized the movement of food supplies, resulting in fresher fish, dairy products, vegetables and grocery products of all kinds. Now able to be delivered quickly and easily to markets far way from their point of origin.

This meant different and more interesting items on the dinner menu. The last quarter of the 18th Century had seen meals become more varied with many more 'made up' dishes being introduced from France.

Instead of just roasting, boiling or stewing, meat and fish could now be prepared and served with a savoury sauce and a combination of ingredients. Popular cookery books were being published to help the 'plain cook' to lift her cuisine to a more interesting level and by the middle of the 19th Century, grocers and merchants had begun to manufacture and package many dry goods.

Savoury table sauces such as Worcestershire and Ketchup, to help the average housewife. Corn flour had begun to replace ordinary flour for thickening, but it was now also mixed with sweeteners and flavours for blancmanges, dessert moulds and custard powder. Tea had started to be packaged in individual grocers packs earlier in the Century. Spices were
pre-mixed and sold savoury for such as curries; nutmeg, cinnamon, mace etc for sweet dishes.

Victorian Era

( 1837 - 1901)

Victorian  Dining