British History, Culture & Customs
Why is a website dedicated to antiques, publishing articles about food and drink? The answer is simple and straight forward because many of the antique items we sell today are inextricably linked to or associated with the eating and drinking habits of our forefathers. To fully understand why certain items came into being, it is necessary to understand the etiquette involved with food and drink in days of yore. The Ale Warmer or Muller is a good example of a once common every day article that was developed to satisfy the desire for warm ale on a cold winter´s night. In our electrically lit, centrally heated homes, it is easy to forget the lonely ploughman who walked behind the horse all day in all weathers. The need for a warm beverage in front of a blazing open coal fire on a cold winter´s evening, and soaking up the warmth that was denied him during the day. Many will romanticise about the good old days, and for some they were just that, but for the many it was a time of drudgery, toil and hard work for little gain or financial reward.
The pasty has been documented as part of the British diet since the 1200´s, when they were originally eaten by the rich upper classes and royalty. The fillings were varied and rich; venison, beef, lamb and seafood like eels, flavoured with rich gravies and fruits. It was not until the 1600´s and 1700´s that the pasty was adopted by miners and farm workers in Cornwall as a means for providing themselves with easy, tasty and sustaining meals while they worked, that the humble Cornish Pasty became popular.