Faculty Sponsor

Timothy Tomasik


Arts and Sciences


Foreign Language

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-1-2020


This project is a pilot of a digital cookbook, which is the first step in creating an archive of searchable Renaissance French cookbooks, which do not presently exist in modern editions. As part of our senior seminar in French, we chose to digitize the French version of Platina’s cookbook/dietetic treatise, Platine en francoys (1505), as it is an important representation of early Renaissance French gastronomy. The first step of digitizing this text involved transcription. As we transcribed the text, we discovered unique textual and structural challenges, unfamiliar Middle French language, hard-to-read gothic type, variant spellings of the same word, printing mistakes, and defects. Behind these imperfections, our team discovered many unique recipes and a great amount of dietetic and health advice. In rediscovering Renaissance recipes, we recognized recurring themes, food related and non-food related, such as the usage of quail hearts in love spells, the virtues of bear consumption, and how to throw a memorable dinner party with a flaming peacock. The next step in the creation of the digital cookbook was to code and tag the transcribed text.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

This presentation covers the first half of the Fall 2019 French Senior Seminar project. All senior French majors were required to complete this course upon graduation.

Anna Corner is a senior French and International Economics & Cultural Affairs double major, and Ellie Benz is a senior French and Psychology double major.