David Sutton

Food History

Research on food history was conducted intensively from 1978 (registration on the course entitled Histoire de l’alimentation at the Université de Paris VIII-Vincennes) until about 1984.  It was then replaced by work on literary manuscripts and municipal government before resuming in 2007.

There are a number of unpublished papers from Vincennes, not reproduced here.  Two early publications in English were:

1. The history of food: a preliminary bibliography of printed sources / compiled by David C. Sutton.  Coventry: Chapelfields Press, 1982. (introduction only)


2. David C. Sutton: ‘Food in perspective’ [review article].  Museums Journal 82 (1) (June 1982), p. 63.

The return to food history began in Carmona in 2007, at the invitation of former Vincennes colleagues, with a paper presented in Spanish on English ale.  There is no word for ale in Spanish.

3. David C. Sutton: ‘Historia de las ales inglesas’.  Paper given at Carmona, September 2007, “en el programa del curso Curso interdisciplinario: La cerveza y su mundo, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla”.


This led to involvement with the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery and to a publication which revisited some of the best work done collectively at Vincennes:

4. David C. Sutton: ‘The language of the food of the poor: studying proverbs with Jean-Louis Flandrin’. Food and language: proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2009 / edited by Richard Hosking. Totnes: Prospect Books, 2010, pp. 330-339.

and then:

5. David C. Sutton: 'The stories of bacalao: myth legend and history.' Cured, smoked and fermented: proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2010 / edited by Helen Saberi. Totnes: Prospect Books, 2011, pp. 312-321.

A later paper at the Oxford Symposium was published as:

Figs: a global history. London: Reaktion Books, 2014.