A taste of history

Uncover the best and worst of historical food, from Ancient Rome to the twentieth-century. Discover the joy that was medieval pastries and things you really didn't want to know about early margarine. Learn about famous chefs and their recipes. Learn about Australia in the 1950s and Britain during the Blitz.

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Teacher Date Day Time Sessions Fee Enrol
Gillian Polack 7 February Tuesday 6-8pm 8 $310 Join our mailing list

Course outline

The course will be structured around the interest of the students who will be able to choose from the list below of topics they would like to cover.

  • Topic 1: Overeating in Ancient Rome - Apicius and his cookbook
  • Topic 2: When Gluttony was a Deadly Sin - Medieval and Renaissance gourmet delights
  • Topic 3: The British Empire’s Belly - home cooking in England in the eighteenth century
  • Topic 4: Royal Recipes (not suitable for slimmers)
  • Topic 5: The Rise of the Modern Cookbook - Mrs Beeton and friends
  • Topic 6: The Age(s) of Exploration - new food, new tastebuds and new national cuisine
  • Topic 7: Australian Colonial Cuisines
  • Topic 8: Food during wartime
  • Topic 9: The South after the Civil War
  • Topic 10: Regency England

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should have an appreciation for all things food related throughout key periods in history.

Who should enrol

Anyone who loves cooking, culinary history or history in general.


Gillian is a writer and medieval historian, with a PhD from the University of Sydney.  You can find out more about her at: http://www.gillianpolack.com.  She writes a literary column for Bibliobuffet: http://www.bibliobuffet.com/bookish-dreaming.  Her most recent fiction publications are a novel and an anthology – both shortlisted for a Ditmar Award.  She was also awarded the 2010 Science Fiction Best Achievement Award for historical banquets she designed for Conflux, the Canberra Science Fiction convention.

Updated:  19 June 2017/ Responsible Officer:  CCE Manager/ Page Contact:  CCE Webmaster