This exhibition features some of the cooking treasures left to us by Londoners from the distant and no-so-distant past. It gives us a glimpse into their kitchens and their foodways, that is, their eating habits and culinary practices.

Starting with cookbooks, the exhibition highlights both continuity and change. While instructing the reader about how to prepare food, just as our cookbooks do today, the cookbooks in this exhibition do not necessarily look quite the same as ours. Neither do the recipes they include always seem familiar to us today. Moving to the ingredients, the exhibition shows that what Londoners of the past combined and heated in various ways to make dishes and meals has not changed much. How they were acquired has. Moving from making products like butter, pickles and jams at home, for example, Londoners gradually began to purchase these commodities from local producers and grocers. Finally, the exhibition will explore the equipment used to cook.

Many such items, such as pots and pans, have not changed for decades, even centuries. Others, including labour saving devices like electric toasters and hand-cranked dough mixers, were introduced to make cooks’ lives easier.