- Copyright Page
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- Words or Things in American History?
- Artifacts and Their Functions
- Mastery, Artifice, and the Natural Order: A Jewel from the Early Modern Pearl Industry
- Food and Cognition: <i>Henry Norwood’s</i> A Voyage to Virginia
- On Pins and Needles: Straight Pins, Safety Pins, and Spectacularity
- Mind, Time, and Material Engagement
- Material Time
- Remaking the Kitchen, 1800–1850
- Boston Electric: Science by “Mail Order” and Bricolage at Colonial Harvard
- Making Knowledge Claims in the Eighteenth-Century British Museum
- The Ever-Changing Technology and Significance of Silk on the Silk Road
- Science, Play, and the Material Culture of Twentieth-Century American Boyhood
- The Sensory Web of Vision: Enchantment and Agency in Religious Material Culture
- Sensiotics, or the Study of the Senses in Material Culture and History in Africa and Beyond
- The Numinous Body and the Symbolism of Human Remains
- Symbolic Things and Social Performance: Christmas Nativity Scenes in Late Nineteenth-Century Santiago de Chile
- Heritage Religion and the Mormons
- From Confiscation to Collection: The Objects of China’s Cultural Revolution
- Persons and Things in Marseille and Lucca, 1300–1450
- Cloth and the Rituals of Encounter in La Florida: Weaving and Unraveling the Code
- Street “Luxuries”: Food Hawking in Early Modern Rome
- Ebony and Ivory: Pianos, People, Property, and Freedom on the Plantation, 1861–1870
- The Material Culture of Furniture Production in the British Colonies
- Material Culture, Museums, and the Creation of Multiple Meanings
- Chronology and Time: Northern European Coastal Settlements and Societies, c. 500–1050
- Materialities in the Making of World Histories: South Asia and the South Pacific
- Mapping History in Clay and Skin: Strategies for Remembrance among Ga’ anda of Northeastern Nigeria
- Remember Me: Sensibility and the Sacred in Early Mormonism
- Housing History: The Colonial Revival as Consumer Culture
- Collecting as Historical Practice and the Conundrum of the Unmoored Object
Abstract and Keywords
The history of eating on the street presents particular challenges as the extant material culture is especially limited. This chapter reveals the variety of food sold on the streets of early modern Rome through the study of a series of images of street sellers printed in the late sixteenth century in response to the growing ethnographic interest of travelers to the city. This chapter turns on its head what was considered a luxury in the early modern economy as these images suggest the range of foodstuffs which cannot be simply understood as daily necessities to meet the basic nutritional needs of the city’s inhabitants such as raw cooking materials or hot fast food. Instead, these images suggest that labor-saving products such as hulled rice or even products such as sweetmeats, which were normally associated with the work of the steward of an aristocratic house and the elite “dressing” of the table, were being sold on the streets. Therefore, despite the inherent ephemerality of the act of selling and eating food and the lack of surviving material culture, these images reveal the complexity of determining social distinction through food choices in early modern Rome.
Melissa Calaresu is Affiliated Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge, and Neil McKendrick Lecturer in History, Director of Studies in History, and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.
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