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A munch through history

Eurest | General |  11 November 2014


Foodservice is a fast moving world. Even if we compare what was served and eaten in workplace canteens ten years ago, we’d find things are very different today.

We’re lucky to now have fresh and interesting ingredients, more informative food labelling and a huge array of cuisines to choose from. Things have certainly changed for the better, with a diverse range of offerings designed not just to provide fuel but to excite, delight and stimulate.

But what were our grandmothers and grandfathers eating when they were at work? What about 100, 200 or 500 years ago?  Let’s take a whizz through history and look at some of the foodie highlights of yesteryear.

• Foodservice dates back to ancient times — in China, Ancient Egypt and Greece catering was used to provide food for soldiers on transport and trade routes.

• The Roman Empire formalised mass catering, with lavish banquets often lasting for days. They were also the first to set up taverns, and wrote the first cookbooks.

• During the Middle Ages catering spread throughout Europe for travellers, and to entertain the upper classes.

• Catering and foodservice became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries and Germany was the first country to regulate quality of food and beer.

• During the 19th century the Industrial Revolution led to many technical innovations in foodservice. Improvements in transport and growing populations helped catering become an important part of the national economy in the UK and Europe.

• Workplace canteens evolved after the First World War and may have been linked to the growing numbers of women in the workplace, who were often cooks and kitchen assistants with new skills in foodservice.

And coming right up to date, here at Eurest, we believe in bringing you the freshest and best ingredients, and we’re always looking for recipes that make the most of what’s in season in a way that really appeals to your tastes — modern or otherwise.

Source: The Food Timeline (n.d.) 20th century meals (online) (accessed 11th Nov 2014).

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