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Barbara Santich
Papers on the culture and cuisine of Mediterranean France during the 14th and 15th centuries c1911-1990

MSS 0219

Biographical Note

Barbara Santich. Image courtesy of The University of Adelaide staff directory.

Barbara Santich initiated the Graduate Program in Food Studies in 2012 and designed its new curriculum. She had previously planned the Graduate Program in Gastronomy, developing its core courses which were first offered to online students in 2002. She also teaches in the Graduate Certificate in Food Writing.

Born and educated in NSW, Barbara gained her first degree at the University of NSW (B.Sc. Hons I). Her interest in food and eating was stimulated by her study of biochemistry and, under the influence of Waverley Root (The Food of France) and Elizabeth David (French Provincial Cooking) as well as travels in Europe (particularly France), she began a career which has spanned more than thirty years. Her fascination with languages and France developed into a sympathy with the ancient languages of Mediterranean France, which in turn led to a BA (University of Minnesota) and PhD (Flinders University of South Australia). Her thesis, Two Languages, Two Cultures, Two Cuisines investigated the foods and cuisine of Mediterranean France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

France and Australia remain at the centre of Barbara's research interests. Her most recent book is Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2012). This book explores the stories behind the foods, the dishes and the ways of cooking and eating that are considered distinctively Australian. This includes indigenous ingredients such as kangaroo and native currants, the now Australianised pumpkin and passionfruit, as well as the very Australian inventions of puftaloons and mango & papaw chutney. Not only a gastronomic history, it is also a history of Australia and Australians.

Barbara Santich has successfully supervised two recent PhD candidates at the University of Adelaide: Sarah Black (Tried and Tested: community cookbooks in Australia, 1890-1980) and Leonie Ryder (Incorrigible colonist: ginger in Australia, 1788-1950).

As a food writer Barbara Santich has contributed to numerous Australian newspapers and magazines as well as overseas publications including The Journal of Gastronomy, Petits Propos Culinaires, the New York Times and Slow (quarterly magazine of the International Slow Food Movement). She contributed extensively to the Oxford Companion to Food, edited by Alan Davidson, has presented papers at many Australian and overseas conferences, and is a regular participant at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery.

Barbara is a member of the Editorial Board of Petits Propos Culinaires and, until it ceased publication in 2007, was also on the Editorial Advisory Board of Slow. She was the founding chair of the Scientific Commission for the Australian Ark of Taste (2003-2007).

In 2005 Barbara was awarded both the inaugural Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence and the University's Stephen Cole The Elder Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Biography courtesy of The University of Adelaide staff directory

Contents Listing

The following research material was collated by Barbara Santich whilst completing her thesis, Two languages, two cultures, two cuisines.

Series 1: Research articles  -  34 cm (French) and 13 cm (English)

1.1   Collection of photocopied journal articles and book chapters on French culture and cuisine, particularly during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, written in the French language.  Some examples include:

  • En France aujourd’hul: Données quantitatives sur les consommations alimentaires, J. J. Hémardinquer, 1961
  • Essal de cartes des graisses de cuisine en France, J. J. Hémardinquer, 1961
  • Modes de cuisson et systeme culinaire…, Philip et Mary Hyman, undated
  • Quelques observations sur les cuisines en France et en Angleterre au moyen age, Monique Levalet, 1978
  • Équipment et techniques culinaires en Borgogne…, F. Piponnier, undated
  • Le luxe de la table dans les cours princières (1360-1480), F. Robin, undated
  • Recherches sur les documents arabes relatifs a la cuisine, M. Rodinson, undated
  • Pratiques et discours alimentaires a la renaissance, J. Margolin and R. Sauzet, 1982
  • Enfance, gourmandise, gastrolatrie et industrie agro-alimentaire, J. Corbeau, 1990
  • Production et exportation du vin du terroir de Marseille…, M. E. Baratier, 1959
  • Les commercants et les capitalistes de Montpellier, A. Sayous and J. Combes, 1940
  • Le sucre au Moyen âge, P. Dorveaux, 1911

Also includes one folder of seven items labelled “Brereton” containing copies of typewritten and handwritten notes (mostly in French), such as ‘Le grand cuisinier de toute cuisine’, G. E. Brereton, undated.

1.2   Collection of photocopied journal articles and book chapters on French culture and cuisine, particularly during the fourteenth and fifteenth centurturies, written in the English language.  Some examples include:

  • Evolution of the French diet: Nutritional aspects, H. Dupin , S. Hercberg and V. Lagrange, 1984
  • Superfluity and sufficiency: Food and drink, F. Braudel, 1979
  • Food: The natural history of British cookery books, A. Davidson, 1983
  • The influence of Islamic culture on medieval Europe, H. Gibb, 1955
  • Two Anglo-Norman culinary collections…, C. Hieatt and R. Jones, 1986
  • The development of southern French and Catalan society, A. Lewis, 1965
  • The English medieval feast, W. E. Mead, 1931
  • The Arab influence on western European cooking, T. Peterson, 1980
  • The herbal in antiquity and its transmission to later ages, C. Singer, 1927
  • The changing pattern of Europe’s pepper and spice imports, ca 1400-1700, C. H. H Wake, 1979
  • Agriculture and horticulture: Some cultural interchanges of the medieval Arabs and Europe, R. B. Serjeant, 1969


Series 2: Research notes  -  1.5 cm

One folder of handwritten research notes (mostly in English) about the history and culture of medieval Europe and occasionally related to the books and articles listed above.  Examples include:

  • The civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy, Jacob Burckhardt, 1929
  • The temperate life, Luigi Cornaro, undated
  • Art and beauty in the Middle Ages, Umberto Eco, 1986
  • Norman ni Frances, Lynne Lawner, 1968
  • The economic and social history of medieval Europe, Henri Pirenne, 1937

Also includes a small (approx. A6 size) notebook of handwritten Catalan vocabulary, undated, and one photograph of a painting of a medieval supper.

Lee Hayes
10 October 2016

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