Food and Luxury in the Low Countries

Let’s talk food for a change. We all eat, don’t we?

In April 2003, members of several departments at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) founded the research group FOST (Social & Cultural Food Studies) in order to institutionalize their many years’ expertise in the field of food research.


Every year FOST organizes a colloquium. This year’s meeting will deal with Food: Convergence and Divergence in Europe since 1800 (Cuisine of Elites, Bourgeois, and Middle Classes).


Accompanying this colloquium, ASP editions and Pharo publishing are proud to present Luxury in the Low Countries. Miscellaneous Reflections on Netherlandish Material Culture, 1500 to the Present.

"Le superflu, chose très nécessaire", wrote Voltaire 1736 in his poem Le mondain. Needless to say that luxury is much more than merely materialised redundancy.

Offering a first panoramic view on various manifestations of conspicuous material culture in Netherlandish contexts from 1500 until the present, this study – rather than investigating self-evident cases of luxury – aims to explore its boundaries andthe differentstages in which luxury is fabricated or sometimes only simulated.

Thematically, the volume focuses on two major issues, i.e. collections and foodways as means of expression of prosperity and splendour.

Food in TLC

In 2005 The Low Countries dedicated a themed section of the Yearbook to “What’s Cooking”?, let’s say eating, drinking and enjoying it all in the Low Countries.

Here you can read an article that states “cooking is not a hobby”, in the meantime explaining “why peeling things is undeniably erotic”.

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