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Search the World of Food

A Tool for Food History Research
Welcome to The Sifter!

The Sifter is a free website for searching and comparing authors, their works and the details of their works regarding food and related topics around the world and throughout history.

Browse and search through thousands of historical cookbooks and manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages!

New! We are now partnering with The Oxford Food Symposium which is hosting a monthly live, virtual session, as part of their Kitchen Table series, The Ask, about the Sifter and various aspects of using it. James Edward Malin, Engineering and Science Librarian at The Cooper Union Library, will lead the discussion and demonstration walking the user through techniques for searching, editing and getting the most from this resource. The discussion is free but please register here first.

The collection includes hundreds of community cookbooks and Medieval French and German recipes and their details were added from CoReMa (Univ. of Graz)

We welcome your suggestions and comments.
Click here to write to us!


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About Us

The Sifter
Mission Statement

The Sifter is a public database, free to all users. It is a tool for finding and comparing historical and contemporary writing on food and food-related topics. It is overseen by an advisory board composed of members from The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery as well as other friends of food history. As with Wikipedia, the Sifter will be populated by its users. All entries will have an English translation, enabling users to search languages they cannot read. Soon, we will have over 100 languages represented. Registered users will be able to make corrections and add new information. Future releases will include a data visualization component. We also plan to include more resources linking to digitized photographs, artworks, television and film. With the aid of this tool, it is our hope that what has been invisible will come into focus.


Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Save your searches
  • Add new authors, books, recipes, etc.
  • Correct any mistakes you find
  • Receive emails regarding updates to the website
  • Be part of our community
  • (Note: we do not share your information)