Fish and shellfish
'Turbet with a white sauce' is an elaborate dish with oysters and white wine.
This is one of a number of baked fish dishes in savoury sauces that appear in an anonymous 18th-century recipe book.
The sauce is thickened with flour, butter and egg yolks and the serving dish garnished with fried flounders or whitings with 'the tails through the head'.
Fish knives and forks came into use in polite society in the late 19th century. Rather than cutting, the knives were designed for breaking and parting the flesh.
Earlier, fish might have been eaten with a fork and a piece of bread.
An anonymous 18th-century recipe book. [Library reference: Acc.12286/1]