What Adam Smith Ate: Celebrating Smith's 300th Birthday

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Amy Willis and Renee Wilmeth for AdamSmithWorks

Have you ever wondered what Adam Smith might have eaten to celebrate his birthday?  Smith has always had a strong connection to food. Staples such as corn, seafood like herring, and potables like wine were a large part of the 18th century economy and Smith wrote about all those things and more.

Smith also knew about the social economy and was a frequent guest – and host – at gatherings of scholars, scientists, and friends who came together over a good meal and wine. It was common in Edinburgh during Smith’s day to see these groups of scholars, writers, and thinkers gather at local taverns or in local homes. One historian noted there was a local saying at the time: “You may rather call them the Iterati (Eaterati)” as a group of literati strolled past at the dinner hour.
Renee Wilmeth, author of the very popular Speaking of Smith series, What Adam Smith Ate, joins Amy Willis for a lively conversation about the role of food in understanding history, Smith's frequent culinary examples in his writings, how she modernizes 18th century recipes, and her favorite What Adam Smith Ate recipe to date.

After the conversation, Wilmeth moves to the kitchen to demonstrate a recipe we think Smith would have enjoyed for his birthday- a cream crowdie. Wilmeth also kindly provides a very "tipsy" modification! Grab your party hats, and join us.

Let us know in the comments which What Adam Smith Ate recipes you've tried (or may be inspired to try). What other sorts of food and beverage options would you like to see in future features? We'd love to hear from you.

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Here are a few of our most popular What Adam Smith Ate columns
Cream Crowdie Dessert at The Oyster Club
Apple Charlotte
Hogmanay and The Black Bun

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Happy Birthday, Adam Smith!