The story of the menu is entwined with the history of commerce and personal liberty. For most of time, imaginative cooking was something the rich did at home—or, more likely, had done for them. The poor ate what they could get. Inns offered no choice: You ate whatever they had to offer on the day. After hours of traveling by horse or on foot, chances were you were too tired to be fussy anyway. The first inns to offer written This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 46 Future Proof How not to become a cultural dinosaur. Arts & Culture Issue 33 Object Matters A zip through history. Arts & Culture Issue 28 A History of Regret The case against what ifs and if onlys. Food Feast for the Eyes The history of food photography from Betty Crocker to Cindy Sherman. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Everything and Nothing It was Isaac Newton who suggested that black was not a color. History suggests otherwise. Food Issue 20 The Room Service Menu Let these recipes inspire you to indulge in life’s little luxuries as seen in swanky hotels—heavy silverware and monogrammed napkins not included.