Take 1000 stewed sparrows...

Peter Ross, principal librarian at the Guildhall Library in London, loves researching food of the past. His obsession has led to a new book The Curious Cookbook: Viper Soup, Badger Ham, Stewed Sparrows & 100 More Historic Recipes.

Mark Duell and Eleanor Harding of the Daily Mail spoke to Ross about cooking of the Middle Ages and later periods. "I have always loved learning about what we ate in the past. It tells us about how people lived in a way that almost nothing else can. Researching the book, I looked at thousands of recipes. Some were alarming or curious - and many showed the inventiveness, sophistication and daring of generations of British cooks," said Ross.