This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book draws on the rich linguistic argot of the dining table and explores the textual afterlife of the extraordinary list of 'terms' offered in Wynkyn de Worde's 1513 Boke of Kervynge and Sewing. It presents the materiality of food vividly into dialogue with the material book, analysing an annotated copy of the first illustrated cookery book, Bartolomeo Scappi's Opera. The book explores the unsuspected kinships between the kitchen and the printing house revealed in Joseph Moxon's Mechanick Exercises. It considers the propensity of texts to figure themselves as macaronis, stews, olios and pasticcios, proposing that these rough characterizations speak to their perceived indigestibility and illustrates his case with reference to Nashe's An Almond for a Parrat and Thomas Coryate's Crudities: Hastily Gobbled up in Five Moneths Travells. The book concludes with two essays from pioneers in the field of material textuality.