February 6, 2010

Medieval Recipes

The phrase "Food For Thought" comes to mind with this post. Most of us enjoy food, some of us enjoying cooking it too but how many of us stop to think about the food we eat compared to that eaten by our ancestors?

Reading about medieval food brings home just how different the food was in the past. Our medieval ancestors in England certainly did not know what a tomato was or even a potato and they generally didn't drink water as readily as we do today for fear of bacterial infection. No, apparently they drank ale much of the time and many of them made their own ale.

When you think of meat, you might assume that our medieval ancestors ate chicken as readily as we do today ... but you would be wrong, because although many peasants kept chickens, they generally did not kill them because they needed the eggs and could not afford to replace their chickens.

It was the rich and powerful people of medieval times that ate a rich and varied diet for they had serfs working the land for them, cultivating crops and taking care of livestock. At medieval banquets they would eat swans, peacock and heron as well as beef, mutton, pork and venison and there were even medieval desserts to enjoy such as pears in red wine and custard tart.

Amongst the most fascinating reading is that about medieval herbs.