Medieval food

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Denise Landis' started by rivacucina, Feb 15, 2006.

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  1. rivacucina

    rivacucina

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    Hi - Really enjoying this discussion and I am an avid NYT reader and don't miss a chance to read about food in the most interesting food city ever!

    I was very intrigued by your medieval food class for children. Long ago I went to a "festival" that served the standard cornish hens and wild mixed rice. I would love to know what the food was really like. Do you or have you had a book in the works?
     
  2. denise landis

    denise landis

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    Thanks for asking that question! I continue to be very interested in medieval food and enjoy reading about it. I do have plans for a book on the subject, but it will not be my next book. The food is interesting and very good, and the stories about medieval food are very entertaining. Some of the old nursery rhymes go back that far and are variations of food-related tales. I read that the rhyme that ends "he stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said what a good boy am I" is about a king (if I am remembering the story correctly) who sent the gift of a very large pie to a nobleman some distance away. The servant delivering the pie couldn't resist sticking his fingers in for a taste, and felt parchment inside...Secret documents of some kind.

    The recipes I taught my class were authentic and included dishes like chicken cooked with ground almonds and grapes, syllabub (made with non-alcoholic cider, not wine), oat cakes, pickled vegetables and a potato and cabbage dish.

    The class was part of an amazing 3-month long program in medieval studies at a public elementary school that had received a grant for that purpose. Artisans of all kinds came to hold workshops, during school hours, on medieval arts and crafts. A brewer taught the children how to make bottled root beer, there were weavers, singers, dancers, etc. It all culminated in a festival at the school where the children exhibited what they had learned. My class held a luncheon for their parents, and at the fair exhibited the jars of pickled vegetables.
     
  3. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    wow, how fun! Do you know who funded the grant?
     
  4. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are interested in medieval foods check out "Fabulous Feasts" by Madeleine Pelner Cosman. A great book with lots of history and a wonderful selection of recipes at the end. One of the things I found most interesting is the number of words and phrases that come from this period.
     
  5. denise landis

    denise landis

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    I don't know who funded the grant, but I will see if I can get more information about it. It was a truly amazing project.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Thank you!
     
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