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Medieval cookery

Have you ever eaten a recipe from Medieval or Roman times?

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by Anonymousreply 8110/14/2020


by Anonymousreply 101/25/2019

I'm up for it.

by Anonymousreply 201/25/2019

Well, I've eaten roasted meats!

Although I've never slow-roasted meat over open coals in the medieval style, nobody cooks meat that way in the modern world. I read a book by a food historian who tried medieval roasting, he said it was wonderful and unlike anything you get out of an oven.

by Anonymousreply 301/25/2019

Don't eat the figs.

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by Anonymousreply 401/26/2019

Ancient Roman is hardly Medieval.

Pretty sure we've all had rye bread. Roast pork. Venison. Fish. Oatmeal. Honey. Apple cider, ale, wine.

by Anonymousreply 501/26/2019

R3 Have you ever cooked on one of these? While not slow cooking it's the same.

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by Anonymousreply 601/26/2019

It’s just offal!

by Anonymousreply 701/26/2019

orphan child casserole and virgin's blood shortcake

by Anonymousreply 801/26/2019

i've had some "ancient rome" meals... what i remember the most is the sweet/sour taste of most of the food.

by Anonymousreply 901/26/2019

Honey and venison are not recipes.

by Anonymousreply 1001/26/2019

There’s probably a lot of blood and goblets and urine reduction

by Anonymousreply 1101/26/2019

It was great if you were nobility. Peasants lived on coarse bread, beer, and the occasional onion.

by Anonymousreply 1201/26/2019

Thanks for posting the vid OP, that was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 1301/26/2019

You're welcome! I'm very interested in how people back then used food as medicine.

by Anonymousreply 1401/26/2019

on in England that woman would be allowed to appear on tv

by Anonymousreply 1501/26/2019

Mead is great!

by Anonymousreply 1601/26/2019

I'm still eating the secondhand shoe I got for Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 1701/26/2019

"You're welcome! I'm very interested in how people back then used food as medicine. "

Well it's not like they had actual medicine.

Do try honey mead, it's available at some liquor stores and is quite nice if you like sweet wines.

by Anonymousreply 1801/26/2019

I draw the line at roast swan and jellied eels!

And garum fish sauce. But I'd be happy to try roast meats served on a trencher.

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by Anonymousreply 1901/26/2019

A good thing R15. Because they have actual experts who know their stuff, as opposed to shiny people, who don't...

Lucy Worsley, who's the Chief Curator for the royal palaces, makes some wonderful history shows for the BBC that delve into everyday life in the past, many debunking popular beliefs and throwing in surprising trivia tidbits.

Here's one example of her work on the history of English food for any of you culinary buffs with time on your hands

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by Anonymousreply 2001/26/2019

I wonder if garum was similiar to Asian fish sauce. I imagine it would have been much more pungent.

by Anonymousreply 2101/26/2019

Mmmmm, just what I wanted: An anteater’s pancreases with donkey entrail pudding! 😫

by Anonymousreply 2201/26/2019

I've tried a medieval perogi recipe that was excellent.

by Anonymousreply 2301/26/2019

It's always interesting when you realize where in the world all our food came from. Like how potatoes and corn are from the Americas so they weren't introduced to the rest of the world until the 1500s. or how many foods can only be grown in certain climates so it used to be expensive and exotic to have a pineapple or oranges. Or how nearly every spice on Earth came from Asia. The food we mindlessly pick up at the grocery store each week would have impressed most European monarchs and cost a fortune.

by Anonymousreply 2401/26/2019

yes, R21, garum is very similiar to Asian fish sauce. If you're curious about garum, try "colatura di alici", you can find it in italian delis and on line. It's still very popular in southern Italy, and it's the closest thing to garum in western cuisine. It's absolutely delicious on pasta, btw.

by Anonymousreply 2501/27/2019

I walked around the county fair eating a giant turkey leg which feels so weird to type.

by Anonymousreply 2601/27/2019

Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright (the hostess in the OPs video) was a fascinating woman. A barrister, cricket umpire, guild butcher, and recovering alcoholic. I watch her appearances in the 'Two Fat Ladies' series on a regular basis.

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by Anonymousreply 2701/27/2019

Growing up in Russia in the '60s, I had kebabs slow-roasted over open coals every summer. And maybe four or five times in my 12 years there, I had pineapple or bananas, rare delicacies for which people would spend hours in line.

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by Anonymousreply 2801/27/2019

Good Lord, r28, how old are you, pray tell?

by Anonymousreply 2901/27/2019

In the middle ages, the job of roasting meats was considered to be man's work! Women were too weak to lift the huge joists of meat that were cooked in great houses or castles, and were thought to be too frail to stand the scorching heat of the open fires that were used to cook meats in those days. Kitchens were hellishly hot, which is why the guy on the right isn't wearing anything but an apron.

And yes, that's a guy on the left. In those days, women wore long skirts, and men wore knee-length skirts and colored tights.

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by Anonymousreply 3001/27/2019

Now some DLer is going to fantasize about being head chef in a medieval kitchen who's surrounded by twinks in nothing but aprons.

by Anonymousreply 3101/27/2019

Peasant food

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by Anonymousreply 3201/27/2019

I'm 56, R29. Hence "growing up in Russia in the '60s". These were still Soviet times, when ordinary people didn't have things like barbecues and grilles. Or cars. Or phones.

by Anonymousreply 3301/27/2019

[quote] Soviet times, when ordinary people didn't have things like barbecues and grilles. Or cars. Or phones.

Perhaps, but they certainly had fashion.

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by Anonymousreply 3401/27/2019

Fashion was actually easier to come by, R34. Not in the stores, but people smuggled things in from better-off Soviet Bloc countries, or made their own. A grille, on the other hand, wasn't something your typical Russian would spend money on, even if one was made available.

by Anonymousreply 3501/27/2019

Pears in red wine sauce

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by Anonymousreply 3601/27/2019

I've occasionally quaffed from a stout flagon of grog, 'tis all I'll admit to.

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by Anonymousreply 3701/28/2019

R24, you are so right about the foods available in Europe... it's a pre and post 1492 world. Columbus and later other explorers from Spain and Portugal returned with spices and foods people had never experienced.

My history is vague here, but was it the English who maintained the spice trade from India and elsewhere? Again, a huge shift in culinary experiences... coffee, tea and much more.

by Anonymousreply 3801/28/2019

The Russians I know still cook Shashlik (kebabs) on special skewers and they often use a portable grill called a mangal. The flavor is similar to barbecue coals, not gas barbecues.

I've had some medieval foods - mead comes to mind. And mincemeat is a holdover from medieval cookery. But, yes, the common diet would have been supremely dull to our palates. Bread, oats, and pease porridge. (Basically cooked split peas). Milk and/or simple cheese if they were lucky and had a cow. Very rarely, some mutton, or some bacon. I suspect that most vegetables were cooked to death - medieval people were afraid of raw vegetables, probably with good reason. I once stayed where a scottish au pair girl was preparing the lunch for the farmhands. She got up at 8 am and cut up onions, cabbages, turnips, rutabagas, and potatoes, and boiled the hell out of that for about 4 hours. You can't imagine the stench of it by noontime. I think that's how medieval people ate.

by Anonymousreply 3901/28/2019

They probably cooked vegetables beyond belief because there was no really clean water to wash off the soil and manure used as fertilizer back then. Salad probably wasn’t too popular either for the same reason.

by Anonymousreply 4001/28/2019

Yeah, there was probably only one kind of fertilizer available for your vegetable patch back then! And it's not like you had enough clean water available to wash the manure off the veggies, clean water was such a rarity in that world that nobody who could afford wine or beer drank water.

That's always seemed like one of the oddest thing about the middle ages, the way people drank alcoholic drinks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and when they were thirsty. The fermentation process killed the germs in water, and they didn't have tea or coffee, or any source of caffeine. CAN YOU IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT CAFFIENE??? So yeah, it was alcohol all around, even if a lot of the stuff they drank every day had less alcohol content than modern beer and wine.

by Anonymousreply 4101/28/2019

Oh yeah... one of the reasons that Rome was able to conquer the known world, even places where you wouldn't dare drink the water, is that their armies traveled with great casts of "sour wine". Wherever they went they'd mix the local water with the low-quality wine, and the alcohol would kill some of the germs and make the water safer to drink, if not actually safe. If the supply lines failed, troops in far-flung locations would begin to get sick en masse.

Now that's one aspect of ancient Roman cookery I'm not eager to re-create!

by Anonymousreply 4201/28/2019

This was a great show, two people spend the whole day eating historically accurate meals of different eras. In the medieval show they did, they were basically drunk by noon and they couldn't understand how anyone got any work done back then.

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by Anonymousreply 4301/28/2019

When I lived in Switzerland a friend and I went to Martigny and we took the little tourist train up to the Chateau and had a delicious medieval meal.

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by Anonymousreply 4401/28/2019

There was a special breed of dog, now extinct, called a “turnspit dog”, that ran on the medieval equivalent of a treadmill to turn the massive spits of roasting meat.

by Anonymousreply 4501/28/2019

Fermentation does not kill bacteria. Boiling the wort (pre-beer) does kill bacteria. That’s necessary so that when you add the yeast, then they don’t have to compete with bacteria, which could ruin the beer.

by Anonymousreply 4601/28/2019

Anyway, many people (scholars) consider it a myth that people drank beer in larger quantities than water during medieval times. It's more likely that it was commonly drunk as an additional source of calories and energy. People drank a lot of water, and there were water works (aqueducts from Roman times and other kinds of conduits) that tried to bring water from fresher, less polluted sources to towns. In villages, people had wells, too. There are wells and evidence of wells 5000 years old in many places around the world. People didn't routinely drink out of open sewers, rivers, or ponds, because the water would have smelled and tasted horrible. Although the germ theory didn't exist in the middle ages, common sense did exist, and people would know that you didn't want to drink water from a source where other people or animals were pissing and shitting. However, in any sort of travel, where you wouldn't know where to look for clean water, beer would probably be a beverage of choice.

by Anonymousreply 4701/29/2019

Germs aren't a theory r47.

by Anonymousreply 4801/29/2019


The word of the day.

by Anonymousreply 4901/29/2019

Medieval feast : no cake and sweet till the 15th

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by Anonymousreply 5001/29/2019

I really recommend this cookbook. I made one of the Celtic archeological recipes with hazelnuts and smoked fish and it was put of this world.

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by Anonymousreply 5101/29/2019

I'm guessing Byzantine food was more interesting and healthy.

by Anonymousreply 5201/30/2019

Uh, ok, I’m fascinated by R28! Growing up in USSR during the height of the Cold War must have been insane. Can you start a thread about what life was like there, R28?

by Anonymousreply 5301/30/2019

Our food was barley palatable

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by Anonymousreply 5401/30/2019

I was given the Heston Blumenthal tome "History" for Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 5501/31/2019

Leftover trenchers were given to the poor.

by Anonymousreply 5605/23/2020

as were muffin bottoms, R56

by Anonymousreply 5705/23/2020

One of my favorite British series. There are individual episodes from most historic time periods (YouTube). Plus Giles Coren is adorable, and looks good in a toga. The 80’s episode is hilarious.

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by Anonymousreply 5805/23/2020

Garum and Focaccia bitches.

by Anonymousreply 5905/23/2020

I've eaten AT Medieval Times,

You eat chicken with your hands and cheer for your knight.

My knight the blue team was hot. I even got my picture taken with him instead of the slutty princesses.

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by Anonymousreply 6005/23/2020

No but I’ve had Midas Brew. Does that count?

by Anonymousreply 6105/23/2020

Bolognese as a slightly red sauce first appeared in 1880, this white one shares a lot with older recipes including the use of cinnamon. Food history is fascinating.

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by Anonymousreply 6205/23/2020

Glug or mulled wine had its origin in 2nd century Rome.

by Anonymousreply 6305/23/2020

Well the French kept a lot of their medieval recipes, and in some medieval villages like Saint Cyrq Lapopie they are still cooking them, never ate anything more tasty and delicious! They sure know how to cool!

by Anonymousreply 6405/23/2020

^how to cook

by Anonymousreply 6505/23/2020

R64 did you have a favorite dish from that village?

by Anonymousreply 6605/24/2020

Pastiera. Delicious.

"It was used in the pagan celebrations of the return of the Spring time. During these celebrations, Ceres’ priestess brought an egg, symbol of new life in procession. Because of the wheat or the einkorn, mixed with the soft ricotta cheese, it could come from the einkorn bread called "confarreatio", an essential ingredient in the ceremony of the type of ancient Roman weddings named after it. Another hypothesis we may consider is that it comes from ritual bread used, which spread during the period of Constantine the Great. They were made of honey and milk the people offered the catechumen during Easter Eve at the end of the ceremony of baptism.'

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by Anonymousreply 6705/24/2020

There were lots of fast days during which the consumption of certain types of food was restricted. I read in one book that there were so many of them that they took up about half the year.

by Anonymousreply 6805/24/2020

I've always wanted to try some of the recipes from A Forme Of Cury (sp?)

by Anonymousreply 6905/24/2020


by Anonymousreply 7010/13/2020

Great thread, thank you R70!

by Anonymousreply 7110/13/2020

[quote]Germs aren't a theory R47.

You misunderstand the sense of the word 'theory' in that context, which is like a 'scientific theory' - a paradigm that is so well-tested that it is for all intents and purposes a fact, i.e. the 'theory' of evolution. "Germ theory" supplanted the common belief that illnesses were caused by evil spirits ('Spirit' theory), which could be fought off with prayers, anointings, apotropaic rituals, sacrifices, etc.

by Anonymousreply 7210/13/2020

^^ Addressed to R48.

by Anonymousreply 7310/13/2020

[quote] yes, [R21], garum is very similiar to Asian fish sauce.

They're produced the same way. Place anchovies in a barrel, salt them, the liquid that comes out is the fish sauce.

by Anonymousreply 7410/14/2020

Medieval teeth were actually in pretty good shape because they had no sugar and at a lot of coarse grains which kind of sloughed off plaque. Probably horrendous breath though.

by Anonymousreply 7510/14/2020

Dog Fish Head makes a beer called Midas Touch that is based on an ancient recipe discovered in a tomb. It's actually very good.

by Anonymousreply 7610/14/2020

There's a great Youtube channel called Tasting History, where a (presumably) gay chef recreates various dishes from antiquity.

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by Anonymousreply 7710/14/2020

The cookewy ingwedients used in Wome were wather gwim by our standards. Gawum - which was a wepulsive fermented fish paste - pwedominated in many dishes favoured by the awistocwacy.

by Anonymousreply 7810/14/2020

The British still eat disgusting fish paste. One of their fish pastes is made out of herring with the guts still in it.

by Anonymousreply 7910/14/2020

R54, I’ll take that with a grain of salt!

by Anonymousreply 8010/14/2020

R75, my father grew up in a small rural village in Yugoslavia in the 40s-50s. There was no dentist. They brushed their teeth with wood ash and salt, I think it was. Used toothpicks, too. They didn’t have soda or candy, and drank raw milk, sometimes squirted straight from the cow’s udder.

His teeth were straight and white and he didn’t have a cavity until he was in his 30s and had been in the US for a while.

There was candy in town, but they were so poor, they never got any. It was like medieval times for my poor dad. At least by the time he died, he was a complete Internet addict.

by Anonymousreply 8110/14/2020
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