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wed-feast-FAQ - 3/18/96

Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ: Questions about the Feast

NOTE: See also the files: weddings-msg, p-weddings-bib, wed-FAQ, p-marriage-msg,
Ger-marriage-msg, Scot-marriage-msg, beadwork-msg, silk-msg.


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Thank you,
Mark S. Harris
AKA: Stefan li Rous

Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ: Questions about
the Feast

(c) The Medieval and Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ was compiled
by and is maintained and copyrighted by Barbara J. Kuehl. All
suggestions and additions should be emailed to her at
bj@csd.uwm.edu. This document may be freely redistributed
without modification provided that the copyright notice is not
removed. It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in
commercial documents without the written permission of the

6.1: What kinds of foods did people serve at wedding feasts
during the Middle Ages?

From: pmagill@svl.trw.com (Phyllis Magill)
Mutton (lamb), roast peacock served with the tail feathers on,
braised lettuces, quail, venison, boar, eels, breads, and
From Amy Michaels <am@u.washington.edu>
In the 15th century, fowl was popular at feasts--and the goal
was to try to get the bird to look as life-like as possible.
The cooks would put all the feathers *back on* the bird, along
with its head and such. The ability to make the bird ultimately
look alive was considered culinary genius.
From: Karin Oughton <karin@mythril.demon.co.uk>
Here's some info on 16th Cy (Tudor) Britain which is very
similar to medieval (courtesy English Heritage). Foodstuffs for
the upper classes were generally roast and boiled meat, poultry,
fish, pottages, frumenty, and bread. To a lesser extent they
also ate fruit and vegetables, but many believed in the advice
given the BOKE OF KERVYNGE c.1500, "Beware of green sallettes &
rawe fruytes for they wyll make your soverayne seke." The
greatest change over this period was the increasing popularity
of sugar, so there were a lot of sweetmeat and sweet seasonings
amongst the aristocracy (and very few teeth). Tableware
changed, too: they no longer used bread trenchers much but now
had wooden boards with a central hollow for the meat and gravy
and a small side hollow for the salt. Glass is more widespead
and pottery cups known as Cistercian Ware appears to have been
popular. A prehunt breakfast served to QEI had : cold roast
veal, capon, beef, goose, mutton, pigeon pies, savoury tongue
pie, sausages and savoury snacks.
From BlkKnightI@aol.com
Spices were used quite commonly. Cinnamon, cloves, mace,
saffron, and especially pepper were savored. Ginger, anise,
nutmeg are also mentioned along with many common (and not so
common) herbs such as parsley, basil, galingale, rosemary
(mentioned in Shakespears' "Hamlet") and thyme. Vegetables were
also of common consumption as part of the menu, though the
medieval feast did not follow our appetizer-entree-dessert
pattern. For example, for a time the sallat was served nearly
last but, according to legend, a certain royal served sallat to
his guests first so to fill their stomachs and save more of the
venison for himself.
From: alysk@ix.netcom.com(Elise Fleming )
An excellent source for period salads or "compound Sallet" is
Gervase Markham's _The English Housewife_. Some of the
ingredients are: chives, scallions, radish roots, boiled
carrots, turnips; also young lettuce, cabbage lettuce,
asparagus, purslane and herbs with vinegar, oil and sugar and
cucumber served with vinegar, oil, and pepper. Another compound
sallat includes: young buds and knots of wholesome herbs such
as red sage, mints, lettuce, violets, marigolds, and spinach,
served with vinegar, salad oil and sugar. Still another
compound sallat includes: blanched almonds, shredded raisins,
shredded figs, capers, twice as many olives, currants, red sage
and spinach all mixed together with a store of sugar. These
were put in the bottom of a dish and vinegar and oil put on top
with more sugar. Then oranges, lemons were cut into thin slices
without the outer peel and covered the bottom layer. Then thin
leaves of red cau

<the end>

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