Dinner scene from the Luttrell Psalter (c.1320-1340, Lincolnshire, England)
I first began this series on medieval food by questioning what sort of experience one would have if transported back in time to a 13th century dinner table.
The time has now come to take a seat at said table and finish finding out.
The very first point of difference one might encounter relates to the time of day “dinner” was actually served. One might expect that turning up anywhere between 6:00 and 8:00pm as is common for modern dinners (particularly in North America) would also apply to the 13th century.
Cooking scene from the Luttrell Psalter (c.1320-1340, Lincolnshire, England)
In the medieval times, our modern emphasis on easy, speedy meals would’ve been an inconceivably foreign concept to a noble family.
In my previous post on medieval food, I discussed the raw ingredients that comprised medieval cookery.
In turning now to discuss how that cookery was done and what recipes often resulted, a key point made by Margaret Wade Labarge, author of Mistress, Maids and Men: Baronial Life in the Thirteenth Century, is as follows:
The medieval baron liked a complicated and highly seasoned dish. (p.118).
Kitchen scene from the Luttrell Psalter (c.1320-1340, Lincolnshire, England)
If you were magically transported back to early 13th century England and invited to dinner in a noble household, what sort of experience would await you?
An experience so different, it will be the subject of three separate posts in this blog series, the first of which (today’s) focuses on the raw ingredients of medieval cuisine.