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.
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).