[Sca-cooks] Foods available in early Anglo Saxon England

Amy Cooper amy.s.cooper at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 13:32:00 PDT 2008

I apologize, as this is only vaguely food related, since I'm actually
looking for dyestuffs...

I'm part of a team for Cloth of Gold in a couple weekends in Ealdormere.
We're doing an early Anglo-Saxon outfit from the southern part of what is
now England. There's not a lot of information out there that we can find on
what would have been used for dyes. We plan to make the argument that if it
was used for food, it likely would have been used for dyes (oh hey, that
stain is pretty! how can I replicate it?). I'm no clothing expert, I'm just
running with it as the foodie on the team. My question is twofold:

1) What berries (if any) would have been available?
2) Would the Romans have brought beets with them?

On the other hand, if anyone knows of a foodstuff, that would have been
available in early Anglo-Saxon England, is pretty easily found now, and is
capable of dying wool sort of red/purple (we're using madder in another part
of the outfit, and don't have time for indigo/woad/weld, and want to stay
away from yellow-greens), please speak up! The dye-ing experts on the team
have scoured their Anglo-Saxon books to no avail, and have several natural
dyes books available, but they are not sure what would have been available
in the time/place we're trying to do.

Many Thanks,

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