[Namron] SCA cooks.

Craig Pharaoh sherdana at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 17 19:14:37 PDT 2005

It only took 800+ years for the Western Europeans to recover
from the fall of Rome, and have almost as varied a diet, of course,
by then some Roman seasonings were extinct, and the trade of
Indian spices didn't come up to the 2nd and 3rd century Roman
standards until after the age of Marco Polo....  and Romans bathed
daily or at least weekly and had flushing toilets and running water!

That is another reason they called the intervening years the Dark Ages,
unless you were fortunate enough to live in the East.

>From: "margaret" <m.p.decker at att.net>
>Reply-To: Barony of Namron <namron at ansteorra.org>
>To: "Barony of Namron" <namron at ansteorra.org>
>Subject: Re: [Namron] SCA cooks.
>Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 18:46:23 -0500
>Pardon me, but you are wrong.  While the primary food was grain, as bread, 
>porridge and beer across the full spectrum of the Middle Ages, the people 
>who could afford to eat meat ate it and the range of sources was well 
>beyond what would be eaten today, even by a hunter.  Poultry sellers dealt 
>in a full range of domestic and wild bird including chickens, pheasant, 
>quail, swans, bustards, all manner of finches, thrushes and songbirds, 
>figpeckers, guinea fowl and turkeys.  Pork was the common meat, but beef, 
>shep, goats, venison, wild boar, moose, rabbit, water buffalo, wisent, 
>horse, and just about anything else on four legs was used as food.  
>Fishmongers provided mussels, clams, oysters, eels, salmon, sturgeon, 
>mullet, carp, herring, mackeral, tuna, porpoise, whale, dolphin, etc.
>Salting, drying, smoking and pickling were common storage methods and 
>worked quite well.  Preserved meats, especially fish, were commonly traded 
>all over Europe.  Primary butchering at manors was commonly done in winter, 
>after forage became difficult and before the livestock diminished the 
>fodder stocks, when the meat could be preserved by the cold.
>Diet was limited by class, cost, time, place and availability, not by lack 
>of variety.  The absolute poor ate badly, the absolute wealthy ate lavishly 
>and everyone in between ate what the could afford.  A steady improvement in 
>diet began in about the 13th Century, peaked in the 15th and declined 
>bretween the 16th and 17th.  The 15th Century peak would not be matched 
>until the late 19th or early 20th Century.

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