[Namron] SCA cooks.
jhurstsca at cableone.net
Mon Oct 17 19:50:52 PDT 2005
And I take it most of the people were rich? Most people at little
meat. Thats all I said and I stand by it.
At 06:46 PM 10/17/2005, you wrote:
>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.
>>And in the middle ages most people ate little meat at all, and mostly
>>beef, pork and venison. Still very limited, just limited to different
>>meats. Not all that many people had a great opportunity to sample
>>anything that wasn't local grown, and what they did get wasn''t always at
>>its best, since they had no way to store it. As far as who has eaten
>>those wild varieties these days, maybe its the circles I have always
>>travelled in, but I had eaten venison, wild boar, bear, elk, pheasant
>>and quail long before the SCA was even started, and no, I don't hunt nor
>>did any in my immediate family, but there were always lots of hunters
>>around who were willing to share. I guess its a matter of attitude,
>>modern diet leads you to EXPECT a large variety of different foods, and
>>opportunity to taste different foods, medieval society led you to expect
>>to eat pretty much the same diet every day, with occasional festivals
>>where different things were prepared.
>> Ewen MacG.
>>At 05:21 PM 10/16/2005, you wrote:
>>>Ok, I was thinking of the variety of meats we eat.
>>>Yes, fruits and veggies, etc. are available in greater
>>>variety due to import and cross-country transport.
>>>But the meats we eat are limited. Beef, chiken, pork,
>>>turkey... for the most part. Where are all the other
>>>possibilities? How many people in our mundane world
>>>today have eaten squirrel, peacock, and a myriad of
>>>other critters running and flying around in the woods
>>>and on the plains? Now, that is not to say all
>>>critters are tasty to eat.
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