[Namron] SCA cooks.

John Hurst 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.
            Ewen MacG.

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.
>>"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."
>>                                               Ben Franklin
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                                               Ben Franklin

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