[Sca-cooks] Stefan's questions was Atlantian Twelfth Night Feast

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Fri Jan 26 04:00:44 PST 2007

I looked at this and thought too many questions for too early in
the morning. Not enough caffeine yet. My guess is that perfection
in dishes served was class driven in part. The private kitchen that served
the king prepared dishes that looked different than the food served
in the lower halls to the various servants. Did the master pastry cook,
the confectioner, and the master cook prepare dishes for the great 
council and the
king or did they work on the line serving the masses? I think the former 
with the
apprentices working to prepare the hundreds of messes served twice a day.
Hampton Court often had as many as 1200 people being served two meals a day.
That's 2400 meals served in messes of 4 or 600 messes twice a day. 
That's a lot
of food going out the kitchen door. As to perfection we do see
some great still lifes once that art style gets going. Since food 
doesn't survive
we don't have the surviving items to look at and oooh over. There are
recipes, descriptions, accounts, and other written evidence;
there are pictures, engravings, some sketches, some woodcuts.
We have some pottery, silverware, glassware, and linens. We know where
kitchens were located and maybe we can tell something existed there beneath
the Victorian rehabs.


Stefan li Rous wrote:
> Were these apple slices naturally sour? Or were they sour because  
> they were pickled like the kraut? If the former, what apple types  
> would be sour and where would you find such apples?
> But was uniformity a sought after attribute during the Middle Ages?  
> In food? Or are we projecting modern views on to the Middle Ages?
> In what little research I've done on period wood finishes, it looks  
> like painted/colored surfaces were much more popular then than they  
> tend to be today. Conversely, they seem to have used polished wood/ 
> stained wood much less, whereas we seem to be much more fond of that  
> in both natural wood items, in veneer and in plastic wood-like  
> objects. It may well be that they were surrounded by nature and  
> nature was to be feared, not glorified. We on the otherhand often  
> live in an artificial world, separated from nature and thus work to  
> bring it or a semblance of it inside.
> So, I'm wondering if views on food uniformity might also differ then  
> from now. Or do we both then and now seek uniformity? Today we do  
> seem to seek uniformity in manufactured foods, but do we do so in  
> chef made or artesian foods? Or do we emphasis individuality in such  
> foods today to separate them from manufactured foods?
> Stefan

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