[Sca-cooks] medieval ascetics menus

Sharon Palmer ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Sun Oct 11 00:44:14 PDT 2009

>  > WHAT were these guys (and gals?) eating? Seems easier to
>  > day what was left than what they didn't eat.

A vegan diet is a pretty modern thing, the rules were different in 
the middle ages.  And while they may not have had new world foods, 
but they ate a lot of fruits and vegetable that are nearly forgotten 

I need to put together a list of the vegetables and fruits that are 
listed in Rumpolt.  Although it is far from vegan, there are dozens 
of recipes for dried peas and old world beans, and maybe a hundred or 
more vegetables and fruits mentioned.  It wouldn't be hard to pick 
out a vegan meal from there.  Rumpolt is the source I'm most familiar 
with, I'm sure the larger, late period Italian cookbooks would be 
even better.

>I tend of think
>>  of a vegan diet as being extremely limited and if not done
>  > with care, a good recipe for malnutrition.

This is getting pretty OOP,  but from what I've read, aside from 
vitamin B12, a vegan adult that eats a varied diet has little risk of 
malnutrition, unless they simply do not eat enough calories.   There 
are plenty of vegan foods that provide protein and other nutrients. 
It's pretty hard not to get enough protein unless you are starving. 
The human body is pretty adaptable.

A diet of vegetables, legumes, and grain can include dried peas with 
barley or wheat bread in Europe, corn and beans in the new world, dal 
and rice in India, soybeans and rice in China and Japan.  Few people 
are completely vegan from choice, but world wide, there are many that 
seldom can afford meat.  A vegetable based, largely vegan diet is low 
fat, and can be very healthy.

I've read bad things about babies that were fed a strict vegan diet 
without breast milk, but it sounds as though they may not have been 
fed enough and babies are meant to drink human milk.   Weaned 
children that eat a completely vegan diet should have vitamins, and 
be checked to be sure they are thriving.

Many children self-impose an even stricter diet.  When my nephew was 
2 and 3, he'd eat jar baby bananas (but not fresh ones), canned baked 
beans, plain pasta, and not much else.  (No, his parents weren't 
vegan, he was just fussy.  We've talked about fussy kids lately, and 
I don't want to go there).  The kid is 6 foot now.

I've been vegetarian and semi-vegetarian since 1976.   For the last 
decade I eat fish two or three times a month.   I eat eggs and dairy. 
Vegetarian not vegan.  I don't care for meat, or for milk as a 
beverage.  I love vegetables.  I've never felt deprived.

Most of the modern vegan cookbooks I've seen are less about 
vegetables than a certain political viewpoint and are full of 
processed meat substitutes and soy "cheese".  Yuck.  I try to avoid 
processed foods, don't want to eat fake meat, and am far too fond of 
good cheese to give it up completely.


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