[Sca-cooks] Game for Your Feast

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Mar 2 17:11:54 PST 2011

On Mar 1, 2011, at 11:31 AM, Sam Wallace wrote:

> Working on this project led me to review what I have served and seen
> served of these foods within the context of the SCA. I was curious as
> to how often game, wild birds, or fish are served at events in the
> respective kingdoms of members of this list. What have you served or
> seen served? How typical is it to have game or seafood at feast? From
> where are your experiences in this drawn?

Seafood is pretty common here; my local group is within about ten miles of the primary market for seafood that serves much of the northeast coastal region of the US. Actually, I am about ten miles from it, and it is technically on my group's land.

We have some fish-averse folk, many, many who like it when prepared well, some who had never really had it prepared well until encountering it at SCA events, and a sufficient number of true piscomaniacs that leftovers are never an issue.
> I have served boar (domestic, but served as a wild boar), game birds,
> quail, venison, shrimp, frog legs, crayfish, oysters, and salmon. I
> have also served turkey, duck and rabbit, all of which were typically
> or were often domestic animals when served in medieval Europe but are
> often hunted in the modern US.
> I do not recall much beyond an occasional bit of fish (trout or
> salmon) at other events in this kingdom (Meridies). Sadly, the folks
> who prepare these often do not get much of a review as the majority of
> folks in this area seem to be fish-averse.

In the East the most common seafood is probably salmon (usually farmed). I have served salmon, cod (fresh, air-dried and salted), whiting, sole, herring, sea scallops, shrimp, lobster, mussels, and various other more obscure fish in smaller quantities (in other words, small dishes for high table, personal gifts, etc.).

Not much in the way of game birds around here; domestic birds include chicken, the occasional turkey, capon, a fair amount  of duck, somewhat less goose, some quail and pheasant. I have heard of squab being served, have heard rumors of peacock, and tasted emu at a feast once.

Mammal-type meat is generally farmed for us in my area, but not always: I have served beef, pork, veal, lamb, deermeat venison both farmed and wild, wild elk, and been present when bear was served.

Adamantius, East

"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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