Feast of History: A Medieval Hunting Feast
If you grew up reading the legends of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table or Robin Hood like me, you probably at some time have wondered what it would be like to dine in a medieval castle. What would it be like to be invited by a medieval lord to a feast to celebrate a successful hunt?
The lives of the medieval people, especially in Europe, revolved around the Roman Catholic church. Good Catholics fasted every Friday and as often as told to by the Church. But feasting was permitted too. Especially at Christmastime, feasting was enjoyed by both lords and peasants. Feasting could also celebrate other events too though such as a wedding, a successful hunt, baptism or the arrival of travelers.
At a medieval feast, the castle would be blazing with candlelight as the servants brought in one impressive dish after another. All the dishes were brought first to the lord of the manor to see before being passed to the guests. The lord and his ladies and other nobility sat on a raised dais at the center of the room and the guests sat on two long columns on either side to the right and left. If you were lucky, you would also enjoy entertainment at the feast such as jesters, falconry or minstrels and traveling troubadours playing the latest ballads.
If you want to try recreating your own medieval feast, here are a list of dishes you might could try. Remember that you would not find North American foods on the tables of these lords and ladies. Foods like potatoes, tomatoes and corn had not been discovered yet. Also, medieval foods were highly spiced so have fun with that! And if the food is not spiced enough, you can do like the medieval people did and pass around a tray of spices for guests to season their own food.
- Meat Pies
- Roasted Meat (Venison or Beef)
- Roasted or Baked Fowl (Chicken or Goose)
- Poached Fish
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Salads made of Herbs and Flowers (Dandelion, Borage, Purslane, Lettuce, Mint, Primroses, Rosemary, Sage, Violets, Leeks)
- Mashed Peas
- Spinach Tart
- Aged Cheese
- Apple Tart
- Almond Pudding
- Spiced Wine (Hippocras)
And here is a video on how to make the tableware that you will need for your meal. Bread trenchers!