Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Picnics

The History of the Picnic

“I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics taste so much
better than the ones we have indoors.” – Enid Blyton

As the warmer days of summer dawn one after another, every morning finds me thinking about taking a picnic somewhere to enjoy. The beautiful days call us outside and away from our indoor activities and chores. The green, soft grass tantalizes us, the warm nights give us an excuse to stay up way past our bedtime and food just tastes better out of doors!

The enjoyment of picnics stretches back to the Medieval ages when hunting became a popular sport among the nobility and the leisure class. Rather than return to their castle or country home, a meal was brought to the nobles wherever in the countryside or forest they might be.

For hundreds of years, picnics were an activity for the wealthy only who had the time, resources and servants to help them enjoy a special meal out of doors. Often these meals were as elaborate as a meal they would have enjoyed in their home. Peasants and other working class people often took their meals out of doors anyway as they worked in the fields.

When the Victorian times came and a rising middle class appeared, more people had more leisure time. The idea of taking a meal out of doors became common place and enjoyed by many as the food items taking on a picnic became simplified and such events as holding garden parties became social norms.

Since then, picnics have become a wonderful out door activity enjoyed by everyone when summer days appear!

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