Monday, September 3, 2012

A Renaissance Feast!

During the time of the Renaissance, foods weren't so different than they are now. Probably the biggest difference was that many foods we eat every day were only to be had during weddings or other special occasions.

Weddings were very much the same as they are now. There would be well dressed guests and too much to eat and drink. There would be dancing and music. Sometimes a Renaissance wedding would last for days, if you were a nobleman or queen. For the peasants, it would end a little sooner because you had to get back to work. Guests would come from near and far. If they were wealthy, they would stay at a manor house. If not, they would probably spend the night on the ground or in a hayloft.

Food that would have been enjoyed during these joyous events included many courses of meat. Meat was scarce for most people so eating a lot of it meant the event would be remembered. Meals were served in courses between which there would be merriment, song and dance. There might be jugglers, sword swallowers and comedy.

A first course of a wedding feast might include salads, broth, chicken, pigeons, mutton roasts, veal, pastries and sweetened mustards. After this course, the guests would dance or simply parade to be seen at the event.

The second course might be venison, roasted capons, more salads (most of these would be wild vegetables and herbs), rabbits, quails, sausage, pheasant, ham, pate, leg of lamb, olives and roasted swan.

Between meals, beer and wine would be served. No one drank the water.

The dessert course might include mousse, apple, cherry, mixed berry tarts, cream flan, pears and other fresh fruits, waffles, cloved apples, walnuts, jelly, and cheese.

No one went away hungry from such a feast. It would be talked about for months and would be enough to make those who attended dream about the next wedding to come.

Joyce Lavene
Treacherous Toys
Renaissance Faire Mystery


Marian Allen said...

Reminds me of some of the SCA feasts I've been to (and helped cook for!). I don't think I could dance like that anymore. Or eat like that, either.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Unknown said...

I know what you mean, Marian! It's really great that most festivals have vegetarian choices.