Medieval peasant food was frigging delicious


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/28/medieval-peasant-food-was-frig.html


#2

That was dinner last Thursday.


#3

Oh, look, silly people being silly for our entertainment,


#4

Somehow, with the overall lack of refrigeration and limited food preservation methods back then, I find that hard to believe.


#5

If they were getting all that protein, why were they so damned short and unhealthy?

Reading it again recently there’s a lovely bit in The Hobbit where Bilbo forages for sorrel after they lose their supplies in the Misty Mountains.

I’m sure I’ve seen that woman before on a history show talking about food, I think something about the earliest British recipe, whatever that was.


#6

fucking nutmeg, though.


#7

Not to mention lack of sanitation.


#8

I don’t remember if it was in Cod or Salt, but apparently coastal peasants / fisherfolk would make a sort of preserved ham or bacon from whale meat. Probably fatty, but maybe tasty?


#9

They had better teeth than modern people due to the lack of access to refined sugar.

Pigs, poultry and fish were generally considered “peasant food”. One did not need large estates to raise/catch them like cattle, sheep or game.

There is a fun book about how the British Empire came about as a way to get around bland tasteless English food. The Taste of Empire
https://www.npr.org/2017/10/08/553976216/taste-of-empire-shows-us-the-world-in-our-kitchen-cupboards


#10

Nutmeg…

…it’s a hell of a drug.


#11

When during the year was salmon available in the local rivers back then, year round or only during spawning season?


#12

Were they? I don’t know that it’s established fact. I’ll have to re-read " The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium" because it seems to me that it said folks in England around AD 1000 were as tall as modern man.


#13

Not really my bag, but I’ve seen a few episodes of Victory Garden back in the day to know that there was such a thing as “seasonally available” produce. Plus, larders/stores and granaries.


#14

Historically, Atlantic salmon in northern Europe were available in rivers from Spring through late Autumn and into winter. While they spawn over only a few weeks in mid-Autumn, there were early fish that entered rivers months prior to spawn and there were outgoing fish (kelts) that survived spawn for a couple of months after.


#15

Your username suggests you would know: Arctic Char (sorta freshwater Salmon) in Britain in those days, too?


#16

I really enjoyed this video, Thanks for posting it. I’ll check out the others in the series.


#17

I’m gonna go eat the kitchen table.


#19

You can buy this in Japan still.

https://insidelocaljapan.jp/en/archives/4643


#20

Common carp were also table fare, as I understand it–they grow big, and fast, and aren’t bad tasting from clear waters (just bony). Probably much of everything else in the rivers, eels, rainbow trout, brown trout, various cyprinids, northern pike, etc.

You’re killing me with this. lol. It’s a Char, which is a freshwater Salmon_id_. Sort of like Brook Trout, Lake trout, Dolly Varden trout.


#21

Where I come from, people don’t call them Salmon… as I recall the flesh of Arctic Char is more red than Dolly Varden tends to be. Been a long time since I dropped a line :slight_smile: