Medieval Food

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Medieval Food explores the cuisine and cooking found in the Middle Ages. The articles listed here show that people ate and drank a wide variety of foods and beverages, and dietary habits across medieval world could be significantly different.

Medieval Food Articles

Feasting And The Culture of Anglo-Saxon Food, by Gerald P. Dyson

For feast days and other notable occasions, sweeter bread or cakes could have been made with finer flour as well as milk, honey, eggs, butter, and fruit.

You Are What You Eat: Hildegard of Bingen’s Viriditas, by Allison Jaines Elledge

Hildegard categorized foods according to whether they were harmful or helpful, including whether foods were best eaten raw or cooked or eaten on an empty or full stomach.

Dining at King’s College in the 15th century, by François Soyer

Every week the Steward of the Hall – a College officer chosen from among the fellows and changing every week – entered into these ledgers the monetary value of the food that had been consumed by the fellows and scholars, including both what had to be bought in the market and what was taken from the college stores.

Fruit of the Womb: Prenatal Food in Renaissance Italy, by Heather Rutler

The overall dietary recommendations here seem to be heavy on the domestic meats over game meats, young animals over older ones, and minimal exposure to most fruits and vegetables and avoidance of fish.

Ritual feasting in Iron Age Ireland, by Finbar McCormick

Freemen were obliged to provide food, shelter and entertainment for a lord and his retinue for a specified amount of time during the year. The length of stay was usually three days and three nights.

Contributions of Medieval Food Manuals to Spain‘s Culinary Heritage, by Carolyn Nadeau

This article examines and compares the contributions of five Medieval Muslim and Christian recipe manuscripts to Spain‘s culinary history.

Wine, the Physician, and the Drinker Late Medieval Medical Views on Wine’s Uses, Pleasures, and Problems, by Azelina Jaboulet-Vercherre

The present study examines and explains the disparate and often conflicting opinions that late medieval writers expressed about wine, the role it plays in the preservation and restoration of health, as well as in the quest for pleasure.

From Wine to Beer: Changing Patterns of Alcoholic Consumption, and Living Standards, in Later Medieval Flanders, 1300 – 1550, by John Munro

Food and Cooking during the Mamluk Era: Social and Political Implications, by Amalia Levanoni

Some Basic Aspects of Medieval Cuisine, by Paul Freedman

Food and the Middle Ages, by C.M. Woolgar

Fast Food in Medieval Europe, by Vickie L. Ziegler

Medieval Women’s Guides to Food During Pregnancy: Origins, Texts, and Traditions, by Melitta Weiss-Amer

Fast, Feast, and Flesh: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women, by Caroline Walker Bynum

Food, Status and Religion in England in the Middle Ages: An Archaeozoological Perspective, by Annie Grant

‘Real Eating:’ A Medieval Spanish Jewish View of Gastronomic Authenticity, by Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus

They dined on crane: bird consumption, wild fowling and status in medieval England, by Umberto Albarella and Richard Thomas




The Art of Slicing Fish and Fowl in Medieval Japan, by Xenia Heinickel

Norse Drinking Traditions, by Christie L. Ward

The Village Ale-Wife: Women and Brewing in Fourteenth-Century England, by Judith M. Bennett

The Economics of Medieval English Brewing, by Karl Hagen

Dietary Recommendations in the Medieval Medical School of Salerno, by Maurizio Bifulco, Magda Marasco and Simona Pisanti

Stew and salted meat – opulent normality in the diet of every day, by Johannes Koder

Fast or feast: reconstructing diet in later medieval England by stable isotope analysis, by Gundula Muldner and Michael P. Richards

Dietary Decadence and Dynastic Decline in the Mongol Empire, by John Masson Smith, Jr.

’I am well done – please go on eating’ – Food, Digestion, and Humour in Late Medieval Danish Wall Paintings, by Axel Bolvig

Pre – and protohistoric bread in Sweden : a definition and a review, by Ann-Marie Hansson

Attempree diete was al hir phisik: The Medieval Application of Medical Theory to Feasting, by Kristen M. Burkholder

The Medieval Diet in Genova (N-W Italy) through the analysis of faunal remains from archaeological sites, by D. Cesana et al.

Cooking up Fine Remedies: On the Culinary Aesthetic in a Sixteenth-Century Chinese Materia Medica, by Vivienne Lo and Penelope Barrett

UNITS OF MEASUREMENT IN THE EARLY MEDIEVAL ECONOMY: THE EXAMPLE OF CAROLINGIAN FOOD RATIONS, by JEAN-PIERRE DEVROEY

Changes in Diet in the Late Middle Ages: the Case of Harvest Workers, by Christopher Dyer

The history of the medieval vegetable garden of the common man and woman: the poorness of descriptions and pictures, by A.C. Zeven

Dietetics in Medieval Islamic Culture, by David Waines

From Tavern to Pie Shop: The Raw, the Cooked, and the Rotten in Fragment 1 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, by Kathryn L. Lynch

Toward a Theory of Pre-industrial European Folk Ritual: The Case of Polish Wigilia, by Sarah Slevinski

The Origins of Tea Drinking in Britain, by Joseph P. Macadam

The Sweet Side of War: The Place of Honey in Military Provisioning, by Ilana Krug

What was kosher in Byzantium?, by Barbara Crostini

Loaves and fishes: a stable isotope reconstruction of diet in medieval Greece, by Sandra Jean Garvie-Lok

Famine for Profit: Food Surpluses in Medieval Germany, by Robert Dees

Medieval Food Videos

Medievalists.net is in the kitchen – here is our video about making Medieval Mushroom soup…

See more about the Medieval Mushroom Soup here

Click here for more about Du fait de cuisine / On Cookery of Master Chiquart

Links to other sites related to Medieval Cooking

The Forme of Cury by Samuel Pegge – recipe collection of the 14th century

Le Viandier de Taillevent – 14th century cookbook

CookIt! – educational website that includes a history of cooking section

News about Medieval Food

The Medieval Cookbook and The Classical Cookbook published in revised editions

Medieval Christmas Cookies Still In Fashion

Who Ate All the Pigs in Medieval Denmark?

Meals of The Last Supper grew bigger in the last thousand years

Study on Early Medieval Ireland shows importance of Cows and Milk

Medieval Peasants grew the best grapes, study finds

Medieval Apples were Healthier than Modern Ones

See also: Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals: Eating and Embodiment in Medieval Kabbalah, by Joel Hecker

Sharan Newman