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Medieval Feast at Durham University

A variety of authentic medieval foods will be served at a sold-out banquet at Durham University on March 9th. Organised by university’s Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, it will feature food and drink from the Middle Ages and show how they were cooked during that period.

Dr Giles Gasper, co-director of the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, noted “It’s one thing to know the practices and customs of the Medieval Period, but to get the opportunity to bring them to life and experience some of the many flavours of the food and drink of the period is an emotive, engaging and therefore much more enjoyable way to understand the past.”

Durham University’s historical food expert Caroline Yeldham, who has been preparing the feast, explained: “Medieval attitude to food is a vast topic, one governed by many aspects reflecting the era including social standing and religion – there were dietary restrictions for about half the days of the year.

“Medieval cuisine is international, drawing on elements across Western Europe from the first collections of the late 12th and early 13th Century, through to the late 16th Century.

“The food is distinguished by the use of a wide variety of spices, including unusual ones such as galingale, grains of paradise and cubebs as well as more familiar ones such as pepper, cumin and ginger.

“The foods for this event are all high status recipes which would’ve been served at royal and aristocratic tables and will be served with hypocras, a scented wine.”

Guests will be sat at tables of eight, and will include student and staff from the university, and the general public.

Click here to see our section on Medieval Food

Source: Durham University

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