‘If some mouse or weasel fall into a large vessel of liquid, and is discovered there dead,
sprinkle on some holy water and consume it as normal’[Confessional of pseudo- Egbert]
This blog started as a small project for myself, to aid with my learning about early medieval food. I’m still fairly new to the subject, so hopefully there aren’t too many errors and the blog is of some use to people as a quick reference guide of available food types and gives some ideas for recipes to use while reenacting at events.
I have found that the food would have been far from boring, with many farmed goods, as well as foraged and imported food stuffs. Daily food would have mainly consisted of savoury porridges and stews, flavoured with small quantities of meat.
Food would have been more seasonal than what we are used to now, with many produce only being available at certain times of year, unless it had been preserved by salting, pickling or drying.
Whilst we know a lot about the produce available, due to archeological finds, various writings and leechdoms, we don’t know much about how they were eaten, with no recipe books being written until much later. We can summarise certain things from later cookbooks. For instance The Anglo Saxons were big fans of flowers in food. We know
this because recipes from early Medieval France (before 1066) don’t contain flowers, but the recipes that were written thereafter do.
Some of the recipes in this blog, like the bread, can be made in advance of a show, with the benefit of using a modern kitchen, however I have tried to include the option to cook authentically where possible. What follows is open to discussion, as these recipes are my take on what may or may not have been eaten by the Saxons and Vikings in the UK. It’s been an interesting journey, experimenting with new ingredients, and new cooking methods, some of which
have made it into our daily cooking routines, which I hope will give you some inspiration too.
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