When I was reading Erik Didriksen‘s Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs I kept imagining being at a feast in Queen Elizabeth I’s court, enjoying modern pop through sonnets. “What Elizabethan eats would be at this feast?” I wondered.
Since the sonnets are pop sonnets it’d probably be more like the party in the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet than the Zeffirelli version…
When I learned about the Middle Ages in 6th grade, one of our projects was to cook a Medieval recipe and bring it in to school for everyone to try. I still remember trying orange duck for the first time (it was cold and weird) and will probably never forget it. I absolutely love learning more about how life used to be (probably why I majored in History) and thought it would be fun to look up some recipes and share them with you!
–Spiced Elizabethan Pork and Fruit Casserole: This recipe from Food.com stays true to the Middle Age’s obsession with mixing meat with dried fruit. This easy recipe mixes pork with dried dates, spices, and herbs in a red wine base. Delicious!
–Venison Pies: What’s more medieval than venison? Inn at the Crossroads is a brilliant food blog specializing in recipes found in the world of Westeros from the A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones for those uninitiated into the Night’s Watch). This post includes both an authentic medieval recipe for venison pie, and a more modern version. Both sound scrumptious. Check out the blog for even more recipes!
–Lemon and Lavender Posset with Lavender Biscuits: For dessert, I found this tart and flowery recipe from BBC Food. I love lemon and I love lavender so this sounded like the perfect mix. Posset is a pudding that’s been eaten since the Medieval era, and both recipes ask for only four ingredients each. Easy and elegant!
Mead, cider, wine, and beer were all popular drinks in the Middle Ages. You don’t have to be picky and go for something authentic, but I’ll give you a few recommendations anyway:
–Viking Blod mead purports to be based on an ancient recipe for mead. The bottle is heavy and cool; the mead is strong and flavorful. Perfect to wash down a venison pie.
–Moonlight Meadery, based in New Hampshire, produces flavored meads. These are more modern, with flavors such as Raspberry Chipotle and Kurt’s Apple Pie. The flavors I’ve had have all been super-sweet and yummy.
–Middle Ages Brewing Company in Syracuse, N.Y. uses traditional British brewing techniques to make beers with a medieval twist. My brother went to school in Syracuse and I’m pretty sure he’s been to the brewery.
-As for wine, pick your poison! Why bother going “authentic” for something you might not like? It all looks period appropriate in a goblet!
Are there any Medieval/Elizabethan recipes you like to make because you’re a nerdy history lover like me? Know any Medieval-inspired beverages? Share your recipes and recommendations in the comments!