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Medieval Cuisine - Printable Version

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Medieval Cuisine - mattc - 09-19-2006

Wikipedia is promoting (front page) a fun article on "Medieval Cuisine":

<a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_cuisine">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_cuisine</a>

If you enjoy the time period, or food history in general, it's a good read.

Quote: The influence of the <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Church" title="Roman Catholic Church">Roman Catholic</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church" title="Eastern Orthodox Church">Eastern Orthodox Church</a> had a great impact on eating habits; consumption of meat was forbidden a full third of the year for most Christians, and all animal products such as <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg" title="Egg">eggs</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy_product" title="Dairy product">dairy products</a> (but not <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish" title="Fish">fish</a>) were generally prohibited during <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent" title="Lent">Lent</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting" title="Fasting">fast</a>. The church often acceded to demands for regional exceptions when non-animal alternatives were unavailable or simply unaffordable. Exempt from fasting regulations were children, the old, <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim" title="Pilgrim">pilgrims</a>, workers and beggars, but not the poor as long as they had some sort of shelter.
Medical science of the Middle Ages had a much greater influence on what was considered healthy and nutritious. The lifestyle, including diet, exercise, appropriate social behavior, and approved medical remedies, was the way to good health, and all types of food were assigned certain properties that affected a person's health. All foodstuffs were also classified on scales ranging from hot to cold and moist to dry, categories which corresponded to the theory of <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_humors" title="Four humors">four bodily humors</a> proposed by <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen" title="Galen">Galen</a> that dominated Western medical science from late Antiquity until the 17th century.




Medieval Cuisine - Historian - 09-19-2006

funny you posted that, I was just reading that article this morning - good read!