Random  | Best Random Tools

  • Elaborate Sculptures 'Warned' Guests Between Courses on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#1) Elaborate Sculptures 'Warned' Guests Between Courses

    Before the meal, guests could expect a dazzling array of (usually) edible sculptures crafted from sugar and other delicate materials like marzipan or pastry. These were referred to as "warners," because their arrival would warn diners that their feast was soon to arrive. These magnificent displays, or "subtleties" as they were called, were meant to be more of an entertainment than anything else. Often, servants paraded a new subtlety out at the end of each course to signify its completion. They came in the form of rare birds, exotic animals, coats of arms, or even famous people, and were usually accompanied by a poem, song, brief play, or recitation.

    During Henry V's coronation feast, the subtleties included more than 20 swans clasping lines of a poem in their bills. Other wild examples included scenes of pilgrims and knights - the "pilgrim" made from pike meat with a lamprey staff, the "knight" a rooster decorated with a paper helmet and placed atop a cooked piglet as its steed.

  • Peacocks Graced The Table on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#2) Peacocks Graced The Table

    What better way to boast of your wealth than to serve up the flashiest fowl you can find? Peacocks - cooked and served with their lovely plumages reattached - created quite a stir at the tables in the Middle Ages. The birds' skin and feathers were removed and the meat was cooked. Afterward, a layer of spices was added, and the skin and feathers were wrapped back on. Gold leaf or other decorations may have been added at this point.

    Nobles enjoyed offering all variety of beautiful birds, including herons, swans, pheasants, and cranes, saying their meat was "more suitable to the tables of kings and princes than the lowly and men of little property."

  • Feasts Included Meat, Meat, And More Meat on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#3) Feasts Included Meat, Meat, And More Meat

    Medieval gourmets ate a lot of different animals - rabbits, cows, pigs, goats, fowls, sheep, deer, and boars, just to name a few. Even hedgehogs and porcupines sometimes ended up on plates. A single banquet menu once consisted of a veritable zoo of creatures, with 12 pigeons, 12 chickens, six rabbits, two herons, a whole deer, a sturgeon, a pig, and a kid goat appearing in just three of the massive six courses. Some feasts may have included a roast boar stuffed with sausages that would pour out of its belly when the beast was carved.

    Pies were often seen on the table among other roasted and stewed meats, containing layer upon layer of pigeon, rabbit, or pork. The sometimes intricately decorated crust on the outside was usually not intended to be eaten and existed to keep the meaty insides fresh and protected. The truly discerning palate would prefer only fresh meat as opposed to salted, preserved cuts. However, no animal parts went to waste, including the bladder, stomach, and womb of the pig, which were often used as sausage casing.

  • Rich Pottage Stew Was A Mainstay on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#4) Rich Pottage Stew Was A Mainstay

    Pottage was a staple of medieval cuisine, and appeared at nearly every banquet. This hearty stew often showed up around the first course of a feast. The mixture was a hodge-podge of grains, bits of meat, egg yolks, and seasonal vegetables like cabbage or spinach.

    Chefs would boil the pottage for hours until all the ingredients became as one. It was usually served with ale, wine, and bread, with the finest loaves being reserved for the elites. This stew mainly acted as an appetizer for the rich gourmands of the Middle Ages.

  • The More Spice, The Better on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#5) The More Spice, The Better

    When it came to fine dining in the Middle Ages, nothing was a more ostentatious show of privilege and wealth than the amount of spices used when cooking. Because of the great lengths it took to import highly sought spices like saffron, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves from the Middle East and Asia, only the extremely rich could afford to cook with rich flavors in mind. For instance, a pound of saffron cost as much as a horse. During banquets at the homes of the well-off, a spice plate was passed around so the guests might sample the rare and exciting flavors.

    Salt was among the most prized of seasonings, and was even kept locked away by the master or mistress of the house. The phrase "below the salt" (meaning of low status) comes from the table settings at medieval banquets; lords and their families were seated with access to salt while they dined, while guests of less import and servants were seated below it. 

  • Fruits And Veggies Had To Be Cooked on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#6) Fruits And Veggies Had To Be Cooked

    Life in the Middle Ages was really filthy. As such, raw fruits and vegetables could easily make a person terribly ill - if not worse. The Boke of Kervynge cautions chefs: "Beware of green sallettes and rawe fruytes for they wyll make your soverayne seke," meaning green salads could even take the life of the master of the house. Any noble's garden was stocked with a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs that were used both for cooking and curing ailments.

    It was not uncommon at all to cook fruits together with fish, eggs, and meat, but vegetables were sometimes passed over by the elite of the Middle Ages. They were commonly consumed by, and thus associated with, the lower classes. The dietitians of nobility regarded legumes, particularly, with some disdain because they are liable to cause flatulence.

  • Medieval Nobles Loved Their Honeyed Mead And Hippocras on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#7) Medieval Nobles Loved Their Honeyed Mead And Hippocras

    While the idea that people in the Middle Ages were plastered all the time because they avoided water isn't as true as some might think, alcoholic beverages were a mainstay at the tables of nobility. An ale that would be weak compared to modern-day beers might be served with every meal, including breakfast. Wine was the most commonly enjoyed beverage among the upper classes; jugs filled with it were a familiar part of every table setting.

    However, even more exciting and delicious beverages tempted the members of the elite. For many centuries, honey was one of the only means available to sweeten food in parts of Europe. This made mead, a drink made from fermented honey and water, a delight for the medieval elite. Mead was sometimes flavored with spices and fruits and was considered a favorite drink of warriors and nobles alike. In addition to mead, the upper classes loved the spiced wine known as hippocras. This sweetened beverage was considered "gallant" and contained rich spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. It was said that hippocras not only worked as an effective medicine, but also as an aphrodisiac.

  • Brightly Colored Foods Were All The Rage on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#8) Brightly Colored Foods Were All The Rage

    Clever cooks of the Middle Ages delighted their lords by devising natural means of coloring food. Because the ingredients used to dye foods were often extremely expensive and hard to come by, this process was reserved almost exclusively for the wealthy. A table covered in an array of splendid colorings dazzled guests and evoked an air of sophistication.

    Saffron and egg yolks could be applied to achieve brilliant yellows. Sandalwood could be used to dye foods red, and blood was boiled to create a black coloration. Blue dishes were enjoyed by some of the Germanic folk, and were dyed using columbine flowers. People adored sauces of deeply rich color, and some recipes and cookbooks even specified which colors the finished dish should have.

  • Their Plates Were Literally Bread on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#9) Their Plates Were Literally Bread

    Two imperative modern pieces of tableware might not be present at a medieval foodie's table: the fork and the plate. Anything not edible with a spoon would be placed upon a piece of dry, coarse bread called a "trencher" and eaten by hand. They were generally about three days old and very hard and stale.

    In lower-class households, folks might not have had trenchers at all; they would simply eat their food straight off of the table itself. For the upper crust, however, the various sauces and juices of the meats would soak into the hollowed-out bread throughout the meal. While it was acceptable to eat the trencher after the meal had come to a close, most chose to give their soggy leftovers to the servants or the poor as alms.

  • Meals Were Sweetened With Jellies And Candied Fruits on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#10) Meals Were Sweetened With Jellies And Candied Fruits

    A dessert course as we know it wouldn’t have been common at a medieval banquet; meats, cheeses, and fish were often served alongside sweets, for instance. However, candied confections appeared sprinkled throughout feasts. Fruits were a common treat for noble diners, especially pears, and were served covered in honey or sugar by the late Middle Ages. Sweet pottages decorated with flower petals were often served, but the jewel-colored jellies truly won the hearts of guests.

    There are records of fantastical jellies molded in the shapes of animals and castles, and rosewater-flavored delicacies at the garter feast of Henry VIII. This type of aspic was made from the rendering of animal bones and cartilage, and was often set with crayfish, eggs, and other savory bits. Setting the multicolored jellies in a checkerboard pattern was a favorite technique of chefs.

  • The Seasons Determined The Menu on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#11) The Seasons Determined The Menu

    Seasonal foods were more than just a novelty in the Middle Ages - they were thought to be deeply linked to one's health and wellbeing. The medieval foodie would have been very careful to eat within the annual boundaries. Physicians wrote handbooks about "seasonally appropriate foodstuffs" that recommended certain diets based on the temperature and humidity.

    For example, in spring, it was prudent to avoid foods that were likely to make one too warm, so goat's milk, lettuce, fat quail, eggs, and partridge were on the menu. In summer, it was advised to consume foods that would help the body against the heat and lack of rain, so people often ate apple, pomegranates, cucumbers, and veal or kid goat cooked in vinegar. Birds prepared in saffron, wine-sweetened figs, and fattened mutton were ideal for autumn's "melancholic" season of cool dryness. Lastly, in winter, it was thought best to make one's meal of rich wine and roast game meat and hens, spiced heavily with pepper to guard against the cold.

  • Live Animals Were Deployed As Pranks on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#12) Live Animals Were Deployed As Pranks

    Medieval chefs got completely out of hand when trying to one-up each other with the spectacles they could create with food. Oftentimes, this involved posing a full cow or deer in a staggering display at a dinner party. It could also mean cooks inventing mythical animals to lay before the guests, such as the cockagrys (you might know it as a cockatrice) by stitching together the hindquarters of a piglet to the top half of a fowl. Some went so far as to use cotton and alcohol to produce the illusion that a boar's head or fish breathed fire before the guests.

    The children's nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence" likely gets its "Four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie" line from a disturbing medieval trend of using animals to surprise dinner guests. One of these might have involved literally encasing birds inside of a pie crust. The prank would reach its payoff when someone tried to cut into the pastry and the birds swooped out. Dishes such as colored, living lobsters mixed in with cooked ones, or a squirming dish of eels, were intended to shock people. Another trick involved plucking a live chicken in hot water, covering it in glaze to make it appear cooked, and putting it to sleep. The unlucky creature was placed among a number of roasted chickens. When a guest would attempt to carve it, it would spring awake and run off across the table, upsetting dishes and goblets.

  • Chefs Got Creative With 'Fish' For Fast Days on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#13) Chefs Got Creative With 'Fish' For Fast Days

    Life in the Middle Ages came with a great deal of fasting. This meant most folks could not eat meat, eggs, or dairy on Fridays and Saturdays, nor for the duration of Lent. Fish, however, could be freely consumed during these periods; one might be surprised by what the nobility thought of as “fish.” Along with pike, cod, and trout, nobles dined on porpoise, whale meat, beaver tail (considered a fish due to its scaly texture) and the barnacle goose - which is, in fact, a bird. It was thought that this goose legitimately hatched from barnacles, and was thus a fish.

    Those used to fine fare sought delicious ways around their dietary restrictions, and all manner of replacement dishes were created for fasting days. Chefs would invent creative ways to make fish appear as roasts of meat or cooked chicken. Another trick was to fill an emptied egg shell with pike roe - just cracking the shell could relieve some of the strain of fasting. Many of the elite took great pains to employ talented chefs who could help make Lent easier to bear.

  • They Were Surprisingly Health-Conscious on Random Dinner At A Glorious Medieval Feast

    (#14) They Were Surprisingly Health-Conscious

    Even though most of what folks in the Middle Ages believed about wellness was false, that didn't stop the elite from being obsessed with their health and diet. It was believed that the human body contained four "humors" (blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile) that needed to be kept in balance through proper behavior and eating practices.

    A huge part of keeping the balance between these fluids would be to consume the right foods in the right order - a practice to which nobles adhered religiously. All foods were categorized as having a certain level of heat or moistness. In the Middle Ages, physicians believed the process of digestion was similar to that of cooking.

    Because of this, foods were meant to be consumed in a particular order so that they could be absorbed "correctly." Banquets began with a food that would "open" the stomach - one that was hot and dry in nature, something spicy or sweet. Lighter foods, such as porridges and lettuce, were eaten next in order to create a buffer for the heavier meats and fruits like pork, beef, pears, and nuts. If the heavier foods were consumed prior to the lighter ones, it was feared they may block up the digestive tract and throw the humors out of balance. Lastly, a food like goat cheese, hippocras, or lumps of spiced sugar would "close" the stomach and finish off the meal.

New Random Displays    Display All By Ranking

About This Tool

The feasts of the Middle Ages is similar to the modern dinner party in some ways. They light up candles, then serve soup and salad, then taste better food, and desserts. The more formal or special occasion, the more luxurious. Medieval nobles were obsessed with exotic delicacies, such as the swans at Henry VIII's dinner. It should be known that guests are also subject to various etiquette rules in the medieval feast.

Do you dream you could travel back to Medieval time? There are some details about the glorious medieval feast, you could check the generator if you are interested in. Welcome to search for others that you like with the tool.

Our data comes from Ranker, If you want to participate in the ranking of items displayed on this page, please click here.

Copyright © 2023 BestRandoms.com All rights reserved.