What now?

Ideas & suggestions from cooks for making changes (We need YOU!)

Period Food

One of the things that has been a shock to those of us who enjoy medieval and renaissance recipies, is the general reaction of the respondants that they aren't all that interested in accurate food.  Clearly, we have some work to do in that area; as we know, medieval recipies when done right, are yummy.  This page is intended to present ideas by other cooks regarding how to encourage non-cooks to like food that is as medieval as we can make it.


In addition, another finding is that people hate to be crowded, and dislike a "cafeteria" atmosphere.  The standard "banquet" folding table holds 8, but that's in mundane clothing -- no hoops, swords, large sleeves.  How can we solve those problems as well?

Please drop a note to the webmistress with any hints you think would be useful; include your SCA or mundane name, and how you'd like to be credited.


Webmistress here: I'm one of the people who was floored by the dislike of period feasts.  I've never been to Rayne's area, but the three places I've lived in the East and West were very much in favor of period feasts, and I always found them a real steal for a meal.  I wonder if in those areas where period feasts are not treasured, whether the attendees have, thorough bad experiences, come to equate "period" with "bad food," or whether they are areas of the country with very traditional American tastes, and thus even the best period feast would be too weird for attendees.  I think Rayne's work is very useful, but I hope that over time, the art will improve in the SCA towards period food that is good; where even the french-fry folks will like it.  As for crowding, I'd like to see only 6 people per banquet table.

I have been lucky to have lived in so many different kingdoms and the one thing this survey pointed out
that no matter what Kingdom the membership was from, the majority of people did not care if the food served at feast was from document/redacted dishes.  In Meridies we have a Culinary College that encourages historic cooking.  Still, there is a large number that just hear the words "period feast" and skips the meal all together. I have begun to think that perhaps  we might need to trick the populace in trying new things.

Do not tell anyone the dishes are documented.  Do not list the original dish's name on the menu.  Just say "Chicken and Rice" or  "Milk Custard".  Then, when the meal is over or winding down, the cook, herald or someone can say "I hope that everyone enjoyed the meal tonight.  The Cook worked hard to produce delicious, documented dishes and the recipes and documentation are available from him/her upon request."   I bet some people would be shocked to learn they had just eaten a "period" feast and enjoyed it.  :-)     --Rayne

I thought an area you might want to address in later surveys is expected/required sanitation level of feasts.  I've been to a couple feasts that if the local health folks knew/saw what was going on, there might be concerns.  (for example, food left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.) Especially with all the popular press these days, you might want to survey what sanitation training (current education) is applicable to feast preparers, do they on-the-spot train their volunteers, and other related topics. The best defense is a good offense. -- Karen Virtue

(Other comments welcome)
<-- Comments on Question 7 (Previous section) Disclaimer & Art info (Next section) -->
Back to the Feast Survey main page © 2000 Raine Phillips, although this page is mostly Cynthia's fault

Visit my CafePress store!