Medieval Food and Customs by Stuart A. Kallen

By Stuart A. Kallen

From lords and girls to retailers and serfs, medieval society was once a wealthy tapestry based on nutrition, drink, feasts, and social gatherings. This e-book explores everyday life within the medieval period via its appetites and customs targeting state existence, urban dwelling, weddings, and celebrations.

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You must be mistress of the house— master overseer, ruler, and chief administrator—and it is up to you to keep maidservants subservient and obedient to you, and to teach, reprove [scold], and correct them. And so, prohibit them from lessening their worth by engaging in life’s gluttony and excesses. Also, prevent them from quarreling with each other and with your neighbors. . 24 As far as shopping chores were concerned, the Householder advised his wife to purchase the right kind of eel. ” The Householder noted that the best Paris goose sellers fattened their geese with whole-wheat grain and oats, not flour or bran.

Brides could be married at age twelve, and grooms might be fourteen. Like most other aspects of medieval life, a person’s social standing determined his or her approach to marriage. Serfs living on a manor were considered legal property of the lord, who viewed his workers much as he did his horses and cattle. The lord might deny a man or woman the right to marry if he felt the bond would WORDS IN CONTEXT lessen his power over them. If a lord did grant permismerchet: a fine sion for a marriage, he would demand a fine, called a paid to a lord merchet, to allow a couple to marry.

Music, dancing, food, and drink make for a joyous occasion. “Until Death Do Us Part” While the wealthy used money and influence to invalidate marriages, the poor might simply separate voluntarily without the church’s blessing. During the medieval era, however, the number of people leaving their marriages was low. Husbands and wives relied on one another for their very survival. Marriages most commonly ended when one of the spouses died. Little wonder people celebrated weddings with joy and abandon.

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