1 Feb. 2013
Food is a major part of any culture, whether celebrating, mourning or just an act of kindness, food has always been there to make every party even better. For the Anglo-Saxons, food meant the very same to them. Though modern day cooking and feasting is very different, many of the same foods and techniques are used in everyday life.
The Anglo-Saxons acquired many of their techniques from cooking from the Romans. Before then, their food was very plain and consisted of mostly bread, fruits, vegetables and some beef. Bread was very common for either rich or poor families and was usually made from barley grain or wheat (Utah). As a peasant in the Anglo-Saxon era, your duties fulfilled most of your time, so there was rarely time for big meals. Most peasants would make a stew or some type of soup that did not require much attention in order to carry out the days work (Fu). For richer people, such as lords, they would typically have someone do the cooking for them, and most of the time the lord and his men would gather in the hall to feast. They normally ate more luxurious foods such as: chickens, pork, and lots of desserts (Duncan).
Unlike today, the Anglo-Saxons not only had to prepare their meals, but they usually had to gather or kill their food. It was much more difficult then to bake a loaf of bread, someone in the household would have to gather the grain, and then grind the grain down using a quern. They also did not have modern-day ovens, they used hot-air ovens or earth ovens. Some would even wrap their food in leaves and prepare the food over an open flame. There are some records in history of Anglo-Saxons setting up “cook shops” to cater to the pilgrims or they could have been established to tend to the royal court.(Fu).
Special occasions always involve food, there really isn’t a celebration if food is not involved. For the Anglo-Saxons, feasting was not something that happened very...