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June 13, 2006

Medieval Cookware

Medieval cookware is an on-going but often neglected topic of interest for me. I'm utterly fascinated with the idea that the implements influence the food and cooking choices. My dream is to someday cook a meal using only period cookware and techniques.
Ideas I want to research:
  • I've seen references to cooking over a brazier. This would be like cooking in a tagine only possibly with an open pot over a brazier of coals.
  • Modernly when we conceive of spit roasting something we place the spit directly over the flame. I've seen indications that the spit would be placed next to the fire, sometimes with a drip pan below to catch all the nice meat drippings (much better then dripping them into the fire to cause flare up). This also argues spit cooking as an indirect cooking method.
  • Cooking that -was- done directly over the fire was handled in pots either with intregral feet or with a separate trivet.
  • Ovens were the property of bakers. They were used for breads and tarts. I really doubt that any meats were ever baked.

Random list of sources/links:

Ceramic Analysis

This report discusses some of the
history and importance of cauldrons and focuses on the development of cast
iron for everyday use.

Seller with bronze cauldron (pretty)


June 2, 2006

Dog Collar

From: The Virtual Museum

This dog collar, an open-work band of copper alloy, is a very rare find from the city excavations. Backed by leather or velvet - attached to the metal through six small holes - it was an elaborate collar probably for a greyhound, the most popular dog in the hunting field.

The collar of that breed had the same value as a horse-saddle in early Welsh law. The dogs depicted on the Bayeux tapestry wear elaborate collars. This may be a pre-Norman import, attesting to the wealth and sophistication of Waterford.

date/period:12th century/Anglo-Norman

inventory no.:1999.0498

collection:Waterford City Council

location:Waterford Museum of Treasures exhibition

dimensions:122 diameter mm

provenance:Found in excavations of Waterford city centre 1986-1992

material:copper alloy

further reading:Late Viking Age & Medieval Waterford Excavations 1986-1992. ISBN 1 872002 98 6