Follow by Email

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Market Needs Foodstuffs to Sell

Markets aren't markets without things to sell. When the Olympic Torch came through CFB Gagetown on its way to Vancouver, I was asked to display my Tudor miniatures for the Cultural Expo being held at the base. Every school child in the district came through that show, and I had an absolute ball.

This is the equivalent of a fast food place. The customer can purchase ale and a main course of a pasty, easy to carry while doing the shopping. I found a wonderful resource on line, a Food Time Line which shows you exactly when people began eating certain foods. Another good resource for period food, especially the medieval period, is the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

The vegetables include red, green and white cabbages, two types of beans, beets, turnips, onions, leeks, garlic and wild mushrooms. There wasn't really a very great variety to the medieval menu, so some very strange combinations were used to add some differences. As well, without refrigeration meat and other animal protein product tended to spoil. One of the pasties in the fast food place is a mix of fish and fruit -
so not appetizing to me!

Not too much fruit as yet: small pippin apples, green pears, regular apples and prune plums. I need to add some exotics like quince, some precious oranges, and pomegranates.

And then there's the seafood, a very important part of the medieval diet. The wooden tub contains rainbow trout, each painstakingly painted by hand, a design from Kiva Atkinson. The basket contains cod, the heavy buckets have oysters in them (designs by Angie Scarr)  and three buckets of eels which were a tidbit from Camp MiniHaHa. Most large homes had their own stew-ponds, where they raised fish for the table, as did large religious institutions like abbeys and convents. At least it was fresh! For religious reasons, everyone ate fish on Friday, and every day during the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter. People became quite sneaky, designating things like ducks and swans as seafood, in order to have meat on the table on fish days....


  1. Kiva's work is fabulous a wonderfully researched display. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Are you going to add a spice vendor at some point? Selling pepper, that'd be a rich merchant indeed!