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Renaissance Food

Essay by   •  May 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  431 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,709 Views

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During the Renaissance, food was made to appeal to the palate and the eye. They were as complex as the Renaissance time itself! They had majority of the food we have today such as soups, salads, roasts, cheeses, pastas, pastries and the list just keeps going. The soups during the Renaissance were extremely expensive and actually seen as a luxury! They were so "luxurious" that they were even chosen over sweets. Think about that next time to have a bowl of Campbell's Chicken Noodle. The soups were made of different colors and used many herbs to season the soup. Their salads are actually a tad bit different from our salads today. Back then, their salads contained cooked vegetables or sometimes even the livers or brains of poultry. After salad was served, normally came a type of fish and it could be cooked in all different ways. Now on to the meat. Meat was served fresh, and when I say fresh, I mean fresh! Sometimes, they would keep birds in cages until dinnertime when they would kill them for food. Meat was also served preserved or salted. The use of multitudes of herbs and spices on meats was to cover up the "salt" factor of the meat since the taste could possibly come off as unpleasant. The fish in the Renaissance era was rarely ever fresh. It was another luxurious food. But many also enjoyed salted fish that has the texture of plywood. Fruit was even considered a luxury food. Fruits are prepared either "wet" or "dry". Wet meaning being prepared into marmalade or a jelly and dry can be for example, an orange peel. Vegetables are normally preserved in vinegar. They can include artichokes, leeks, chicories, and cauliflowers. "Potherbs" are vegetables that generally go into the soups. Onion are garlic would fall under the potherb category. The seasons can have a big impact on food in the Renaissance. You normally would think that fruits and vegetables are seasonal but meat can be seasonable as well. For example, pigs would be killed in the winter and would be preserved until spring to be eaten. Lent actually falls around the time when there are very little crops. What people eat also depends on what's in season and what's available in that region. During the Renaissance, food was very much so valued. The way it looked, how it tasted, and what ingredients were used. It was definitely seen as a whole new transition for food or even "modernizing" food and food preparation methods. After all, Renaissance did mean the "rebirth of classical knowledge". Right?

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