Christopher Trotter on medieval feasting in Dunfermline
Fife's food ambassador tackled historical food at the 2011 Bruce Festival
Putting together a medieval feast for Dunfermline’s annual Bruce Festival had its challenges, as Christopher Trotter explains
Modern tastes are radically different from those of the Bruce’s time. We tend not to start a meal with something sweet, or eat the plate it is served on! But where we can recreate something from the fourteenth century successfully is in a large roast of meat – probably venison or wild boar, as Fife was known for that.
I think that the medieval pottage has become our soup and we would have no difficulty upholding Scottish traditions there. We have, in fact, used bread ‘trenchers’ as plates and guests ate them afterwards (it saved on washing up). What I would try to do in future is to provide a variety of cakes and sweetmeats as well as fruit that would have graced the king’s table.