A fresh approach to the implications of obtaining, preparing, and consuming food, concentrating on the little-investigated routines of everyday life.
Food in the Middle Ages usually evokes images of feasting, speeches, and special occasions, even though most evidence of food culture consists of fragments of ordinary things such as knives, cooking pots, and grinding stones, which are rarely mentioned by contemporary writers. This book puts daily life and its objects at the centre of the food world. It brings together archaeological and textual evidence to show how words and implements associated with food contributed to social identity at all levels of Anglo-Saxon society. It also looks at the networks which connected fields to kitchens and linked rural centres to trading sites. Fasting, redesigned field systems, and the place offish in the diet are examined in a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary inquiry into the power of food to reveal social complexity.
Allen J. Frantzen is Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago.
The symbolic world of food
Food knowledge: texts, feasts, and objects
Food words and Old English genres
Pots for cooking and storage
Food objects in iron
Food objects in wood
Food officers in Handbooks of penance
Laws, food, and settlement change
Fasting and the Anglo-Saxon "fish-event horizon"
Conclusion: Food, Eating and Identity: Anglo-Saxons at the table