Robbins A. 8
English IV H
February 18, 2009
Different times in the past have produced different culinary arts and methods of preparing the food, preserving the food, as well as dining entertainment; the Elizabethan era was no exception. Meal time activities differed for each social status. During Elizabethan times was the introduction of different foods from the New World. It was also the period when there was an expanded use of sugar. Increased cultivation of fruit trees and bee hives also amplified the range of foods available.
It was important that the food prepared for the nobility have a great visual effect, especially for feasts and banquets. Elizabethans enjoyed a wide variety of serving methods such as colors or props. Peacocks were eaten as a delicacy and their feathers were used to decorate the cooked food. According to social customs the preparation and presentation was a sign of wealth.
Meat especially signaled a higher stature. Cooks may have been encouraged to surprise and amuse the nobility by the decorations and unusual shapes. A Kind or queen when going abroad could expect banquet tables filled with hundreds of dishes, for only one meal. Food was not simply served; there was much pageantry and entertainment. An example of what had might of occurred is: large cages of live birds, great silver bowls piled with a variety of fruits and vegetables, pillars of wheat, oat, and barley were displayed as signs of good harvests.
Most banquets would be not only a crowded and noisy affair, but guests would often bring their own servants to act as gophers to their masters. The highest members of society may have also brought tasters to assure their food was not poisoned. The rich and nobles of the time...