Chris Woolgar on food in the Middle Ages

In this virtual lecture first delivered in May 2020, Chris Woolgar talks about food in the Middle Ages

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Medieval food is a window onto medieval lives: we see the passions of the elite, the sharp, acidic sauces and spiced foods which dominated Western cuisine by 1100 AD, while the peasantry had overwhelmingly a cereal diet – although they were ambitious for the food of their betters, especially after the Black Death. What people ate, and when, however, were shaped by religion and questions of morality. 

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Chris Woolgar is Professor of History and Archival Studies at the University of Southampton. He has a long-standing interest in the history of the everyday – and his publications include The Great Household in Late Medieval England (1999), The Senses in Late Medieval England (2006), and The Culture of Food in England, 1200-1500 (2016). He has been the editor of the Journal of Medieval History since 2009.