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.
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.