Illumination of a medieval feast in the Livre des Conquestes et faits d’Alexandre, mid-15th century
“Bread, and two of those little fish, and a mug of that good dark beer to wash them down. Oh, and some bacon. Burn it until it turns black.” —Tyrion Lannister, “Game of Thrones”
What would it be like to dine at King’s Landing, party like a Lannister, or raise a flagon to the Mother of Dragons? Fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin drew on medieval history to produce the series of books that, through the alchemy of HBO, were transformed into the “Game of Thrones” phenomenon.
Feasts of the times were elaborate events at which guests were served dishes including feathered roast peacock on bread trenchers and huge savory pies with animal claws poking from the crust, and were entertained between courses by magicians and minstrels.
The banquet foods in Martin’s books were inspired by surviving medieval cookbooks and historically significant works including Le Viandier written in the mid-1300s and Forme of Cury, the first English cookbook, prepared for King Richard II in 1390. Forme of Cury contains recipes for gold-gilded pies, roast swan, “heads of beast,” fish jellies, and spiced wines.
Join food historian Francine Segan as she re-creates the splendor of the medieval era’s feasts and examines the menus, manners, and dining customs of the age, as well as foods like pigeon pie and blood melons featured in Martin’s books.
Get a taste of the times at a reception featuring popular medieval foods, as well Roxane red and white wines donated by Il Palagio, cheese donated by Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, Shepherd’s pie bites by Pie Sisters, and mead donated by Charm City Meadworks.
Want to try your hand at some “Game of Thrones”–inspired cookery? Use these recipes for dishes including Salmon Pie, Arya’s Snitched Tarts, and Sansa’s Lemon Cakes.
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