Alexandra Shami
Alexis Pera
Jessica Sandoval

Dining With the Anglo-Saxons

When and Why Were They’re Feasts?
- People went to feasts to enjoy themselves and went for entertainment purposes.
- Feasts were held for important events like the marriage of a two people, a birth of a baby, and holidays.
- They were also used to form alliances.

Rituals of Feasts
- Feasts that lasted for three days were used for great celebrations, but day long feasts were most common.
- The Anglo-Saxons watch jesters, musicians, acrobats while they eat.
- Before the feast began, people would gather and wait for the horn to sound before seating themselves at the table.
- They were also required to wash their hands before they ate their meal.
- Proper etiquette was also required. They had a specific seating order, were taught how to eat and what to do if food fell from the table.
- It was not considered polite to pick it up and eat it, but they had to pick it up, bless it, and lay it aside.
- Women weren’t allowed to sit at the table, they only provide drinks.

Obtaining and Preparing
- The Anglo-Saxons got their food by growing everything they needed.
- When the food was ready for harvesting, they would pick the fruits and vegetables and prepare them for dinner.
- The Anglo-Saxons baked their food in clay or turf ovens and fried their foods in a frying pan or griddle.

Drinks and Beverages
- In the Anglo-Saxon period, barley was used to make weak beer and was flavored with wild hops.
- The Anglo-Saxons drank beer instead of water because the river water was polluted.
- Mead is a sweet alcoholic beverage that was made from honey and was usually flavored with some form of herb.
- Only the wealthy drunk wine.
- Wine was generally imported but fruit wines may have been home-produced.
- They also had “apple-wine” which was most likely a form of apple cider.
- Fruit juices like apple, pear and plum were drunk as well as herbal teas.

- Bread was a staple food in the Anglo-Saxon period.
- In every meal, bread was included.
- To grind the grain, a grindstone called a Hand Quern was used.\
- Kneading was done kneeling or sitting on the floor with one end of the trencher between your knees.
- This ensured an easier process because you could use your body weight to knead the dough.

Fruits and Spices
- Mediterranean fruits, such as lemons and oranges, were not imported, although figs and grapes were imported.
- Apples were mainly used for making cider.
- The cider was sweetened with honey because sugar was only used for medical purposes.
- Many spices like garlic, cinnamon and mace were used for cooking.
- But , references believe that these spices were imported.

- The Anglo-Saxons grew wheat, rye, oats and barley.
- Wheat for bread, barley for brewing and oats for animal fodder and porridge.
- Along with these crops, they grew various weeds of cultivation - some of them poisonous.
- Because of their harvesting methods, it was difficult to separate the cereal from the weed, and many illnesses were most likely caused because of this.
- They harvested carrots, but they didn’t have an orange color and were not large like the ones we have today.
- The cabbages’ leaves were also smaller and tougher.

- When meat was available to eat, the Anglo-Saxons ate deer, cow, pigs, boars, and sheep.
- The animals served many different purposes.
- The meat was eaten, the wool, skin and antlers were used for creating a shelter, and their milk was used for drinking.

- Herring, salmon and eel were eaten.
- Some fish like pike, perch, and roach were eaten that we do not eat today.
- Shellfish, especially oysters and mussels, were also popular in their diets at this time.
- The fish was mainly eaten fresh, but they also preserved fish for times when fish and foods were scarce.

- The most popular type of dessert that was eaten was almond cake.
- Sweet foods also were popular, but they usually did not eat desserts on an everyday basis.
- The Anglo-Saxons may have also eaten gingerbreads and cheesecakes.