It's that time of year again, when ordinary people dress up like kings and wenches and go to one of the Houston-area's most looked-foward-to festivals, the Texas Renaissance Festival. Have you ever wondered just how historically accurate the food served at the Ren Fest is? Don't fool yourself into thinking that people in 15th century England feasted on foods like Sir Phil of Delphia's cheesesteak or foot-long corn dogs.
The Texas Renaissance Festival runs every weekend from now through December 1st, and each weekend has a different theme, but the food offered by the vendors remains the same throughout.
Some of the foods that have a kernel of historic truth in them include the bread bowls filled with soup, beer and the popular turkey legs.
Some people did not eat off of plates, especially in the Middle Ages, but instead used slabs of hard bread called a trencher. This is vaguely similar to the bread bowls used today for soup that you can get at the Ren Fest.
Beer was drunk by all classes because it was much safer to drink than the non-purified water. On the continent, wine was another popular drink, as well as mead.
Turkey legs would not have been eaten because turkeys are native to North America and would have been unknown until the settling of North America in the 16th century, but other types of bird legs could have been. Some of the commonly consumed fowl during this time included swans, geese or blackbirds.
If you want a more authentic Renaissance culinary experience at home, try some of the recipes from the sites below that offer genuine meals and menus from primary sources of the time and check out the video for using bread as bowls: