Delegates given food for thought over medieval life

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MORE THAN 2,000 researchers of medieval studies have flocked to Yorkshire for an international congress with a focus on food.

The event has been organised by Leeds University.

Re-enactors  Stewart Iverson and Dean Davidson battle it out at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds University. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Re-enactors Stewart Iverson and Dean Davidson battle it out at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds University. Picture Bruce Rollinson

It includes trips to local medieval sites and a host of activities such as feasts and performances.

This year’s focus is on ‘Food, Feast and Famine’. More than 180 sessions will focus on this theme, covering topics from medieval cookbooks to the importance of ale in Viking life and famous poisonings of the Middle 
Ages.

Cooking demonstrations have also taken place using medieval techniques and equipment.

Delegates and visitors learned about spices in medieval food and how to churn butter and were given the chance to try their hands at making sweets and bread in a medieval oven.

Axel Müller, director of the International Medieval Congress, said: “Food is an indispensable part of our life, and that of anyone who lived in the past.

“Today we are grappling with how food travels, how it gets preserved, how finite amounts can feed increasing populations. The Middle Ages faced similar challenges.

“It is often assumed that the Medieval period was a period of malnutrition and poverty. This congress shows that the world then was very multifaceted, and that good food and plenty of spices could be found in many quarters.”

Elijah Lawal, Google's communications manager for the UK and Ireland.

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