How Accurate Are Medieval Themed Restaurants?

medieval, middle ages, history, foodI came across this article by Mark Schatzker on “How do medieval-themed restaurants get it wrong?” It’s an interesting read concerning the accuracy of food served at such restaurants as Medieval Times. He dispels several myths in regards to the eating habits of medieval people:

  • Myth No. 1: Medieval food was bland.
  • Myth No. 2: Medieval chefs were lousy when it came to presentation.
  • Myth No. 3: Medieval feasts were merely big.
  • Myth No. 4: Medieval feasters ate off pewter plates.
  • Myth No. 5: Medieval feasters had atrocious manners.
  • Myth No. 6: Medieval feasters ate in set courses.
  • Myth No. 7: Medieval people ate food they couldn’t possibly have eaten.

9 thoughts on “How Accurate Are Medieval Themed Restaurants?

  • Thad, I did go to a Medieval Times restaurant about 13 years ago. I thought it was a lot of fun, but I can’t remember how accurate it was; I was too young to care then. We went to the one in NY; I believe there is also one in Orlando?

  • If it was too authentic, it might put modern diners off, and then where would the profits be? I’d guess people go to a medieval-themed restaurant for a bit of fun. Are there re-enactment groups like Regia Anglorum in the US? I believe they sometimes organise feasts that come as close as possible to recreating the original, and those might well be useful for research.

  • Carla, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) — http://www.sca.org — is a group like this. They do re-enacments and activities, and they have big organized feasts from time to time. I went to the group here in Birmingham a few times, but my schedule was already too full, and I didn’t have time to keep going.

  • My freshman year in high school I actually had an opportunity to attend a medieval banquet in an actual Irish castle. Quite an experience.

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