As an adult, long gone are the endless nights playing Dungeons & Dragons, Carnival dressing up days or re enactment week ends. Now it is even better!
I get to play around medieval times and food. Two of my favourite things have become the backbone of my small business. And being surrounded by Medieval hamlets and castles such as the Château de Portes can be very inspiring.
Walking back in time, cooking with ﬁre, wearing a Medieval costume, serving large platters of food and heaps of greens from the garden have become part of a normal day.
A typical medieval banquet menu would be:
- Salade d’herbes folles (green leaves with dandelion leaves & a honey dressing)
- Pain à la châtaigne (chestnut bread)
- Tourtes Vertes (swiss chard & goat cheese or meat & green ﬁlled pies)
- Truites de Villefort aux amandes (Villefort organic trouts with almond and butter)
- Charcutailles (Patés and dried cured meat)
- La Soupette d’Evelyne (split pea & chestnut soup)
- Poulardes aux châtaignes (chestnut and sage stuffed free range chickens)
- Mouton Croq’o Sel (salt dough covered mutton leg cooked in the ﬁre pit)
- Betterave en Salade (beetroot salad with fresh ginger)
- Navets au miel (turnips glazed with honey)
- Cretonne de lentilles (lentils cooked with saffron & eggs)
- Tartelettes (almonds & saffron, blackberry & cardamom)
- Dattes et Noix (dates and walnuts stuffed with almond paste)
- Crème de châtaigne (chestnut custard)
- Pain d’épices (honey bread with spices)
- Plateau de fromages (local goat, ewe and cow’s cheese selection)
All of the above are washed down with homemade cider, beer, wine and apple juice served in earthen ware and to ﬁnish a touch of mead or hypocras (spiced red wine sweetened with honey).
Working directly with my seasonal “terroir cévenol” all the vegetables and chestnuts are gathered from our smallholding and the rest come from selected local producers.
However it is not just about the food, it is a whole experience. For instance while eating, mobile phones are switched off, so it is possible for guests to fully enjoy the moment...and not focusing on social media and messaging.
When do we, as adults, have the opportunity to do something so remote from our routines? Disconnect with virtual reality or even wait longer than 15 min to see some pictures of an event? Pictures are available but at a laterdate, no instantaneity (do you remember the excitement of having to ﬁnish that holiday roll at home to be able to take it to be developed and then wait for at least a week before getting any pictures?).
Elodie O. Instagram/cocochataigne
*Middle English cooking term, corrupt French word aigre-doux