Quick Reference for Historical Heathen Foods
Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink: Production, Processing, Distribution, and Consumption
By Ann Hagen
The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks Translated by Paula Wissing
With Essays by Jean-Louis Durand, Stella Georgoudi, François Hartog, and Jesper Svenbrod
Feasting the Dead: Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon Burial Rituals
By Christina Lee
The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England
By Stephen Pollington
Translated works from the historical period:
Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome
By Joseph Dammers Vehling
Anthimus. De Observatione Ciborum: On the Observance of Foods
Edited and Translated by Mark Grant
Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant-Lore and Healing
By Stephen Pollington
Experimental Archeology , Approximations/Experiments with historical ingredients and cooking styles:
By Jaqui Wood
Prehistoric Cookery: Recipes & History
By Jane M. Renfrew
Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England
By Mary Savelli
NOTE: Savelli’s work is much criticized for not being scholarly. While it is not 100% accurate, it does attempt to explore the historical palate and is a gateway source for further research and experimentation.
Quick Ingredients Guide: Please refer to suggested reading materials for fully comprehensive lists.
Fresh meat, fowl, fish, crustaceans: beef, veal, mutton, lamb, chicken, pigeon, grouse, goose, duck, heron, partridge, swan, goat, rabbit, deer, squirrel, pork, boar, salmon, carp, trout, shrimp, clams, squid, seal , eel, shark, skate, squid, whale
Preserved Foods: bacon, cheese, salted meat, dried beans/veggies/fruits/herbs, salted fish, smoked meat, honey boiled meat/veggies/fruit, jerkied meat, brined/pickled meat/fish/fruit/veggies, rendered fat
Dairy: Milk, cream, fresh soft cheese, aged cheese, butter, curds, whey, eggs
Sweeteners: honey, wine, dried fruits, fresh fruit purees
Fruits/nuts: apple, pear, cherry, grape, hazel, walnut, chestnut, acorn, pine nuts, acorn, strawberry, plum
Herbs: parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, salt, garlic, chive, scallion, shallot, oregano, rosehip, dill, mint, mustard seed
Grains: wheat, oat, spelt, barley, flax seed, hops
Vegetables: cucumber, lettuce, spinach, onion, carrot, parsnip, beet, turnip, radish, celery, field peas, white beans, white lentils, sea weed, nettles, dandelion greens, mustard greens, kale, cabbage
Rare/Terribly Expensive Imports: pepper, oregano, olive oil, Mediterranean wine, figs, dates, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, peach, apricot, sardines
Spring: baby everything, mixes of preserved foods with fresh foods (beef stewed with fresh scallions and onions from the root cellar), immature greens and fresh dairy. “Starving Spring” brought rationing of the last of winter stores and playing the odds with how much of the new crops/livestock to consume immediately versus how much to leave to grow in the fields.
Summer: preserved dairy foods as milk harvested in the last of winter are now cured; semi soft cheeses, stored butter, mature greens, lots of seafood/fish, lots of foraged wild greens and herbs, small game, oven baked breads. Lots of fowl (domestic and wild). Frequent moves to summer fields meant portable food.
Autumn: fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts. Towards the end of the season lots of fresh domesticated meats especially organ meats as the herds are culled for stock survival; beef and pork, roasted bones/bone rendered broths, animal fat condiments, oven baked breads, pulses.
Winter: large fresh game, preserved foods, butter, hard cheese, pulses, stews, broths, stored breads, griddle cake style bread, some oven baked breads. Occasional fresh domestic meat is served for high feasts and to utilize stock that succumbs to the elements. Towards the end of the winter lots of fresh dairy liquids as meals and ingredients in stews as birthing season begins and stock starts to give milk.
The most common meal at any season was grain based porridge with bits of bone, meat, and veggie thrown in. The most common source of protein was a grain and legume combo with a dairy side. Barley and lentil stew with bread liberally spread with butter. Fresh meats were most often braised or boiled.