The new Stanford university course takes students into the middle ages through food, music, and dance.

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Peicun Jiang adds rosemary to the Wood Pigeon on Toast while Natty Jumreornvong takes a quick photo to document the process. FRENCH 166: Food, Text, Music: A Multidisciplinary Lab on the Art of Feasting

The new Stanford university course takes students into the middle ages through food, music, and dance.

Every Friday night in the winter season, a group of undergraduates in white caps and aprons gather in the teaching kitchen at the Arrillaga family restaurant at Stanford university.

Undergraduates copy the recipes and atmosphere of medieval festivals to learn about the way people lived in the middle ages.

The kitchen was full of lively chop chop when the students hurried to prepare an ancient feast.

As a new course at Stanford university “food, text, music, multidisciplinary lab pastime of art”, as part of the students broke the old recipes, cooking unfamiliar dishes, learn and play 14 and 15 centuries of poetry and music.

Marisa Galvez, an associate professor in France and Italy, and Jesse Rodin, associate professor at music, teach for the first time this year. Their experience is designed to inspire students’ history.

Galveston wes said, “through the experience of multiple sensory feast – cooking, taste and smell of food, listen to music, drama, and the table to make interpretation of the middle ages – attract students senses, and cause their curiosity about this period of history. “I find this is an effective way to get students closer to the middle ages.”

Medieval cuisine and recipes.

The way medieval people ate and thought about food was different from the way modern people understood food, galvesta said.

Netta Wang stirs the Cherry Torte filling.
FRENCH 166: Food, Text, Music: A Multidisciplinary Lab on the Art of Feasting

During this period, the concept of humoral physiology is widely believed to be the balance of four different humors or humors that constitute the individual temperament, which affects the way people cook and eat. Food is classified as hot, dry, wet or cold, and each of these four categories is considered to be important to one’s health and well-being, says gales.

The members of the class were in the kitchen measuring the composition of the students mixing pie filling students with wooden pigeon, the students took pictures of all 9 photos of the students and the cook in the oven heating a pot of oil photos in total 9 full screen.

The diet contains no large amounts of sugar or refined ingredients, and certain spices are even rare and expensive for polite society. Wild birds, such as pheasants, grouse, and geese, usually serve.

In addition, medieval tastes varied. The students were surprised by the spicy and sour taste of the meat dishes.

“Cabbage soup should taste like cabbage — it’s late,” Galvez said.

Reproducing recipes is a challenging process because medieval recipes are not detailed. The recipe for recording is not for a novice cook, but as a general guide for other cooks. As a result, galvaz and rodin spent some time discussing with the students some specific ingredients or spices that might have been used and how to prepare certain dishes.

“According to today’s standards, medieval recipes were very inaccurate,” rodin said. “But we have to remember that these recipes are written by experts for experts; There is no need to explain how much sugar is added, since the cooks who use these texts have developed a sense of quantity in years of practice. It is valuable for us modern people to try to work in their own direction. Using these texts dynamically can help us understand the meaning of cooking and eating during this time. ”

With art and music festival performances, referred to as “entremets, in old French, literally means” between services “- students also without the help of a fork to eat at the same time learning and performance. A private knife was used during the meal, but it was not allowed to continue until queen Elizabeth ruled.

The course also explores the political issues of food sustainability, colonialism and global food markets.

“The spices imported today are standard food on supermarket shelves,” rodin said. “Consumers in the 14th and 15th centuries also relied on dynamic spice trade – but spices and other imported materials are more expensive and unique.”

Dry while learning

Some students say they appreciate the opportunity to understand the middle ages, not only to understand the period, but to experience certain parts of it.

Emma grover says she enjoys learning about the differences between modern and medieval cuisine.

“We think about food,” Grover said. “But there was a balanced chef who wanted to achieve balance by combining the opposite flavor. So you end up with a dish that has a lot of different flavors that we don’t have much today.

One of her favorite dishes, grover says, is the apple omelet and rose pudding.

“It’s just amazing to be together,” said the big man, who recreated the festival in class. “It involves five senses. Every week I go through a lavish symphony. ”

Jiang, who is considering economics or computer science, said he joined the class because he was always enthusiastic about food.

One of his favorite subjects, he says, is dealing with ingredients he has never seen or tried before, such as birds. He said he was also surprised to see spices in southeast Asia, such as many medieval recipes for nutmeg and west African spices such as heavenly food.

“It is interesting to see the globalization that was developed at that time,” jiang said.

Jiang said he thought it would open a door to a better understanding of the life of the middle ages.

Jiang said, “only when we are fully aware of our modern thoughts, expectations and rules can we truly walk under the feet of the middle ages and experience the life they have experienced.” “Neil Harper Lee (Nelle Harper Lee) in” to kill a mockingbird “(” to kill a mockingbird”) wrote: “unless you consider things from his point of view, or you never really understand a person, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. The same is true for history and culture. “

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