The Saz of Baba
Humour: sanguine blood
We are deep into winter and the last of the fresh herbs and most vegetables are gone. There are canned, preserved, blanched and vinegary jars and jugs behind the cellar door, but as far as meals are concerned, meat protein is now involved–fresh, salted and or dried. Meat wasn’t the healthiest ingredient, but it was eaten as a main fare in winter. Game meats like elk, venison, boar, wildfowl and hare were preferred to their domestic counterparts. Adding much needed fiber, these game meats will be encrusted by pastried flours turning the ingredients into chuets. Middle-ages fare had a broader inclusion of animal parts that may be missing from the Forkful of Fantasy tables. Cartilage and tendons were used as coagulants, fat for candles, and savory pies like these would have likely been made with offal. The pie crusts might have been as elaborate as the recipe “decorated with images of historical or mythical themes set in dough. Gilded with saffron or egg yolk, they permitted the flamboyant presentation of any type of food ranging from vegetables to meat, while simultaneously offering an element of surprise.”
Discovered through their coded recipes, Cooks in the middle ages understood food as a medicine and they had a phantastic sense of humor. This leads us to manner
#2 Remember food is better medicine than blood-letting
Recipes were often cooked to complement the natural humours of the diner. Here we lend ourselves to the sanguine “blood” humour. Wherein, I mean to focus our lens briefly on the GoT family bloodlines. Season 1 introduces how bloodlines are linked to inheritances. For example in episode 4, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things, Jon Snow and Sam exchange namesake stories beginning with Sam’s Name Day disinheritance tale. Their rough fates are comparatively not too tragic in the overall GoT universe. In Season 1 episodes, The Wolf and the Lion and A Golden Crown, there are several mentions of the unjust murders of the bastards of the Mad King and King Robert, as well as their other cruelties enacted in the name of their bloodlines. In the real Middle Ages the concept of inheritance was curtailed by the loss of over half the population from plagues. A particularly disturbing tale is told to Sam and Snow about when food scarcity led to cannibalism that brings perspective to their suffering,
“Do you boys even remember the last winter? How long has it been now? What, 10 years? …I spent six months behind the wall during last winter. It was supposed to be a two-week mission… we got caught in the open. Winds so strong it yanked 100-foot trees straight from the ground, roots and all. If you took your gloves off to find your cock to have a piss, you lost a finger to the frost. And all in darkness. You don’t know cold. Neither of you do. The horses died first. We didn’t have enough to feed them to keep them warm. Eating the horses was easy. But later when we started to fall, that wasn’t easy. We should have had a couple of boys like you along, shouldn’t we? Soft, fat boys like you. We’d have lasted a fortnight on you and still had bones leftover for soup.”
Thanks for reading. Next time we’ll further our peek into conscientious consumption.
Raise hell peacefully,
Anne “philosophus per ignem” Arkhane
Photography by Seth Nagle
(For locations in text find the full paper in Post V)
7. In Blumenthal’s Historical Heston, 89, “The medieval mindset was radically difference from our own, and the cuisine of the period was shaped as much by philosophy as gastronomy…The notion that the body is governed by bile, blood and phlegm now seems like gobbledyguk, but it underpinned medicine for more than a thousand years.”
8. Klemettilä, Hannele. The Medieval Kitchen, Ch. 4 Under the Spell of Meat. p. 64-65
9. The Food Time Machine. Tudor Meat Pies. WordPress.
10. Sidenote: In Fight Club, Tyler’s vigilante behavior of dumpster diving for human fat is paradoxically (un)just as it’s both sustainable and cannibalistic. It some regions it’s also paradoxically (un)just that don’t ingest more of the whole animal after killing it, i.e. we eat beef but don’t wear leather.
11. Klemettilä, Hannele. The Medieval Kitchen. p. 67-70, 122.
Blumenthal’s Historical Heston, p 10, “The restaurants centerpiece is a giant clock mechanism, visible from the dining-room floor, that turns the kitchen’s rotisserie.”
12. Game of Thrones. Season 1 Episode 4 min 27, 42
13. Blumenthal. Historical Heston, 19-20, “The Black Death, which first hit in 1348 and killed almost half the population over there next fifty years, further undermined the economy and shattered the social order…many people unexpectedly acquired or inherited wealth and property…The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 was largely a protest against government measures aimed at containing these new-found freedoms such as the statute that made it a crime to ask for higher wages or seek work elsewhere.”
14. Game of Thrones. S1 E4, min 43. Sire Black Crushed Velvet Cape of the Night’s Watch.