MIT students learn cooking of the Middle Ages

Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have an interesting choice of study during the Independent Activities Period between semesters. The can take a non-credit course in food and cooking of the Middle Ages.

The class is taught by History Department chair Anne McCants using recipes from Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks, and The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes From France and Italy. While modern appliances and ovens were used, ingredients were strictly limied to those available in the time period and region. “'Perhaps, you’ve heard that the meat was crummy and spices were added to disguise that,'’’ McCants says to the group. This couldn’t be true, she reasons. Those who could not afford to buy fresh meat could hardly buy imported spices, she explains, because they were astronomically expensive."