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Medieval Etiquette Table Manners A prayer must be said before the meal (in church or at the table), and then the guests would wash their hands in warm water (the order in which they washed their hands depended on their standing in the group). Wedding feasts were held by every class. o The origin of the word honeymoon: It was believed that if the newly married couple were to drink mead each evening for the duration of one moon following the wedding, they were assured a male heir within one year. And, if that did occur, lavish gifts and accolades were bestowed upon the meadmaker (artisans that were highly revered at the time). In other words, the couple drank mead (honey wine) for one month (moon) ... thus the word honeymoon. The mead was drunk from a Mazer (sp) cup which was passed down throughout the generations. The cup was usually an ornate chalice, but for some it was rather simple. Everyone sits in order of social rank, and that is also the order they are served in. o Host + Guests of Honor: The High Table (literally) o Permanent Tables= almost always has food; set for a feast at all times o Temporary Tables= can be folded up and taken out o Main table has table fountain; serves drinks Many different kinds of servers: o Panter= guards lord’s bread o Butler= supervised butts of ale and/or wine o Sewer= arranged dishes o Cook= directed each individual platter o Marshalls, Squires, Ushers, and Sergeants-at-Arms= carried platters to noble feasters Courses o Foods were served according to size and courses followed a gastronomic hygienic order. o Courses lasted for hours and were interspersed with music and entertainment. o 6 courses was not an uncommon length. Silverware o Hanap= cups or goblets o Mazur= bowls o Spoons were provided (for soup and pudding), forks were unfashionable, and guests brought their own knives (which lifted meat from the platters and sometimes were used kinda like a fork.) o Mostly finger food (hands washed between courses) o Napkins were becoming more popular as was glassware. Entertainment o The presentation of the food was part of the entertainment o Music (knowledge of music showed how educated a person was) o Dancers o Jester, dwarves, freaks, jugglers, costume courtiers on horseback A container of salt was set in front of the most honored guest. All servants were expected to be dressed in their finest to add to the splendor of the feast. Servants had to ensure that each guest was only served food that he or she liked. A careless error in the foods presentation could easily cost a servant his rank. Food o During the Middle Ages the people ate only the foods that grew on the manor grounds or could be found in the nearby forests. Transportation limited the variety of foods. o The only meat that was eaten was what could be hunted in the manor forests. The meat was heavily salted or smoked to keep it from spoiling. o Honey was used as a sweetener. Honey was used in the making of cakes and pastries. Work Cited "The Medieval Feast." Mountain City Elementary School. 28 Nov 2006 <http://www.mce.k12tn.net/middleages/medievalfeast.htm>. "Wedding Feasts." Medevil-Weddings.net. 200o. World Web Design. 28 Nov 2006 <http://www.medieval-weddings.net/weddings_feasts.htm>. (Same sight different pages) Janelli, Maria . "The Table and Table Manners" Greetings Medieval Chefs. 28 Nov 2006 < http://www2.edc.org/LNT98/sessions/monday/carrigg-all/carrigg3- medieval/cooking/table.html>. Janelli, Maria . "Serving Etiquette." Greetings Medieval Chefs. 28 Nov 2006 <http://www2.edc.org/LNT98/sessions/monday/carrigg-all/carrigg3- medieval/cooking/etiquette.html>. Janelli, Maria . "Banquet Entertainment." Greetings Medieval Chefs. 28 Nov 2006 <http://www2.edc.org/LNT98/sessions/monday/carrigg-all/carrigg3- medieval/cooking/et.html>.
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