Few indicators define people so well as their food lore. Food taboos and food celebrations are important to a culture's notions of sacrament and sin, praise and punishment, deprivation and indulgence, vigilant discipline and sustained extravagance. In this book, the art of the English kitchen in the Middle Ages is explored, and its important ingredients are scrutinized. Medieval England's courtly appetite for splendor is evident in cookery books, courtesy manuals, household and court documents, legal records, medieval texts, and in surprising profusion in works of art ranging from marginalia of prayer books through literary romances. This culinary excursion introduces the English banquet hall and its furnishings and table adornments and includes more than 100 recipes from medieval manuscripts.