New light is shed on everyday life in the Middle Ages in Britain and continental Europe through this unique survey of its food culture. Readers will learn about the common foodstuffs available, how the people cooked, ate, and drank, what the regional cuisines were like, how the different classes entertained and celebrated, and what dietary restrictions they followed for health and religious reasons. Food was a status symbol, and sumptuary laws defined what a person of a certain class could eat - the ingredients and preparation of a dish and how it was eaten depended on a person's status, although more information is available on the upper classes than on the masses The book draws on a variety of period sources, including literature, account books, cookbooks, religious texts, archaeology, and art. Fascinating information is provided on topics such as imitation food, kitchen humour, and medical ideas. Many period recipes and quotations flesh out the narrative.