Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2012 02:00 pm
I eat capybara on Fridays, since it's considered a fish.
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Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2012 02:08 am
Fasten was not only around Easter and Advent but really all year round.
People - who could afford it - had a strong tendency to overeat day after day and drink any amount of wine or beer. The Nordic idea of overeating and drinking too much slowly changed.
(I do not know how it was in other countries at that time - guess it was the same)
The week was now divided up in meat days and fish days/or vegetarian days. Three days a week meat, four days a week fish or vegetables.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2012 06:31 am
saab wrote:

Fasten was not only around Easter and Advent but really all year round.

In the Christian (Catholic after 1520) tradition, there have been
- the fast and abstinence days the Fridays during the 40 days of Lent, Holy Saturday until noontime, all Fridays during the Ember weeks,
- mere days of fasting were all other days of the 40 days of Lent,
Wednesdays and Saturdays of the four annual Ember weeks,
the vigil days before Christmas, Pentecost, Assumption and All Saints.

Mere abstinence days were all Fridays outside of Lent and the Ember weeks.
Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2012 07:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I referred to what is being said in my book about Daily life in the Nordic countries during the middle ages. According to that the - Catholic Church - had started those rules.
. At least the Danish king Christian II 1481-1559 was very strict about the days for fish and meat also at the court.
These rules lasted till the Reformation.
But they drank an awful lot of wine and beer in those days.
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Reply Sun 8 Apr, 2012 01:51 pm
Back to my question from before....I was serious.

What's the big deal about not eating meat when you can have expensive seafood and fish, deliciously prepared?

Doesn't that make a farce of "giving up meat" on Fridays?

In the spirit of what I saw as making a sacrifice, shouldn't people be giving up a food or drink that would be a tad more difficult?

In any event, people throughout the ages have only eaten meat occassionally, and giving it up because it's a friday is a joke.
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 12:33 am
Honestly how many people do you think have expensive seafood on Fridays?
It was the church which taught people about how to eat. I can´t speak for every people in Catholic areas in the 900 -1000 only for the Nordic countries.
The food was not very well prepared. Mostly meat was eaten just more or less raw and then dairy food and lots of porriage.
The church taugth people to cook meat and not eat it bloody. It was also the most hygenic way of eating meat.
Vegetables should be cooked, one should not overeat.
Fish four days a week. Of course very few people could afford to eat lots and lots of food. If you had oysters it probably was because you lived next to a oysterbank. In Denmark it was boiled fish with porriage.

These rules got to be "laws" or unwritten laws.
How many state laws do we have now regarding food?
How many unwritten laws do we have about how to eat the right thing not to get fat, stay healthy, stay young, energentic and almost be promised eternal youth?
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 01:13 am
What we consider the creme de la creme is not necessarily what was considered haute cuisine back in the day. Lobsters and clams have not always had exalted status. These foods are often what the fishermen ate after they sold the "best fish" at market. Eel was once a delicacy that only the very rich could eat. I think you'd be hard pressed to find it in most markets now. Tastes and distribution channels change. Restaurants as we know them now are a relatively new thing. Most people throughout history didn't have the smorgasbord of food we have now. And, I'd venture a guess, most people that do follow religious dietary rules aren't bending them to eat gourmet meals. You only have to read excerpt from this thread to see people weren't eating sumptuous meals, they were eating plain jane fish sticks or mac'n'cheese. Most religions also forbid alcohol at certain times and some have an all out ban on it.
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 02:13 am
I am sitting with my book reading the chapter on food around 1591.
In those days men were cooks. It was too hard a job for a woman to handle all the heavy pots and pans next to the fire.
Any noble man travelling would take along his cook and it would not have been very moral to travel with a woman.
Also in the cities lived cooks who then came to the families to do the cooking when they were going to have parties.
Again eveery cook had to have plenty of helpers.
As everything was written down in the royal household and other households one can read about how many worked, what was eaten and also partly what things cost.
The first course should be eaten with a spoon.
So a meal was started with porriage - made with milk, and with butter in the middle.
At festival occasions one started with riceporriage sometimes with raisins and almonds.
Even today a Danish Christmasdinner starts with riceporriage.
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Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 03:11 am
It was the church which taught people about how to eat. I can´t speak for every people in Catholic areas in the 900 -1000 only for the Nordic countries.

Why did the church take on that educating role?

<shudder> Oh this sounds rather gruesome!
The food was not very well prepared. Mostly meat was eaten just more or less raw and then dairy food and lots of porriage.
The church taugth people to cook meat and not eat it bloody. It was also the most hygenic way of eating meat.
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 03:34 am
Going that far back most monistaries and cloisters had vegetable gardens and also herb gardens.
They knew how to prepare food on a healthy basis.
Don´t forget there were no newspapers with all kinds of articles about how to eat, people could not read.
Even long after the reformation pastors ( we call them priest) did tell the farmer concregation after the sermon/churchservice about the latest within agriculture. The priest was the one and often only one who had a newspaper and who got in contact with the academical world.
I have a priest ancestor who lived in the 1700 hundreds. He did it and he wrote books about acriculture and corresponded with people in England and Germany to find out about the latest.

I am sure these people did not make a better or worse job than many dieticiance (spelling) to-day or laypeople who think they know a lot.
Think about all the theories in the media one year which are contradricted the next.
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 03:48 am
Thanks, saab.
That makes sense.
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Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 04:25 am
In any event, people throughout the ages have only eaten meat occassionally, and giving it up because it's a friday is a joke.

Wealthy merchants and the artistocracy not only ate meat, but that was one of the ways they showed their wealth and privilege--by eating meat, and often by eating lots of it and/or more than one meat with a meal. At Michealmas, a church holy day on September 29th, all the livestock would be slaughtered and smoked, salted or made into sausages. The only livestock kept alive would be the breeding stock needed to build up the herds the following spring. This was because they couldn't afford to stockpile enough fodder to keep all those animals alive over the winter. Horses were kept alive because they were needed for transport and for war. Sheep and goats could be kept alive in larger numbers because they could graze on coarser fodder than cattle and horses--but they would be killed off to provide fresh meat through the winter.

So, basically, except for the horses, the only livestock kept alive through the winter would be the breeding stock. The lenten prohibition on eating meat tended to keep people from stupidly slaughtering their breeding stock at the end of winter when the sausage, smoked and salted meat ran out. Whether or not the peasants ate meat at any time of year was a matter of indifference to the Church.
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Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 05:40 am
Back in the 1950s this Orangeman is going out with this Papist girl and after a while they decided to get married. So they got married and after a while he decided to become a Catholic. So he took instructions for a long time and after a while he got baptized and everything but he couldn't get it through his head that he was a Catholic and he didn't know what to do about it. So he went to the priest and told him:

"Father, I know you gave me all those instructions and baptized me and everything but I can't get it through my head that I'm a Catholic. What should I do about it?"

So the priest said "Keep telling yourself that you're a Catholic you're not a Protestant. Sooner or later it'll penetrate your thick skull that you're a Catholic and not a Protestant."

So that man went away muttering to himself "I'm a Catholic I'm not a Protestant, I'm a Catholic I'm not a Protestant, I'm a Catholic...."

Now the next Friday the priest was going around the town and decided to visit the newly-weds. But when he came into the house he got a whiff of something that he shouldn't be able to smell in a good Catholic home on a Friday.

"Mary, where's Sam?" he asked.

"He's in the kitchen, Father."

So the priest goes into the kitchen, He sees Sam with a huge steak in the pan, scooping gravy over it and saying "You're a trout you're not a steak, you're a trout you're not a steak, you're a trout...."

(With apologies to Tom Clancy [the singer, not the author].)
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 07:12 am
Good one, dj. Smile
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2012 08:43 am
the joke was a staple on the Clancy Brothers albums, told before they played the song The Old Orange Flute, about a Protestant man who marries a Catholic girl, and when invited to play his flute with the choir the flute will only play protestant tunes

The Old Orange Flute

[play] [print]
In the County Tyrone, near the town of Dungannon
Where many the ructions meself had a han'in
Bob Williamson lived, a weaver by trade
And all of us thought him a stout orange blade
On the twelfth of July as it yearly did come
Bob played with his flute to the sound of a drum
You may talk of your harp, your piano or lute
But there's none can compare with the old orange flute

Now Bob, the deceiver, he took us all in
He married a Papist named Bridget McGinn
Turned Papish himself and forsook the old cause
That gave us our freedom, religion and laws
Now, the boys of the place made some comment upon it
And Bob had to fly to the province of Connaught
He fled with his wife and his fixings to boot
And along with the latter his old orange flute

At the chapel on Sunday to atone for past deeds
Said Paters and Aves and counted his beads
Till after some time at the priest's own desire
He went with the old flute to play in the choir
He went with the old flute for to play for the mass
But the instrument shivered and sighed, oh, alas
And try though he would, though it made a great noise
The flute would play only "The Protestant Boys"

Bob jumped and he started and got in a flutter
And threw the old flute in the blessed holy water
He thought that this charm would bring some other sound
When he tried it again, it played "Croppies Lie Down"
Now, for all he could whistle and finger and blow
To play Papish music he found it no go
"Kick The Pope" and "Boil Water" it freely would sound
But one Papish squeak in it couldn't be found

At the council of priests that was held the next day
They decided to banish the old flute away
They couldn't knock heresy out of its head
So they bought Bob a new one to play in its stead
Now, the old flute was doomed, and its fate was pathetic
'Twas fastened and burned at the stake as heretic
As the flames soared around it they heard a strange noise
'Twas the old flute still whistling "The Protestant Boys"

Toora loo, toora lay
Oh, it's six miles from Bangor to Donaghadee
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