Ever wonder where the male dominance of professional kitchens comes from? Or why pastry is often considered a woman’s job?
Greg found and downloaded a BBC documentary called A Tudor Feast at Christmas. The show had nothing to do with the holidays other than the 2006 air date, however the premise of the piece was that a group of food historians and archaeologists took over the kitchens at Haddon Hall (a Medieval castle) and spent 3 days cooking a Tudor-style feast. They hunted and fished and prepared food as it would have been done in 1590 when the kitchen was built (it had not been used for over 300 years when the documentary was filmed), right down to the peacock pie complete with the skin and feathers of the bird arranged atop the pie so it looked as if the bird were alive. (Fans of the TV series The Tudors will recognize the technique as the same one used for the swan served to Henry VIII after the death of Anne Boelyn).
In the interviews with the historians, two points came up that intrigued me.