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Friday, Jun 22
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7:00 PM Discussion: Sephardic Philosophy
Calendar
Herring and Lamprey: Fish and Social Status in Medieval Dining
Herring and Lamprey: Fish and Social Status in Medieval DiningPaul Freedman is a renowned scholar of medieval history and chair of Yale's interdisciplinary program in the History of Medicine, Science and Public Health. In this talk Freedman explores the different social contexts of fish in the Middle Ages, explaining why various fish had a differential set of class registers. In general fish was important to the diet of medieval Christians, even those who lived inland, because the religious rules about abstaining from meat were observed many days a year. Depending on the diocese and on personal piety, as many as half the days of the year called for fasting. As with all historical periods, the Middle Ages had foods that were socially prestigious and those that were identified with the lower classes. The fare of rustics in the Middle Ages—porridge, root vegetables, dairy products—was held in contempt by upper classes who endowed spices, game and certain kinds of fish with prestige. Among what were considered fish and suitable for fasting, lamprey, a migratory eel-like creature, was among the most costly and renowned. Herring, on the other hand, was the most readily available fish (in salted form) and the staple for ordinary people during Lent and other fasting seasons.

Admission/Cost: ???

Location:
Hahn University Center, Forum B
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
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