Food in the 11th century Croatia
Medieval people expressed great appreciation for food, primarily because it was difficult and painstakingly produced. At the same time, it was a kind of status symbol, since not everyone could eat it all.
Agricultural yields have been relatively modest. Methods of land management were not particularly advanced, affecting not only the quantity, but also the quality of the crops.
In the Middle Ages there are no developed methods for preserving food for a longer period of time. Because of that, it was a common practice to use a great amount of spices to conceal the poor food quality.
Poor people have consumed food with few calories and low nutritional value. They mostly consumed a lot of fruits and vegetables, porridge, stews and various grains. They consumed meat only on special occasions, few times a year. Such a diet often caused famine and sometimes even death caused by malnutrition.
Monasteries were rare places with abundance of food. Monks would often eat roasted meat with lots of spices. Noblemen had almost the same diet. It was a way of showing their power and prestige. In some parts of Croatia rich people drank up to 6-7 liters of wine per day. Beer also gained its popularity.
Empty roast is the recipe that originates from the Middle Ages, and it was very popular in The Croatian Kingdom.
Meat and bones were carefully removed from the skin of an animal so that it was not damaged and remained whole. The meat was then cut up and mixed with flour and eggs and returned into the skin. The newly formed animal was then cooked or baked, and then in all its glory served on the table.
It was a very popular way to prepare the wild boar, in whose head the two hard boiled eggs with truffle circles were inserted instead of eyes.
The peacocks were also often prepared in the same way, served covered with all the colourful feathers.