Feast fit for a king: Medieval meal served up in Scotland

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By Kirsty Topping

The feast features food from the time of the Robert the Bruce

FOOD-lovers looking for a meal fit for a king will be able to sample the kind of food served to Robert the Bruce at a Scottish festival next month.

Diners will be treated a starter of barley risotto flavoured with herbs, before digging into a roast pork.

They will even eat their medieval meal from traditional bread plates.

The man behind the feast, chef Christopher Trotter, said: “We’re trying to be authentic to the flavours and dishes that would have graced King Robert’s table. It will be hearty fare served on bread trenchers baked specially by Dunfermline’s Steamie Bakehouse.

“In those days the trenchers would have soaked up all the flavours of a meal and then be ready to be eaten themselves.”

The food will be accompanied by imported claret and local heather ale, though Christopher concedes that this may not have been what Bruce himself may have drunk.

He added:

“It is also more likely that King Robert’s generation drank burgundy which was much more easily obtained through the Low Countries, although there is evidence that claret was being imported by later generations of the family. “

Chef Christopher Trotter is the man behind the feast

To ensure the authenticity of the meal, organizers of the event at Dunfermline’s Bruce Festival have brought in one of Bruce’s descendents, the Earl of Elgin.

The Earl, an acknowledged Bruce scholar, said: “There would have been an element of savagery to a typical feast with near starving soldiers served an animal which the king had probably shot with bow and arrow before it was bled and then skinned.”

Organisers of the banquet, which will be held on August 27, are expecting high demand for the limited places at the dining table.

“We can only accommodate around 100 people at the banquet and already there’s been a lot of interest,” said Stuart McGann, events sub group chairman. “It’s a first for the festival and another way for people to experience the atmosphere of medieval Scotland and let their hair down a wee bit as well.”

The festival will also encompass a food village where visitors will be able to try Arbroath smokies, locally reared venison and fresh baked artisan breads, heather ale or Cairn o’Mhor cider.

“Food was central to life in medieval Scotland, so it’s a natural extension to the Bruce Festival,” added Christopher.

 

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