Cooking in LARP

Cooking in LARP

It's possible to reproduce a medieval world in almost every aspect of life. All it takes is a little imagination. In those days, meals were eaten differently according to social status. What's more, the way food was cooked and preserved was very different from what we do today. There was no electricity or gas, so in those days, all the household appliances which we use today did not yet exist. However, people had other ways of cooking and preserving food. You'll be in a similar environment, with little time to cook, and you'll have to be careful of wild animals. So here are a few suggestions, tips and practices to help you stay decorum even when you're eating.

✧ Food in LARP

The aim is to prioritize food that can be kept for a long time, both light and easy to transport and that not complicated to cook, since you won't have much time to devote to meals. In addition, prioritize a protein-rich diet so that you have enough energy throughout the weekend to accomplish your battles.

  • Dried meat: often reserved for the nobility, dried meat was salted, brined or smoked to preserve it over a long period of time. We suggest you buy sausage, jerky or smoked fish to reproduce this aspect.
  • Cereals: cereals were a staple food among the peasant population. A common breakfast was oatmeal, an ideal, nutritious dish that will be great to start your day in LARP. All you need is a little bit of hot water and you're ready to go. You can easily add nuts, fruit, maple syrup or honey to diversify the flavors. For lunch and dinner, you can also use rice or couscous. These also only require hot water and cooking time to prepare.
  • Cheese: relatively dense in nutritional value which could be otherwise difficult to find in this type of situation, cheese can also be a good add to your meals in LARP. In the optic of keeping your cheese good for long enough, we recommend you pick hard cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, gouda, gruyere, etc.
  • Tea: consumed in China and India at the time, both for its taste and its medicinal properties. This drink provides a dose of caffeine to wake you up, can be kept for a long time and is very light to carry. All you need to prepare it is a little bit of hot water.

Picture by Ateliers Nemesis Workshop

  • Wine: Water was often not proper for consumption and drinking water sources were difficult of access. As such, wine became quite widespread across many different social statuses and regions of the world. It was consumed by both men and women and even children at times. Each individual could drink upwards of a liter and a half, even two liters per day, or about half a gallon! However, the alcohol level was lower back then. This drink was so prevalent because it could be kept for longer and it was in a good, closed container. However. in our more modern context, only a few LARPs are reserved to 18 years and older players and authorise alcohol consumption in their event. Make sure your confirm that it is allowed before bringing some in your various luggages. Also, Les Artisans d'Azure do encourage to drink this beverage with moderation (no need to rely on the medieval consumption habits!).
  • Nuts: almonds and hazelnuts were already popular in Europe in medieval times. These little nuts are rich in protein and are perfect for giving you energy. You can also opt for cashew nuts, peanuts, macadamias, pecans and so on. What's more, if you store them in an airtight container, they can be kept for up to 6 months.
  • Dehydrated fruit and vegetables: people have been dehydrating their food by drying it in the sun since primitive times. This technique prevented them from starving when they ran out of food, and preserved food in winters when it was impossible to grow crops. So they're perfect to bring to LARP because of their long shelf life and the way they can be prepared easily. This option will also provide you with a more balanced diet during your stay. Depending on the product, you can eat them directly or by boiling them in hot water.

✧ Cutlery

In those days, people ate mainly with their hands. As people became more concerned with hygiene, practices evolved. The materials used and how they were decorated changed according to the region of the world, the social status of the individual and the progress made by the craftsmen of the time.

  • Cutlery: The forks we know today appeared and disappeared in ancient times. This disappearance was caused by Christianity, which associated this utensil with the devil's forked tail. The utensil reappeared around the 16th century as a one- or two-pronged spade among the nobility around Venice. Knives and spoons, on the other hand, had long been present at their tables. You'll find many similar sets in our store and online.
  • Plate: at the beginning of this era, people sometimes ate directly from dishes or with bread. This bread was called a "trencher", and people shared it between guests, feeding it to the poor or to the dogs afterwards. Plates were more common among the nobility, to underline their wealth through the silverware or the way they were decorated. Much later, they made their appearance among peasants. They were made of a variety of materials, including wood and ceramics.
  • Goblets and mugs: In medieval times, these were available in a variety of shapes and materials. Glass was a very expensive material, reserved for the nobility. The majority of the population had metal goblets, but the material differed according to the region of the world. The citizens of Denmark were renowned for their horn mugs. The Vikings in the north had mainly wooden mugs, while those in the south had metal ones. In their regions, we could also find horn, clay and glass mugs. One of their particularities was that their mugs were decorated according to their status. Our store carries several models both made of horn or metal.
  • Gourds: the first gourds appeared around 2 million years ago. They were mainly used for travelling and were mostly made of earth, wood or stone, and later of animal skin or bone. In the heyday of metalworking, we could find gourds made from this material too

✧ Care instructions

Be sure to wash everything by hand, do not use a dishwasher, do not leave items to soak in water for long periods and dry them thoroughly. For horn cups, it's important to empty them well after use.

✧ How to protect your food from animals

Some LARP events are organized in areas where wild animals can roam, which can necessitate some extra precautions during your preparation. We suggest you don't sleep in the same place you store your food. Animals can smell your food even if it's in closed containers. Don't underestimate them! They'll do anything to get at your food, even gnawing at your tent to get inside. We recommend securing your food high up in the trees with ropes. You can also use dry bags or even airtight barrels. When buying them, be sure to read the labels carefully, or ask a sales assistant to check whether they trap odours. You can also contact the LARP organization you plan to participate in for further instructions on storing food on site!

1 comment

  • Naga

    C’est très interessant comme article sur l’alimentation en GN, j’aurais peut etre juste ajouté un point sur le materiel pratique à avoir pour pouvoir cuisiner. De mon avis personnel le plus simple si on fait a manger pour plusieurs personnes (de 2 a 6 personnes) c’est de prendre un wok, l avantage est que c est resistant, facile a entretenir, et ca convient pour faire chauffer de l’eau, un ragout, ou meme cuire des oeufs. Le mieux etant de trouver une planche ronde, ou un bol en bois pour refermer l ouverture pendant le transport, laissant alors la possibilité de stocker des aliments ou d autre ustencils de cuisine dans le wok le retse du temps. La planche en bois ou le bol en bois ayant l’avantage qu’on peut l’utiliser pour couper ses légumes, il ne reste qu’a avoir un couteau correct pour couper les legumes et une cuillere en bois.
    Un point sur les épices également: les épices agrémentent très vite la qualité de la nourriture, le plus simple est de les stocker dans du papier craft plié en enveloppe, ou pour ceux qui le souhaitent dans de petits bocaux ou de petites boites en acier. La base: sel, poivre, herbe de provence, paprika, feuille de sauge, cannelle. Un bon ajout aussi: de la cassonade, ça a plus de gout que du sucre blanc, c’est un peu plus presentable également en GN. Un peu de cassonade et de cannelle avec un pomme en morceau dans le gruau d’avoine (porridge) du matin, ça change beaucoup de choses.

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