Culinary historian William Woys Weaver is both patient and a perfectionist: he has spent 25 years researching the court cuisine of the Lusignan Kingdom of Cyprus founded in 1192 and lasting until it became part of the Venetian Republic in 1489. An agriculturally rich island, it was a multiethnic entrepôt between the Latin West and Byzantine East. Using court documents, merchant records and accounts, diaries of religious pilgrims, tax lists, and quite surprising, a large body of culinary material, WWW has meticulously analyzed the medieval foodways of the Kingdom and has experimented with many of its recipes, using Cypriot plants that he has nurtured in the gardens at Roughwood in Devon, Pennsylvania. His presentation will share the fruits of this in-depth scholarship.
If we could travel back in time, it is likely that most of us would have been peasants in medieval Cyprus; WWW has shared a lentil recipe that we might have found on our boards to give us a taste of what the common folk ate–complete with wooden spoon, should we be fancy peasants. The timing for this recipe could hardly be better, as Orthodox Easter falls late this year, on May 2.