Over 2,000 medievalists from nearly 60 different countries arrive on campus this week, to share their passion for history, as well as the extravagant medieval feast which is a focal point of the IMC.
This year's International Medieval Congress (IMC) will see a collaboration between the University Catering team and the well-known food historian, Caroline Yeldham, with a feast bringing together cuisine from a forgotten empire to honour a variety of medieval recipes, such as traditionally roasted meats, chick peas and unusual cheese-stuffed eggs, not to forget Yorkshires finest bitter, specially brewed for the Congress.
Caroline has chosen one of the forgotten empires, the "Crown of Aragon", connected to two interesting cookbooks from the late medieval period, the Libre de Sent Sovi and the Cuoco Napoletano.
Dishes include Bolognese torte, Chicken turnover, Limonea chicken in lemon sauce, Sosenga meat sauce for various meats, Coriander, Armoured Turnips, Chickpeans, Pastanagat - carrot puree, Crespells, White or Elderflower torte and Cherry torte - as well as Medieval Stuffed Eggs (recipe below).
The University's head chef, Marc Mottershead, said: Im delighted to have been involved in this project. Its not every day you get asked to recreate an authentic medieval feast and the whole process has been fascinating.
My preconceptions about what to expect from a medieval menu were far from the reality; instead of dull, uninspiring dishes, the recipes called for cloves and spices and really unusual combinations which are close to modern Middle Eastern cuisines. One of the biggest surprises was the recipe for Crespells, which turned out to be a medieval take on a doughnut!
The MeetInLeeds team will be serving around 3,000 meals a day, turning the University refectory turned into a dining room.
The local community are invited join in with a series of events open to the public. A free guest lecture by Michael Wood and a range of different medieval activities on and off the University campus will be available, including historical crafts such as mail armour production, spinning, textile production, dyeing and even an apothecary.
For further information
Contact the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 4031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of public events can be found at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/publicevents.html
Details about the Congress' programme can be found here: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2014.html