Before 1600, "cordials" were medicinal tonics. A far cry from the sweet sipping liqueurs most of us have tasted, medieval cordials offer insights to fascinating worlds of how medicine was understood, what wines and herbs were available, and the history of distillation.
The Toys of St. Bartholomew
Held in London's Smithfield area, St. Bartholomew's Fair was the Toys R Us of bygone centuries. Founded in the twelfth century, the fair was traditionally held for a fortnight, beginning on St. Bartholomew's day, August 24. Teeming with vendors and their stalls, the fair offered toys, miniatures, and trinkets of all shapes and sizes.
Be a Conquistador
Looking for a new renfaire identiy? From Cortés in Mexico to Pizarro in the Andes, de Soto in the southeastern U.S. and Coronado in the Southwest, Spanish conquistadors were heroic, villainous, and distinctive, all at once. Renaissance Magazine presents your guide to assembling a convincing conquistador costume.
Contraception in the Renaissance
Peasants did it, lords and ladies did it....and while we do not necessarily recommend anyone trying these methods at home, we reveal the rich variety of herbal, mechanical, chemical, and cross-your-fingers-and-hope methods that folks used to avoid getting pregnant.
Author Jeri Westerson
Serving Tripes at Paris's Le Pharamond
We talk to best-selling author Jeri Westerson, who was once a renaissance faire performer, and is also a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which provides a clue as to why the historical details she includes in her stories are so authentic and compelling.
In the fourteenth Century, Sidoine Benoit was a cuisinier who served his fello monks "tripes," a slow-cooking dish made from four parts of a cow's stomach, a hoof, and several vegetables. We take you to an historic restaurant in Paris where tripe is a specialty of the house.