Thursday, November 29, 2007

Colonial Williamsburg - where eating locally was the norm!

During our trip to the east coast last month, we spent three lovely days at Colonial Williamsburg. Early United States history has always been my favorite area of study and what I focused on in my undergrad work. On our first day, as we walked over the bridge from the Visitors Center into Colonial Williamsburg, we walked over this plaque. Someone deep within the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation had noticed what we as a society are just beginning to realize, and that person thought it such a foreign idea that it followed closely behind other plaques that said things like "Most people owned slaves" and "Women did not have the right to vote."

We planned a special dinner at one of the taverns, King’s Arms, on our second evening. I was excited to sample the fare of an earlier time (which I thought certainly would have been based on foods colonists would have been able to find locally), but, alas, it was disappointingly familiar and there was a shocking amount of "inspired by" dishes, rather than the real thing. I have a feeling Colonial Williamsburg has tweaked the recipes a bit to accommodate the modern palate. Furthermore, there was no doubt that we were being served the food that only the governors and the very wealthy would have been able to set on the table. The game pie, for instance, contained four types of meat: venison, rabbit, duck, and pork!

I came across this article in the Colonial Williamsburg journal about special meals that are put on at Shields Tavern that seem much closer to the real thing, even down to the way the servers behave. Too bad they only make the effort for large groups. Anybody up for a field trip?


Diane said...

That sounds fantastic! You set up the field trip - I'll be there!

Alice Q. said...

I had that exact same disappointment when we went there - everything else was so authentic to the period, but the tavern was just normal. It would be cool if they would make it more authentic, wouldnt it?

Marian said...

Hey. I'm lurking out here in Internetland and I love the theme of your blog. Please keep writing!