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Fish For Feast And Fast Fish Consumption In The Netherlands In The Late Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses both the cultural and ecological factors pertaining to fish consumption and, wherever possible, the economic aspects. The main question is: who ate what? This raises an important sub-question: to what extent did the availability of certain fish in certain ecosystems determine the social status of the fish on the table? Was rare fish 'luxury fish'? Another question is: how did access to certain ecosystems-inland waterways versus the sea, and the coast versus the interior-influence regional differences in fish consumption? It examines the significance and role of fish in periods of austerity imposed by the Church. Extensive studies have already been done on gastronomic culture in the eastern Netherlands. The chapter has done a sample survey of various archival sources from the western and central Netherlands, particularly Holland and Utrecht, from 1300 to 1600.

Keywords: austerity; church; economic aspects; ecosystems; fish consumption; gastronomic culture; inland waterways; luxury fish; Netherlands; social status



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