Last Friday was an interesting cooking day. I decided to help with the sops, and as I imagine was also the case for the other sauce team, the flavors were not naturally pleasant. It was an easy recipe to follow, but the problem was the taste. With all the spices “of equal proportion,” the stronger spices, especially the mace, was way too overpowering. I wanted to put more sugar in because the spices we have now are stronger than they would’ve been, thus to balance out the intenseness of the spices. However, I do acknowledge that adding an opposite to counterbalance a taste is not the same as having a duller spice in the first place. Our team argued quite a bit about that, with some arguing that we ought to follow the recipe as it is, even if it doesn’t taste good to our own taste buds (which didn’t make sense to me because the recipe wasn’t the original), and some arguing that there should be more sugar for the reason above. In the end, the others just made four portions of the spice with different amounts of sugar in each one. I didn’t participate in the debate much, because I think everyone had valid and solidified beliefs, and it wasn’t a matter of who was “right,” because there was no objective answer, but some people were confident there was. Personally, I didn’t enjoy this cooking experience as much as the other ones because of the lack of collaboration, but that is revealing another layer of the difficulty of cooking medieval.
I really appreciated the singers coming in to perform for us. I felt in awe (and also a little embarrassed) when they sang for us as we ate our food, and held great gratitude that I could have such a unique historically-recreated experience.