Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Period health practices, updated

So this Pennsic was unusually dominated by All Things Medical -- not for any bad reason, simply because it's unicornpearlz' specialty, and we spent a bunch of time talking about it. And so, after dropping her off for the second run of her Overview of 16th Century Medicine class, I found myself thinking about the humors.

You know about the humors -- the period notion that all things are some combination of hot and cold, wet and dry, and that balancing the humors is crucial to proper health. In period, many of the cookbooks talk about these characteristics of the dishes therein, and how they may thereby be used for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, there isn't much period cooking at Pennsic. So I ruminated on what foods I should be eating at Pennsic in order to properly balance my humors. After a few minutes' thought, I came up with what I believe is a reasonably canonical list of the four purest options:

Gatorade: which is cold and wet.
Whiskey: which is, of course, hot and wet.
Chocolate: which is cold and dry. (Unless it is melted, in which case it is hot and wet, but whiskey still wins there.)
And finally, Bacon: the most perfect food that is hot and dry. (When correctly made.)

So it is that, by the proper application of these foods, we may keep ourselves healthy at Pennsic. For instance, when a fighter walks off the field, overheated and parched, we feed them Gatorade. Or when we wake up, cold and clammy from the night's dew, a suitable amount of Bacon (say, six slices) will balance our humors nicely. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to fill in the best uses of the other foods.

And so, good gentles, remember to stock properly when preparing for the War. Other foods are optional, but these four should be part of any careful plan...
Tags: pennsic, sca

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