Lamprey and herring
As is common to all periods and cultures, medieval Europe held certain foods in esteem and regarded others as common, even lowly. The social prestige of a particular food item depended on factors such as scarcity, exotic origins, but also actual taste. Among fish (or what were considered fish) lamprey was endowed with immense prestige, partly because when cooked it resembles beef but counts as a fish with regard to Church fasting rules. Herring was the most commonly-consumed fish, usually in salted form. Herring was widely available, but eaten by both rich and poor. The article compares the social symbolic ideas concerning lamprey and herring.
Journal or Serie
Imago temporis: medium Aevum, 2021, núm. 15, p. 193-212