Thursday, March 12, 2009

What IS Hobbit Food?

Hobbit food is good, simple ENGLISH rustic cooking.

Anything that would have existed in the West Midlands (the counties Tolkien based the Shire on) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Pies, tarts, roasts, English cheeses, cakes, muffins, scones, ham, bacon, eggs, puddings, pastries, etc.
Beer, ale, ciders, a little wine, the odd gin or scotch are all acceptable beverages, along with any non alcoholic beverages they may have had in rural England c1800. Tea and coffee, of course. Tea arrived in England prior to 1700 so Tolkien deemed it perfectly acceptable.
Coffee. Coffee originated in Ethiopia and had found itself in England by the mid 17th century, so well and truly acceptable. Indeed, coffee is canon.
Below is a list of foods that are mentioned specifically in The Hobbit, and are thus canon, although some are not mentioned in direct relation to the Shire (example or caveat in brackets):

Cakes (seed cake)
Scones
Pies (pork pie)
Eggs
Chicken
Ham/Bacon
Mutton
Rabbit
Bread (English rustic style, NOT Italian rustic style)
Cream (clotted cream)
Pickles (I would assume chutneys as well)
Gravy
Butter
Honey
Herbs (sorrel, any herb would have been grown in 18-19th century England would be acceptable)
Strawberries
Blackberries

Drinks:

Beer
Ale
Wine
Porter
Tea
Coffee
Mead

Roasting, grilling and barbecuing are mentioned as cooking methods. Barbecuing would not be the American equivalent, just simple cooking on an outside fire. No mesquite.

The quintessential thing to remember is that all of Middle Earth is based on England to some degree. The hobbits are the pastoralists, the Rohan were the Anglo-Saxons, etc. Stick to this English rustic theme, anything else lacks any kind of authenticity.

2 comments:

happy said...

that is a lot of food

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