5 Medieval Fun Foodie Facts & No-bake Medieval Gingerbread & fun at Reading Museum in Reading Berkshire

That's probably the longest post title I have ever had ..... but it's the best way to describe this post!


As it is the summer holidays I am always looking for things to entertain my children and after exhausting our craft supplies at home we ventured out with a friend to the Reading Museum! During the school holiday's they always have various activities going on. One half-term we went on a trail looking and drawing local trees, we've made hats at another event, and sometimes just explored the museum!


The Reading Museum is full of local history and host various events; family, special events, and talks & tours. It's definitely a place to stop if you ever happen to find yourself in Reading! I like writing about local events and things to do in Reading, but this was a one-off event and although it can't be repeated at the museum I am going to share the recipe we made here and you can then make it at home with your little ones teaching them about life and food during those times.


Here are a few facts you could include!

5 Fun Foodie Facts during the Medieval Times: 


  1. Bread - if they (the people)  ran out of grain before a new crop could be harvested they would have to use old rye to make bread, but old rye could be contaminated with ergot a fungus that could cause hallucinations, gangrene, or death or possibly all three. 
  2. Poultry - Chickens weren't the only birds they ate. Today Swans are protected animals, but back then they were a delicacy for the rich with recipes for roasted swan or swan pie! They also ate loads of other birds such as peacocks, turtle doves, cranes, and blackbirds. 
  3. Bringing home the bacon - they ran wild and were quite vicious due to reports of them biting and killing people and back then animals would stand trial and if found guilty would be put to death and I assume cooked and eaten!  
  4. Travel - the majority of people aka peasants probably didn't travel very far, however the trade business during those times were booming! Silks from China, amber and furs from the Baltic, and spices from Asia. Christopher Columbus at the end of the Medieval times was on a trip to Asia and ran into what we know today is America. The spices used in this recipe would have been expensive and considered a real treat! 
  5. Pottage - Peasants ate pottage which was basically anything they had hanging around and cooked as a stew. Usually consisting of various root vegetables and sometimes meat. 



No-bake Medieval Gingerbread

1 cup breadcrumbs (brown/seeded)
4 tbsp water (warm)
2-4 tbsp honey
1 large pinch cinnamon
1 large pinch ginger

In the case of using a cup of breadcrumbs, we were given an actual plastic cup full of breadcrumbs so I would say an average mug would work too. Pour the breadcrumbs into a bowl and then add the honey and give a bit of a stir quickly to stop it soaking into just some of the bread. In the same cup mix 2 tbsp of water with the cinnamon, and ginger. Add the spiced water slowly to the bread crumbs, get your hands in there and mix together. The breadcrumbs should be moist, but not wet. When you can mold the breadcrumbs into little balls without falling apart then you can stop adding the water. Then leave in cupcake cases or on a plate.

If you want you can also decorate paper plates with medieval-ish patterns here are some great examples!



My mini-bakers and their friends had a great time making the gingerbread probably more then they were interested in eating it. They did try it, but weren't too fussed they were more interested in decorating their plates with medieval patterns (some not so medieval), and exploring the museum. Definitely give the website a look for other events and activities. Most events are free or like this one had a minimal fee and as it's all drop in, make sure you get there early to get a spot! 

*I paid for my children to attend the event and as stated above was invited on the day by a friend. For more information see my contact/policy page.
*Fun facts were found here, here, here, and here. If you want to know about Medieval Gingerbread check out this site!

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