In Romeo and Juliet, what sorts of food and drink were on the menu at the great feast?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What a feast it would have been! Appearance was just as important as taste, so dishes would have been "sculpted." For instance, the Elizabethan nobility were fond of eating swan. The bird would have been plucked, cleaned, and roasted. Then the feathers would have been put back on the cooked bird. Many foods would have been covered with gold as well. City water wasn't very clean, so most people drank wine or ale or sometimes cider. (linked below) describes a multi-course royal banquet:

The first course consisted of a civet of hare, a quarter of stag which had been a night in salt, a stuffed chicken, and a loin of veal. The two last dishes were covered with a German sauce, with gilt sugar-plums, and pomegranate seeds.... At each end, outside the green lawn, was an enormous pie, surmounted with smaller pies, which formed a crown. The crust of the large ones was silvered all round and gilt at the top; each contained a whole roe-deer, a gosling, three capons, six chickens, ten pigeons, one young rabbit. To serve as seasoning or stuffing, a minced loin of veal, two pounds of fat, and twenty-six hard-boiled eggs, covered with saffron and flavoured with cloves.

That's just the first course! actually uses the banquet scene in Romeo and Juliet to describe an Italian renaissance meal. It even includes recipes of foods they might have eaten.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There would have been lots of different kinds of meat--beef, pork, pheasant, and all sorts of other birds--fresh fruit, breads, wine, other types of alcoholic drinks--beer, mead, for instance.

Renaissance diners rarely used utensils like we do today...they used their hands for the most part.

Sounds like a fun assignment!  Good Luck!

Check out the link below for more ideas:

shawnloggins | Student

I know I am arriving late to the feast, as it were, but I feel like I can't let this go unchecked.  I came by this thread looking for some of the same information for which the questioner was looking.  I'm going to add my tid bit of information on the chance that someone else may come upon it later. 

In response to the teacher who went to great lengths to explain the Elizabethan feast, yes, Shakespeare wrote this play in the time of Elizabeth. However, the story itself takes place in Verona, Italy of the 1300's. So, what you're looking for is information on the banquet habits of that time and that place.