A quick note on history and food in ASOIAF

As I mentioned before, I have been doing a lot of experimenting with medieval recipes in recent years.  And this includes trying many of the delicious-sounding foods from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  Thanks to the diligent work of Chelsea and Sariann, we ASOIAF fans have a fantastic resource to explore our foodie sides.  Everything I have made from their website and their book has been delicious, so seriously, try making some of their recipes.

Recently, I noticed something about George’s books that I had not noticed before: an utter lack of potatoes, Irish or sweet.  Now, at first glance this would seem to make sense, because they are both “New World” foods that would have been unknown to medieval Europe, which is the historical basis of much of Martin’s writing.  Potatoes would not be introduced to Europe until the 16th century, when the Spanish brought them over.  So no potatoes in Westeros, right?  Makes sense, right?

Yes, it would… except that there are plenty of examples of other New World foods that are present in Westeros.   So why include them but not potatoes?

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