The coronavirus pandemic has created serious problems for all sports, and HMB is no exception. I usually receive messages from tournament organisers, updating me on how many teams are coming to their events, how professional the Buhurt League staff are in the organising process, what journalists are involved, etc. These messages are written with excitement and enthusiasm, but seeing all the hard work involved in the organising process disappear is a hammer blow to the spirit with which such dedicated individuals devote their time and resources. I really hope they will come back with the same spirit when the situation passes.
In fact, the nature of the messages I receive has somewhat changed. Whereas I regularly receive questions about HMBIA, recently I have been receiving questions from fighters, marshals and organisers about…cooking. Well, there is a reason for that, and it even goes back to my earliest involvement in medieval events.
I work full-time as a university professor of linguistics, but I also work privately as a chef and a restaurant consultant – a hobby which turned into a job. You may have seen on social media that a lot of people spending time at home during quarantine are trying new tricks in the kitchen, and as a chef, you can imagine how happy it makes me! People are making bread, preserves, getting their children involved – it’s a wonderful way to spend time, and people from the HMBIA community have asked me for advice, which is a great honour.
With more free time, and receiving so many questions, I have returned to my interest and study in medieval cooking. My first medieval event as a participant was years ago in a historical cooking competition in Italy, and I have participated in a number of events since then, winning two, and even working as a judge. Medieval cooking has a fascinating history and demonstrates part of the identity of a nation’s development, influencing not only modern gastronomy, but a number of cultural and linguistic aspects that we may be unfamiliar with today. Ingredients were different, livestock was smaller and eating habits were unusual to say the least, meaning anyone who attempts to recreate an exact dish from medieval times will have to take great care in its authenticity.
I hope that this aspect of historical events will regain popularity and we will see more participation from non-fighters in events, but for now, I salute the fighters and organisers in the hope that we will see them soon and show the world why HMB is the ultimate competitive and cultural sport.
Hope to see you again soon at HMB tournaments! Gavin Stewart , HMBIA Vice-President.