Canton Library Demo – An Exercise in Comparisons

Compare and contrast has always been one of my favorite ways of both learning and teaching. This past year we had the honor of holding a demonstration at the Canton Library. We were told that the audience would primarily be young children and families. I wanted to create a display directed towards children where they could identify the differences between foods that we purchase in today, and compare them to foods that would have been eaten during the Middle Ages. There were seven items on displayed — all of which could be tasted if they wished to do so.

The whole demo lasted only about two-hours in an open house style format, and everyone was very happy with the attendance. Many of the kids tasted the foods. They particularly liked the cheese and bread — and, I only had ONE kid who asked for a Kraft single! 🙂

The full display for the food comparison display at the Canton Library Demo 2016
Left: Fruits that would pack well or be a treat in period or in today’s modern lunchbox. Right: Today’s yellow mustard compared to a period mustard.
Comparison of what period bread might have looked like with what most people purchase as regular bread today.
Say “CHEESE!” On the left, a period soft farmer’s cheese; on the right, Kraft singles.
Fresh root vegetables and the same vegetables as we purchase them today.
Sweeteners: On the left, honey and on the right, pure white granulated sugar.
Breakfast! Oatmeal packets are a quick breakfast of today — as compared to a period oatcake, which would have served as an on-the-go, handheld breakfast in the past.

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