Medieval food and fun: Pontefract Liquorice Festival

Sunday 8 July , 11am to 4pm  Pontefract town centre

Join the ‘You are what ate’ team this Sunday at the Pontefract Liquorice Festival for fascinating cookery demonstrations and free food tastings (based on recipes from the past). 

Now in its seventeenth year, the Pontefract Liquorice Festival returns on Sunday 8 July 2012 to celebrate this unusual plant, the many wonderful products created from it and its historic association with the town. With areas of the town themed around famous liquorice sweets, visitors will be able to experience all sorts of fun and surprises!

The ‘You are what you ate’ project will be setting up their festival stall and offering a range of activities.

Watch as recipes that are over 500 years old are prepared over a raised fire in our medieval kitchen and have the opportunity to taste some of the delicious creations.

Visit our food display to learn about the difference between peasant food and food for the rich, and of the importance of healthy eating, past and present.  Find out more about where food comes from and how diet has changed over time.

We’ll have a free children’s activity on offer over the course of the day: enjoy grinding herbs and spices to make your own medieval spice bag!


You are what you ate is a project that gets children and adults thinking about healthy eating in innovative ways. We use historical foods, archaeology and modern nutritional research to help you learn about the body and how it is dependent on what you ate. We can learn how to be healthier by looking at the lessons of the past. We are running cooking demonstrations, festival stalls, exhibitions, osteology workshops and schools projects all over Yorkshire until 2013. Look out for us! 


The project is a partnership between the University of Leeds (School of History), Wakefield Council and the University of Bradford. It is funded by a Wellcome Trust Society Award. For more information or to be added to our mailing list, phone 0113 3431910 or visit our website:

See here for more information about the Pontefract Liquorice Festival.

Iona McCleery and Fiona Blair

‘You are what you ate’

Room 317, 3rd floor, Michael Sadler Building

School of History, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT

Telephone: (0113) 343 1910


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