Here’s a strange story from a contemporary source during the crusades. It seems that many of the first wave of the crusaders who invaded and slaughtered the good people of Jerusalem, once they had settled down, went a bit native. So much so that they even stopped eating pork. A story told by an Arab chronicler who went to dinner at the house of a “Frank” – their word for all crusaders – related that he boasted at having dumped all his old culinary habits and even hired some Egyptian cooks. Pork never enters this home, he cried. This disgusted many knights in the west who felt that their compatriots in the east had got a bit effete. Why, they were probably feasting on dates and almonds every day.
Published by Tony McMahon
Broadcaster and award short-listed author. Appearances on the History Channel and UKTV talking about the Knights Templar and other popular history topics. Former BBC producer and communications consultant to the UK government. Second edition of The Battle for British Islam (Saqi Books) out in June 2018. View all posts by Tony McMahon