|1950s Twinco thermos set|
|Picnic blanket. Amazon|
Picnics are probably the oldest form of feasting, dating back to the primitive past when we gorged on wild berries and miscellaneous small animals -only without the civilizing influence of accessories, such as a rug, basket, thermos, plates etc. There is something fundamental about eating a meal outdoors, out in the fresh air, surrounded by the natural world. Sure beats a plastic burger in the food court at the shopping mall.
|Nobleman's picnic. Le Livre de chasse de Gaston Phébus 1500s|
In the Medieval era, outdoors feasting was a common pastime for the wealthy. The earliest picnics were hunting feasts, which were enjoyed before the hunting sport began. Servants would set up tables outdoors, laden with hams, baked meats, fruits an pastries.
However the word 'picnic', as applied to outside eating, did not come into common usage until the late 1800s. Picnics became particularly popular in the post-war 20th century as more and more families acquired cars and could move around the countryside with relative ease.
|The essential and classic picnic basket. From Optima|