Ren Faire – Adorned in Finer 16th Century Verbiage

Photos by Charly SHELTON

Penned by Charly SHELTON


Step thou across the portal of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California and be forthwith borne unto a realm where the annals of history and flights of fancy do weave together. This annual celebration, redolent of the quasi-historical culture of the 16th Century, doth envelop thee in an experience most immersive. On the occasion of my visit during the Pirate Weekend, the heavens themselves did weep, lending yet more to the allure and charm of this festal gathering.

The vendors’ stalls, the array of costumes, the divers entertainments – all are just causes to relish the delights of the Faire. Yet, I confess, my affections are ever drawn most earnestly towards the gastronomy of the Faire. CV Weekly was invited to indulge in a banquet of delicacies that whispered of yesteryear. The Essential Platter, a royal service featuring a duck quarter with wild rice and creamed spinach, did transport my senses as though I dined at the table of a lord and did gratify most abundantly. For those preferring a repast less formal yet no less fulfilling, the Loaded Ribbon Chips bedecked with cheese, bacon, sour cream and onion prove ideal for partaking whilst wandering the Faire’s many wonders. Yet, the most splendid culinary revelation arose not from a fanciful dish but from sustenance authentically of the Renaissance.

The most delightful revelation amongst the Faire’s offerings was the Chimney Cakes – kürtőskalács – a confection deep-seated in history. Originating in the 15th Century, these spiraled sweet breads were not merely treats but beacons of fortitude in times of siege. The recipe hath endured with scarce alteration through the ages, blossoming from a Transylvanian tradition into a celebrated facet of broader European cuisine.

I partook of two variations: one sweet, brimming with strawberries, a sugary salute to antiquity; and one savory, stuffed with smoked sausage, which did highlight the pastry’s adaptability. On a nippy day, this savory twist proved the apex of my week. The smoked sausage, hearty and satisfying, and its encasement in the spiraled pastry concocted the most inventive bun ever devised. Verily, it is a dish of unique merit, adaptable to diverse culinary escapades. Let it be said, this was one of my most favored treats ever savored at the Faire.

Beyond the nourishment, the Faire’s pageants are such as would grace a king’s court. Willy Nilly’s (Shelby Bond’s) “Dungeons and Shakespeare” did verily captivate the assemblage, marrying the Bard’s immortal dramatis personae with the fantastical beasts and manner of play of Dungeons and Dragons, forging an entertainment experience without equal – the crowning spectacle of the Faire.

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire promiseth more than a mere passage through the corridors of time; it offereth a chance to inhabit them. Whether thou art sampling dishes that would stir envy in the bosom of High Kings or finding mirth beneath grey skies at a play of Shakespearean jest, the Faire inviteth thee to revel in the grandeur of epochs past. Thus, draw up a bench, hoist a goblet high and let yesteryear’s joys illuminate thy present. The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is now open on weekends through the 19th of May. Pray, visit for tidings more.


And mark well: for a thorough examination of all the Faire’s repasts and diversions that I did relish, seek mine elaborate account on YouTube – search for Charly Shelton/Zipahdeedoodad or employ the QR code affixed to this narrative.

Here’s to festivity, come rain or shine!