I joined the SCA in 1994, in the East Kingdom. If I recall correctly, this was at the beginning of a push towards more period feasts.
It was bloody awful.
I mean no disrespect to the hard-working cooks who labored to serve us that... stuff. They had newly researched recipes and I suppose they must have thought they were tasty. In their enthusiasm, they laded down the tables with odd flavors and textures, with barely a friendly chunk of bread to ease the hunger of the less culinarily adventurous. I distinctly recall the kindness of a stranger at one of my first feasts, where of all the foods I tried, the only thing I could stomach was a single soft-boiled egg and some ham. He shared his orange with me.
In the intervening years, either the cooks have reformed their menu planning or my palate has grown more tolerant - but I think it's both. I sincerely doubt we will ever see an eel-based dish at a feast table, for instance. Even if one could find a good eel supply, that's just too far outside most people's comfort zone. It would go largely uneaten and the cooks know this. On the other hand, those wily cooks have been slowly feeding us more and more period food - and we like it! Maybe they serve the sauces on the side, so the timid can try them bit by bit. Usually, every remove has something that seems more or less "normal" to a modern. Oh, and they always try to accommodate the growing number of vegetarians among us.
How? I think, in their super-secret Cooks' Guild HQ, they realized that there's a lot of medieval and Renaissance recipes out there. Some of them appeal to modern American tastes; some challenge them a little; some seem to fit best on Fear Factor. No matter how authentic the baked eel is, an equally authentic chicken dish will go over better. And each remove gives several opportunities for serving dishes which are easy pleasers and a few which will challenge and inform the tastebuds of the populace.
I look at the cooks because they've achieved what I hear is impossible in the bardic arena: served up period tastes to a modern crowd, and to great acclaim. Bards perform traditional music "because that's what the audience wants to hear, and our job is to entertain."
After some of those early feasts, I suspect I would have gladly told the cooks, "No, please, forget the period food. It's nasty. Cook me some beef stew, please, because in my imagination that's what medieval people ate anyway." But now, I'm glad that we're having more tasty and period food. There were, in my local area anyway, some missteps early on. That's research and learning; it happens. And then we got past that and now have all manner of sauced meats, lentil and rice dishes, seasoned vegetables and that awesome pistachio cream they make here in Storvik.
I have a CD of a historically-informed performance of troubadour chansons d'amour. And you know what? Even I find them boring after the first three minutes of a seven-minute song, in a language I don't speak. The music's nice, but languid. That's a baked eel performance, right there. The populace won't eat it.
But something like "Non Sofre"? It's a 13th century Cantiga de Santa Maria about a miraculous pork chop, with a jaunty tune and a decent helping of silliness. All it needs to be is not-in-Spanish, which I admit is a problem, but hardly an insurmountable one. (In fact, I hope to surmount it once the maypole project is done.) There is music out there which is both period and fun to listen to. It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition.