Foods of the Middle Ages
There was an enormous range of foods available during the Middle Ages. However, the type of foods was consumed and the quantity of foods consumed depended on wealth and status.
Middle Ages Food and Diet
Did the people of the Middle Ages eat food which constituted a good balance diet? No! And especially not for the rich! The wealthy nobles ate few fresh vegetables and little fresh fruit. Fruit was only usually served in pies or was preserved in honey. Vegetables and fresh fruit were eaten by the poor - vegetables would have been included in some form of stew, soup or pottage. Vegetables which came from the ground were only are considered fit to feed the poor. Only vegetables such as rape, onions, garlic and leek's graced a Noble's table of the Medieval era. Dairy products were also deemed as inferior foods and therefore only usually eaten by the poor. Little was known about nutrition and and the Medieval diet of the rich Nobles lacked Vit. C and fibre. This led to an assortment of health problems including bad teeth, skin diseases, scurvy and rickets.
Food and Diet of the Upper Classes/ Nobility
The food and diet of the wealthy was extensive, but only small portions was taken. A change in culture emerged during the Middle Ages when the travel prompted by the Crusades led to a new and unprecedented interest in beautiful objects and elegant manners. This change extended to food preparation and presentation resulting in fabulous food arrangements and exotic colors and flavorings. Their food was highly spiced.
Food and Diet of the Lower Classes/ Peasants
The Middle Ages food and diet of the peasants was very much home grown. They were unable to afford luxury items such as spices and only Lords and Nobles were allowed to hunt deer, boar, hares and rabbits. The punishments for poaching could result in death or having hands cut off.