What did people eat in the Middle Ages?

What did people eat in the middle ages?

Many common foods we eat daily, were back then unavailable, and some foods available then are rarely eaten today.  In Europe people ate foods that were mainly of native European origin, with some expensive imports for the nobility, such as exotic spices and sugar. 

Many days were designated as fast days, on which no meat could be eaten: at the very least, meat was not eaten on Fridays and during Lent. 

Common people ate meat very seldom, due to its expense. On fast days, fish and shellfish could be eaten. 

However wine, ale, mead and beer were the normal drinks, even for children.

Unknown in Europe until the 16th century were potatoes, tomatoes, sweetcorn, sweet peppers, chilli peppers, pineapples, vanilla, cocoa, coffee and tea. 

You may want to take a look at Charlemagne’s dining habits in Dinner. 

by helmut schonwalder