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Middle Ages Food

Get these historical recipes

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Cooking Up Some World History!

50 Authentic, Easy-to-Make Recipes from All Periods of World History!

During the Middle Ages, there was a great divide between the wealthy and the poor. That divide heavily influenced food. Wealthy people had doctors to prescribe the proper types of foods to eat and cooks to prepare them. They hosted elaborate feasts that included massive amounts of food to impress their guests. They had access to the exotic spices brought back from the Crusades. Serfs generally lived off of bread, cheese, and what could be scavenged.

For most people, grains were the main source of food. They would be made into bread or gruel and served with every meal. Seasonal fruits and vegetables were sometimes available, but often belonged to the wealthy landowner. Herbs were used for flavoring and for medicine, but spices, especially salt, were expensive and not available to most. The invention of stew came from this time; people would gather whatever food they had and cook them together in a common pot, or cauldron.

While the foods eaten by the separate classes may have been greatly different, they both had to eat. And that means they were not really that different after all.

Recipes from the Middle Ages included grains, which were the main source of food.


Frutours

This recipe uses spices and sugar, expensive foods during the Middle Ages.


Frumenty

In the Middle Ages this dish would be eaten on a stale bread loaf with the center cut out.

Cooking Up Some World History cookbook front cover
A photograph of frutours, a battered fried apple dessert from the Middle Ages
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