_The Tudor people ate a lot of fresh food because there was no
way of storing food to be eaten later. There was no such thing as freezers or
fridges in the Tudor times. They ate with fingers, knives and spoons. There
were no forks.
Meat People kept animals all year round and would kill them just
before they needed to be eaten. This meant that the meat was always fresh. To
improve the flavour of games, such as deer, pheasant and rabbit, it was hung
from the ceiling in a cold room for several days before eating. Three-quarters
(75%) of the rich Tudor diet was made up of meat such as oxen, deer, calves,
pigs, badger or wild boar. Birds were also eaten, such as chicken, pigeons,
sparrows, heron, crane, pheasant, woodcock, partridge, blackbirds and peacocks.
75% of the Tudor diet was meat. Some meat was preserved by rubbing salt into
Bread Bread was eaten at most meals. You could tell the class of a
person by the bread they ate. Rich people ate bread made from white of
wholemeal flour where as poor people ate bread made from rye and even ground
Fruit and vegetables Fruit and vegetables were mostly eaten when they were in
season and soon after picking. They ate fruits such as pears, apples, plums and
cherries. Bananas and other fruits only grown abroad were not heard of during
the Tudor times. Some fruits were preserved in syrup to make them last longer
through the winter months. Fruit and vegetables could only be eaten when they
were in season. The common vegetables were cabbages and onions. Towards the end
of the Tudor period, new foods were brought over from the Americas e.g.
potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, maize and turkey.
Fish Fish was eaten by people living near rivers and the sea. The
fresh water fish included eels, pike, perch, trout, sturgeon, roach, and
salmon. It was compulsory to eat fish on Fridays and during Lent.
Drink Instead of drinking water with their meals, they often drank
ale and the rich drank wine. Water was often unfit for drinking because it was
contaminated with sewage.
Sugar Sugar came from abroad and so was expensive. The Tudor people
often used honey to sweeten their food instead.
Food for the Poor Poor people ate a herb-flavoured soup called pottage which
would be served with bread. It was made of peas, milk, egg yolks, breadcrumbs
and parsley and flavoured with saffron and ginger. They also ate chickens which
they could rear themselves, beef from the local market when they had the money,
and rabbits which they could catch for themselves.