Middle Ages Drink
The people of the Middle Ages enjoyed to drink, and as water was often
unclean, it was a necessity. The poor drank ale, mead or cider and the
rich were able to drink many different types of wines.
Medieval Food -
The French produced the first Recipe books. In 1306 ‘The Little
Treatise’ was written. The first English cookery book was written
in 1390 called 'The Forme of Cury' which consisted of nearly 200 recipes
196 recipes contributed by the Royal cooks. Facts and information about
the different types of foods eaten during the times including the meat, fruit, fish,
game birds and bread. New spices such as Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves,
Nutmeg, Ginger, Saffron, Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Mace,
Anise, Caraway and Mustard were being introduced by the crusaders from
the East and included in Middle Ages Recipes.
The Influence of
the Normans on Food
The Normans were influenced by French food and also Scandinavian food.
The Normans were known to document recipes although generally they
passed form the master cook to the apprentice. The tastes of the Norman
nobility were far more sophisticated than the English. The Normans also
enjoyed feasts and special occasions when lavish meals and food could be
The Influence of
the Crusades on Food
The influence of the Crusades had a startling effect on Middle Ages
Food. Kings, Knights, Lords and other crusaders had travelled 3000 miles
to reach the Holy Lands. And during their travels they were introduced
to the spices which were added to different foods by different cultures.
These new ideas about Medieval Food were brought back by the
Crusaders and new foods and spices were introduced to the European menu.
Asociety change influences Medieval Food
The elegance of the Far East, with its silks, tapestries, precious
stones, perfumes, spices, pearls, and ivory, was so enchanting that an
enthusiastic crusader called it "the vestibule of Paradise". A
change in society started to emerge. Travel certainly broadened the mind
of the Crusaders who developed a new and unprecedented interest in
beautiful objects and elegant manners. It must be remembered that the
preparation of Medieval Food was of special interest to the women of
the era, many of whom accompanied men on the Crusades. The preparation
and content of Medieval Food underwent a 'sea change - into something
rich and strange'.
Achange in the economy influenced Food
The economy of the Middle Ages changed. Various goods were exported from
the Far East including spices. It became a status symbol to serve food
with herbs and spices. As they were exported, these spices were
expensive. The differences of The Medieval Food consumed by the Upper
and Lower Classes changed significantly. The poor could not afford the
new range of spices. Food varied according to status and
according to the Middle Ages period. And in the early Middle Ages era
even meat was a sign of wealth.
and the Black Death
The amount of food available in the world changed in 1328. The Black Death spread across Europe
with devastating effect. The population of the Middle Ages dropped
- the Black Death claimed a third of the World's population and 200
million people died. The Black Death reached England by 1346 and ravaged
the land for nearly 60 years. The Black Death resulted in a far smaller
population, more food was available and even the poor were able to eat