never considered as being capable of forming solid nutriment, since they
were almost exclusively used by monastic communities when under vows of
The following vegetables were available during the Medieval era, even
though many were looked upon with sheer distain, especially by the Upper
Classes. The following list of vegetables were available during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages:
It is also
interesting to note that the thistle
was placed amongst choice dishes; though it cannot be the common thistle
that is meant, but probably refers to
the vegetable-marrow, which is still found on the tables of the higher
classes, or perhaps the artichoke, which we know to be only a kind of
thistle developed by cultivation.
Cabbages date from the remotest
times. There were several types of cabbage available during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages called the apple-headed, the Roman, the
white, the common white head and the Easter cabbage. The cabbage held
in the highest estimation was the famous cabbage of Senlis, whose
leaves, says an ancient author, when opened, exhaled a smell more
agreeable than musk or amber. This species no doubt fell into disuse
when aromatic herbs started to be used in cooking and was abandoned.
Cucumber, though rather in request, was supposed to be an unwholesome
vegetable, because it was said that the inhabitants of France, who ate
much of it, were subject to periodical fevers, which might really have
been caused by noxious emanation from the ponds with which that country
Lentils, now considered so
wholesome, were also long looked upon as a doubtful vegetable and it was
believed that they were difficult
to digest, inflamed the inside, affected
the sight, and brought on nightmares!
A feast during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages often included a "Sallat" ( the word used
for a salad ) Salads were made with a variety of the vegetables that
were available could have been made with lettuce, carrots, and turnips.
Herbs, nuts, olives, vinegar and oil, even sugar could have been
included in a Medieval sallat.