Food In The Middle Ages Essay

1090 words - 5 pages

Much like today, food in the medieval ages was cherished. Food served as a statement for the people in middle ages, the wealthy ate well while the poor hardly ate at all. More than just statement of social class food in the medieval ages introduced beauty. A beautiful woman was a big woman, the bigger the better. During the medieval ages which lasted from the 5th century to the 15th the dining experienced evolved. Food shaped the culture as well as the quality of life in medieval and renaissance England.
Often when people think of the dining experience in the Middle Ages they conjure up thoughts of giant turkey legs along with ale being devoured by hungry folks in the king’s castle ...view middle of the document...

The excessive amount of drinking done by the people in the middle ages accounts for the high death rate due to alcohol related diseases such as liver disease.
Food choices of the people in the medieval ages impacted the environment as well. Many animals became extinct due to man’s hunting.
Bustards (large, swift running birds) and
Beavers became extinct in early modern
England because of men’s greed for ‘grete
fowles’ and the specious reasoning the
beavers used their tails for swimming
so they counted as fish! (Black 11).
Other than just harming animal species, people in medieval England would clear cut vast amounts of land in order to farm. The most common things eaten were things from the river. The most common meal over these thousand years was salted herring. Because dirty rivers were the primary source of food for a thousand of years people constantly were dying of diseases.
Food played a role in the social status of the culture of the medieval ages. Knights, squires, and court henchmen were usually fed by the court commissariat (Black 13). The common family would sit down and pray then have a family meal. Despite the belief that the people in the Middle Ages were extremely unorganized and unholy they prayed before every meal as well as washed their hands. All people drank, even children. Babies were often given watered down liquor in order to put them too sleep. The king had massive feasts in which many people came. Often the king had more than one chef. Aesthetically speaking, in medieval ages a skinny woman would be considered highly unattractive. The larger a person was meant the more food they had eaten. If a person can eat a lot then they must have a considerable amount of wealth. Larger women were sought after opposed to thinner ones. Food defined the culture of the Middle Ages.
Many years were years of hunger thanks to some cases of famine. Everyone suffered in the winters, though the kings and other royalty ate the best. Dried fish was the most common form of food in the winters of the middle ages. At other times in Europe the Black Death came killing as many as one of every three people. Many years of famine would follow the plague which caused...

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