An Army marches on its stomach , so the saying goes, but what goes into those stomachs. I’ve been looking into a medieval diet if that’s what you could call it.
There is class distinction when it comes to food. The higher up the ranks the better the food becomes. It’s all down to money.
High ranking and upper class have the wealth thus the land to produce a better quality of fayre. Indulging in a high protein foods such as beef, Lamb, Pork, chickens, geese and fish from their own rivers and lakes.
Having Mills on their land also gave them access to milled flour and grains.
Cheeses and also butter made by the peasants were always available.
Foods were Salted so as to keep for longer but this was only for the very wealthy as Salt was expensive.
Fruit and vegetables even though the easiest food to acquire were not eaten raw. It was understood to carry disease so was always cooked into pies and stews.
The wealthy adventurers who could afford dried and salted foods . Heavy dark breads, barley for thickening stews. Had a better and healthier life. Unless they died in battle or fell of a cliff that is.
Remember no potatoes.
Breads, Both and all classes ate bread, the Higher class had the flour based bread and the lower used barley but in General Bread was easily made and so could me made quickly and on the go so long as there was time to bake. A baker of some sort would have been found in every village and every manor or castle would have two or more bakers constantly baking.
The smell off baked bread was one of the only saving smells of the world we adventure in. yeah most else stank. Bread could be found in everyone’s pack be it flat, brown or even whole grain. Mostly stale but still edible with a soup or broth.
The poorer person ate a less variable diet.
Root vegetables for stews and grains for Pottage and Porridge. Some cooked meats mainly chicken and fish but only if reared by themselves.
Pottage. This was a peasant meal that actually tasted better than it looked. Made with vegetables such as cabbage, onions,leeks, nuts, berries and generally anything that was readily available. Meat and fish wasnt always added. It was then boiled for several hours and could also be added to. Allowing to be reheated when needed and kept for days.
The poorer adventurer would have a jar or small lidded pan in his/her pack that could be placed over a fire and served in minutes. Rabbit and even rodent could be added when on long travels.
What’s in your Bag ?
I tried a Survey earlier this week and even though the response was lower than expected it did point in the direction that Gaming Adventurers would generally opt for dried food, that being mainly Dried meats. These usually had to be purchased in advance of any long adventure and then Nuts & Berries which of course can easily be sourced from any hedgerow.
Well that’s It, As food plays a very small part of our game time i just wanted to look into foods and how and who ate them .