What Food Was Like In The Elizabethan Period Of England
It varied a lot from upper class to lower class.
The food that used to be consumed in ancient times is typically none of our business. We are not looking to go back in time in such a way but that does not stop us from having our moments of curiosity when it comes to certain eras of history.
That’s why we are here to provide our readers with a closer look at the cuisine of Elizabethan England. This is not a period of time that we would associate with the tastiest foods of all time but surely, there had to be some yummy stuff to eat, right?
That’s where our pals over at Weird History come into play. They are here to provide us with all of the necessary background information. They poured over all of the foods from this time period and reported back with their findings.
We did not realize how much diets varied if you were a part of the aristocratic class, as opposed to those who found themselves part of the working class.
“Queen Elizabeth I was defending her throne while some plotted against her in favor of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. Regardless, Elizabeth’s reign cemented Britain as a global powerhouse in arts, culture, and cuisine…,” the video explained.
It went on to say, “Under Elizabeth’s rule, the aristocracy enjoyed a meat-heavy diet with plenty of decadence and splendor – though some of their customs may leave us scratching our heads now.” During the reign of Elizabeth, trade routes were also expanded. This allowed for the introduction of various seasonings and spices from the East. These new items made it easier to preserve rotted meats.
“Ailments like kidney stones and urinary tract infections were extremely common among the upper class due in large part to the sheer amount of meat they were consuming every day without supplementing with enough vegetables or grains,” the video shares. This makes sense if the bourgeoisie were sitting around eating nothing but various meats that may or may not have been spoiled.
Bread access even varied by class. “Though bread was a staple of many Elizabethan diets it was also a notably different experience based on your social and economic class. The wealthy enjoyed mostly white breads prepared from finely ground flour, while poorer citizens ate brown and black breads made from cheaper grains like barley and rye,” the video explains.