Why Did The Lord And Nobles Not Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies?

Today, there are still more than 50 handwritten medieval cookbook manuscripts. Some of these are listings of recipes found in books on medical cures or apothecaries’ manuals.

Others concentrate on narratives of lavish feasts. However, the majority are devoted to cataloging medieval cooking utensils. Most of the recipes included in these documents were likely prepared in the homes of affluent noblemen. In this article, we will tell you Why Did The Lord And Nobles Not Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies?

A Meal For Royalty

The nutrition of a nobleman was substantially different from that of people at lower social levels. Freshly slain meat, river fish, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, were available to the wealthy on aristocratic estates.

Valuable spices like caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and pepper were used extensively to flavor cooked foods.

Cane sugar, almonds, and dried fruits like dates, figs, or raisins were additional ingredients that were frequently used in baking. These extremely expensive items were imported from abroad and were prized by the wealthy.

In fact, the royal court had a section called the “spicery” that was solely dedicated to spices. The popularity of spicy sauces led to whole professions being devoted to sauce production.

Why Did The Lord And Nobles Not Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies?

Why Did The Lord And Nobles Not Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies?

Since it was thought that eating raw produce would make you sick, all fruit and vegetables were cooked. The cook is advised to “Beware of green sallettes and rawe fruytes for they wyll make your soverayne seke” (‘Beware of green salads and raw fruits, for they will make your master sick’) in the 1500 book of Kervynge (carving).

Also, vegetables were regarded as food for peasants. Peasants consumed cabbage, beets, onions, garlic, and carrots in addition to their grains.

Plates And Feasts

Magnificent cuisine decorated the banqueting tables at sumptuous feasts, providing noblemen with the perfect opportunity to display their wealth. Every day, exquisite animals like peacocks, seals, porpoises and even whales were offered stews, jellies, pies, and fritters. Natural colors like boiled blood for black, saffron for a fiery yellow, and sandalwood for red were used to color jellies and custards.

But the most beautiful objects on the table were the sotiltees and sugar sculptures. These sculptures assumed a wide range of peculiar forms, such as castles, ships, famous thinkers, and scenes from fables.

As there wasn’t much to eat during a war, feasting and enjoying food were significant aspects of medieval life. Food and wages for the nobleman’s household had to be paid for.

In the Middle Ages, bread was a staple food that could be prepared from barley, rye, or wheat. Rich folks would use trenchers, which are thick slices of brown bread, to scoop up sauce and juice from their meals.

The lord’s miller milled the flour for the castle at his own mill. Millers made various types of fine flour to make brown bread for the servants and white bread for the monarch or lord.

Poor People’s Diet

The diet of those at the bottom of the social ladder was less impressive. It was challenging to find fresh meat or seafood unless you worked in a large household (although fish was available to those living by the sea).

The majority of people consumed preserved items that were salted or pickled shortly after being slaughtered or harvested, such as bacon, pickled herring, and preserved fruits.

Pigs were commonly kept by the poor because they could live happily in a forest by themselves, unlike cows and sheep. Since peasants typically kept cows, a large portion of their diets consisted of dairy products like buttermilk, cheese, curds, and whey.

Pottage was a dish that was eaten by both the rich and the poor. It was a thick soup made with meat, vegetables, or bran. “Frumenty” is the name for a pottage that contains grain, while “mortrew” is the name for the luxurious version. The bread was a requirement for all socioeconomic strata, even though its cost and quality varied depending on the type of grain used. Thin slices of bread served with food at mealtimes were referred to as “trenches,” and some people even used them as plates.

How People Ate During The Middle Ages Food And Eating Were Very Different Back Then?

Europeans in the middle ages typically ate two meals a day: a heavier supper in the evening and a dinner at noon. Due to ridiculous social conventions, women frequently dined separately from men during feasts. Alternately, they ate scantily when seated at the table.

There were no plates. Instead, folks made use of the bread’s bottom half of the bread. Or, in homes of lower social status, they simply ate what was on the table. Spoons were provided for a large supper, but knives had to be brought by the diner.

Early modern times saw the widespread adoption of forks for eating. The church had rigid dietary restrictions. For the majority of Christians, eating meat was prohibited for a full third of the year.


In this article, we discussed Why Did The Lord And Nobles Not Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies? Given that rice was only recently introduced to Europe and that the potato wasn’t introduced until 1536, cereals continued to be the most important food staples during the early Middle Ages (and for centuries was used almost exclusively to feed animals).

All members of a society consumed bread, porridge, gruel, and pasta made of barley, oat, and rye for the poor and wheat for the ruling classes. Vegetables and fava beans were crucial additions to the lower classes’ cereal-based diet.

Only the nobles and poachers had access to meat in the form of game, which was more expensive and consequently more prestigious. Pork, chicken, and other domestic poultry were the most often encountered butcher’s meats. There was less beef because it required more land investment.

The northern populations relied heavily on cod and herring, which traveled far inland, dried, smoked, or salted. Due to the fact that most castles had their own fishponds, a wide variety of other freshwater and saltwater fish were also consumed.

Did medieval nobles eat vegetables?

The diet of a nobleman was very different from that of people lower down the social scale. Elite estates provided the rich with freshly killed meat and river fish, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Did medieval people eat vegetables?

While grain was the primary component of most meals, vegetables such as cabbage, chard, onions, garlic, and carrots were common foods. Many of these were eaten daily by farmers and workers and were less prestigious than meat.

Were people healthier in the Middle Ages?

The Early Middle Ages, from the 5th to the 10th century, is often derided as the ‘Dark Ages’. But a new study shows that the middle and lower classes were healthier than their descendants in later centuries – even in the industrial age of the 19th century.

How did the diet of the nobility compare to the diet of the peasants?

The diet of the peasants was actually better than that of the rich, if they had enough to eat. They were more likely to consume their grains boiled in porridge rather than bread, and they relied more heavily on beans and milk products as protein sources.


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