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Thread: what did peasants in europe eat

  1. #36
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    The rich.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Even for those that could afford it, there were many non meat days when you could only eat fish if you could get it. Three non meat days a week and four "ember days" at the changing of the seasons four times a year.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #38
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    The acute population restriction caused by the Black Death, led to the working class survivors receiving an income for the first time, which allowed them to afford more meat.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    The acute population restriction caused by the Black Death, led to the working class survivors receiving an income for the first time, which allowed them to afford more meat.
    and to demand wages rather than just work for their liege lord as custom demanded. Everything changed.
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  5. #40
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post
    Is your "pohanka" about like Polenta?
    Polenta is made from corn which is not indigenous to Eurasia. But the end result is similar. High carbohydrate mush for people who worked a lot of hours each day.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    beer. Any porridge 9 days old was going to be pretty fermented.

    I suspect most of European history is a product of non-potable water. Most everyone was mildly or seriously inebriated all the time.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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  7. #42
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    beer. Any porridge 9 days old was going to be pretty fermented.

    I suspect most of European history is a product of non-potable water. Most everyone was mildly or seriously inebriated all the time.
    My personal definition of the end the "dark ages" is when you could drink the water without dying. The Romans did it, the Brits in 1858 after the "Great Stink". http://fiveminutehistory.com/10-amaz...-stink-london/
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  8. #43
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    I thought pheasants originated in Asia?
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    The acute population restriction caused by the Black Death, led to the working class survivors receiving an income for the first time, which allowed them to afford more meat.
    And the increased demand for pepper which in turn drove the exploration to find sea routes to India and Ambon. But I digress.
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    The history of the spice trade is pretty much the same as the early history of Singapore. Can you imagine life without even just black pepper? Let alone all the other wonderful spices. . .

  11. #46
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Salami without pepper ? The horror !
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  12. #47
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    "The Anglo-Saxons lived almost entirely on various sorts of stew".

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  13. #48
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    It seems that in any very unequal society right up to the present day the less affluent people are the more starch and less protein is in their diet.

    I grew up in Germany and the mix of plants grown and vegetables eaten there is a bit different from North America. Lots of cabbage, beets, carrots, rutabagas, peas, beans and onions. I wouldn't be surprised if legumes were the mainstay protein for the masses, with maybe some milk. I don't know when lentils made it there, they originated in the Middle East and Mediterranean, but green lentils are certainly popular there today. Perhaps a few eggs and dairy products and nuts also made it to peasant tables. I bet there would also have been fruits in the mix, especially apples, currants, gooseberries, plums, raspberries and strawberries. My aunt and uncle used to keep rabbits in cages for meat and I wonder how old that practice is.

    I've read a bit about the Norse colonization of the North Atlantic fringe of Europe. They were peasants but maybe with a less stratified society than in mainland Europe. Excavation of dwellings and garbage middens showed what they cooked with and ate. Their animal-based agricultural economy wreaked havoc with the ecology of the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. They disappeared from Greenland because they couldn't sustain their agriculture in a changing climate and were unwilling to adapt to nomadic hunter-gatherer ways like the Inuit. Their diet was heavy in fermented dairy products, but they also made the "stew of everything edible" in large cauldrons of soapstone. Their bread was an unleavened flatbread of barley that they baked on frying pans that were flat disks of iron with a long handle. They cultivated and ate an Angelica plant as a vegetable. Animals were eaten where available, sheep, goats, cattle, fish, seals, and birds. Except for pork, meat doesn't appear to have been the sole domain of rulers or rich people. They also ate horsemeat, but only until they became Christian because the Church forbade the practice. Dairy products came from cattle for the more well-off and mostly from sheep and goats for the poorest.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    And the increased demand for pepper which in turn drove the exploration to find sea routes to India and Ambon. But I digress.
    Sea routes to the Malabar coast (southern india - source of much black pepper) had been used since the roman era; it was the disruption to those long existing routes and trade from the Ottoman Empire that necessitated new routes. the spice trade long predated Singapore.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    "Lots of cabbage, beets, carrots, rutabagas, peas, beans and onions."

    All things that keep well over the winter and have become traditional.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    I always wonder how many people it took to figure out that the greens of a potato plant are deadly poison but that the roots are edible.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Did you ever have a potato start turning green? They will if exposed to sunlight for a while, and if you eat the green parts you will get a pretty good belly ache.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy W View Post
    Is your "pohanka" about like Polenta?

    Groats. Basic to Eastern European Jewish food as well. The Russkies eat it too. "Kasha" is the Jewish name, but it's the same grain. Polenta is corn based. I like it (I like polenta too) but it's probably an acquired taste. It's much earthier tasting than refined wheat. I suppose you could say it's "nut like." It's mixed with bowtie noodles (or at least it was in my family) and the dish is called "kasha varnishkes."

    I edited this to add an image of the stuff. Very basic food, not much to it.

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  19. #54
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    One another?

    For some European cavemen, human meat wasn't a ritual delicacy or a food of last resort but an everyday meal, according to a new study of fossil bones found in Spain.

    And, it seems, everyone in the area was doing it, making the discovery "the oldest example of cultural cannibalism known to date," the study says.

    The 800,000-year-old butchered bones from the cave, called Gran Dolina, indicate cannibalism was rife among members of western Europe's first known human species, Homo antecessor.

    The fossil bones, collected since 1994, reveal that "gastronomic cannibalism" was commonplace and habitual—both to meet nutritional needs and to kill off local competition, according to the study, published in the August issue of Current Anthropology.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...-meat-science/
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  20. #55
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Blood sausage or pudding and white pudding. Waste nothing!
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  21. #56
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    Default Re: what did peasants in europe eat

    Polenta, lots of polenta, I must be a peasant.

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