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Elizabethan food and drinks

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The subject of food and drinks is important during the Elizabethan era because what was consumed during this time period, will affect what English people eat today. From the number of dishes eaten to the ways in which food was served was dictated by status: in the 16th-century in England, you truly were what you ate.

The Elizabethans had different meals daily they had breakfast, dinner, and supper. Breakfast was eaten early, usually between 6-7am. Dinner was eaten usually through the Midday and supper was eaten in the afternoon at around 8. The kinds of food eaten depended very much on wealth and status. They enjoyed all kinds of meat, including beef, pork, lamb, mutton, and bacon, The Elizabethans also ate fruit and vegetables. Some of the vegetables available to them were: turnips, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, leeks, spinach, radishes, garlic, and skirret (a popular root vegetable of the time). Expensive fruits, like peaches, oranges and pomegranates, were eaten only by the rich. Fruits were regarded with some suspicion in Tudor times, however, and were rarely eaten raw. They were mostly baked in tarts or pies or boiled to make jams. Indeed, pies were very popular in Tudor times and were eaten by rich and poor alike!

The Tudors also did not appreciate the nutritional value of vegetables and rich people, who had a vast amount of choice in food, didn’t eat enough of them. “It can be inferred that the Elizabethans also ate fruit and vegetables. Here the author explores some of the vegetables available to them were: turnips, parsnips, carrots, Lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, leeks, spinach, radishes, garlic and skirret (popular root vegetable of the time) (Elizabethan Food”). “Nuts were also widely eaten in Tudor times, hazelnuts and walnuts being popular, and pulses such as peas, beans and lentils. Spices and herbs were used to flavour food and honey was the most common sweetener as sugar was very expensive”. Nutmeg was very expensive too”. Water was considered unsafe to drink; the Elizabethans drank ale instead. Even children drank ale as it was not very strong. Strong ale was reserved for times they wanted to make merry! The rich drank ale too, but also wine, which was very expensive. Popular wines were claret, malmsey, and sack (a type of sherry). Milk was sometimes drinking, sheep’s as well as cow’s, but was mostly used to make butter, cream, and cheese. This quote provides evidence that the “nuts were also widely eaten hazelnuts and walnuts being popular because of this spices and herbs were used to flavour food and honey”.

This quote provides evidence that the “nuts were also widely eaten hazelnuts and walnuts being popular because of this spices and herbs were used to flavour food and honey”.

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