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Elizabethan Era: Food

9th Grade Honors English

Olivia Hippolyte

on 15 March 2013

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Transcript of Elizabethan Era: Food

Diet of Upper Class Diet of Lower Class by Olivia Hippolyte Elizabethan Era: Food Elizabethan Banquet Vegetables and fresh fruit were eaten by the poor - vegetables would have been included in some form of stew, soup or pottage. Food items which came from the ground were only are considered fit for the poor. Only vegetables such as rape, onions, garlic and leeks graced a Noble's table. Dairy products were also deemed as inferior foods and therefore only to be eaten by the poor. The food eaten daily by the average Lower Class Elizabethan consisted of at least ½ lb. bread, 1 pint of beer, 1 pint of porridge, and 1/4 lb of meat. Despite the harsh living conditions of the Elizabethan Era, the lower classes were healthier than the upper class due to their consumption of vitamin C, fiber, and calcium During the Elizabethan Era, the food you ate was ultimately decided by your social status. The daily diet of the lower class greatly differed from the daily diet of the upper class. Food at this time was more of a social statement and royalty often hosted banquets in which large amounts of food were served to show off their wealth. Cooks employed by Nobles during the Elizabethan era would have been aware of the high standards set by the French and endeavored to provide Queen Elizabeth with a feast or banquet of a similar standard and content. VS The banquets and feasts enjoyed by the Elizabethan Royalty, Nobility and Upper Classes were sumptuous and lavish. It was a huge dinner consisting of 5 loaded courses. Miniature pastries filled with cod liver or beef marrow
A cameline meat "brewet," pieces of meat in a thin cinnamon sauce
Beef marrow
Eels in a thick spicy puree
Loach in cold-green sauce flavored with spices and sage
Large cuts of roast or boiled meat
Saltwater fish Frumenty (hulled wheat boiled in milk, with flavored sugar and spices)

Freshwater fish

Broth with bacon

A meat tile

Carpon pasties and crisps

Bream and eel pasties

Blancmange Venison

Lampreys with hot sauce



Roast bream and darioles (a small cream tart with puff pastry, in a circular mold)

Sturgeon cream and fennel seeds



plums stewed in rosewater wine


sweet pastries First Course Second Course Third Course Fourth Course Fifth Course BANQUET MENU Fish and meat were considered a luxury which is why it made up a large part of the nobility's diet. Meat included venison, chicken, eels, and veal. The number of courses and variety of Elizabethan foods consumed by the Upper Classes included ingredients which were too expensive for the majority of English people. Spices and meat were among these ingredients. Because of the lack of fruits and vegetables, the wealthy didn't get any vitamins or other crucial nutrients. Instead, they ate lots of sugar which led to an assortment of health problems including bad teeth, skin diseases, scurvy and rickets. This topic ties into the banquet featured in Act 3 Scene 4 of Macbeth. Banquets were used to entertain guests and show off wealth which is what Macbeth probably intended to do.

"Sweet remembrancer!Now, good digestion wait on appetite,And health on both!" -Macbeth Although there are many differences between their diets, all classes drank beer because the water was too polluted to drink. Bread was also a staple to Elizabethan meals. Upper classes ate a thick bread called manchet, while lower classes ate rye. Work cited: http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-food.htm
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