What were the Tudor food fads?

Well it depended on whether you were rich or poor. Much as it does to today.

The Tudor.org website has lots of interesting
information about food in Tudor Times.

Meat was the key food. There were no refrigerators and it was difficult to transport it any distance. They relied on fresh food.

Below is a menu which is largely made up of meat.

This would have been for rich people.

From the historyonthenet website.

Try their word search and crossword.

There's a great page to read here

What was extraordinary, was the range of meat that rich people ate ate that time. Deer, boar, rabbit, quail, bustard, curlew, plover, cormorant, badger, hedgehog, heron, crane, pheasant, woodcock, partridge, blackbirds. Yes even Blackbirds. They weren't too keen on vegetables, they were only for poor people after all. Nor were they keen on milk, butter or eggs. They only way they could keep meat was to salt it ( a kind of preservative), so they ate a lot of salt.


From what you know about a healthy diet, do you think this was?


Poor people also ate meat, but they had less variety.

Check out the recipes from Tudor.org



Bread was a major part of the diet of all classes and was very different from the bread we eat now.

Manchet was a very fine white bread made from wheat flour with a little bran and wheat germ added. It was creamy-yellow in colour. This bread was for the nobility.

Raveled bread or Yeoman's bread was made from coarser whole-wheat flour with the bran left in; it was a darker colour and less expensive than the manchet.

Carter's bread was dark brown or black bread. This was the bread that the poorest people ate. It was made from maslin, a mixture of rye and wheat, or from drage, a mixture of barley and wheat, or from rye alone. In the north it was made from oats.

Horse-corn was bread made from peas, beans, lentils and oats it was eaten by the poor people only when the wheat harvest failed.

Bread was kept in an "Ark", which was a wooden box, to protect it from mice and damp.


The Tudor History.org site has set of linked pages about food.

It was the exploration of new parts of the world that brought new foods to the Tudor Table.

Potatoes from Chile
Tomatoes from Mexico
Kidney Beans from Peru
and so many things from the New World maize, Indian corn, chocolate, peanuts, vanilla, pineapples, French beans, red and green peppers, turkeys and tapioca.
Oranges and lemons, quinces, apricots and melons were imported from Southern Europe, and grown in the gardens of wealthy landowners.

And Sugar

The English had an ever increasing appetite for sugar, now imported from territories in the West and East Indies as well as from Morocco and Barbary. Sugar was used for anything from dressing vegetables and preserving fruit to the concoction of medical remedies. But it was still an expensive ingredient, and therefore eaten mainly by the rich. As a result, the wealthier you were, the more rotten your teeth were likely to be. Queen Elizabeth was said to have loved sugar so much that her teeth were black.

The First Cookery Books were published in the Tudor Period

A man called Thomas Dawson wrote three of the first.

'The Good Huswifes Jewell'
'The good Huswifes handmaid for the kitchen'
'The book of carving and sewing'

See an enlarged page from one of them.