Food and Drink in Elizabethan England

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by 19jgunter
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
European history

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Food and Drink in Elizabethan England

People in Elizabethan England mostly drank ale, beer, and wine because water was not healthy due to poor sanitation in cities and natural impurities in country water. The nobles drank all of the alcoholic drinks but the poor only drank ale and beer because wine was expensive.

Food and Drink in Elizabethan England

Ale contained water, malted barley, herbs and spices, no hops (unlike today), and had a short shelf life. Beer was like ale except it was brewed with hops, was lighter and clearer than ale, and kept longer than ale because of hops (which made beer cheaper than ale).

Ale and Beer

What People Drank

Vegetables that people ate in the Elizabethan Era were garlic, peas, asparagus, spinach, eggplant, cabbage, onions, carrots, leeks, lettuce, mustard, endive, celery, lentils, parsnips, artichokes, radishes, broad beans, beets, and turnips. Fruits and nuts that were eaten in Elizabethan England were apricots, melons, sesame, wardons, almonds, strawberries, apples, plums, quinces, sloes, currants, oranges, dates, limes, grapes, prunes, gooseberries, figs, olives, mulberries, pomegranates, cherries, hazelnuts, walnuts, and raisins.

Domestic animals that people ate in Elizabethan England were beef, veal, chicken, pork, duck, goat, rabbit, swan, goose, pigeon, doves, and peacock. Wild animals that were eaten during the Elizabethan Era were quail, bustard, curlew, plover, cormorant, badger, hedgehog, heron, crane, pheasant, woodcock, deer, boar, and rabbit/coney. The types of fish that people ate back then were eels, pike, trout, sturgeon, cod, haddock, ling, conger, roche, plaice, carp, salmon, porpoise, and perch.

Meat and Fish

Vegetables, Fruits, and Nuts

People ate two meals a day. Dinner was around 11:00am to 12:00pm and supper was around 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Breakfast wasn't considered a meal. Eating right after you wake up in the morning was simply referred to as breaking a fast.

Daily Meals

Works CitedAlchin, Linda. "Elizabethan Food." Elizabethan Era. Siteseen, 2015. Web. 7 Jan. 2015.Bruns, Roger A., and Arthur M. Schlesinger. Julius Caesar. New York: Chelsea, 1987. Facts on File History Online. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.Cooked chicken. Elizabethan Era Daily Life: Food, Education, Marriage, Family, Fashion. St. Rosemary Educational Institution, 2015. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.Elizabethan Ale. Food and Drink - Sockett Period E Assignment Website. Weebly, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.Elizabethan Bread. PugsEnglish-todnt. Tangient, 2015. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.Elizabethan Food and Drinks (9ENG). Youtube. justinlikespienot, 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2015."Food in the Elizabethan Era." The Golden Age 1558-1603. Wix, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.Forgeng, Jeffrey L. Daily Life in Elizabethan England. 2nd ed. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2010. Print."Fresh Strawberries HD Wallpaper Widescreen." Fresh Strawberries HD Wallpaper Widescreen. High Quality PC Dekstop Full HD Wallpapers,, 2014. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.Fruit and vegetables grown on-site are served at Walmer Castle in Kent and Audley End in Essex. Fabulous Food: Autumn Tearoom Treats. English Heritage, 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.Matterer, James L. "Gode Cookery." Gode Cookery. Netscape, 3 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.Ross, Maggi. "Of Bread and Wine." Life in Elizabethan England. N.p., 25 Mar. 2008. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.Secara, Maggie Pierce. A Compendium of Common Knowledge, 1558-1603: Elizabethan Commonplaces for Writers, Actors ' Re-enactors. Los Angeles: Popi

In a wealthy meal, there are several courses that each include multiple dishes. Cheese and fruits were served at the end of the meal. Sweets were included in each course instead of at the end of the meal like today.

A Normal Wealthy Meal

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Food during the Elizabethan Era was prepared by spit roasting, baking, boiling, smoking, salting, or being fried.

How Food was Prepared

Cooks in Elizabethan England used several of the same foodstuffs and food preperation as today.Medieval society was capable of developing recipes that included fine meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Cooking Similarites in the Elizabethan Era and Now

Some Elizabethan snack foods were marzipan/marchpane (sweetened and colored almond paste usually made into elaborate shapes), gingerbread, fruit pies (thickened with almond milk and sweetened with sugar) sweet cakes, puddings, daryole (custard pie), pretzels, and bagels.

Snack Foods


Types of Bread and Wine

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The Golden Age Food!food

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Foods for Different Classes


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