Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Medieval Monk's Diet

The following is an example of a thirteenth-century friar's possible daily intake, partly based on a study of skeletal remains of medieval monks from Tower Hill, Bermondsey, and Merton abbeys:

Diet Start

11 A.M.-1 P.M. Three eggs, boiled or fried in lard. Vegetable porridge with beans, lentils, carrots, and other garden produce. Pork chops, bacon, or mutton. Chicken, duck, or goose with oranges. Half a pound of bread to use as sop. Peaches, strawberries, or bilberries with egg flan. Four pints of small (watery) beer.

4-6 P.M. Mutton gruel with garlic and onions, a milk shakelike "posset" of egg, milk and figs. Venison, with rowanberries, figs, sloes, hazelnuts, and apples. Stewed eels, herring, pike, dolphin, lampreys, salmon, cod, or trout. Half a pound of bread as sop, sometimes soaked in drippings or lard. Syllabubs of fruit. Four pints of ale.

A flagon of sack or other French, Spanish, or Portuguese wine.

... andjoyohoxing