Food & Drink in the Medieval Village

Everyday food for the poor in the Middle Ages consisted of cabbage, beans, eggs, oats and brown bread. Sometimes, as a specialty, they would have cheese, bacon or poultry.

All classes commonly drank ale or beer. Milk was also available, but usually reserved for younger people. Wine was imported from France and Italy for those with money.

The wealthier you were, the better you ate. More meat and game such as venison was available to those who could afford it, along with white bread, spices and rich sauces.

If you lived near a body of water, fish was prominent in your diet. Inland lakes and streams provided freshwater fish and turtles, while coastal regions near oceans and seas had ample access to saltwater fish like herring, cod, whale and eel. When possible, fish was eaten fresh. Though, fish was dried, smoked or salted for long-term storage to be eaten during winter.

Honey straight from bee hives called apiaries was the common sweetener during the period; while herbs, nuts, roots and flowers were eaten and used in medicinal tonics and teas.

Downloadable Lesson Plans

Use the following downloadable lesson plans and worksheets to guide your classroom through a medieval journey before or after your visit to the castle!

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