interesting information about Medieval Food and meals,
specifically, Medieval Fruit
The wealthy nobles of the Middle Ages ate little fresh fruit -
unprepared food of this variety was viewed with some suspicion. Fruit
was usually served in pies or was preserved in honey. Fresh fruit was
traditionally eaten by the poor. Little was known about nutrition
and the Medieval diet of the rich Nobles lacked Vitamin C and fibre.
This led to an assortment of health problems including bad teeth, skin
diseases, scurvy and rickets!
Western Europe was originally very
poor in fruits, and it only improved by foreign importations, mostly
from Asia by the Romans. The apricot came from Armenia, the
pistachio-nuts and plums from Syria, the peach from Persia, the cherry
from Cerasus, the lemon from Media, the pomegranate, the quince
from Cydon in Crete; the olive, fig, pear, and apple, from Greece. The
quince, which was so generally cultivated in Medieval Times, was looked
upon as the most useful of all fruits. Not only did it form the basis of
the farmers' dried preserves to make a sort of marmalade, but it was
also used for seasoning meat.
Several sorts of cherries were known, but these did not prevent the
small wild or wood cherry from being appreciated at the tables of the
Wild and Exotic Medieval
The Portuguese claim the honour of having introduced oranges from China.
Raspberries were still completely wild and wood strawberries had only
just at that time been introduced into gardens. Apples were the only
cultivated fruit, but others grew wild. Wild fruits like pears, quinces,
and even peaches were served on some medieval tables. Strawberries
raspberries, red currants could be found in the woods. Only the Nobility
could afford exotic fruits such as dates. About the same date melons
begin to appear and were watered them with
honeyed or sweetened water.
The following fruits were available during the Medieval era, even
though many were looked upon with sheer distain, especially by the Upper
Classes. The following list of fruits were available during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages:
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