and fresh fruit were eaten by the poor - vegetables would
have been included in some form of stew, soup or pottage.
Food items which came
from the ground were only are considered fit for the poor.
Only vegetables such as rape, onions, garlic and leeks graced a
Noble's table. Dairy products were also deemed as inferior foods
and therefore only to be eaten by the poor.
Elizabethan Food and Diet - the diet of the poor was better
than the diet of the Nobles.
Little was known about nutrition and the Elizabethan diet of
the rich Nobles lacked Vitamin C, calcium and fibre. This led to an
assortment of health problems including bad teeth, skin
diseases, scurvy and rickets. Sugar was an expensive
commodity and was known to blacken the teeth. It became
fashionable to have blackened teeth and cosmetics were
applied to achieve this effect if enough quantities of sugar
were not available.
Elizabethan Food and Drink - Fasting
People of the Elizabethan era were highly religious and at certain times
the eating of meat was banned. This was not an occasional ban. Certain
religious observances banned the eating of meat on Mondays, Wednesdays
and Fridays. Meat was banned during the religious seasons of Lent and
Advent. Meat was also declined on the eves of many religious holidays.
Fasting and abstaining from eating meat was practised for over half the
days in the year.