The booming wool trade had changed the face of English agriculture and the land enclosures led to an increase in the number of people living in poverty and the introduction of the 1601 Poor Law. The food available to the Elizabethan Upper Classes differed considerable to the food available to the lower classes.
Elizabethan Food - Meats available
Elizabethan Food - Fish available
Elizabethan Food - Bread
The dairy products produced in the Elizabethan era included milk, cream, butter and cheese. Milk was used as an Elizabethan beverage and cream, curds, whey, butter and cheese was a by-product of this basic commodity. Strawberries and cream was on the menu in Elizabethan England. Eggs were also consumed. Butter was stored in wooden barrels called firkins but only used by the Upper Classes for cooking food. Several types of cheese was available. Hard cheeses were made from skimmed mild, soft cheeses were made from whole milk. All of these dairy products were deemed inferior foods and therefore only to be eaten by the poor.
Elizabethan Food - Vegetables
The term "vegetable" was used only rarely during the Elizabethan era. Instead the term "herb" covered all green plants, roots and herbs. 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.