Tudor Food and Drink Recipes
Food and drink in Tudor times was an important part of the leisure time of the nobility. While the poor man would be struggling to put enough food on the table to feed his family, the nobility would be feasting and banqueting regularly. The diet of the poor man was very plain compared to the food that was being served to the rich and powerful.
Lots of new and exciting foods were being introduced to England from the New World as well as new spices which brought with them a whole new world of flavours for the Tudors to enjoy. Unfortunately for the poor, much of these new and exciting ingredients were out of reach, leaving them with bread, cheese and turnips as staples of their diets. The newly discovered drinks were also out of their grasp, leaving them with ale and milk to drink as the water was simply not drinkable.
Tudor Period Food and Drink Had a Foreign Influence
The food that was being enjoyed by the Tudors was being influenced from a number of foreign influences. The diet included food that had been introduced to England by the Normans. This French and Scandinavian inspired food was much more sophisticated than what had previously been eaten as part of the English diet. The Crusades too had been influencing the food of England since the Middle Ages.
Being able to serve your guests food which had been enriched with imported herbs and spices was a sign that you were very wealthy, and of course sophisticated. Common herbs and spices in use at the time included cardamom, garlic, cloves and mace as well as coriander, nutmeg and raisins.
Tudor Era Spices Were Bought by Traders
The spice trade was one of the most important trades in England at the time. There was a lot of money to be made by importing exotic spices into the country. The New World, and Oriental herbs and spices were highly prized and priced, which meant that only the rich could afford to buy them.
Other new foods that started to arrive in England during this period were peanuts, tomatoes and turkey as well as avocado, pineapple and corn. Foods that we consider today to be native to England were introduced from overseas such as potatoes, red peppers, pumpkin and corn. None of which had ever been grown in English soil until they were brought back by traders and explorers.
What did the People during Tudors Times Drink?
It was not only new foods that were being introduced into the Tudor diet; new drinks too were also available. Tea which is now thought of as being the English national drink was introduced to the country by a Jesuit priest on his return from extensive travels in the Far East. Coffee and chocolate were also new additions to the list of available drinks. Tea, coffee and chocolate were not drunk as regularly as they are today; they were regarded more as medicines. Neither did the Tudors like their drinks hot; everything was enjoyed cold or cool. Everyday drinks in Tudor era included ales and beers as well as wine. Though milk was available it was only drunk by the poor.