Preparing a Typical Peasant Meal From Medieval Times

Peasant Food

Jason Kingsley OBE of Modern History TV invited food historian Chris Carr in the preparation of what would a typical meal prepared by peasants, farmers and innkeepers during the medieval times. The menu consisted of a barley/rye flour brown bread, salmon steaks with sorrel sauce and pottage (mushy) peas, all served with a side of ale (or drinkable water, if available) served as the main meal of the day.

A meal like this in present day would not only not be unusual, but would probably cost quite a bit. Carr further explains that those who worked in the field burned a lot of calories, so cold meals like bacon or cheese with beer bread would be eaten during the day.

…This would actually be your midday meal. Eating in the Middle Ages was that you would have breakfast which would be bread and ale then you would stop work in the middle of the day and have the main meal of the day, which is quite important at this time of year because by the time you come in in the evening it’s dark right and again you probably have something like bread and cheese or pheasant and ham. You have a cold meal so you eat your main meal in the middle of the day when you can see what you’re eating.

They followed up with a video showing what rich nobles ate in medieval times.

A knight would often be expected to attend at a feast given by those of even higher standing than himself, perhaps a high ranking bishop or even the King.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.