What about vitamins?
Expensive spices were actively replaced with herbs. The most commonly used parsley, cumin, mustard, mint and sage. Salads were practically not eaten: firstly, vegetables, due to their low calorie content, were not considered food as such, and secondly, some believed that they cause fever and should not be eaten raw. The poor had no time for superstition: their diet often included raw or minimally processed carrots, cabbage, onions, and beets.
Fruits and berries, of course, were eaten with pleasure: in the north they ate apples, strawberries, plums, in the south – figs, lemons and oranges.
It's not beer that kills people
They did not drink plain water in the Middle Ages: its purity caused fair fears. Thirst was quenched with diluted beer and wine. The latter could be afforded by aristocrats, rich monasteries and merchants. Unlike water, wine did not spoil for a long time, it was even recommended by doctors to improve digestion. The wine of the first extraction, which was not available to everyone, was considered good. The second and third pressings had a lower strength and poor quality; poor people bought such wine. The poorest had to make do with vinegar.
Much more often they drank cheaper beer. Some varieties were made without hops, the drink turned out to be very thick, for the peasants it was a familiar snack during field work. Such malt beer was consumed even by children. Milk was considered not a drink, but food: it replaced meat for those who could not afford it. Mostly old people and children drank fresh, the rest made buttermilk or whey from it. Cheese was already popular then: it was served as an independent dish and used in soups and pies.
Will there be dessert?
The main medieval sweets — dried fruits and honey. When pure sugar appeared in Europe, it was first attributed to spices (fortunately, it cost accordingly) and everything was cooked with it, except for desserts, adding to meat and seafood. Gradually they began to cover fruits, added to sauces. Waffles, tarts (open pies) and other sweet pastries appeared in the late Middle Ages.
They brought a knife with them: it was considered indecent to ask the owner for it.
Where they cooked
The kitchen was a spacious room with a large table, a hearth and a pot suspended from a wooden beam. A stove with a chimney was considered a luxury. The poor, whose houses had only one room, used the kitchen as a bedroom and living room.
Open fire often led to a fire, and if the flame spread to other rooms, the house could burn to the ground. Therefore, in the 12th century, some rich people began to build a kitchen separately from the residential block, but this practice spread only in modern times.
How they were stored
In the absence of refrigerators, products were actively preserved: dried in the sun, dried, smoked, salted, treated with sugar, vinegar and honey. If something needed to be preserved for a short time, melted lard was used to protect against bacteria.
Do you respect me?
Eating in the Middle Ages was a collective process: loners, chewing something apart from others, were not encouraged at all. The dish was taken out on a common plate, from which all the guests served. Spoons were used to eat soup, but they were not required. But the Europeans did not appreciate the forks: until the 18th century, they were mainly eaten by Italians. Each guest brought a knife with him: it was considered indecent to ask the host for it.
Tablecloths appeared in the 12th century. But not for beauty, but for business – they wiped their mouths and hands. Around the same time, women received the right to sit at the common table. At first, the innovation concerned only the mistress of the house, but then the guests began to bring their wives and daughters with them. The overlord always sat at the head of the table, next to him were the family and those close to him. Small knights with families and servants occupied places far from the owner. 10 facts about how people lived in the Middle Ages. And what, so it was possible?