20 Forgotten Medieval Foods That People Actually Ate In The Dark Ages

By Sophia Maddox | February 21, 2024

The Modest Beginning of Umble Pie

Step into the vibrant world of medieval cooking, where necessity and indulgence intermingle to create culinary wonders. Immerse yourself in a colorful array of dishes, ranging from daily essentials to festive delicacies. Medieval cuisine not only offers a window into the past but also serves as the birthplace of many cherished recipes that continue to grace our tables today.

Embark on this fascinating journey through time as we uncover the secrets of medieval gastronomy. From hearty feasts to humble fare, each dish tells a tale of resilience and creativity. Join us as we delve into the diverse flavors and cultural heritage of medieval cuisine, celebrating the ingenuity and spirit of those who crafted these culinary delights.

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Umble pie was a straightforward yet flavorful dish, reflecting practicality and thriftiness. This pie was popular among ordinary people. Cooks made the pie from organ meats like heart, liver, and kidneys from game animals such as deer or boar. The chef began by boiling the offal and then chopping them into small pieces. Then, they added mutton suet and mixed a handful of herbs like thyme, marjoram, borage, parsley, and rosemary.

The chef would prepare a pie pastry by combining white flour, water, and oil, creating a pliable dough. After kneading the dough until smooth, the cook rolled out the dough into thin sheets. He inserted the bottom crust into a pie pan. Then, the cook added the chopped boiled offal, mutton suet, and herbs. He spread the mixture out evenly over the bottom crust. Once the filling was in place, the cook added a top crust. Finally, he baked the pie until the crust turned golden brown and the filling was cooked through. This dish did not cost much to make. Therefore, poorer families often enjoyed it. Yet, it was delicious. Therefore, nobility often ate it for daily meals.

Snack on Porpoise at a Feast

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During medieval times, people living along the coast often ate porpoises. While ordinary people may have harpooned their own, the nobility would have had fishing crews. Porpoise pudding was a treat served at medieval feasts. The process began by combining porpoise blood, porpoise grease, and oatmeal in a bowl. The chef then stirred in a dash of salt, pepper, and ginger. Carefully, the chef filled a clean porpoise stomach halfway with this savory blend before sewing it closed. To prevent it from exploding during cooking, the chef used a needle to puncture tiny holes in the stomach.

The chef prepared a large pot with water and placed an overturned plate at its bottom. Then, he positioned the pot over a fire. He waited until the water boiled before carefully positioning the stomach on the plate. It was left to boil for three to four hours. After removing the stomach from the water, the stomach was placed on a plate to drain thoroughly. Finally, the chef placed the stomach near the campfire, letting it crisp until the skin achieved the desired crunchiness. The time required to prepare this dish often meant it was saved for special days.