Medieval Foods

This passage talks about what different classes of people ate during the Middle Ages.

Lexile Level: 790L

Categories: History Sports & Health


What people ate in the Middle Ages depended upon how rich they were. Poor people ate barley, which is a type of grass, like wheat, except it doesn't taste as good. They made dark, heavy bread from barley, or made it into a porridge-like oatmeal. People grew vegetables like carrots, cabbage, onions, and garlic and added them to barley soup. They made cheese to put on the barley bread, and sometimes poor people picked apples or pears and made pies. They used honey to sweeten the fruit. Some people grew herbs to make the soups taste better. Rich people had plenty of food. Their bread was made of wheat and tasted better. They ate plenty of meat like pork, beef, lamb, and rabbit. They also ate chickens, geese, and other birds. If they lived near the water, they ate fish too. Rich people seasoned their food with expensive spices. The poor didn't even have salt and pepper. Rich people drank wine with meals. Poor people made their own beer, out of barley, of course!


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