What is trenchers?

During the Medieval Times, you couldn’t just go to Burger King and grab a cheeseburger. This page will tell you what food was like for people living in Medieval Times.

Meat was very popular. Although it had weird names, (fried pig’s head) it tasted good. Beef and mutton (lamb) were eaten a lot. Mutton is a kind of sheep. Venison, or deer meat, was eaten a lot too and so were poultry, game, and wild birds. The best way of preserving meat was to sprinkle it with salt. This worked, but not very well, so when the meat rotted, people would pour a sauce on it, and eat it anyway! Yuck!

Vegetables were also popular. People liked eating vegetables like onions, garlic, and herbs that they would pick from the castle garden. These were eaten with meats. During Lent, (Fridays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays) people would eat fish.

People used to have funny habits for serving food. For example, some people tried to make the animal look alive after cooking it! They would cover the meat with fur or feathers! Most people didn’t have plates. They used flattened bread instead, called trenchers. When they did get their hands on a cup or plate (forks were almost unknown), they shared with someone else! Used trenchers were given to the poor to eat.

What kind of food you ate depended on how rich you were. Wealthy families ate many different kinds of foods, but poor families didn’t get much. In fact, most poor families weren’t even allowed to eat white bread! That was for the kings to eat. Poorer families had to eat things like dark breads, oatmeal, and meat (mostly pork). Wealthy families ate meats like rabbit and game (birds).



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