Diet for a patient during sick-maintenance

Published in Features, Issue 5 (Sept/Oct 2011), Medieval History (pre-1500), Medieval Social Perspectives, Uncategorized, Volume 19

The basic fare was two properly baked loaves of bread daily. Other foods were prescribed at different times of year but varied according to the rank of the injured person. Nobles were to have salt-meat daily from New Year’s Eve to the beginning of Lent, garden herbs only during Lent, salt-meat twice a week from Easter to the end of summer, and fresh meat for the remainder of the year. The same seasonal variation was observed for ‘freemen’, but salt-meat only on Sundays. Garlic and celery (umus) were recommended, but ‘fish or flesh cured with sea salt, horseflesh and honey’ were forbidden. Only the nobles were allowed to drink ale (lind); others had to make do with sweet fruit, milk, garlic or celery. Lawful wives were allowed half the fare of their husbands, while concubines received only a third.

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