Food and Feasts James Ward

Daily Meals

Meals in the Elizabethan Era varied depending on your social status. For example people in the lower half of the social pyramid only ate up to two meals a day where as the wealthy could consume a whopping 4 full meals a day which would consist of breakfast, dinner (which is like our modern day lunch), supper, and dessert. (Singman, 132)

Dining Utensils

Dining utensils in the Elizabethan Era varied between social classes just as the meals did during this time period. The wealthy would use beautiful hand crafted knives and spoons which were carried in a ornamental case (Singman, 138). The common, unlike the wealthy land owners would not eat with forks. Instead they ate with mainly there hands. Bowls and Plates were mainly made out of wood for the commoners.

Food at Events

Many foods would have been served at large gatherings such as banquets. Some of these foods included fruits such as apples, pears, walnuts, and filberts (Folger Shakespeare Library, 17). Typically the lady of the house and her maids would cook the meats which included a variety of birds, followed by fish, mutton, and pork (Folger Shakespeare Library, 14). Vegetables included carrots, turnips, and parsnips. (Folger Shakespeare Library, 18). Obviously all of this food had to have cost a large sum of money so the people who would host the events were usually extremely wealthy land owners or political figures. (Olsen 144)


  1. Forgeng, Jeffrey L. Daily Life in Elizabethan England. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1995. Print.
  2. Nelson, Walter. "Elizabethan Dining." Elizabethan Dining | Mass Historia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.
  3. Caton, Mary Anne., and Joan Thirsk. Fooles and Fricassees: Food in Shakespeare's England: With an Essay by Joan Thirsk. Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1999. Print.
  4. All Things Shakespeare Volume 1
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