were largely vegetarian. Poor Saxons ate chicken, bacon and
pork sausages, but red meat (farmed and hunted) was only for
the rich. Pork also seems to have been very popular amongst
the British. They liked beef and mutton
too, but there does not seem to have been much British
came mostly from eggs (chicken, duck & goose), butter,
cheese and fish.
fishing rods and fish weirs (wickerwork funnel traps) were
used to catch fish. The Saxons also imported dried fish from Norway.
Freshwater fish included burbot, eels, lampreys, pike and
trout. Marine fish and other sea-food included cod, crab,
flounders, herring, lobster, oysters, plaice, salmon, sprats,
the staple of both the British and Saxon diet, but it was later replaced by
wheat. Both were made into bread and beer. The Saxons also
made pottage or 'briw'
(barley or wheat boiled up with peas, beans or vegetables).
ground by hand in rotary querns (two big spinning stones). Later water mills were built.
wholemeal and baked on hearth stones (not
in ovens). Saxon loaves were small and round. These were the real "cakes" that King
Alfred burnt. British loaves were round and flat.
vegetable that Saxons ate was the leek, but they also liked
onions, garlic, cabbages (which were more like curly kale in those
days), turnips, beetroot, parsnips, white carrots, peas and
mostly used as flavourings. Herbs were mostly used in
medicine, but pepper, coriander and ginger were not unknown in
expensive cooking. There was no sugar, so honey was used as a sweetener.
Salt came from the salt mines in Worcestershire.
course, was always popular: apples, pears, plums, cherries,
blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes.
from springs was safe to drink. Most people (including children)
drank beer. Some people drank milk (from cows and sheep). The British
liked cider. Rich Saxon thanes,
British lords and their
friends also drank wine and mead (alcoholic honey
drink). The British probably maintained a wine trade with
Europe for some years after the Roman
with knives and the rich drank from drinking
horns or glass 'claw