What Type Of Food Did The Settlers Consume?
The settlers in America, who came in hordes from England, had to adapt to the drastically different living conditions and that was reflected on the food consumed by the settlers. They constantly had to go without supplies from England. So they couldn’t use the cooking techniques they were used to and had to develop new cooking methods. This change of lifestyle reflected on the settlers’ food. Here are some of the cooking methods that they adopted from Native Americans.
Food consumed by settlers:
Meals: The settlers began their day with a glass of ale. Breakfast was often had after the preliminary chores were done in the morning. And the breakfast usually consisted of bread, butter and cheese. The lunch was called dinner and was an elaborate affair with everything from meats, side dishes and desserts finding its way into the table. The meal that was had late in the evening was called supper and was a simple meal, usually the leftovers from the dinner.
Vegetables: The settlers grew their own vegetables but it was difficult for them initially to decide what vegetables would grow best in the new terrain. They learned to grow native vegetables and mostly depended on root vegetables like potato and beans and fruit that would grow well irrespective of the geographical condition. These foods were preserved by pickling, salting, or drying for a rainy day.
Meat and fish: The only source of proteins for the settlers was the meat they could hunt or the fish from the water bodies. They used native American techniques to find these foods. But during warmer months, it was difficult to store the meat that they hunted or the fish. So they had to go without it for months together. Eventually, they also set up cold storages where they could store the food.
Grains and beverages: Breads were made over an open fire and would find an important place in all the meals. It was either oatmeal-based or cornmeal-based depending on the region where it was cultivated the best. Some settlers could even brew beer from barley but most of them drank water. Milk too was consumed but mostly was made to cheese or butter and was used along the meals. When it was available, even the children drank ale.
Thus, the food consumed by settlers was drastically different from the present times. But we should assume that they ate healthy because they had the local and seasonal produce by default rather than out of choice.
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