Before 1500: What Did Europeans Eat?

I guess it was turnips, wheat, barley, rye, eggs, onions and apples. Slight exaggeration perhaps, but the foods we often associate with Europe were developed elsewhere. What would Spanish and Italian food be without tomatoes? The foods the Native agricultural geniuses of the Americas shared with Europeans were worth more than any treasure. Check out this list:

Food from the First People of the Americas:

๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿฅ‘ ๐Ÿฆฌ ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ ๐Ÿฆƒ ๐Ÿซ ๐Ÿฅ” ๐ŸŒฝ ๐Ÿ… ๐Ÿ  ๐Ÿฅœ ๐Ÿซ‘ ๐ŸŒป

  • papaya
  • papaya
  • guava
  • pineapple
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • black raspberry
  • cranberries
  • pawpaws
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • potato
  • cassava
  • pinto, navy & kidney beans
  • hot peppers
  • bell peppers
  • corn
  • squash (pumpkins!)
  • sweet potatoes
  • wild rice
  • quinoa
  • amaranth
  • peanuts
  • cashews
  • pecans
  • sunflower seeds
  • turkey
  • bison
  • maple syrup
  • chocolate
  • vanilla

Which of these foods did you eat this week?

ยกOlรฉ! -Rebecca

This post is part ofย Debbieโ€™s Six Word Saturday.

Cut Butternut Squash Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Rebecca Cuningham

52 thoughts on “Before 1500: What Did Europeans Eat?

  1. When I was in the education team at Fountains Abbey, the children were always fascinated by the session in the refectory. They coud barely imagine a world without potatoes – actually, I can’t either. No tomatoes either? Whatever next? No strawberries either? They were not about to sign up! For myself, I’m glad I don’t live in a world without chillies, or chocolate. Or coffee. Should that be on the list, or did that come to us from elsewhere? Great post, Rebecca!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aha interesting.
    A wide variety of food.
    ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿฅ’๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿฅ›
    Generally in morning I have
    Oats, milk, dates, amla, walnut,almonds, raisins.
    Lunch I have vegetable, lentils, curd, eggs, ๐Ÿฅ’, ๐Ÿ…, and chapati, chapati is made of wheat.
    Else it could be of pearl millet, or corn flour (good in winters).
    Tomorrow probably balls of bottle gourd, called as lauki k kofte.
    Then fruits in snack 1
    Veggis and tomatoes in snack 2
    Then light dinner. With eggs, 1 chapati, and sabji(vegetable)

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      1. Yes, I saw the pic and appreciate that you shared it here. I am not sure if it’s available here. Certain things like Dragon fruit, avacodos etc. are available less here or hard to find.
        Even broccoli is not very common here. People are more inclined towards local grown.
        I will go to the vegetable market later today ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s an activity an ambivert like me surprisingly enjoy.

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      2. Markets can be beautiful with their displays of produce. The latin name of the squash is: Cucurbita moschata. Don’t know which are your other languages, in Hindi it’s เค•เฅเค•เฅเคฐเคฌเฅ€เคŸเคพ เคฎเฅ‹เคธเคšเคพเคŸเคพ

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  3. Not just the Europeans but also Indians (the people of India)! Today we cannot imagine life without potatoes and tomatoes but indeed before 1500s, the rest of the world didnโ€™t have these! Great โ€œfoodโ€ for thought ๐Ÿ˜€. (And this week I ate so many of the items on the list!)

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  4. Since I seem to have come down with a cold today, I’ve had only homemade granola with blueberries for breakfast and white tea with peppermint but I see blueberries are on the list. ๐Ÿ™‚ So 50% of my food today is from the list. Ha! My husband is on his way to the Chinese restaurant to pick up wonton soup with veggies in the all important chicken broth. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Love this post! Was definitely interesting to check out the pre-1500 meals ..:) I went through the list and realized I have eaten a dozen of the items here this week(not any of the meats, as am a vegetarian)..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Vidya. I imagine the foods of the Americas are especially important to vegetarians because there are such good complete proteins. On your website I enjoyed reading your poem; never far away from my thoughts. Have a good Sunday!


  6. Interesting post Rebecca. This week I have eaten apples and rice, the usual food, nothing special. Although I would love to try those delicious papaya and pineapples , they are so healthy too and its summer now we need all the water plus juices to squash the thirst ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿถ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ

    Really nice post and it made me to be famished and peckish ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I must admit, I didn’t have a single thing on the list since most of them are out of season or not grown locally. Europe had spelt since around 5000BC. Parsnips, salsify, Kohlrabi, cabbage, peas, fennel, long and broad beans, endive and leeks were available in medieval Europe.

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