Food distribution from 600 AD to the 1700s appears to have had more human dynamism than after the Industrial Revolution. Producers of the food items, loudly hawked their specialty foods door-to-door, walking in the streets, or at a public market (similar to our Farmer’s Markets)–often using song or rhymed verse. Here are pictures of our past “supermarkets,” food prep, and dining experiences in the English-speaking world from the book, Short History of the English People…. Hover your cursor over each photo for a description, and click on the picture for an enlargement.
1000s+: mostly used in medicines, also sultans, caliphs [New Guinea crop] “A Persian visitor claimed that in 1040, the sultan’s bakers transformed 162,000 pounds of sugar into a life-sized tree and other sweet replicas.” — Sugar: A Bittersweet History
1400s+: Royals, nobles, knights [addition of Mediterranean crop]
1500s+: European merchant class. [addition of New World crop]
The Tudor Period was from about 1485 to 1600. Hampton Court was built for Wolsey circa 1514, before Henry VIII attained it in 1529. More information about tudor cookery, and more videos at tudorcookery.com
Viking Breads from 400 -1050 AD contained finely sieved flours from flax (Linum usitatissimum) and gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa), both high in fat, and fine flours made from vetches, peas, and fieldweeds. The bread was unleavened. Some bread also had blood and hulled barley as ingredients. Read full article.
The vetches may have fooled a hungry Viking into thinking he or she was full for weeks at a time. Research is being done today for dieting purposes.