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Hello Lori, Thank you so much for your review. An active athlete 21 years a collegiate soccer referee , 13 years ago I contacted Parkinson's Disease. Weight loss system worksstale product and no one to answer to except counselors with no control. I look so forward to reading more of your blog! In 3 weeks, I have lost over 20 , although hungry, my physical condition is improving, and my leg swelling has almost returned to normal.

The Most Peculiar Food Trends From the Decade You Were Born

Medieval cuisine

If you can stick with it, a diet of 1, calories a day can certainly induce rapid weight loss. A common concern with such low-calorie diets is that you'll quickly regain the weight, but in a small clinical trial recently published in the journal Experimental Biology , after 10 months, only about one in five people regained all the weight they had lost.

Choose this more extreme plan only if quick weight loss is your priority. Within hours of posting a seven-second video of their son learning to walk, Whitney and Adam Dinkel were flooded with messages. The small town of Wenatchee, Washington, is at the center of a virtual gold rush — whether residents like it or not. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email. Cost per pound of weight loss: It's economical and has a proven track record. In the Zone Delivery Cost: No, unless you're looking for white-glove service.

Yes - it's got reasonably priced meal delivery and in-person support. Cost of losing 20 pounds: Featured Video of 2-year-old boy learning to walk inspires millions Within hours of posting a seven-second video of their son learning to walk, Whitney and Adam Dinkel were flooded with messages Cryptocurrency: Virtual money, real power The small town of Wenatchee, Washington, is at the center of a virtual gold rush — whether residents like it or not Notable deaths in Popular on CBS News.

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I love the plan ahead nature of breakfast too. If I was to make a massive pot for five days would I just times all the ingredients by 5? I am so excited to find this site.

Thank you for sharing your story with everyone, I am happy to know that there is someone out there that did look like me and successfully changed there life, I have been up and down on my weight since I can remember, I have started eating right and exercising more, but I do enjoy the good things but in moderation. Thank you and good luck on your ventures.

I love your site. I am so glad I found it. I was at my heaviest recently lbs and I am now down to and my first goal is to reach lbs. Thank you for sharing your very inspirational and motivating story. I am so excited to hear that you are writing 2 books. Thank you so much Amy! Yes, the first book to be released Spring will be a weight loss memoir.

The second is a cookbook: I just happened upon your blog and love, love, love it! I came across your blog through Pinterest. I am so inspired by your story and your journey!

I also struggled and continue to sturggle with my weight. Hearing your story is def great motivation and inspirational. I cant wait to try some of your recipes and i also cant belive you lost weight in Italy!! So excited to start my journey.

First of I am from Walpole so this is exciting and am currently in the whole weightloss stage, I have more to loose than you and you are inspiring. It makes me feel so good to read this blog and encourages me. I just need to make changes and move more. Thank you for this. So I have finally decided to leave a comment.

I come and check on your blog about twice a week for the past year or so. Can You Say for Dinner? I literally had to come to this post to find that your name is Andie.

So hello Andie Mitchell, my name is Kyle. I just wanted to thank you for the many amazing recipes and stories. I have been a pescetarian for the past 4 years and your blog gave me that love for food again. Seeing your pictures of the beauty of food has made me appreciate it again. It has really grown into a passion for me, thanks to you. So I just wanted to thank you. His all time favorite is the Roasted Broccoli.

He can never have enough!! I have tried 2 of the recipes already and am doing another tonight. I am diabetic and trying to lose 35lbs and you have recipes in here that I can eat and not feel guilty. I love Your blog. The recipes are a blast and fun! And thanks for sharing your journey. So appreciate What You Do! You are a great writer and your story of weight loss is one that I share. I will be back for more.

I found your blog from a recipe posted on Pinterest by one my favorite authors Laurie Notaro. I have been eating better and living a generally better lifestyle for a few months now, and all the good ideas I can find, the better! Thanks for the help!!! I have struggled with my weight for most of my 39 years. Thank you for sharing…. What a wonderful, inspiring blog!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us— and continuing to do so: I am so excited to have found you! You are honest with yourself and here on your blog.

You have given me inspiration to be a better person for me. The candy store by my house makes a jalapeno stuffed with peanut butter, dipped in chocolate.

They ship too, but I think that you should make them and then make a blog post about how to make them, so I can make them too! I love your website. I have been overweight all my life, like you I reached a point not long ago where it was scary… so far I am 20lbs lighter and still moving.

The sad thing is I actually work in fitness, I help other people get healthy but for a long time I had a false perception of myself. Your blog has added a whole new outlook to some of the ideals I have been looking into. I just wanted to say thank you! I will recommend this to many of my clients. I am embarking on this journey myself. Your blog is my new favorite website! You are a gem and an absolute inspiration! I look forward to your books. I am officially your new fan: So hello, my name is Michelle and I am now an official Andie follower: I just spent the last several minutes reading through your weight loss journey.

I am now hoping to keep coming back and checking in on you and your blog. I have to tell you, that your story was so impressional not only because of the success, but also because in the one photo of you with a friend uncovering a grill, you look so much like my own 20 year old daughter!

We have both been eating healthier for the past few months and we have both taken off over 15 pounds, but we have a long ways to go. You are a real cutie! Great choices of food and recipes.

Absolutely great food photography. Hello beautiful lady and lover of food, A friend of mine who follows my blog shared a link with me, your fab blog and I am so glad to meet you. Please come to my blog and we will have a cup of musings together.

We have much in common. I am also hoping to publish a book which would be the ultimate achievent for a whimsical dyslexic but quietly determined chocolate lover like me. Just another thing, how do you even go about being published? I have a great idea and almost manuscript for a book but I dont know what to do now? I found the buffalo chix wraps on Pinterest, then read more of your blog. Interesting story, great writing. Funny I have been a runner from high school. But I do think geez…do I have to work out the rest of my life?

It feels great to be healthy and strong, but sometimes it feels like an endless chore! I cried all the way through your bio posts… Everything you said, from the injury to the semester in Italy, resonated with me.

I am rethinking my goals as I begin my get-healthy journey. I am going to stay tuned for whatever else you have in store! I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! You can find the picture at http: Rules for the Sunshine Award: Link the award to the person who gave it to you.

Answer the questions that come with it. Pass it along to 10 people and let them know they have received it. Hi Andy I love your travel adventures, my boyfriend and I are planning on going to Cancun this summer, coud you tell me how did you transport from Cancun to Belize and CostaRica at a low cost?

You are hilarious, gorgeous, real, fantastic, and addictive. Maintaining is my biggest fear looming somewhere in the future — thanks for calming me down.

I just love your website! The more I find in it, the more I love it. I found you on Pinterest and am so glad I did! Thank you for sharing your journey…and you recipes! I found your website looking for a whipped frosting. I look forward to reading about your weight loss and how to keep it off. I stumbled across this page thanks to pinterest!

I have been trying to get into a more healthy habits like eating and exercising, but the food I always see looks horrible and I am not a big fan of exercising either! After reading a few of your blogs so far, I am truly inspired to lose some weight and even become Paula Deen along the way. Your recipes look amazing and you are truly an inspiration for many! I will definitely be purchasing both of your books once they are on the market! A beautiful story from a beautiful person. You are where I dream to be one day.

P and now I am on the path at 7 or so lbs. Interestingly I have found through journaling that my eating habits though not the best were not the main problem. I need to constantly remind myself to just get up and move every day and things will happen. Your bit about the green field being the same whether you are lying and crying or spinning and laughing… well something to that effect have touched me!

Andie, I just came across your site today, and just spent the past two hours reading as much as I could! You are an extremely good writer, and I feel as if I know you by just reading your words. Your journey amazes me and inspires me, and I guess I just want to say thank you. I look forward to trying some of your recipes, and because of you I now have a strong sudden urge to go on a nice relaxing walk. I love your site and thanks for the granola bar recipe yesterday! Looking forward to knowing more about you and your recipes.

I am really looking forward to trying out your recipes they all look so delicious and healthy! I think your recipes will be a great help over the next year!!

Accidentally found your blog while searching for can tuna recipes and loved your blog! Your story is so inspirational and so true! Thanks for sharing your story and keep me motivated: Thanks for sharing your story and keep me motivated! I have no words except WOW! You are an amazing person, and an inspiration for so many! I was searching for dinner ideas on Google and your site came up. I clicked on it and began reading, and was teary-eyed when I finished!

Thank you, thank you for sharing your life story. I am going to read every single post on your site! Reading about your exercise history and what you miss from pounds ago help to put a lot of things into perspective. Thank you for your experience and your honesty. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Happened to find your blog by chance on pinterest! And never too late to write about it either-thanks for the inspiration! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

I just finished reading your entire blog. All the stories and scanned a few recipes. I laughed and cried. But mostly just gave myself time to chew on the truths presented and how they mirrored many of my own struggles. Thank you for sharing you life, heart, struggles and triumphs! I have been blessed by you and your blog this morning. And, have taken away many nurturing offerings that I will continue to chew on and apply to my life.

I am currently in the midst of my weight lost journey and when I started, I tried to find other success stories from women of my same height and weight… which is incredibly close to yours… and also I love food… good food… and travel.

After reading all of your post I found a kindred spirit. Someone who loved the feel of good fashion and cheap junk food: Your blog has been an inspiration and above that I adore really good writing, which you master in a wonderful, simple, enthralling way. I stubbled upon your blog and I have been reading for 2 hours now! You are my new inspiration! I have slowly been losing for the past 2.

I focus on food instead of the people or activity at family gatherings and social events. I research healthy eating, plan meals, make grocery lists. Food consumes my life and I feel trapped in a prison. When I try to control my portions and diet, I miss the quantity of food- not the type of foods necessarily.

What I really want is love from my parents. Addiction to food does seem the hardest to break free from compared to all other addictions. We need food to survive. There are times I wish I could.

I envy people who eat without having any thoughts or emotions while they eat. But I can see, like you said, that I have to make peace with it. I need to view food for what it really is- not as my enemy or as my source of love. In November , during the fall semester of my senior year at college, I reached my goal weight.

I had more energy and confidence. I could wear clothes I wanted to and truly felt pretty. I felt strong and fearless, like I could do anything I tried rock-climbing, white-water rafting, scuba diving after I was able to lose the weight.

Just as you described, I had no idea how to maintain this weight loss and live a balanced life in relation to eating and exercise. I felt exhausted after kicking my butt punishing my body through running and not allowing myself to indulge in foods I enjoyed for 9 months.

I felt overwhelmed by the thought that I would have to keep up this level of activity and strictness of diet in order to stay at my ideal weight. So I started to relax and reward myself. I slowly stopped running, cutting 1 day out of the week at a time. I gradually started to stretch my stomach back out as I overate several times a week. I remembered how fat and uncomfortable I felt and I never wanted to feel that way again. Yet, here I am. I have so many good reasons- numerous motivations- to lose the weight again.

But your story of success is so encouraging to me. I hope I will be one of those people one day. Your candid accounts of your childhood, relationship with food in the past and present is liberating. Looking forward to your books. I just want you to know that I came on this website by chance while looking for a cupcake recipe and ended up finding inspiration.

I mean, you—your past self—you look like me. Past the lb mark, looking for a way out. All the best to you, and keep on with your wonderful recipes and awesome blog!

I love your blog — some fantastic looking recipes and a beautiful photo of you too. Congratulations on your weight loss — what a feat! I just discovered your site via Pinterest. I had to let you know how much I like your site, everything about it. Your cooking speaks to my palate and your writing is fantastically entertaining.

You inspire me to be a better blogger! I love your blog, I found it a few weeks ago and have tried some of the recipes. Did you change they way it is laid out? I felt like I was reading something written by me, in the future. Anyway, well done, and congratulations on your book deal. Loving your new blog style, but where oh where did the recipe index go?

My mommy of 3 brain is not strong enough to remember even approximates of when you may have posted to go back through pages and pages of blog entries: LOVE your recipes too…but…I tried the cornbread recipe today and I think there may be a mistake in the amount of baking powder??

It was good and lovely except for that and I will try again with the recipe. Can you please verify?? When possible, rich hosts retired with their consorts to private chambers where the meal could be enjoyed in greater exclusivity and privacy. Being invited to a lord's chambers was a great privilege and could be used as a way to reward friends and allies and to awe subordinates.

It allowed lords to distance themselves further from the household and to enjoy more luxurious treats while serving inferior food to the rest of the household that still dined in the great hall.

At major occasions and banquets, however, the host and hostess generally dined in the great hall with the other diners. However, it can be assumed there were no such extravagant luxuries as multiple courses , luxurious spices or hand-washing in scented water in everyday meals. Things were different for the wealthy. Before the meal and between courses, shallow basins and linen towels were offered to guests so they could wash their hands, as cleanliness was emphasized.

Social codes made it difficult for women to uphold the ideal of immaculate neatness and delicacy while enjoying a meal, so the wife of the host often dined in private with her entourage or ate very little at such feasts. She could then join dinner only after the potentially messy business of eating was done. Overall, fine dining was a predominantly male affair, and it was uncommon for anyone but the most honored of guests to bring his wife or her ladies-in-waiting.

The hierarchical nature of society was reinforced by etiquette where the lower ranked were expected to help the higher, the younger to assist the elder, and men to spare women the risk of sullying dress and reputation by having to handle food in an unwomanly fashion.

Shared drinking cups were common even at lavish banquets for all but those who sat at the high table , as was the standard etiquette of breaking bread and carving meat for one's fellow diners. Food was mostly served on plates or in stew pots, and diners would take their share from the dishes and place it on trenchers of stale bread, wood or pewter with the help of spoons or bare hands. In lower-class households it was common to eat food straight off the table.

Knives were used at the table, but most people were expected to bring their own, and only highly favored guests would be given a personal knife. A knife was usually shared with at least one other dinner guest, unless one was of very high rank or well-acquainted with the host. Forks for eating were not in widespread usage in Europe until the early modern period , and early on were limited to Italy. Even there it was not until the 14th century that the fork became common among Italians of all social classes.

The change in attitudes can be illustrated by the reactions to the table manners of the Byzantine princess Theodora Doukaina in the late 11th century. She was the wife of Domenico Selvo , the Doge of Venice , and caused considerable dismay among upstanding Venetians. The foreign consort's insistence on having her food cut up by her eunuch servants and then eating the pieces with a golden fork shocked and upset the diners so much that there was a claim that Peter Damian , Cardinal Bishop of Ostia , later interpreted her refined foreign manners as pride and referred to her as " All types of cooking involved the direct use of fire.

Kitchen stoves did not appear until the 18th century, and cooks had to know how to cook directly over an open fire.

Ovens were used, but they were expensive to construct and only existed in fairly large households and bakeries. It was common for a community to have shared ownership of an oven to ensure that the bread baking essential to everyone was made communal rather than private. There were also portable ovens designed to be filled with food and then buried in hot coals, and even larger ones on wheels that were used to sell pies in the streets of medieval towns.

But for most people, almost all cooking was done in simple stewpots, since this was the most efficient use of firewood and did not waste precious cooking juices, making potages and stews the most common dishes. This was considered less of a problem in a time of back-breaking toil, famine, and a greater acceptance—even desirability—of plumpness; only the poor or sick, and devout ascetics , were thin. Fruit was readily combined with meat, fish and eggs. The recipe for Tart de brymlent , a fish pie from the recipe collection Forme of Cury , includes a mix of figs , raisins , apples and pears with fish salmon , codling or haddock and pitted damson plums under the top crust.

This meant that food had to be "tempered" according to its nature by an appropriate combination of preparation and mixing certain ingredients, condiments and spices; fish was seen as being cold and moist, and best cooked in a way that heated and dried it, such as frying or oven baking, and seasoned with hot and dry spices; beef was dry and hot and should therefore be boiled ; pork was hot and moist and should therefore always be roasted.

In a recipe for quince pie, cabbage is said to work equally well, and in another turnips could be replaced by pears. The completely edible shortcrust pie did not appear in recipes until the 15th century. Before that the pastry was primarily used as a cooking container in a technique known as ' huff paste '. Extant recipe collections show that gastronomy in the Late Middle Ages developed significantly.

New techniques, like the shortcrust pie and the clarification of jelly with egg whites began to appear in recipes in the late 14th century and recipes began to include detailed instructions instead of being mere memory aids to an already skilled cook. In most households, cooking was done on an open hearth in the middle of the main living area, to make efficient use of the heat.

This was the most common arrangement, even in wealthy households, for most of the Middle Ages, where the kitchen was combined with the dining hall. Towards the Late Middle Ages a separate kitchen area began to evolve. The first step was to move the fireplaces towards the walls of the main hall, and later to build a separate building or wing that contained a dedicated kitchen area, often separated from the main building by a covered arcade.

This way, the smoke, odors and bustle of the kitchen could be kept out of sight of guests, and the fire risk lessened. Many basic variations of cooking utensils available today, such as frying pans , pots , kettles , and waffle irons , already existed, although they were often too expensive for poorer households.

Other tools more specific to cooking over an open fire were spits of various sizes, and material for skewering anything from delicate quails to whole oxen. Utensils were often held directly over the fire or placed into embers on tripods.

To assist the cook there were also assorted knives, stirring spoons, ladles and graters. In wealthy households one of the most common tools was the mortar and sieve cloth, since many medieval recipes called for food to be finely chopped, mashed, strained and seasoned either before or after cooking. This was based on a belief among physicians that the finer the consistency of food, the more effectively the body would absorb the nourishment.

It also gave skilled cooks the opportunity to elaborately shape the results. Fine-textured food was also associated with wealth; for example, finely milled flour was expensive, while the bread of commoners was typically brown and coarse. A typical procedure was farcing from the Latin farcio , "to cram" , to skin and dress an animal, grind up the meat and mix it with spices and other ingredients and then return it into its own skin, or mold it into the shape of a completely different animal.

The kitchen staff of huge noble or royal courts occasionally numbered in the hundreds: While an average peasant household often made do with firewood collected from the surrounding woodlands, the major kitchens of households had to cope with the logistics of daily providing at least two meals for several hundred people. Guidelines on how to prepare for a two-day banquet can be found in the cookbook Du fait de cuisine "On cookery" written in in part to compete with the court of Burgundy [44] by Maistre Chiquart, master chef of Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy.

Food preservation methods were basically the same as had been used since antiquity, and did not change much until the invention of canning in the early 19th century.

The most common and simplest method was to expose foodstuffs to heat or wind to remove moisture , thereby prolonging the durability if not the flavor of almost any type of food from cereals to meats; the drying of food worked by drastically reducing the activity of various water-dependent microorganisms that cause decay. In warm climates this was mostly achieved by leaving food out in the sun, and in the cooler northern climates by exposure to strong winds especially common for the preparation of stockfish , or in warm ovens, cellars, attics, and at times even in living quarters.

Subjecting food to a number of chemical processes such as smoking , salting , brining , conserving or fermenting also made it keep longer. Most of these methods had the advantage of shorter preparation times and of introducing new flavors. Smoking or salting meat of livestock butchered in autumn was a common household strategy to avoid having to feed more animals than necessary during the lean winter months.

Vegetables, eggs or fish were also often pickled in tightly packed jars, containing brine and acidic liquids lemon juice , verjuice or vinegar. Another method was to seal the food by cooking it in sugar or honey or fat, in which it was then stored. Microbial modification was also encouraged, however, by a number of methods; grains, fruit and grapes were turned into alcoholic drinks thus killing any pathogens, and milk was fermented and curdled into a multitude of cheeses or buttermilk.

The majority of the European population before industrialization lived in rural communities or isolated farms and households. The norm was self-sufficiency with only a small percentage of production being exported or sold in markets. Large towns were exceptions and required their surrounding hinterlands to support them with food and fuel. The dense urban population could support a wide variety of food establishments that catered to various social groups.

Many of the poor city dwellers had to live in cramped conditions without access to a kitchen or even a hearth, and many did not own the equipment for basic cooking. Food from vendors was in such cases the only option. Cookshops could either sell ready-made hot food, an early form of fast food , or offer cooking services while the customers supplied some or all of the ingredients.

Travellers, such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, made use of professional cooks to avoid having to carry their provisions with them. For the more affluent, there were many types of specialist that could supply various foods and condiments: Well-off citizens who had the means to cook at home could on special occasions hire professionals when their own kitchen or staff could not handle the burden of throwing a major banquet. Urban cookshops that catered to workers or the destitute were regarded as unsavory and disreputable places by the well-to-do and professional cooks tended to have a bad reputation.

Geoffrey Chaucer 's Hodge of Ware, the London cook from the Canterbury Tales , is described as a sleazy purveyor of unpalatable food.

French cardinal Jacques de Vitry 's sermons from the early 13th century describe sellers of cooked meat as an outright health hazard. The stereotypical cook in art and literature was male, hot-tempered, prone to drunkenness, and often depicted guarding his stewpot from being pilfered by both humans and animals.

In the early 15th century, the English monk John Lydgate articulated the beliefs of many of his contemporaries by proclaiming that "Hoot ffir [fire] and smoke makith many an angry cook. The period between c. More intense agriculture on an ever-increasing acreage resulted in a shift from animal products, like meat and dairy, to various grains and vegetables as the staple of the majority population.

A bread-based diet became gradually more common during the 15th century and replaced warm intermediate meals that were porridge- or gruel-based. Leavened bread was more common in wheat-growing regions in the south, while unleavened flatbread of barley, rye or oats remained more common in northern and highland regions, and unleavened flatbread was also common as provisions for troops.

The most common grains were rye , barley , buckwheat , millet and oats. Rice remained a fairly expensive import for most of the Middle Ages and was grown in northern Italy only towards the end of the period. Wheat was common all over Europe and was considered to be the most nutritious of all grains, but was more prestigious and thus more expensive. The finely sifted white flour that modern Europeans are most familiar with was reserved for the bread of the upper classes. As one descended the social ladder, bread became coarser, darker, and its bran content increased.

In times of grain shortages or outright famine, grains could be supplemented with cheaper and less desirable substitutes like chestnuts , dried legumes , acorns , ferns , and a wide variety of more or less nutritious vegetable matter. One of the most common constituents of a medieval meal, either as part of a banquet or as a small snack, were sops , pieces of bread with which a liquid like wine , soup , broth , or sauce could be soaked up and eaten.

Another common sight at the medieval dinner table was the frumenty , a thick wheat porridge often boiled in a meat broth and seasoned with spices. Porridges were also made of every type of grain and could be served as desserts or dishes for the sick, if boiled in milk or almond milk and sweetened with sugar.

Pies filled with meats, eggs, vegetables, or fruit were common throughout Europe, as were turnovers , fritters , doughnuts , and many similar pastries. By the Late Middle Ages biscuits cookies in the U. Grain, either as bread crumbs or flour, was also the most common thickener of soups and stews, alone or in combination with almond milk.

The importance of bread as a daily staple meant that bakers played a crucial role in any medieval community. Bread consumption was high in most of Western Europe by the 14th century. Estimates of bread consumption from different regions are fairly similar: Among the first town guilds to be organized were the bakers', and laws and regulations were passed to keep bread prices stable.

The English Assize of Bread and Ale of listed extensive tables where the size, weight, and price of a loaf of bread were regulated in relation to grain prices. The baker's profit margin stipulated in the tables was later increased through successful lobbying from the London Baker's Company by adding the cost of everything from firewood and salt to the baker's wife, house, and dog.

Since bread was such a central part of the medieval diet, swindling by those who were trusted with supplying the precious commodity to the community was considered a serious offense. Bakers who were caught tampering with weights or adulterating dough with less expensive ingredients could receive severe penalties.

This gave rise to the " baker's dozen ": While grains were the primary constituent of most meals, vegetables such as cabbage , chard , onions , garlic and carrots were common foodstuffs. Many of these were eaten daily by peasants and workers and were less prestigious than meat. The cookbooks, which appeared in the late Middle Ages and were intended mostly for those who could afford such luxuries, contained only a small number of recipes using vegetables as the main ingredient.

The lack of recipes for many basic vegetable dishes, such as potages , has been interpreted not to mean that they were absent from the meals of the nobility, but rather that they were considered so basic that they did not require recording. Various legumes , like chickpeas , fava beans and field peas were also common and important sources of protein , especially among the lower classes. With the exception of peas, legumes were often viewed with some suspicion by the dietitians advising the upper class, partly because of their tendency to cause flatulence but also because they were associated with the coarse food of peasants.

The importance of vegetables to the common people is illustrated by accounts from 16th-century Germany stating that many peasants ate sauerkraut from three to four times a day.

Fruit was popular and could be served fresh, dried, or preserved, and was a common ingredient in many cooked dishes. The fruits of choice in the south were lemons , citrons , bitter oranges the sweet type was not introduced until several hundred years later , pomegranates , quinces , and, of course, grapes.

Farther north, apples , pears , plums , and strawberries were more common. Figs and dates were eaten all over Europe, but remained rather expensive imports in the north.

Common and often basic ingredients in many modern European cuisines like potatoes , kidney beans , cacao , vanilla , tomatoes , chili peppers and maize were not available to Europeans until after , after European contact with the Americas, and even then it often took considerable time, sometimes several centuries, for the new foodstuffs to be accepted by society at large.

Milk was an important source of animal protein for those who could not afford meat. It would mostly come from cows, but milk from goats and sheep was also common. Plain fresh milk was not consumed by adults except the poor or sick, and was usually reserved for the very young or elderly. Poor adults would sometimes drink buttermilk or whey or milk that was soured or watered down.

On occasion it was used in upper-class kitchens in stews, but it was difficult to keep fresh in bulk and almond milk was generally used in its stead. Cheese was far more important as a foodstuff, especially for common people, and it has been suggested that it was, during many periods, the chief supplier of animal protein among the lower classes. There were also whey cheeses , like ricotta , made from by-products of the production of harder cheeses.

Cheese was used in cooking for pies and soups, the latter being common fare in German-speaking areas. Butter , another important dairy product, was in popular use in the regions of Northern Europe that specialized in cattle production in the latter half of the Middle Ages, the Low Countries and Southern Scandinavia. While most other regions used oil or lard as cooking fats, butter was the dominant cooking medium in these areas. Its production also allowed for a lucrative butter export from the 12th century onward.

While all forms of wild game were popular among those who could obtain it, most meat came from domestic animals. Domestic working animals that were no longer able to work were slaughtered but not particularly appetizing and therefore were less valued as meat. Beef was not as common as today because raising cattle was labor-intensive, requiring pastures and feed, and oxen and cows were much more valuable as draught animals and for producing milk.

Mutton and lamb were fairly common, especially in areas with a sizeable wool industry, as was veal. Domestic pigs often ran freely even in towns and could be fed on just about any organic waste, and suckling pig was a sought-after delicacy. Just about every part of the pig was eaten, including ears, snout, tail, tongue , and womb.

Intestines, bladder and stomach could be used as casings for sausage or even illusion food such as giant eggs. Among the meats that today are rare or even considered inappropriate for human consumption are the hedgehog and porcupine , occasionally mentioned in late medieval recipe collections. In England, they were deliberately introduced by the 13th century and their colonies were carefully protected. They were of particular value for monasteries, because newborn rabbits were allegedly declared fish or, at least, not-meat by the church and therefore they could be eaten during Lent.

A wide range of birds were eaten, including swans , peafowl , quail , partridge , storks , cranes , larks , linnets and other songbirds that could be trapped in nets, and just about any other wild bird that could be hunted. Swans and peafowl were domesticated to some extent, but were only eaten by the social elite, and more praised for their fine appearance as stunning entertainment dishes, entremets , than for their meat.

As today, geese and ducks had been domesticated but were not as popular as the chicken , the fowl equivalent of the pig. But at the Fourth Council of the Lateran , Pope Innocent III explicitly prohibited the eating of barnacle geese during Lent, arguing that they lived and fed like ducks and so were of the same nature as other birds.

Meats were more expensive than plant foods. Though rich in protein , the calorie -to-weight ratio of meat was less than that of plant food. Meat could be up to four times as expensive as bread. Fish was up to 16 times as costly, and was expensive even for coastal populations. This meant that fasts could mean an especially meager diet for those who could not afford alternatives to meat and animal products like milk and eggs.

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