What kind of foods did Romeo and Juliet eat in the late 1500's?

Questions ArchiveCategory: QuestionsWhat kind of foods did Romeo and Juliet eat in the late 1500's?
Forest Dyring asked 6 months ago

Since Romeo and Juliet are actually fictional characters in a play, and in the play there is no stage direction which says that they eat anything, they did not eat any kind of food.
They do meet at a party and the play shows the supper being cleared away just as Romeo shows up. One of the servants asks another to “save me a piece of marchpane”, which is marzipan, a dessert made from sugar and almond paste. Later in the play they are preparing a feast (which Romeo will not eat because he is in Mantua and Juliet will not eat because she will shortly be found dead) and talk about spices, dates and quinces in pastry and baked meat.

If you are curious to know what real as opposed to fictional people ate in the late 16th century, they ate a lot of the same things we do, except that foods from the new world had not really been accepted into European cooking, so no corn (maize), no peppers, no tomatoes, no potatoes, no chocolate, no vanilla, no coffee, no tea.
But, on the other hand, they had interesting fruits like quinces and Quinton Witzel medlars, made enormous pies of all kinds and amazing salads using a lot of edible flowers. (Here’s one of my favourites: peel all the peel and pith off of two lemons, slice them fine and toss them in a tablespoon of sugar, and let stand for an hour.

Serve as a salad with fish.)

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