Medieval food: How healthy was it?


It can be hard to stick to a diet in modern times when eating out. It was much the same for a medieval knight, so when he was dining in his own household his personal physician would work with his cook to keep their master in peak condition. In this episode, Jason and food historian Chris Carr discuss the medieval understanding of nutrition and how it affected the knight’s diet, as well as the influence of spices and how they defined one’s social standing.

• Executive Producer: Jason Kingsley OBE
• Executive Producer: Chris Kingsley
• Senior Producer: Brian Jenkins
• Producer: Edward Linley
• Director: Dominic Read
• Presenter: Jason Kingsley OBE
• Subject Matter Expert: Chris Carr
• Camera: Jo Taylor
• Camera: Dominic Read
• Editing: Lindsey Studholme
• Stills Photographer: Kasumi
• Production Manager: Kevin Case
• Audio: Frank Newman
• Sound Design: Liam Flannigan
• Music licensed from PremiumBeat
• Additional Camera: Darren Cook
• Additional Camera: Neil Phillips
• Additional Sound: Elizabeth Carlyon

Special Thanks:

• Chris Payton
• Ed Savage

Twitter: @ModernHistoryTV
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Many thanks to Chris Carr – check out

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  1. Somewierdo Online says

    I couldn't imagine how rich spice plant farmers and spice makers would have been in that time

  2. deadmanwalking971 says

    "And we don't like the French." How's that different from today?

  3. AllaMortify says

    Are those black peppercorns not Cubeb? The long tails look more like that (though I can't check as I've run out). Cubeb was certainly used in the medieval era. Grains of paradise are amazing. They have a really nice citrus-like taste. I was surprised to galangal in the box though.

  4. Mayra Cecilia says

    Is it weird I have a crush on him ?

  5. panda danda says

    looks good tho

  6. G BBarn says

    doctors in Greece tasted earwax, doctors in medieval times urine, doctors nowadays should feel grateful.

  7. ElBundz says

    I think you need to reconsider your pronunciation of demesne….or please feel to correct me. As far as I am aware, it is pronounced de maine (or do maine), like the french.

  8. Jason says

    Love these episodes.Fantastic to watch and addictive.

  9. Jamie L. says

    Honestly, my eyes popped when I saw all that saffron. Most stores sell it by the gram for 20 dollars in tiny little bottles, and here's the medieval cook with what looks like at least three times that amount.

  10. Mr Chippy says

    Doctor wouldn't thank you for cracking a cheeky one out just before he popped round then.

  11. The Fall of Home says

    They want to take all this away from us; which way western man?

  12. David Hopley says

    Genuinely fascinating, I love social history

  13. 90s Rule says

    Let’s see. Today I had Pop Tarts, Cheetos, hot dogs, cookies, and an ice cream bar. Yeah, Medieval peasants and lords were healthier than me.

  14. Jesse Plouvier says

    He better have ate all that!

  15. Andrew Fewtrell says

    Learning so much from the videos keep it up please

  16. Expinupgirl says

    Very educational. Thank you

  17. Bluecho4 says

    That the spice box was so valuable makes me think of an interesting D&D heist plot. The PCs break into a lord's manor. Instead of going for their stash of gold or jewels, they'd be angling for the lord's spice box. Complete with needing to get the key off the lady's belt, whether through stealthy pick-pocketing, or the, ahem, "bardic approach".

  18. WE in 5D Tarot says

    I'd have preferred the peasant food a lot more.

  19. Weerdouu says

    3000: How healthy was millennial food?

  20. CMJB says

    These medical methods are why maple syrup urine disease has that name.

  21. DeathEatsCurry says

    Found this after binge watching Terry Jones' Medieval Lives. An excellent extension to that series.

  22. I am that guy says


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