What did wealthy Europeans eat before the discovery of the Americas?

Aug 2013
199
Finland
The rich would put all sorts of spices and honey in their wine too, not just food. I imagine their wine would be somewhat repulsing by today's standards.
I think the taste regarding both wine and beer was very different back then than it is today. My understanding is that they used a lot less hops in beer back then, wine was often spiced/mulled as you say, champagne recovered from shipwrecks from the 19th century has been found to be sweet etc. Wine was also often mixed with water before drinking.
 
Apr 2010
1,075
evergreen state, USA
I once read somewhere that one of the causes that triggered the French Revolution was that the masses/peasants refused to plant and eat potatoes. They steadfastly stuck to wheat/grains. Then the climate took a turn for the worse with rainy chilly growing seasons. KingLouis XVI tried ti get people to plant and eat potatoes, which were not adversely affected by the damp summers. He demonstrated that the royals themselves ate potatoes. But it was no use. Germans, on the other hand, took to potatoes early on and thrived.
 
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Oct 2016
1,174
Merryland
the bulk of the population lived on pottage (often pea soup, flavored with salt pork) and bread
that's where we get the old 'pease porridge in the pot nine days old' rhyme. many poor would put on a pot of peas and just keep adding to it.

beer (wine mostly for the rich) was an important part of the diet.
the wealthy, as observed, ate lots of meat, roasted on spits etc.

peasants ate meat when they could get it.

old sheep thief rhyme;
'oh the mountain is the sweeter
but the valley is the fatter
so we deem it meeter
to carry off the latter'

cheese (including goat cheese) eaten by most classes. a piece of cheese and bread and maybe pickled onion was/is the traditional 'ploughman's lunch'

as per the church, fish on fridays. salt cod kept well and was a staple.