Anglo Saxon Food

What did the Anglo Saxons Eat?

Anglo Saxons ate a variety of foods comprising of different vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains. They ate meat drawn from a number of sources, from farmed animals, domestic livestock as well as hunting and fishing.

fish g8f1213adb 640

The Anglo Saxon cuisine also included different drinks mostly produced from the fruits available at the time.

food g558697973 640

The food itself was cooked on open hearths which were usually located at the center of a household.

Anglo Saxon Food

Anglo Saxon Grains

When Anglo Saxons dominated over the local Breton population, barley was the staple grain. The Anglo Saxon continued consuming barley but in time, shifted over to the use of wheat.

Medieval Food

They grew wheat and rye and then used these grains to make bread from them. Wheat was ground to flour with huge stones and this flour was then used to create small and round loaves which were cooked in hearths made of stone.

viking life cooking food

The wheat was also consumed in the form of pottage where it was boiled and mixed with different beans and vegetables.

Medieval Food Soup

Anglo Saxon Meats

Red meat was a popular dietary option among the rich Anglo Saxons. The source of red meat is usually hunting or farming. Other types of meats consumed by the Anglo Saxons included bacon and chicken.

chickens g7871e2fdd 640

Typically, animals were usually kept for different purposes and only occasionally used as a source of meat. Only pigs were definitely grown and consumed as a direct meat source.

highland cow g7fdf61ed6 640

Although cows were primarily kept as a source of milk, they also served as an important meat source.

Fishing was also a popular source of meat with Anglo Saxons consuming a large variety of freshwater and sea fish.

The freshwater fish consumed by the Anglo Saxons included:

  • Lampreys
  • Trout
  • Pike
  • Burbot

Sea fish consumed by them included cod, salmon, and plaice.

animal g929a3068a 640

Seafood such as lobsters, oysters, flounders, and crabs was also popularly consumed. The Anglo Saxons also ate dried fish which they imported from Norway.

crab gcc0883762 640

Anglo Saxon Vegetables

Anglo Saxon diet largely comprised of vegetables. These included cabbages, turnips, leeks, carrots, beans, peas, garlic, and onions among others. Vegetables were often boiled with a grain like wheat or barley to be consumed as a pottage.

bees gd8a99b868 640

Vegetables were often complemented with different flavoring ingredients such as pepper, ginger, even honey, and coriander.

parsely g211332d9d 640

Anglo Saxon Fruits

A large variety of fruits were consumed by the Anglo Saxons. These included plums, cherries, apples, different kinds of berries, and grapes.

Many of these fruits were also used to create different kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

berries g6fa9a4f8d 640

Anglo Saxon Drinks

Mead was a popular type of alcoholic drink that was often flavored with honey and herbs.



Beer was also popularly produced with barley and it is probable that the Anglo Saxons laced the beer with different flavorings. Since beer was rather inexpensive to produce, it was more common than other drinks such as wine.


Apples were used to produce a kind of cider popularly consumed.

apple g1924d567f 640

Fruits were also used to produce wines which were usually produced at home and were mostly limited to the households of the rich.