Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saint Patrick didn’t have it easy ... but at least the food wasn’t bad

Date:
March 17, 2011
Source:
University College Cork
Summary:
Shipped to Ireland as a slave, it must have been a cold, hungry journey for Patrick. But through her researches, an Irish food expert has been able to recreate the diet available in 5th century Ireland to a young saint-in-the-making.

UCC food and culinary historian Regina Sexton explains the type of food that St Patrick would have eaten.
Credit: Image courtesy of University College Cork

Shipped to Ireland as a slave, it must have been a cold, hungry journey for Patrick. But through her researches, Irish food expert Regina Sexton from University College Cork, has been able to recreate the diet available in 5th century Ireland to a young saint-in-the-making.

Related Articles


It is safe to say that obesity was not a problem in those days, and that the fare was seasonal, wholesome and modest by today's standards. Dairy produce and cereals were everyday staples and St Patrick would have consumed lots of fresh milk, sour milk, thickened milk, colostrum, curds, flavoured curd mixtures, butter and soft and hard cheeses.

Cereals, most commonly oats and barley, a little rye together with more prestigious and high-ranking wheat, were used in the production of flat breads and it is also likely that leavened wheat loaves were on offer. Various wet preparations such as porridge, gruel, meal pastes and pottages as well as cereal-milk and fruit-nut combinations were also being eaten on the island when the young Patrick arrived. A wide range of wild foods, notably watercress and wild garlic, nature's way of garnishing the delights of the countryside, was also on the menu, and if this didn't whet his appetite, there were hen and goose eggs, honey, fish, butter, curds, seaweeds, apples and dairy as well as several varieties of soft and hard cheeses.

The rivers were flush with salmon, trout and eel, and hard-cured pork as well as other meats, were to be had too. This was neither a throw-away nor a take-away society and people took good care to preserve and conserve for future use, foods that could not be consumed immediately. Much of this is known, according to Sexton, because with the coming of Christianity, monastic settlements encouraged learning and record keeping and those records have come down to us. Ironically, much of the food available then, is what we call 'health food' now, which comes of course, at a premium price.

Little wonder then that even after his daring escape from Ireland, Patrick returned to become the island's patron saint. He did it for the good of his health!


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College Cork. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University College Cork. "Saint Patrick didn’t have it easy ... but at least the food wasn’t bad." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316134618.htm>.
University College Cork. (2011, March 17). Saint Patrick didn’t have it easy ... but at least the food wasn’t bad. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316134618.htm
University College Cork. "Saint Patrick didn’t have it easy ... but at least the food wasn’t bad." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316134618.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins