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"The food of Nelsonís Navy" Topic


10 Posts

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619 hits since 16 Sep 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2021 8:08 p.m. PST

"When on a long voyage, the food provided was of necessity such as could keep; and that meant, on the whole, a rather tedious and not particularly pleasant diet.

Salt pork and salt beef in barrels were the staple food, and the opportunities to make a profit on this unappetising fare was considerable for the chandlers and pursers who provided it. For one thing, a purser's pound had only 14 ounces in it, not the standard 16; for another, as the meat was sealed in barrels it was not uncommon to provide poor or even rotting meat. When each barrel was opened, the number of pieces of was recorded, Ďof which [so many] rotten' being commonly recorded. One of the complaints of the men at the Mutiny of the Nore was that they wanted 16 ounces to the pound…"
Full article here
link

Armand

14Bore18 Sep 2021 6:00 a.m. PST

Interesting, but if you read through Patrick O'Brian you would get much more, fish often, rats when caught.

codiver18 Sep 2021 6:14 a.m. PST

Drachinifel did a video back in March about 18th Century Naval Food where he actually makes and eats the stuff: YouTube link

Dave

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

This is a good book

link

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2021 2:09 p.m. PST

Many thanks!

Armand

Thresher0119 Sep 2021 1:18 a.m. PST

Salt pork, e.g. salted hams are delicious.

Haven't had salt beef, but imagine it may be good too, as long as it isn't rotted.

I hear salted fish is a thing too, but haven't tried it either.

Some of the old ways of preservation are/were really effective, and food prepared from it can be delicious, if properly prepared.

One of my all time favorite breakfast meals is salt-cured pork with biscuits. A good, salt-cured ham is quite expensive, especially if you buy the European varieties from Spain, or Italy, or their sliced equivalents, like prosciutto.

Thresher0119 Sep 2021 1:22 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing those links.

A pity the book one doesn't provide a download option.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2021 7:03 p.m. PST

Yeah, some salted meats are a delicacy. But the Royal Navy didn't preserve meat with the artistry of the Italians. It was pretty nasty stuff best served in stews to cover them up. Nothing like dried peas and ground up hardtack flavored with weevils to savor your dish.

You can spill buy rum distilled to Royal Navy recipe. Bet that isn't so good either though.

Just keep in mind the average laborer in Britain faired little better.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2021 12:32 p.m. PST

@ dantheman

Exactly. The food was pretty grim, but no worse than on land and at least plentiful. Hungry men don't fight well.

Thresher0124 Sep 2021 6:24 a.m. PST

Yea, from what I've read, sailors of the period ate better than the average citizens of the time (and/or at least more dependably).

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