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Shepherds were among the very poorest of the peasant class; they would be bordars or cottars with their own small cottage and very little land, but enough to grow some crops including spelt, emmer, wheat, oats, rye, barley or oats (collectively known as corn) and vegetables such as parsnip, beans, peas, onions, leeks, garlic and radish.

They would eat mainly bread in large quantities, cheese, vegetables (and fruit during the summer months), with almost no protein from meat in their diet but the occasional fish. Drink would mainly be ale, or water if it came from a stream or some other clean and safe source.

In England all shepherds had ancient customary rights dating back to before the Norman Conquest, one of which was the right to a bowl of whey or buttermilk every day during the summer. Buttermilk was produced in the manorial dairy as a by-product of butter making while whey was a product of cheese making.

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โˆ™ 2011-11-15 21:41:52
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Q: What did shepherds in the Middle Ages eat?
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