Food - Drink
Here’s What Pirates Actually Ate While At Sea
When you think of the pirate life you might imagine a Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-esque, swashbuckling existence, but the reality was far less heroic. During the so-called Golden Age of Piracy, pirates lived a short, crowded, miserable existence, and the food they ate wasn’t much better.
The primary diet of a seafarer consisted of bread, beef, a bit of butter or cheese, and a whole gallon of beer. Before you imagine a nice charcuterie board, the “bread” was dried dough that quickly became infested with insects, and the beef was salted and dried to such an extent that sailors could carve it into buttons and belts.
Sailors’ diets also lacked any significant amount of fruits or vegetables, which caused many to fall ill with scurvy, leading to weakness, bleeding gums, and rotting teeth. This, along with other diseases caused by poor hygiene and a lack of medicine, led to the premature death of sailors, most of whom likely didn’t make it to age 30.