What Did the Pilgrims Eat?

did-pilgrims-eat Credit: Preston Lyon/Photolibrary/Getty Images

According to the Smithsonian, some of the foods the Pilgrims ate included wildfowl, venison, wild turkeys, Indian corn, passenger pigeons, swan, eel, lobster, clams, mussels, turnips, carrots, onions, garlic and pumpkins and squash. Eating seafood such as lobster and clams was common place, and swan and venison were considered delicacies. Passenger pigeons, now extinct in the wild, were in abundance in the 1620s. The Pilgrims also continued to eat the domesticated animals they brought over to the Americas, which included chickens, goats, sheep and cows.

The early colonists took advantage of the foods growing in the forests, which provided chestnuts, beechnuts and walnuts. Flint corn or multi-colored corn, which they learned to grow from the Wampanoag Native Americans, was a staple for the Pilgrims. Bread was a common food amongst the Pilgrims as well, but according to the Smithsonian their bread was most likely made from ground corn, not wheat. It is well known that the Wampanoag Native Indians taught the Pilgrims to plant gardens. Although the experts do not know for sure what plants the Pilgrims were growing, they suspect that some of those plants were onions, carrots, pumpkins and turnips. Once the Pilgrims learned to fish in the Americas, they also increased their fish intake.