What Did the Pilgrims Eat on the Mayflower?

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The pilgrims on the Mayflower ate foods that were easily preserved such as salted beef, salted fish, beans, peas, porridge and biscuits. Pilgrims drank beer with most meals, as they considered it safer to drink than water.

New England voyage ships’ provision lists that survive from this time period show typical foods carried aboard for long journeys from England. Protein was provided in the form of dried beef, pork, fish or cheese. Foods like porridge and beans were considered staples during the two month voyage.

Provisions had to be divided among all of the men, women and children aboard the ship. It is unknown how much water was available for drinking. Children were among the passengers, and they required water and other beverages to drink with meals instead of beer.

The Mayflower pilgrims embarked on their famous journey from the shores of England to the shores of Cape Cod in what is now New England. This was a perilous journey and the passengers endured rough seas and difficult living conditions. Pilgrims were mainly confined to their below-deck quarters that kept them out of the way of the sailors on deck. Quarters were cramped, and each family was allocated very little space.