What Did the Celts Eat?


Quick Answer

The Celts' diet consisted mainly of roasted or stewed meats, vegetables and bread. Meals were supplemented with roots, berries, leaves, nuts and flowers. Livestock such as sheep, cows and pigs were raised for meat and dairy, and fish, fowl and various wild animals were hunted.

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Full Answer

Colcannon was a popular Celtic staple. It was made from boiled and mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale and flavored with onions, shallots or leeks, and cream or butter. Beans or turnips were sometimes incorporated as well.

Irish stew, another common dish, was made from mutton or goat, potatoes and onions, with carrots, barley or turnips sometimes added. Nearly all meals were served with bread, which was made by grinding wheat and barley into flour to make dough, and then baking it in a clay-domed oven. Grains such as barley and rye were also made into porridge or beer. Honey was often used as a sweetener.

Many meats were salted or smoked. Because there was always a steady central open-hearth fire burning inside the Celtic people's homes, herbs were dried, and the meat and fish was smoked naturally. They preserved meat, fish and butter with salt, which was a valuable commodity that they traded for.

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