What Food Did the Celts Eat?

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Ancient Celts ate what they could grow or kill, including vegetables, berries, grains, wild nuts, herbs, eggs, insects, and various types of meat and fish. Vegetables in the Celtic diet included carrots, onions, turnips and parsnips. Grains were made into porridges and breads. Herbs used for seasoning included wild garlic and parsley.

The Celts also ate leaves, such as spinach and nettles. They caught fish, including salmon, mackerel and trout. Meat eaten included wild beaver, bear, boar and deer. The Celts domesticated animals such as pigs, sheep and chicken, providing both meat and eggs. They also ate honey.

The Celts were a group of tribes that lived during the Iron and Medieval ages. They spoke similar languages and had cultural factors in common. The earliest culture considered Celtic was a group that lived in Central Europe during the late Bronze Age, around 1200 B.C. The group’s descendants, the Hallstatt, lived from about 800 to 450 B.C. Also around 450 B.C., Celt tribes began migrating to the British Isles, Poland, France and northern Italy.

Historically, cultures were identified as Celtic based on common languages and similarities in artifacts, social structures, mythology and works of art. Modern use of the term “Celtic” refers to the Celtic nations, including Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Some people in the regions still speak four Celtic languages: Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Welsh and Irish Gaelic.