Weird History
192.2k readers

15 Disgusting Foods People Really Ate In 18th Century America

Updated December 10, 2019 192.2k views15 items

What did people eat in the Colonies? The answer may surprise you. Though popular imagination remembers Colonial America for its quaint tea, ginger cakes, and pudding, the tastes of early Americans were actually far more exotic and fascinating than they may first appear. Colonial-era food was complex, resourceful, and - in some ways - worldly, as early Americans inherited the tastes and recipes of the British culinary tradition, while putting their own spin on it.

Just like foods from around the world that you may not want to try, food in Colonial America might also seem over-the-top, unappetizing, or even gross to modern tastes. Many foods that Colonists loved are no longer made today for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, some foods have survived. Though Colonial Americans proclaimed in 1776 that all men are created equal, all food dishes, it seems, are not.

Crazy Colonial food recipes thus provide an interesting and entertaining window into one of the most important facets of life in the Colonial Era: what people ate. The story of food in Colonial America isn't just about what was on the supper table. Like the culinary profile of any period (like, the Great Depression, to name one example), it's also a story of class, taste, culture, and empire.