Weird History
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Here’s What People Ate To Survive In Victorian England

Updated August 2, 2019 4.5k votes 858 voters 49.1k views14 items

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What did it mean to eat like a Victorian? There was no single culinary experience in the 19th century. Just like the era itself, Victorian Britons had diverse tastes and habits, and the food they consumed often reflected their ingenuity.

Named after Queen Victoria - who reigned in the United Kingdom from 1837 until she passed in 1901 - the Victorian era was a long period of time filled with shifting trends, attitudes, and innovations.

Food itself was part of these changes. Like women who went to extreme lengths to live up to beauty ideals, Victorians displayed resourcefulness and creativity in the foods they prepared. Their eating habits largely depended on necessity, taste, technology, and access to certain ingredients. Factors like wealth and class also shaped a person's diet. The middle and upper classes often could afford better quality food than their working-class counterparts.

Food for everyday Victorians may not sound appetizing to 21st-century stomachs, but it was enough to help people survive the 19th century.