UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Eating and Drinking

I can say with confidence that there is not a week in which a hundred and fifty oxen and a thousand sheep are not slaughtered there, in addition to which how many birds and fish must there be?


They mostly drink beer, and after Danish beer I have not tasted another sort as good under Heaven. There is a great quantity of fish, and I saw crayfish so big, I tell no lie, they were no smaller than ten-day-old piglets...


It is the custom not only of the people of this city but on the whole country to drink of a morning before eating, and to invite their fellow man not to a piece of roast meat but to a drink of beer, concerning which they dispute with the Germans as to which works the better; the English argue their case as follows: When one wishes to cook, first one rinses the pit and then puts in it what one wishes to cook. The Germans, however, say: When one wishes to keep good fresh-tasting water in one’s well, first one lays a strong foundation of stone in it. Those people are immoderately weak and effeminate.