The Golden Age of Piracy: Food and Drinks

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do pirates eat when they are at sea aboard pirate ships for many weeks and months?” Pirates at sea didn’t have convenient access to fresh foods, so it was important that the pirates planned ahead in order to have enough supplies while they are away at sea. The foods that would store well were very important, because they would last longer. Read below to learn more interesting facts about pirates, and what kind of food and drinks they had while out at sea. 

Best Foods For The Beginning of the Journey

During the first few weeks of the journey, the pirates would be able to enjoy the best foods first. During the beginning of the journey, the pirates consumed food such as eggs, cheese, meat, and fresh vegetables. They would have a few live chickens on the ship, so the pirates could have eggs. Also, many pirate ships had cows and goats on the ship, so the pirates would have milk when the foods were starting to run out. The pirates would butcher the cows and chickens for meat if needed. The longer the pirates were out at sea, some of their food items would start to spoil and go bad.  When the chickens would stop producing eggs, or if their food supply was running low, the pirates would butcher the chickens as well. The pirate ship cooks would add plenty of spices and herbs to make the foods taste better, and they would pickle or salt meat and vegetables, so they could preserve them to last longer. The pirates that were on very long voyages had to eat a very bland diet that consisted of dried beans, biscuits, and beef that had been salted. 

Rum and Beer

Several hundred years ago during the Golden Age of Piracy, it was difficult to find clean drinking water. Even if the pirates weren’t out at sea, clean water was hard to come by.  When the pirates were out at sea, it was nearly impossible for the pirates to have clean drinking water, which left many pirates drinking beer and ale. At the start of the journey, there was clean water, but the water would start to accumulate green scum and slime in it due to the salty sea air. The pirates would add some alcohol to the drinking water to improve the water’s taste. The water and alcohol combination was known as grog, and a popular alcoholic drink that pirates enjoyed was rum. Rum is made with fermented molasses, and it wasn’t expensive to make, which is why it was a popular drink for pirates on the ship. 

Buccaneers (Barbecuers)

Do you know what a buccaneer is? The word boucan in French means meat that has been cured over an open fire. In the Caribbean, the hunters cured their meat in this way so they could sell the cured meat to pirate ship captains when they stopped at ports. The hunters and cooks were known as boucaniers, which means ‘barbecuers’. The buccaneers quickly realized that their cured meat was a good income, so they became pirates in order to attack any ships that they were selling their cured meats to. Many years later, many authors started writing about pirates, and they began calling Caribbean pirates ‘buccaneer’s. 

Did you enjoy reading about the golden age of piracy & about their food and drinks?