Throughout the seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century it was served in the "hall" or "common room." ..While dinner among the affluent merchants in the North took place shortly after noon, the Southern planters enjoyed their dinner as late as bubbling stews were carried into the fields to feed the slaves and laborers...The first course included several meats plus meat puddings and/or deep meat pies containing fruits and spices, pancakes and fritters, and the ever-present side dishes of sauces, pickles and catsups...Soups seem to have been served before of in conjunction with the first course. An assortment of fresh, cooked, or dried fruits, custards, tarts and sweetmeats was usually available.Colonial meal structures/times were also different from what we know today. For most people in the 18th century it was considered the main (biggest) meal of the day. What did "average" New England colonists eat during a typical day?Breakfast was taken early if you were poor, later if you were rich. "Most New Englanders had a simple diet, their soil and climates allowing limited varieties of fruits and vegetables."Sallats," (salads) though more popular at supper, sometimes were served at dinner and occasionally provided decoration in the center of the table...Cakes were of many varieties: pound, gingerbread, spice and cheese." ---A Cooking Legacy (p. What is there to say about a meal that probably did not even exist for many settlers during the eary days of the Colonies and later seemed more like a bedtime snack made up of leftovers? In the eighteenth century supper was a brief meal and, especially in the South, light and late.
The southern poor ate cold turkey washed down with ever-present cider.
Supper was a smaller meal, often similar to breakfast: bread, cheese, mush or hasty pudding, or warmed-over meat from the noon meal.
Supper among the gentry was also a sociable meal, and might have warm food, meat or shellfish, such as oysters, in season." ---Food in Colonial and Federal America, Sandra L. 157) [NOTE: These books provide excellent descriptions of "average" meals by heritage (Germans, Dutch, Swedes), location (town vs country) and region.
Even the gentry might eat modestly in the morning, although they could afford meat or fish...
Dinner, as elsewhere in the colonies, was a midday, through the wealthy were like to do as their peers in England did, and have it midafternoon..England's gentry had a great variety of food on te table...
The stoic early settlers rose early and went straight to the chores that demanded their attention.