"Pirates have been around as long as people have used the oceans as trade routes."
"The great or classic era of piracy in the Caribbean extends from around 1560 up until the mid 1720s. The period during which pirates were most successful was from 1700 until the 1730s. Many pirates came to the Caribbean after the end of the War of the Spanish" Succession. "
What did Pirates eat and drink? When I think of Pirates I think of one eyed men eating meat with knives and sopping up sauce with their fingers, snarling under their breath while walking around with a goblet of rum in their hand. hahaha!
The first couple of weeks at sea was full of meat, cheese, fresh veggies, eggs, and you name it. After that the food slowly but surely started to spoil, rot, mold and go rancid. That's why most of the food in storage was either dry beans, pickled food or salted food like salted meat. The quality and variety of the food was certainly found lacking after a few months at sea. Chickens were kept for the eggs until they were eaten or died. Cows were kept for the milk until the food supply for the cow had depleted. When the cow no longer had food to live, it was then time to eat the cow.
The meat was frequently rotten and it was very common to see maggots. The bread was full of weevils, even the hardtack sea biscuits which usually lasted for up to 12 months if kept dry. Pirates were known to catch a sea turtle here and there which was a welcomed meal. Bones from everything was kept to make Pirate Bone Soup for when the going got rough.
Galley cooks were known to use a lot of herbs and spices to cover up the taste of spoiled ingredients. Vegetables and meat were usually pickled or salted to preserve the food. Ships on long voyages relied on biscuits, dried beans and salted beef to live. Without proper food, many sailors got sick and died of scurvy.
Now, having said all that; it must also be said that in the Mediterranean Sea, ships were never far from a pirate haven, the crew would land as often as possible and could stock up on food - they could also eat and drink as much as they wanted while on land.
.....Provisions now stowed in the hold of Endeavour as she starts her long journey include nine thousand pounds of flour, four thousand pieces of beef, six thousand pieces of pork, twenty bushells of salt, and nearly eight thousand pounds of Sour Krout, which Lieutenant Cook proposes to use as a Preventative to scurvy. In addition, there is livestock consisting of seventeen sheep, five fowls, four ducks, a boar, sow and piglets, and a goat to supply milk for the Officers. Lieutenant Cook proposes to replenish supplies with fish at sea, and fruit, animal life and water at various landfalls........
The ship's galley is the ships kitchen and was usually not much more than a fireplace with a few cauldrons to cook in and maybe a spit to roast meat on. A cook had to be very clever, and very resourceful, to create decent meals for the crew in such difficult circumstances.
"Salted meat was a staple of the mariner's diet in the Age of Sail. It was stored in barrels, and often had to last for months spent out of sight of land. The basic Royal Navy diet consisted of salted beef, salted pork, ship's biscuit, and oatmeal (see National Oatmeal Month or porridgerecipe),
supplemented with smaller quantities of peas, cheese and butter. Even in 1938, Eric Newby found the diet on the tall ship Moshulu to consist almost entirely of salted meat. Moshulu's lack of refrigeration left little choice as the ship made voyages which could exceed 100 days passage between ports."
Hard Tack or (better know as Sea Biscuits by sea goers)
Hard Tack was a pirates bread- it was used during long sea voyages and eaten along side of stews & soups like Bone Soup. Sea Biscuits were usually dunked in water, brine, coffee, broth (or some other liquid) ; floated on top of soup so it could soak up the liquid of the soup, or placed on top of food cooking in a skillet meal.
Mix one teaspoon of salt with one pound of flour.
Add enough water to make a very stiff dough.
Flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch and
cut it into about 4 inch circles.
Punch holes in each circle with a fork.
Bake in a flat pan at 250 degrees for two or three hours.