They all taste pretty good. Your very welcome, I'm glad that it was helpful. He wanted to be supportive. I have been on the plan for about one month now and have already lost seven pounds which wasn't happening with Bistro MD. Many variants of mead have been found in medieval recipes, with or without alcoholic content. Ultimately, I wanted to make a goal of losing about 10 pounds per month.
The food is terrible. I couldn't make myself eat it after the 2nd day. Food tasted bland but not as bad as I feared. The real problem was the development of painful gas and bloating from all the fiber.
I thought I would explode. Alka-seltzer provided only temporary relief. Had to stop eating it to rectify the problem. I lost weight while sticking to the diet but my waist actually gained inches from the bloating.
I like the convenience of having meals prepared, and am having a slow steady weight loss every week. See all 85 reviews. See all customer images. Most recent customer reviews. Published 25 days ago. Published 2 months ago. Published 3 months ago. You can add things here and there for Published 4 months ago. Unfortunately this program did nothing Published 5 months ago.
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Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. You can also reach out to a counselor at press option two. They would be happy to go over more tips if needed. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. Hope you have a wonderful day and congrats on your weight loss! Tomorrow is my last day on turbo take off. I was advised earlier this week to call back toward the end of my first week to speak with a counselor.
If I could speak with William every time I called that would be fantastic. Thank you so much for your review. We are so happy to hear you were pleased with your experience when speaking with William. Hope you have a wonderful day and welcome to the program! I would like to say for the first couple of days I found this a bit difficult but only because it was such a lifestyle change for me.
Now I love it. I have lost 7. No longer on blood pressure pills and I have more energy. Thank you so much for making my life happier. Thanks so much for sharing your review with us today. Congratulations on your success so far on the plan! We're happy to hear that you are finding the plan easy to follow. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. The most important thing for me is that it is working. On the road to lose 80 lbs.
I've lost 28 after only 6 weeks. The food is not fine dining but it is good enough and with enough variety to not be boring.
Some of the food is quite tasty and others only rate around good but, for me, that is not the point. The point is that now most of the time I am not hungry and I am losing weight without having to make major alterations to my life.
Surely, there are times when I just want to get a pizza delivered and munch out but Nutrisystem provides ways to deal with that. I'm not going to blow smoke, some self-control will be required. The few times I have some real cravings, I just pull up the weight chart and see that nice downward trend of weight and remind myself why I am doing this.
The quick start program, for me, was the most difficult portion to get through but it surely did as it described. My weight loss started quickly and tapered a bit, as expected, once I got on the regular weekly plan. I am still losing around 3 to 4 lbs a week which might be a little atypical but I'm not complaining.
This meal plan was exactly what I needed. Previously I ate healthy but I just ate too much. Comparing then to now, I realized I was eating roughly double what I should have been. So not only has this plan allowed me to lose weight but it has provided me with an idea of what meal sizes should be if I ever decide to stop with Nutrisystem.
I personally think the frozen meals are a very good add-on as they provide more variety and tend to be a bit more tasty and satisfying. I really do appreciate that this program exists.
I just turned 50 not too long ago and was starting to have more concerns about my weight which has always been above 'normal'. Nutrisystem not only seems to be dealing with my weight but it also helped me ease my mind about my future health. I'm also a workaholic which means that previous diets I tried had, what I feel was, a significant impact on my lifestyle. Which is probably the main reason they all failed. Nutrisystem is very simple. Take their base plan, modify the meal times to fit your current schedule, keep the intervals between meals roughly the same, and in no time it just becomes part of your day.
The food for the most part is portable as well which is rather convenient. Again, Thank You for providing this product. Before I was skeptical about ever seeing what I consider a healthy weight but this product and changed that skepticism into hope and has provided exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered.
Plastic found in a dinner entree. It was very nice to see! I can't remember when this happened, maybe weeks ago. I thought the response took longer than it should have. Really tho', I've had great customer service every time I needed them. Wait times when phoning are awful.
I am very happy with the 30 pounds that I have lost. I love your food and do not want to totally stop my program. I am working with adjusting to everyday food lifestyle.
But yet, I do not want to give up my program. I believe this will keep me on track with keeping my weight under control. Thank you for my delays in my order. I tried Nutrisystem and found out I am allergic. I tried returning the items as they indicated there was a full refund policy, and they told me I couldn't.
I called over seven times during the next 30 days and they were not cooperative or helpful at all. I got transferred around many times, and never had any help at all. I ended up moving, and canceled my card. Two months after that they tried charging my credit card and claim they shipped product, which I didn't order.
I never received product because I had moved. Very poor customer service! They try and snag you in and force you to keep buying, even if you don't like the product and even if you are allergic to it!
I have told a lot of people about this horrifying experience and they are all appalled and said there are much better programs out there! We are sorry to hear that you are unable to eat our food and we apologize for the poor service you've received.
We will be looking into this and reaching out soon. I have spoken with Chanta in her role as counselor. I was impressed with the interest and patience she posses. I am now able to form a more comprehensive plan moving forward with my required personal participation with the Nutrisystem to reach my weight loss goal. I am enthusiastically encouraged with my decision to take on this venture for my future. We are so happy to hear that Chanta was able to help you gain a better understanding of the program!
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs. My NuMi bottle issue was already taken care of. He therefore missed the window to order the bottle in time for the 2nd month shipment. We would like to have it delivered with the order that is coming up for the 3rd month - we get auto delivery, so it is already set up.
We are happy to hear that your water bottle issue has been handled but are sad to hear that your husband is still having issues. We will be assigning this to a member of the Consumer Experience Team who will be reaching out soon. I am very disappointed with the food. Most of it tastes the same to me and actually upsets my stomach. I did not realize I only had two weeks to cancel and much of that was mostly drinks. Then you keep trying different food thinking something will be edible.
I know there is plenty of fine print in contracts that should be read. I do not recall being verbally told about these conditions. This was a lesson that left a very bad taste in my mouth.
We are sorry that the foods upset your stomach and that you were unaware of the auto-delivery nature of the program. Not clear when I ordered that it would be on automatic order. Food is not good, not good instructions, dinners were bland. Too many entrees with spicy tomato sauce and cheese, dinners are bland. Shakes made me sick. Emails were only to sell more. Thank you for writing this review. We are sad to hear the foods were not to your liking and that the deliveries would be automatic. We will be looking into your account and reaching out soon.
This is a follow-up to the review I posted on September 5. Soon after I posted my first review, a rep from Nutrisystem contacted me via email. The email was courteous, professional, and apologetic for the experience I had. The rep went on to offer replacement of the damaged food items I had received and encouraged me to give their company another try.
In light of this swift response and their sincere desire to ensure that I was happy with their product and service, I am revising my review. I accepted a ready-made menu that containing some items that I did not enjoy. In the future, I will make a point to select food items that I now know to be more to my liking than others. I am very pleased and heartened by Nutrisystem's timely reply and concern for my purchase. They deserve a second chance. I ordered my month's supply of diet food from Nutrisystem with high hopes.
When the food shipment arrived, most of the frozen breakfast items were broken into small bits; when I opened the packages, the bits fell out. Then I tried the frozen lunches. Since I take these to work, the only heating option is microwave.
Anything with bread or chicken comes out chewy, gooey, and icy cold in the center. It was only after the Black Death had eradicated up to half of the European population that meat became more common even for poorer people. The drastic reduction in many populated areas resulted in a labor shortage, meaning that wages dramatically increased. It also left vast areas of farmland untended, making them available for pasture and putting more meat on the market.
Although less prestigious than other animal meats, and often seen as merely an alternative to meat on fast days, seafood was the mainstay of many coastal populations.
Also included were the beaver , due to its scaly tail and considerable time spent in water, and barnacle geese , due to the belief that they developed underwater in the form of barnacles. The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II examined barnacles and noted no evidence of any bird-like embryo in them, and the secretary of Leo of Rozmital wrote a very skeptical account of his reaction to being served barnacle goose at a fish-day dinner in Especially important was the fishing and trade in herring and cod in the Atlantic and the Baltic Sea.
The herring was of unprecedented significance to the economy of much of Northern Europe, and it was one of the most common commodities traded by the Hanseatic League , a powerful north German alliance of trading guilds. Kippers made from herring caught in the North Sea could be found in markets as far away as Constantinople. Stockfish , cod that was split down the middle, fixed to a pole and dried, was very common, though preparation could be time-consuming, and meant beating the dried fish with a mallet before soaking it in water.
A wide range of mollusks including oysters , mussels and scallops were eaten by coastal and river-dwelling populations, and freshwater crayfish were seen as a desirable alternative to meat during fish days. Compared to meat, fish was much more expensive for inland populations, especially in Central Europe, and therefore not an option for most. Freshwater fish such as pike , carp , bream , perch , lamprey and trout were common. While in modern times, water is often drunk with a meal, in the Middle Ages, however, concerns over purity, medical recommendations and its low prestige value made it less favored, and alcoholic beverages were preferred.
They were seen as more nutritious and beneficial to digestion than water, with the invaluable bonus of being less prone to putrefaction due to the alcohol content. Wine was consumed on a daily basis in most of France and all over the Western Mediterranean wherever grapes were cultivated. Further north it remained the preferred drink of the bourgeoisie and the nobility who could afford it, and far less common among peasants and workers.
The drink of commoners in the northern parts of the continent was primarily beer or ale. Juices , as well as wines, of a multitude of fruits and berries had been known at least since Roman antiquity and were still consumed in the Middle Ages: Medieval drinks that have survived to this day include prunellé from wild plums modern-day slivovitz , mulberry gin and blackberry wine.
Many variants of mead have been found in medieval recipes, with or without alcoholic content. However, the honey -based drink became less common as a table beverage towards the end of the period and was eventually relegated to medicinal use. This is partially true since mead bore great symbolic value at important occasions. When agreeing on treaties and other important affairs of state, mead was often presented as a ceremonial gift.
It was also common at weddings and baptismal parties, though in limited quantity due to its high price. In medieval Poland , mead had a status equivalent to that of imported luxuries, such as spices and wines. Plain milk was not consumed by adults except the poor or sick, being reserved for the very young or elderly, and then usually as buttermilk or whey. Fresh milk was overall less common than other dairy products because of the lack of technology to keep it from spoiling.
However, neither of these non-alcoholic social drinks were consumed in Europe before the late 16th and early 17th century. Wine was commonly drunk and was also regarded as the most prestigious and healthy choice. According to Galen 's dietetics it was considered hot and dry but these qualities were moderated when wine was watered down. Unlike water or beer, which were considered cold and moist, consumption of wine in moderation especially red wine was, among other things, believed to aid digestion, generate good blood and brighten the mood.
The first pressing was made into the finest and most expensive wines which were reserved for the upper classes. The second and third pressings were subsequently of lower quality and alcohol content. Common folk usually had to settle for a cheap white or rosé from a second or even third pressing, meaning that it could be consumed in quite generous amounts without leading to heavy intoxication.
For the poorest or the most pious , watered-down vinegar similar to Ancient Roman posca would often be the only available choice. The aging of high quality red wine required specialized knowledge as well as expensive storage and equipment, and resulted in an even more expensive end product.
Judging from the advice given in many medieval documents on how to salvage wine that bore signs of going bad, preservation must have been a widespread problem. Even if vinegar was a common ingredient, there was only so much of it that could be used.
In the 14th century cookbook Le Viandier there are several methods for salvaging spoiling wine; making sure that the wine barrels are always topped up or adding a mixture of dried and boiled white grape seeds with the ash of dried and burnt lees of white wine were both effective bactericides , even if the chemical processes were not understood at the time.
Wine was believed to act as a kind of vaporizer and conduit of other foodstuffs to every part of the body, and the addition of fragrant and exotic spices would make it even more wholesome. Spiced wines were usually made by mixing an ordinary red wine with an assortment of spices such as ginger , cardamom , pepper , grains of paradise , nutmeg , cloves and sugar.
These would be contained in small bags which were either steeped in wine or had liquid poured over them to produce hypocras and claré. By the 14th century, bagged spice mixes could be bought ready-made from spice merchants.
While wine was the most common table beverage in much of Europe, this was not the case in the northern regions where grapes were not cultivated. Those who could afford it drank imported wine, but even for nobility in these areas it was common to drink beer or ale , particularly towards the end of the Middle Ages.
In England , the Low Countries , northern Germany , Poland and Scandinavia , beer was consumed on a daily basis by people of all social classes and age groups. For most medieval Europeans, it was a humble brew compared with common southern drinks and cooking ingredients, such as wine, lemons and olive oil. Even comparatively exotic products like camel 's milk and gazelle meat generally received more positive attention in medical texts.
Beer was just an acceptable alternative and was assigned various negative qualities. In , the Sienese physician Aldobrandino described beer in the following way:. But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth , it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly; but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one's flesh white and smooth.
The intoxicating effect of beer was believed to last longer than that of wine, but it was also admitted that it did not create the "false thirst" associated with wine.
Though less prominent than in the north, beer was consumed in northern France and the Italian mainland. Perhaps as a consequence of the Norman conquest and the travelling of nobles between France and England, one French variant described in the 14th century cookbook Le Menagier de Paris was called godale most likely a direct borrowing from the English "good ale" and was made from barley and spelt , but without hops.
In England there were also the variants poset ale , made from hot milk and cold ale, and brakot or braggot , a spiced ale prepared much like hypocras. That hops could be used for flavoring beer had been known at least since Carolingian times, but was adopted gradually due to difficulties in establishing the appropriate proportions.
Before the widespread use of hops, gruit , a mix of various herbs , had been used. Gruit had the same preserving properties as hops, though less reliable depending on what herbs were in it, and the end result was much more variable.
Another flavoring method was to increase the alcohol content, but this was more expensive and lent the beer the undesired characteristic of being a quick and heavy intoxicant. Hops may have been widely used in England in the tenth century; they were grown in Austria by and in Finland by , and possibly much earlier.
Before hops became popular as an ingredient, it was difficult to preserve this beverage for any time, and so, it was mostly consumed fresh. Quantities of beer consumed by medieval residents of Europe, as recorded in contemporary literature, far exceed intakes in the modern world. For example, sailors in 16th century England and Denmark received a ration of 1 imperial gallon 4. Polish peasants consumed up to 3 litres 0. In the Early Middle Ages beer was primarily brewed in monasteries , and on a smaller scale in individual households.
By the High Middle Ages breweries in the fledgling medieval towns of northern Germany began to take over production. Though most of the breweries were small family businesses that employed at most eight to ten people, regular production allowed for investment in better equipment and increased experimentation with new recipes and brewing techniques.
These operations later spread to the Netherlands in the 14th century, then to Flanders and Brabant , and reached England by the 15th century. Hopped beer became very popular in the last decades of the Late Middle Ages.
When perfected as an ingredient, hops could make beer keep for six months or more, and facilitated extensive exports. In turn, ale or beer was classified into "strong" and "small", the latter less intoxicating, regarded as a drink of temperate people, and suitable for consumption by children.
As late as , John Locke stated that the only drink he considered suitable for children of all ages was small beer, while criticizing the apparently common practice among Englishmen of the time to give their children wine and strong alcohol.
By modern standards, the brewing process was relatively inefficient, but capable of producing quite strong alcohol when that was desired. One recent attempt to recreate medieval English "strong ale" using recipes and techniques of the era albeit with the use of modern yeast strains yielded a strongly alcoholic brew with original gravity of 1. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the technique of distillation , but it was not practiced on a major scale in Europe until some time around the 12th century, when Arabic innovations in the field combined with water-cooled glass alembics were introduced.
Distillation was believed by medieval scholars to produce the essence of the liquid being purified, and the term aqua vitae "water of life" was used as a generic term for all kinds of distillates. Alcoholic distillates were also occasionally used to create dazzling, fire-breathing entremets a type of entertainment dish after a course by soaking a piece of cotton in spirits. It would then be placed in the mouth of the stuffed, cooked and occasionally redressed animals, and lit just before presenting the creation.
Aqua vitae in its alcoholic forms was highly praised by medieval physicians. In Arnaldus of Villanova wrote that "[i]t prolongs good health, dissipates superfluous humours, reanimates the heart and maintains youth.
By the 13th century, Hausbrand literally "home-burnt" from gebrannter wein, brandwein ; "burnt [distilled] wine" was commonplace, marking the origin of brandy. Towards the end of the Late Middle Ages, the consumption of spirits became so ingrained even among the general population that restrictions on sales and production began to appear in the late 15th century. In the city of Nuremberg issued restrictions on the selling of aquavit on Sundays and official holidays.
Spices were among the most luxurious products available in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper , cinnamon and the cheaper alternative cassia , cumin , nutmeg , ginger and cloves. They all had to be imported from plantations in Asia and Africa , which made them extremely expensive, and gave them social cachet such that pepper for example was hoarded, traded and conspicuously donated in the manner of gold bullion.
The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1. Sugar , unlike today, was considered to be a type of spice due to its high cost and humoral qualities. Even when a dish was dominated by a single flavor it was usually combined with another to produce a compound taste, for example parsley and cloves or pepper and ginger.
Common herbs such as sage , mustard , and parsley were grown and used in cooking all over Europe, as were caraway , mint , dill and fennel. Many of these plants grew throughout all of Europe or were cultivated in gardens, and were a cheaper alternative to exotic spices.
Mustard was particularly popular with meat products and was described by Hildegard of Bingen — as poor man's food. While locally grown herbs were less prestigious than spices, they were still used in upper-class food, but were then usually less prominent or included merely as coloring. Anise was used to flavor fish and chicken dishes, and its seeds were served as sugar-coated comfits.
Surviving medieval recipes frequently call for flavoring with a number of sour, tart liquids. Wine, verjuice the juice of unripe grapes or fruits vinegar and the juices of various fruits, especially those with tart flavors, were almost universal and a hallmark of late medieval cooking. In combination with sweeteners and spices, it produced a distinctive "pungeant, fruity" flavor. Equally common, and used to complement the tanginess of these ingredients, were sweet almonds. They were used in a variety of ways: This last type of non-dairy milk product is probably the single most common ingredient in late medieval cooking and blended the aroma of spices and sour liquids with a mild taste and creamy texture.
Salt was ubiquitous and indispensable in medieval cooking. Salting and drying was the most common form of food preservation and meant that fish and meat in particular were often heavily salted. Many medieval recipes specifically warn against oversalting and there were recommendations for soaking certain products in water to get rid of excess salt.
The richer the host, and the more prestigious the guest, the more elaborate would be the container in which it was served and the higher the quality and price of the salt. Wealthy guests were seated " above the salt ", while others sat "below the salt", where salt cellars were made of pewter, precious metals or other fine materials, often intricately decorated.
The rank of a diner also decided how finely ground and white the salt was. Salt for cooking, preservation or for use by common people was coarser; sea salt, or "bay salt", in particular, had more impurities, and was described in colors ranging from black to green.
Expensive salt, on the other hand, looked like the standard commercial salt common today. The term " dessert " comes from the Old French desservir , "to clear a table", literally "to un-serve", and originated during the Middle Ages. It would typically consist of dragées and mulled wine accompanied by aged cheese , and by the Late Middle Ages could also include fresh fruit covered in sugar, honey or syrup and boiled-down fruit pastes.
Sugar , from its first appearance in Europe, was viewed as much as a drug as a sweetener; its long-lived medieval reputation as an exotic luxury encouraged its appearance in elite contexts accompanying meats and other dishes that to modern taste are more naturally savoury.
There was a wide variety of fritters , crêpes with sugar, sweet custards and darioles , almond milk and eggs in a pastry shell that could also include fruit and sometimes even bone marrow or fish. Marzipan in many forms was well known in Italy and southern France by the s and is assumed to be of Arab origin.
The English chefs also had a penchant for using flower petals such as roses , violets , and elder flowers. An early form of quiche can be found in Forme of Cury , a 14th-century recipe collection, as a Torte de Bry with a cheese and egg yolk filling. The ever-present candied ginger, coriander , aniseed and other spices were referred to as épices de chambre "parlor spices" and were taken as digestibles at the end of a meal to "close" the stomach. Just like Montpellier , Sicily was once famous for its comfits , nougat candy torrone , or turrón in Spanish and almond clusters confetti.
From the south, the Arabs also brought the art of ice cream making that produced sorbet and several examples of sweet cakes and pastries; cassata alla Siciliana from Arabic qas'ah , the term for the terra cotta bowl with which it was shaped , made from marzipan, sponge cake and sweetened ricotta and cannoli alla Siciliana , originally cappelli di turchi "Turkish hats" , fried, chilled pastry tubes with a sweet cheese filling.
Research into medieval foodways was, until around , a much neglected field of study. Misconceptions and outright errors were common among historians, and are still present in as a part of the popular view of the Middle Ages as a backward, primitive and barbaric era. Medieval cookery was described as revolting due to the often unfamiliar combination of flavors, the perceived lack of vegetables and a liberal use of spices. The preservation techniques available at the time, although crude by today's standards, were perfectly adequate.
The astronomical cost and high prestige of spices, and thereby the reputation of the host, would have been effectively undone if wasted on cheap and poorly handled foods. The common method of grinding and mashing ingredients into pastes and the many potages and sauces has been used as an argument that most adults within the medieval nobility lost their teeth at an early age, and hence were forced to eat nothing but porridge, soup and ground-up meat.
The image of nobles gumming their way through multi-course meals of nothing but mush has lived side by side with the contradictory apparition of the "mob of uncouth louts disguised as noble lords who, when not actually hurling huge joints of greasy meat at one another across the banquet hall, are engaged in tearing at them with a perfectly healthy complement of incisors, canines, bicuspids and molars". The numerous descriptions of banquets from the later Middle Ages concentrated on the pageantry of the event rather than the minutiae of the food, which was not the same for most banqueters as those choice mets served at the high table.
Banquet dishes were apart from mainstream of cuisine, and have been described as "the outcome of grand banquets serving political ambition rather than gastronomy ; today as yesterday" by historian Maguelonne Toussant-Samat. Cookbooks , or more specifically, recipe collections, compiled in the Middle Ages are among the most important historical sources for medieval cuisine. The first cookbooks began to appear towards the end of the 13th century.
The Liber de coquina , perhaps originating near Naples , and the Tractatus de modo preparandi have found a modern editor in Marianne Mulon, and a cookbook from Assisi found at Châlons-sur-Marne has been edited by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat. Few in a kitchen, at those times, would have been able to read, and working texts have a low survival rate. The recipes were often brief and did not give precise quantities. Cooking times and temperatures were seldom specified since accurate portable clocks were not available and since all cooking was done with fire.
At best, cooking times could be specified as the time it took to say a certain number of prayers or how long it took to walk around a certain field. Professional cooks were taught their trade through apprenticeship and practical training, working their way up in the highly defined kitchen hierarchy.
A medieval cook employed in a large household would most likely have been able to plan and produce a meal without the help of recipes or written instruction. Due to the generally good condition of surviving manuscripts it has been proposed by food historian Terence Scully that they were records of household practices intended for the wealthy and literate master of a household, such as the Ménagier de Paris from the late 14th century.
Over 70 collections of medieval recipes survive today, written in several major European languages. The repertory of housekeeping instructions laid down by manuscripts like the Ménagier de Paris also include many details of overseeing correct preparations in the kitchen. Towards the onset of the early modern period , in , the Vatican librarian Bartolomeo Platina wrote De honesta voluptate et valetudine "On honourable pleasure and health" and the physician Iodocus Willich edited Apicius in Zurich in High-status exotic spices and rarities like ginger , pepper , cloves , sesame , citron leaves and "onions of Escalon"  all appear in an eighth-century list of spices that the Carolingian cook should have at hand.
It was written by Vinidarius , whose excerpts of Apicius  survive in an eighth century uncial manuscript. Vinidarius' own dates may not be much earlier. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.