Spice garden and kitchen

The most important plants in the monastery’s garden were the spices ivoand herbs such as sage, mint, hyssop, rue (herb of grace), but lily, rose, stock-gillyflower, iris, lily-of-the-valley, coltsfoot and columbine were also grown. These plants were used not only to heal the sick in the hospital, but were also used in the kitchen. In addition to mint, anise, dill, parsley, sage and tarragon other exotic spices, such as pepper, ginger, nutmeg-flower, saffron, clove, cinnamon were also used, but garlic, pine-kernel, crab-apple, horse radish, grated cheese, raisins and rose water were frequently used, too. Monks also drank tea and coffee and sweets were also served on festive occasions. The monastery diet was based on bread, beer and wine. Monastery regulations allowed each monk to consume about half a bread every day. In the case of wine the daily ration was about 3-5 dl, and from light beer nearly 4 litres were allowed to be consumed. There were two meals a day, each meal consisting of a bowl of cooked food, often supplemented with bread made from barley or millet, and fruits. Leguminous plants had an important role in the monks’ diet, gyumolcsokthe consumption of meat was only allowed from the 13th century in general, but it was allowed earlier for the worker brothers as they performed hard physical labour. However, fish from the rivers Rába and Lapincs were consumed in abundance.

 

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