This picture shows working people
at meal time. Because of the mixture of men and women, as well
as the mixture of age groups, it is most likely a picture of
the midday meal.
Engraving by Flameng, Bibliotheque
as taken from Traugott
Bouvier's Weekly Budget
Morning:bread 5c, milk
Midday: bread 15c, cheese
15c, beef and broth 50c, wine 20c
Evening: bread 10c
| Jeanne Bouvier was a French working woman who lived
from 1865 to 1964. She published her memoirs, including this
budget, in 1914. It comes from a period in which she is a seamstress.
A Typical Day's Meals
A typical working class breakfast was eaten
at work, after one had been working for about two hours. It usually
consisted of plain bread, sometimes with tea of coffee when one
could afford it.
Lunch might be the main meal of the day,
but more often it was a smaller second meal. A worker might go
home for lunch, or the whole family might eat at a local working
class restaraunt. Alternatively, a worker in poorer finacial
shape might just bring a few small provisions to eat while working.
Lunch, if it was the smaller meal, was usually a piece of bread
and some cooked vegetables with wine. A small piece of meat or
cheese might be included when it was affordable.
Dinner was eaten in the late hours of the
evening after a worker had arrived home for the day. If it was
the major meal of the day it usually consisted of a thin broththat
vegetables and perhaps a small piece of meat had been cooked
in.The broth was then poured over a piece of stale bread to give
the meal bulk and sustinence.
A workers diet consisted of a few main
staples. Obviously, bread formed the core of the diet. Fruits
and vegetables were eaten as they were available and in season
from the immediate surrounding area. Additionally, workers ate
those vegetables, such as potatoes and cabbage, that stored well.
Because there was no system of refrigeration as we know it, and
no system of worldwide distribution, workers were limited to
those foods produced in the region. For a worker in France at
that time, eating an orange might be a once in a lifetime occasion.
He would probably live his whole life without seeing a banana.