Pirate’s Pleasure


Since piracy began, around the 14th Century BCE, food was always a    problem. Most pirates relied on “sea biscuits” aka “hard tack,” a  hard cracker made of flour, water, and salt. They also ate dried meat, hard as leather, and dried fruits such as raisins. Parmesan cheese was probably on board as early as the 13th century: it became hard, but didn’t spoil.

Into the late 1600s, pirates appeared in the Caribbean and North America. For food, they benefited from the coffers they found or stole. Favorites were mangos, which pirates likely introduced to North America; chocolate, from Mesoamerica; and cane sugar, originally from Asia.

In the 1700s, Revolutionaries and other leaders hired “privateers” – pirates paid to loot and plunder the cargo of enemy nations. Like other pirates, they procured goods, such as “burnt” cinnamon almonds, walnuts, and other nuts, citrus fruits such as lemons, and orange peels preserved in sugar.

Through history, fresh water was soon contaminated by algae. So,  alcohol, including rum, was the drink of choice. Pirates also drank coffee, beans reused cup after cup, or ate the beans whole, when available.

By the 1800s, privacy diminished but wasn’t eradicated until decades later. Today, piracy occurs in isolated parts of the world, the pirates as devious as in the past, although fewer of them.


SKU: 12164 Categories: , ,

Additional information

Weight 32 oz
Dimensions 7 × 4 × 1 in


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