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Supper now means a light evening meal that replaces dinner; such a meal is especially popular if people have eaten a heavy lunch..." ---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguid: New York] 1991 (p.
The staggering of meals in large households, with the servants eating earlier than the lord..common." ---Food and Feast in Medieval England, P. Hammond [Wrens Park Publishing: Pheonix Mill] 1993 (p. They argued that distribution of humors and spirits, the third stage of digestion, is stronger during the day, but concoction is much stronger when the mind and body are at rest...
The history of meal times (and number of meals consumed) makes for fascinating study.
These differ greatly from culture to culture and through time.
These meals consisted of breakfast at a very early hour to allow for dinner at about 9 a.m., or not later than 10.00 a.m., and supper probably before it got dark, perhas at 3.00 p.m. The times and number of meals were originally derived from the hours of devotions of the Church.
Monks ate the main meal of their day after the celebration of nones, which was nine hours after daybreak.
According to the Old English Rule of Chodegang, if preostas ate twice a day then it was a midday and evening, and at Aethelwold's monastery the monks had dinner and supper...
An ealier meal than dinner or supper is referred to--the undernswoesendum. In contrast to the monastic regimen where the main meal was at or around midday, it is possible that in a secular time-table, main meals were at the third hour and again at supper time, to allow a full day's activity between them.
When meals were taken, or even how many meals a day there were, varied according to the calendar, social class, and personal preference.
The novice of the Colloquy seems to eat first soon after midday...
Morever, in large establishments, serving meals at set hours would have saved time.
Punctual meals were particularly important in monasteries where the offices had to be observed.
Upper-class people were eating breakfast earlier, and dinner later, than they had formerly done..1808...dinner was now a late meal and supper a snack taken at the very end of the day before people retired to bed.