More fortunate members of society could occasionally obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over they would hang up their bacon, to show off. It was considered a sign of wealth if a man was able to "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with honoured guests. Whilst consuming the prized meat, the company would sit around talking and''chew the fat''. The wealthier members of society had plates made of pewter. Unfortuately, there was a downside to this display of wealth as food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food.causing lead poisoning and death. Tomatoes were one food that had a pronounced effect. As a result, for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.Bread was divided according to status. the workers recieved the burnt bottom of the loaf whilst the family got the middle. Highly esteemed guests got the top, or ''The Upper Crust''.
The Fall Guy
Many poorer families lived in crofts, low buildings with thatched roofs piled high with thick straw and no attic space underneath. The cattle were housed at one end, close to the sleeping quarters where they could provide warmth for the human occupants. The floor of a croft consisted of nothing but dirt, hence the saying, "dirt poor."Smaller animals such as cats, mice and bugs lived in the thatched roof where they could benefit from the rising heat. Insects and mouse droppings were prone to fall into the beds below, posing a problem for the sleepers. To avoid this unpleasantness, posts were located at the four corners of a bed. A sheet was then hung across the top to afforded some protection. Thus, canopy beds came into existence.During heavier rainfalls the roof became slippery, causing some of the larger animals to slip and fall off. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs.”