Tolken Encyclopedia > Hobbits > Food in the Shire

Food in the Shire

by Arien-(Valar)
October 6, 2014
Article for the Valar Guild's 17th Anniversary

Every party needs food – we all know that. One of the races in Middle-earth that was not the tallest in stature2 (except maybe in the waist considering the mayor of Michel Delving, Will Whitfoot, or Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger) was especially famous for an interest in food. Frodo Baggins shared the special hobbit fondness for mushrooms, and, in his youth, was chased out of the fields by Farmer Maggot's dogs for said offence.4 It is mentioned that Hobbits had six meals a day when they could get them.2

What kind of food did the Hobbits eat?  Bilbo’s food storage contained various things: seed cake, scones, raspberry jam , apple-tarts, mince-pies, cheese, salad, eggs,  cold chicken and pickles. We also know that he had various drinks to go with the food: beer, ale, red and white wine and of course tea for the cakes. Bilbo had a second breakfast when Gandalf turned up to remind him that he had to keep up with Thorin’s company and he had to run without hat, walking stick, money, or pocket-handkerchief.

Fruits that grew in the shire were grapes, apples, plums, raspberries and strawberries – probably others that the climate favoured, but aren’t mentioned. They used milk for making cream to go with the strawberries of course.

    J.R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit , published by Harper Collin’s Children Books in 1998 (with illustrations by David Wyatt), 
        1. Chapter  1  “An Unexpected Party”
    J. R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition, published by HarperCollins Publishers ltd. In 2005 – chapters used:
        2. "Concerning Hobbits”,
        3. “A Long Expected Party”
        4, "A Shortcut to Mushrooms"
        5. “The Grey Havens”