The Pia Almoina
Economically founded and endowed in 1168, the Pia Almoina was a charitable institution to help the needy and the pilgrims.
Although the type of charity provided during its origins are unknown, it would be from the second half of the 13th century when feeding the penniless, those ashamed of being poor, pilgrims, widows, orphans, the sick, the elderly... would become its main task. The feeding of these groups would be precisely the iconography depicted in the paintings that decorated all the walls of the institution, much of which is exhibited at the Museu de Lleida: diocesà i comarcal.
A document from the file of this institution, dated in 1338, enables us to know what they ate that year: they handed out a daily ration of 750 grams of bread and half a litre of wine. The bread and wine were accompanied by vegetables and legumes, such as cabbage, dried beans and broad beans, kidney beans, garlic or onions. Meat was also present, but in a much smaller amount. Lamb was the meat that was consumed the most, while the least consumed, pork, was served just one day that entire year. Not one day did they eat poultry, which was reserved for the sick or the finest palates, nor did they eat fruit. We must remember that the habit of eating desserts did not exist in medieval times. In total, about 2,300 calories, enough to last the whole day, but with an obvious lack of vitamins and minerals.