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For pirates, eating at sea was purely a method of survival. Unless a bounty of provisions was captured from a wealthy merchant ship, very few would have received enjoyment from the available menu. The drinking water was old, the meat and vegetables were rotten and the biscuit-like bread would have been full of weevils.
Tortuga, situated on the northern tip of the island of Hispaniola, became a popular spot for pirates during the early 1600s, thanks to the fresh food and safe harbor available there. Later, Petit Gloave in Southwestern Saint Dominique gained favor as it was better connected to the international market for pirate booty.
Toward the end of the Golden Age, friendly ports became scarce, and pirates were forced to resort to other methods of nutrition. One favored meal at this time was Salamagundi. A complex stew of turtle, fish, chicken, pig, cow, duck, pigeon, spiced wine, herbs, palm hearts, garlic, oil, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, pickled onions, cabbage, grapes and olives, it probably became popular more as a matter of convenience than of preference.
Salamagundi was easy to make, and the pungent spices would have concealed the taste of raw ingredients that were kept below deck during journeys that could last for weeks at a time. "Black Bart" Roberts ate it for breakfast on the day he was fatally shot in a battle against the British Royal Navy.
Pirate drink also involved many unusual ingredient combinations. Bombo was a spicy concoction of rum, water, sugar and nutmeg. Rumfustian included a hearty blend of raw eggs, sugar, sherry, gin and beer. Rumbullion was a tingling brew of rum mixed with wine, tea, lime juice, sugar and spices. And Blackbeard's favorite drink, Kill Devil, was created by lacing rum with real gunpowder.