The thing we most often associate with Lent is fasting, or the giving up of something we enjoy. Rules of fasting for the forty days of Lent were very strict prior to the Middle Ages. One meal a day, no flesh or fish, no eggs, butter or cheese.Share
In England, Lent was a season when fruit and vegetables were scarce (no supermarkets!) so the fast must have been more of a deprivation than it was in later years.
As time went by, these laws were relaxed so that by the Middle Ages fish made a return to the fast, and by the fifteenth century, milk products had been re-introduced so that effectively Lent had come to mean meals without meat, and most Lenten meals were fish and vegetables. (Read entire post.)