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What exactly did the hobbits eat in the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring when journeying for many days?

Literature Asked by M. Burrowes on September 17, 2020

Near the very end of the first part, it’s mentioned that they now only have "old bread and dried fruit" left of their food, having wandered around for many days in the nothingness outside of Hobbit Land.

However, there are no other descriptions at all of their food "out in the field" that I can remember; it’s only mentioned that they "had a meager meal before going to sleep", etc.

What exactly does that "meager meal" consist of? Some kind of meat? Can you really carry meat around for so long? Do they heat it up on the fire? It would’ve been very interesting to hear what exactly they eat, and it bugs me that this is left out while the author never tires of describing the confusing (to me) geometry of the landscapes.

It’s even more strange since both the hobbits and Tolkien seem to love to eat and describe the food in detail whenever they get to have a "proper hobbit meal" while in safety. It makes me hungry reading each such scene. I wish I could join the hobbits in those moments.

Is this considered a "meaningless detail" which is so obvious as to not require any kind of mention besides that one line I already paraphrased from? Maybe it was once described early on and I’ve just forgotten about it?

It seems strange to me that such comfortable hobbits, used to eating tons of food every day, would so quickly and without complaining at all adapt to eating whatever small amount of whatever they might get to eat while camping. From the sound of it, each hobbit normally eats the entirety of their food supply in one go, so it’s very strange to me that none of them ever complain about the lack of food.

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