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Middle ages
The "bread measures"

In this display case we can see examples of the volume measures used for solid products (dry products).

In the Middle Ages, people who grew cereal used mills (moved by wind), watermills (moved by water) and horse mills (moved by animal force) to grind the cereal to turn it into flour.

The almude was the base unit for measuring liquids, mostly wine, with multiples of a quarta (4 almudes) and the puçal (4 quarts = 16 almudes).

The measures used to measure the flour were, usually, the alqueire (bushel) and its submultiples: meio alqueire, (half a bushel), quarta (fourth), oitava (eighth), maquia and selamim (or salamim). For this reason, volume measures for dry products were commonly known as the “bread measures”. This was the terminology used in legislation.

Further information​

António Neves: aneves@ipq.pt
Museum of Metrology: museu.metrologia@ipq.pt