"things dainty and gratifying to the palate," early 15c., plural of delicacy in the "fine food" sense.
c. 1200, pitaunce, "pious donation to a religious house or order to provide extra food; the extra food provided," also "a small portion, scanty rations," from Old French pitance "pity, mercy, compassion; refreshment, nourishment; portion of food allowed a monk or poor person by a pious bequest," apparently literally "pity," from the source pity. Perhaps via Medieval Latin *pietantia, from an assumed verb *pietare, or otherwise derived from Latin pietas. Meaning "small amount, portion, or quantity" is attested by 1560s.
"to supply with things necessary," especially a store of food, 1787, from provision (n.). Related: Provisioned; provisioning.
c. 1300, norture, "upbringing, the act or responsibility of rearing a child," also "breeding, manners, courtesy," from Old French norture, nourreture "food, nourishment; education, training," from Late Latin nutritia "a nursing, suckling," from Latin nutrire "to nourish, suckle" (see nourish). From mid-14c. as "nourishment, food."
"fish bait," consisting usually of pieces of some other fish, 1857, perhaps from Scottish chum "food."