Tagged Questions

Any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth.

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6
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0answers
60 views

Which fruits and vegetables did Chinese migrants introduce to Australia during the gold rush?

The gold rush in Australia saw many Chinese migrate to the country, with the Chinese population in Australia reaching around 40000 in the 1860s. Many brought with them vegetable seeds to grow near ...
11
votes
1answer
125 views

How much salt did people in agricultural societies eat?

Industrialisation has made many commodities extremely cheap, including salt. These days we eat more than enough salt for our dietary needs, probably more due to its presence in processed foods. ...
7
votes
2answers
137 views

Easter Islands: were the Islanders starving when found?

I was working on wording a food question for Pitcairn islanders (settlers from the Bounty mutiny) when I happened across this article. It suggests that the 'commonly known' theories of the Easter ...
4
votes
1answer
366 views

How did Chinese sausages come about?

In the west, sausages has had a lengthy history. According to Wikipedia: Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and most likely with the ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

When was tofu invented? Was it specifically for vegetarian consumption from the beginning?

The Wikipedia page on tofu states that this food was first produced in Han dynasty China. However, the source cited seems to me quite doubtful: The oldest evidence of tofu production is a Chinese ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

How did Americans adopt processed and off-site butchered meat for domestic consumption in their food supply?

Meats supplied for domestic consumption through the US supermarket system are either processed or pre-cut. This contrasts with other food cultures where meat is supplied as whole animals, or ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Why did meat and dairy drop out of the working people in Britain's diet during the industrial enclosures period?

During the industrial enclosures period (1750-1832) meats and dairy dropped out of the diet of working people in Britain. This change was regional (oatmeal regions maintained milk consumption, bread ...
8
votes
1answer
199 views

Where did Southern Fried Chicken come from?

Wikipedia claims origins both in Scottish and West African cuisine. The problem I have with that is that the story I tend to see about the Scots-Irish who immigrated to North America is that they ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

Did flatbread originate in one place?

It is difficult to find a culture that does not have some form of flatbread. The Wikipedia article provides a lengthy list, listing types and locations. Did flatbread first appear in one place and ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

Why did Americans give up meat resembling animals? [closed]

Walk into a typical restaurant or supermarket in America, and it is difficult to find meat that resembles animals. Seafood seems to be the exception, as one can easily buy fish, crabs, or lobsters ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

How much is known about the Earl of Sandwich's sandwich?

According to the Wikipedia article on sandwich, the food was named after the Earl of Sandwich. How much details exist about his first sandwich? Is there enough details to accurately recreate it?
5
votes
2answers
204 views

Did ancient/medieval Indians produce and consume alcohol?

Are there any references to ancient or medieval Indians consuming (and producing) alcohol? And if so, what kind of alcohol was produced (i.e. wine, beer, whiskey, etc.)?
7
votes
1answer
162 views

The popularity of coffee

What gave rise to the widespread popularity of coffee? For example, was it a marketing effort by countries with colonies that were suitable for growing coffee? Were there supposed health benefits that ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

How was whiskey made in the 1800's?

In the 1800s, before more modern conveniences such as mass produced oak barrels became available, how long was whiskey aged, taking into consideration the high demand and technological restraints? ...
8
votes
2answers
207 views

Why did the dominance of maize last so long in North America?

In North America the native corn, maize, was the dominant grain and flour and an important mainstay in the diet. At first it was obviously the only available grain crop, with Old World cereals such as ...
10
votes
2answers
188 views

Are there instances where collective farming has actually brought benefit to the population

I was reading a few articles about population growth and famines and thereby discovered that some of the recent famines where caused by government policies, among which I read at least twice (USSR and ...
9
votes
1answer
273 views

Did Ben Franklin actually make any tofu?

It is well documented that Franklin was interested in tofu, which he called a sort of cheese made from beans, and he got a recipe for making it that he sent on to others. But no source that I have ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Looking for reference on claims that “the modern cocktail” was intended to mask the foul taste of Prohibition-era liquor?

I have long suspected that what we know today as a "cocktail" was invented to mask the taste of bad liquor. Indeed I've found several unsupported assertions to this effect online, generally pointing ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

What containers were used for food prior to the industrial era?

Today, when you go shopping, most of the food are kept in plastic or paper containers (or tin can). What types of containers were used to sell, transport and keep the food before plastic ? and ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

What was the goal of Nicolas de Larmessin etched pictures of artisans?

Nicolas de Larmessin created etched pictures of many different artisans and skilled laborers. Does anyone know what the goal of this artwork was? They are very interesting and detailed images, but I ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How prevalent was pork in Arabia before Arabs conversion to Islam?

Before Islam and its prohibition of pork, was it a commonly eaten food? Or was it already prohibited by other religions/cultures? Or was it a kind of uncommon food, which was then prohibited? We also ...
1
vote
1answer
256 views

When was the restaurant “invented” in Europe?

First of all, let me clarify that I am not talking about inns which were located on the roads between major cities; I am talking about real restaurants inside the cities. I gave this some thought and ...
11
votes
5answers
436 views

Have any armies equipped/fed their officers and enlisted men equally?

In the Soviet army during WW2 the officers had bigger food rations. They also had better boots (kirza vs. leather). The air force pilots were fed even better (but that is not very relevant). What ...
7
votes
1answer
369 views

What did the Phoenician sailor trader eat?

I am not a historian my self, but I like to read history, ancient history. I am reading now about Phoenician civilization. I noticed in Wikipedia : the Phoenicians were the major naval and trading ...
6
votes
2answers
428 views

Historical and biblical names for bottles of wine

According to sources like the linked sizes list at Wikipedia entry about bottles of champagne and other kinds of wine, various sizes of bottles took their names after ancient Jewish kings and other ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are the Portuguese so obsessed with salted codfish?

Portugal nowadays catches only a small amount of codfish annually but imports huge amounts (especially from Norway), sometimes already salted, sometimes not. Salted cod or bacalhau is a very common ...
5
votes
4answers
915 views

Historical use of alcohol as a source of clean water

I've heard that there were two common methods to disinfecting water in the past: boiling water or turning it into alcohol. Presumably, those in the East relied on boiling water, while those in the ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

What was the main diet of pre-agricultural Asians?

The modern Asian diet is based mostly around rice. Was rice a major part of the paleolithic Asian diet? Did they know how to process and eat rice before agriculture? Aside from meats, what were other ...
3
votes
0answers
75 views

Why have wheat and rice been consumed in different forms?

Historically, wheat has been ground into bread, while rice has been boiled and consumed in "granular" form. Corn has been consumed both ways, "on the cob," and in corn bread. Why is that?
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
11
votes
2answers
138 views

Which is the first culinary book ever written?

I strongly believe that food is a fundamental part of a country's tradition, so which is the first culinary book ever written?
5
votes
1answer
115 views

What was the main food source in old California?

What was the main food source in California during the Spanish and Mexican periods? I'm expecting it was either corn or wheat, but I don't know which.
6
votes
1answer
136 views

What are Kottabos players holding in their left hand?

What are these Kottabos players holding in their left hand? It is seen in a lot of similar pictures. It is as if the player refills the kylix from it. Is it a skyphos? Any info on this?
10
votes
2answers
643 views

How was beer production affected by the war during WW2?

How did the war affect beer production during World War II? This is a follow-up question to this question at Seasoned Advice, which is gathering interesting food-science answers but which are are ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Which cultures did *not* produce alcohol?

I've been reading Harold McGee's fascinating On Food and Cooking, and the chapter on alcohol has some interesting historical notes. He describes the widely varied and creative methods used in various ...
11
votes
2answers
739 views

Evidence of diets that were exclusively vegetarian

What evidence, provided by archaeological anthropology, is there in regards to diets that were exclusively vegetarian by choice from Ancient history (4th millennium BC) to Classical antiquity (5th ...
6
votes
3answers
816 views

How did corn become the most produced crop in the world?

This article has corn listed as the most important crop produced in the world. For some reason I feel like rice, or wheat is the more logical choice. So what were the conditions, and events, that led ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

What factors led to the US government issuing nutrition guidelines in 1916?

This timeline from the Washington Post says that the United States Department of Agriculture issued its first food guidelines in 1916 for children, and then did one in 1920 for adults. My question is, ...
19
votes
1answer
458 views

How did people react to Cavendish bananas when they first replaced the Gros Michel strain?

I was reading that the bananas we eat today (Cavendish) weren't particularly popular until the 50s, when the more popular Gros Michel variety was virtually wiped out by a nasty disease. Apparently ...
17
votes
1answer
495 views

When and how did classic “Italian” cuisine come to be?

Most people can recognize "Italian" food. Pasta, tomatoes, basil, etc. But many of the plants used in Italian food, didn't actually originate in Italy. Or even anywhere in the Old World. The ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

What was the reason why Americas didn't take to buckwheat as a crop?

Buckwheat is a very useful crop, resulting in healthful food. It was (and is) extremely popular is Eurasia (especially Russia and China). However, despite the fact that - as per Wiki - it was one of ...
34
votes
3answers
1k views

What was the typical peasant's diet like in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

I know that wheat, barley, rye, onions, lettuce-like plants and turnips were common but how common were other things like meat or cheese? I've heard the "plowman's lunch" was a concoction of the dairy ...
10
votes
1answer
325 views

Was the Granny Smith Apple the first green skinned apple widely propagated?

In my hometown (Eastwood NSW, Australia) we annually celebrate the Granny Smith Apple, which is assumed by many to be the first green apple widely propagated. How true is it that it was the first ...