Questions tagged [food]

Any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth. Questions with this tag should be about the historical practices of growing, preparing, and eating food, or about the historical origins of modern foods.

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3answers
318 views

What is the real origin of the stereotype that associates fried chickens with African Americans?

I knew for a long time very vaguely that there were some connections between fried chickens and African Americans. And it started by listening this product of the celebrity Key & Peele. And he ( ...
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2answers
186 views

Does any culture have a native food that is objectively bad? [closed]

This is more of an anthropology question. Lots of different cultures have many different cuisines based on the animals and plants available. Is there any culture that developed anywhere and lasted ...
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560 views

How was nut milk made before blenders?

I didn't find any info online. I'd imagine it was made by grinding up the nut, then mixing it with water. But how would they strain it then? Cloth was all hand made back when almond milk was first ...
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150 views

What is the impact of history on food habits in India?

I have observed (although I cannot substantiate it with any complete research data as such, except for a few articles) that, an average Indian diet, especially in the rural parts of India generally ...
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1answer
156 views

Why did the ancient Romans kill deer so often? [closed]

I've heard that they killed deer for tools and food,but why always deer? they also killed other animals, but why deer most of the time? was there some sort of benefit? many books say," they do it for ...
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1answer
68 views

Is there a ig-Nobel prize dinner? [closed]

I know that there’s a Nobel prize dinner & that there’s the ig-Nobel prize for making you laugh and then think: my question is this, is there a ig-Nobel prize dinner? I figured that it would be ...
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1answer
358 views

When did we stop diluting wine?

In ancient Rome, wine was drunk diluted with water, as discussed in this question. When did it become common practice not to dilute wine, but to drink it as is? I tried to look, and found nothing ...
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3answers
395 views

Was pie crust originally meant for throwing away in England?

I'm trying to find the sources on youtube (last part about the English making a pie crust for throwing away) Also would that be a sin of gluttony in wasting food?
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5answers
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What did babies eat before the advent of modern blenders?

Modern baby foods are commonly made using various strengths of blender, but what was used before then? I assume something like a potato masher, but that would only work for a few foods. So what was ...
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1answer
119 views

How did production of grain change with Hellenistic Egypt coming under Roman rule?

As far as I know Egypt, under the Ptolemies, became famous in Hellenistic world for vast agricultural production due to the strict and harsh administration installed there by Greeks. Still I wonder - ...
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What was the staple food of the natives of South East Asia before rice?

According to Wikipedia, history of rice, rice was first brought to South East Asia region across the caravan routes of the central Asian steppes. Now many of the subcontinental people of South East ...
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1answer
239 views

Why did the price of eggs in Britain increase much more than for other basic foods during WWI?

At the beginning of WWI, Britain was only about 40% self-sufficient in food, a major problem given the tonnage of ships sunk by German submarines. Unsurprisingly, food prices rose. In First World War ...
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What was the liquor that was based on petrol which was produced in the USSR during the Second World War?

I have a 1971 Spanish edition of the book "Stuka Pilot" by Hans-Ulrich Rudel where he recounts his memories of war. In the second chapter, in which he talks about the first combats of "Operation ...
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2answers
245 views

What is Caucasian pepper?

In Peter Martyr's De orbe novo decades (Decades of the New World, 1511–25), he thrice compares axi to something he calls Caucasian pepper. The following excerpts are from the 1912 MacNutt English ...
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Is it true that “All spicy food is from Latin America”?

Nancy Qian, economist who has studied the Columbian Exchange (2018): There really was no spicy food in the world before the Columbian Exchange. Denver Nicks, author of Hot Sauce Nation (2016): ...
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2answers
157 views

The diversity of human eating utensils

In English we have specific words for the main eating utensils: Fork Knife Spoon These are specifically what we place into our hands for eating. I am not too aware of what it is like currently in ...
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6answers
19k views

What is the origin of 3 meals a day?

Wondering if there is an origin of the "3 meals a day" concept. For example, in English we have specific words for them: Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. But we have a few more for other meals in the day (...
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2answers
465 views

What did European people of the 5th century AD eat during spring and what was the availability?

It is commonly believed that winter during that age was a period of starvation, with very limited means of procuring food. If the above is true, what did the commoners (peasants, serfs, etc) had to ...
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512 views

How widespread was the consumption of rabbit meat by the poor in Medieval and Early-Modern Britain?

The Romans raised rabbits as livestock in Spain in the 2nd century BC and later brought them to Britain. French monks are believed to have domesticated them in the 5th century AD for their meat and ...
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2answers
335 views

How and why buttermilk was added to English medieval butter?

My question engages in the history of butter. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but I will give it a try. I read an old Jewish text (Sharei Dura 78) dated to the 13th century that ...
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1answer
191 views

When was the potato introduced to Mexico?

There are wild potatoes in Mexico, but eating potatoes are generally cultivars imported from the Andes. They became popular elsewhere after Europeans with sailing ships took them around the world. ...
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3answers
206 views

Six bulls for ship's provisions

The Ortega family at Rancho Refugio did a brisk business in clandestine trade with visiting ships. According to Katherine Plummer, in March of 1815, the Forester stopped there and loaded firewood, ...
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1answer
250 views

When was natural gas first used for cooking food?

Natural gas seeping from the ground was exploited or regarded in different ways by ancient civilizations, but it is generally accepted that it was the Chinese who first exploited gas for heating: ...
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1answer
269 views

Did Ancient Romans use metal thimbles? What were they like?

The Romans didn't have forks, so they picked the food with their hands. It is known about the rich that after every course they wiped them and received from their slaves pots with perfumed water to ...
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1answer
308 views

Was the high consumption of (red) wine in Ancient Rome preventive of scurvy? [closed]

With daily consumption of wine estimated to be about 1 liter/day based on production, vitamin c requirements may be about covered. Was that a reason why these enormous consumption levels were thought ...
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412 views

Did Ancient or Medieval People Know About Underground Rivers/Lakes?

If they did, did they utilize them for farming? If so, how would they?
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1answer
13k views

Did the Romans eat breakfast?

This BBC article, citing the food historian Caroline Yeldham, says Breakfast as we know it didn't exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn't really eat it, usually consuming only one ...
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2answers
6k views

Why did early attempts to transport milk to London by rail meet with 'much criticism'?

According to the Wikipedia article on milk (referring to transporting milk to London by rail), The Great Western Railway was an early and enthusiastic adopter, and began to transport milk into ...
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2answers
145 views

Was the sprouting of seeds for food production known in Europe before 1800?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouting Was this not known in Europe?
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1answer
626 views

How did people first discover that food is food? [closed]

In ancient times, how did people figure out that certain things are edible? Did someone just pull a potato out of the ground and decide to see what happens if you cook it? Back a long time ago, no one ...
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1answer
244 views

How much more productive was Aegyptus in comparison to Africa Proconsularis in classical antiquity?

On the one hand, the Wikipedia page on Africa Proconsularis states, with no references, that it "produced one million tons of cereals each year, one-quarter of which was exported." On the other, the ...
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3answers
3k views

How did people put down a drinking horn?

It's easy to put down a glass. You just put it on the table. It won't spill unless somebody tips it over. How did people put a full drinking horn on the table? Did they have some sort of thingy to ...
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1answer
433 views

Why are doughnuts toroidal?

I study maths and torii come up a bit, and same goes for physics with tokamak fusion reactors, for instance. In popular science talks, sometimes people say "torus" but most people are familiar with ...
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Why didn't Japan adopt western utensils?

Why didn't Japan adopt the widespread use of western style utensils during its periods of westernization? For contrast Thailand seems to have done this during its efforts to westernize. Without ...
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0answers
131 views

Looking for source(s) on cuisine and humorism theory for how they've changed over time

Just to preface: no, I do not believe in humorism. I was watching a show a few years ago where the hosts ate food from different time periods. They remarked how pork and applesauce were an odd ...
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12k views

Cooking on Ancient Ships?

In ancient times, ships would often be at sea for extended periods of time. During this time, I'm assuming they must have done some form of cooking, otherwise they would have just eaten cold, pre-...
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4answers
9k views

Why didn't cheese spoil when it was given as rations to soldiers?

I've come across many mentions of cheese when talking about rations for soldiers and those who would be hiking for long stretches of time. What kind of cheese would we be talking about? I'm mainly ...
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1answer
362 views

Are species introduced to England and Wales by the Romans still found near Roman settlements?

Anecdotally, it seems as though species of fauna and flora introduced to England and Wales during the Roman occupation are still more likely to be found near Roman settlements. Obviously, some ...
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3answers
2k views

Did Peter the Great introduce the potato to Russia?

The essay "Tuber or not Tuber" claims with no citation: Introduction of the tuber to Russia is usually credited to Peter the Great, who became familiar with potatoes while learning the shipbuilding ...
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2answers
875 views

What is the first documented eating disorder?

My question is, what is the first verified eating disorder in which the person desired to be thin- ex. bulimia, anorexia, etc. Basically what I'm asking- when did people begin to see thin as beautiful ...
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1answer
257 views

How is historical “average calorie consumption” data from eighty years ago estimated?

I read an article in a German news magazine today about the German post-war "hunger winters" of 1946-48. The article cites very detailed statistics about average calorie consumption in Germany in ...
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3answers
16k views

History of Corn in Europe

In "The Wealth Of Nations", Adam Smith discusses the price of corn in ancient times. Apparently, books such as "Chronicon Preciosum: or An Account of English Money, the Price of Corn and Other ...
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2answers
307 views

What was typical agricultural produce in Rome or Greece roundabout 2000-3000ya?

During worldbuilding for a roleplaying campaign, I realized that I have a reasonable idea of what people have been growing (and eating) in northern Europe (rye, cabbage, turnips, beets and other roots,...
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2answers
220 views

Has scurvy occurred on land outside the Russian Far East?

James Gibson's "Feeding the Russian Fur Trade" mentions episodes of scurvy occurring during the expansion into the Russian Far East (Northern Siberia and Okhostk Seaboard). These lands were inhabited, ...
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2answers
1k views

Did starvation or malnutrition occur in indigenous American societies?

Colonizers of the Americas often paid natives for work in food, and justified the certainty in doing so as an improvement over the supposedly hazardous, unpredictable lifestyle those natives ...
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3answers
465 views

Were shipboard gardens ever typical?

La Pérouse brought fruit trees and an herb garden on his fatal voyage; his gardener also tended the root cellar. Through the ages, how common or uncommon has it been to cultivate plants aboard a ship?
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2answers
743 views

What was the most popular food staple among civilians during World War II? [closed]

Hunger and famine are big risks during war. Which food was responsible for saving the most civilians from famine during WWII? I would expect this wonder food to be cheap, healthy yet abundant to be ...
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338 views

Were tobacco and marijuana ever competing products?

My question is whether tobacco and marijuana were ever competing products in Europe. It occurred to me that marijuana is an Old World plant, whereas tobacco is a New World plant, and therefore had to ...
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1answer
385 views

When did it become accepted to tilt your soup bowl?

If this is the wrong SE, please tell me and I'll move it to the correct one. I couldn't find anything more specific. My mother and I are having a bit of an argument. Emily Post, my cotillion ...
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What food might they have at the Cold Harbor, Virginia, in 1860?

Cold Harbor Virginia was named for an inn, the Cold Harbor. You could stay there but you could not get hot food. It seems that already in 17th century Virgina a "cold harbor" was such an inn 1. It ...