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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Was rapeseed oil used for cooking before the twentieth century?

The Wikipedia article on rapeseed oil states that it has been in use for thousands of years, starting in India around 4,000 years ago and China and Japan around 2,000 years ago. However, it is unclear ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

What is the first documented mention of female period loss (amenorrhea)?

(Hypothalamic) Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation during the reproductive years of a woman's life. According to physiologists, it's an evolutionary biological mechanism that gets ...
Mila A's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
282 views

Traditionally, did Europeans not heat milk before drinking it?

My impression was that before modern pasteurization and refrigeration, most cultures that drank milk considered it a good idea to heat milk before drinking it and so usually did heat milk before ...
user103496's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
262 views

Have Chinese (and surrounding) cultures traditionally heated their milk?

I’ve spoken with many middle aged Chinese people who have reported that for as long as they can remember, even growing up on a farm, they would never drink milk, even their own cattle’s, without first ...
Frank's user avatar
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-3 votes
2 answers
581 views

Were grapes luxurious food in Ancient Rome?

We always see in historical movies that a Roman emperor is sitting on his throne and a concubine feeds him with grapes. My question is that is this historically true? Were grapes so expensive that ...
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38 votes
5 answers
10k views

Did active frontiersmen really eat 20,000 calories a day? How does this compare to other highly-active people in recorded history?

I am currently midway through this book, The Company: The Rise And Fall of the Hudson's Bay Empire. It is really good. One thing that keeps coming up is the amount of rations needed for each explorer, ...
nick carraway's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
99 views

Which person is Burani named after?

In this article I found two persons as whom Burani (a Middle Eastern dish) is named after: According to Naḵjavānī (p. 145), the term būrānī is derived from the name of Būrān, daughter of Ḥasan b. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
174 views

What did modern China do with food sold to the state?

I understand that communes, later, "production units", and eventually, households sold food to the state at a set price. If the state wants to pay a lower-than-market price for food, do they ...
john's user avatar
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3 answers
437 views

Did it really take until 1990 for "Europe"/UK to switch from glass bottles of milk to cartons? [closed]

I came across this weird claim: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_delivery#Europe By 1975, 94% of milk was in glass bottles, but in 1990, supermarkets started offering plastic and carton containers, ...
Centilli's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
152 views

What was Hunanese cuisine like before chili peppers were imported to China?

Today, chilis are strongly associated with Hunanese cuisine, which is regarded as the spiciest Chinese regional cuisine. However, Chinese recipe books didn't start mentioning chilis until the 1790s, ...
WiJaMa's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
171 views

When and how did Britons' (and offshoots like Americans) aversion to eating some parts of animals/fish (e.g. head/organs/blood/feet) begin?

Britons (and their offshoots the Americans and others) are today averse to eating some parts of animals/fish (e.g. head/organs/blood/feet). For example, chicken feet were worthless in the US until c. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
466 views

Has a food taster ever thwarted an assassination attempt?

Important people have been known to employ food tasters to avoid assassination by poisoning. The linked Wikipedia article mentions that Claudius, Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin all ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
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25 votes
2 answers
7k views

Were there luxury restaurants in East Germany?

I was recently reading the excellent book Mac B, Kid Spy: Mac Saves the World by Mac Barnett. It is set in 1989, and Mac crosses the Berlin Wall to infiltrate the Television Tower in East Berlin. I ...
Nick Matteo's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
957 views

What would have been on the menu in an Ancient Egyptian tavern?

Public dining places It appears that there were public dining places in Ancient Egypt. A menu from one of them has been found, dating back to 6th Century BC. On this menu was cereal, wild fowl, and ...
John Strachan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
900 views

What was the reason Jesus allowed Christians to eat pork? [closed]

Pork prohibitions date back to ancient Mesopotamia where for some cults consumption of pork was banned. Many people speculate if the bans against pork was to protect against trichinosis, which turns ...
Jimmy1996's user avatar
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26 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why do old kitchen stoves have circular openings in the upper surface?

As a sidenote to this question: Why do European 19th century kitchen stoves for solid fuels often have circular openings on top? Is the heating more effective if there is no additional metal between ...
Jan's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
554 views

Where/when does the wok start to differentiate itself from pot-style cooking vessels?

I can understand how basic pottery imitating gourds can lead to "cauldron" style hanging pots, and on to the modern shapes used predominantly in the west. Similar for the flat cooking ...
DaPeda's user avatar
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29 votes
6 answers
8k views

Why are cereal grains so important to agriculture and civilization?

I was looking through a list of foodstuffs and noticed that nuts have far more energy content, fat content and protein content than cereals (relative to their mass). They don't seem to be especially ...
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2 votes
1 answer
546 views

Was garlic an Egyptian deity, based on Pliny the Elder's "Natural History" (Book XIX, Ch 32)?

What historical evidence can validate Pliny the Elder's "Natural History" (Book XIX, Chapter 32) claim that - Egyptians worshiped garlic as a deity ? "Garlic and onions are invoked by ...
חִידָה's user avatar
37 votes
2 answers
7k views

When and why did garum disappear?

Garum or liquamen was, apparently, extremely popular in classical Rome, consumed by rich and poor on a daily basis, almost on par with bread. It was also known to other Mediterranean civilizations. ...
Michael's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
685 views

How did people boil water before metal pots? [duplicate]

How did ancient peoples boil water or cook rice before somebody figured out how to make metal pots? Another way to ask this is: how would you cook rice if you found yourself stranded in the wilderness ...
Duke Leto's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
536 views

Does anyone know anything about medieval instant pottage?

Does anyone know anything about medieval instant pottage? Years ago, I saw this in Terry Jones' Medieval Lives episode 1 ( at 14:00). Jones explains pottage and then says there was an instant type of ...
TumbleDryLow's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
848 views

Insect consumption in late middle-ages in the Northern Europe

Were insects consumed in the Northern Europe in the late Middle Ages by the rural population? It seems natural to use any available source of food during a famine, but in order to get substantial ...
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6 votes
1 answer
426 views

What's going on with this graph of wheat prices in "Civilization and Capitalism"?

I've been reading through Fernand Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century Vol I: The Structures of Everyday Life. On page 135, there's a graph of the price of a quintal of wheat in ...
RavenclawPrefect's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
158 views

Why do certain foods (i.e. wheat and rice) dominate our carbohydrate intake? [closed]

Today most human consume wheat, rice, and to a less extent potato as the main carbohydrate source, even though there are other carbohydrate sources too (corn, barley, tapioca, etc). Why is that so? ...
fajrian's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
225 views

How did cannibals in Jamestown obtain bodies for food? [closed]

This article said that it was probably because of lack of food (In the Jamestown Colony), but if it was then why didn't the teenager be cared for or left alone instead of being eaten. How did the ...
Tardy's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
535 views

Why do biscuits depict ships?

I have noticed that several brands of biscuits have ships on them and have wondered why that is. A friend suggested that this is for historical reasons but I couldn't find any evidence of that. Where ...
Nico's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
246 views

Are there records of soldiers opinions of canned food in WWI?

While reading the Wikipedia article on canning, I came across the following statement (with no citation). Throughout the war, British soldiers generally subsisted on low-quality canned foodstuffs, ...
graviton's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
481 views

When was it first noticed that airplane passengers really seemed to like tomato juice?

There is this observation/theory that during flights, people really like to drink much more tomato juice than while on the ground. "A small study" (as Wikipedia calls it) from 2015 tries to ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the significance of barley as opposed to wheat in Ancient Rome?

Recently, I was reading about the Roman Army's use of decimation, and the Wikipedia article repeatedly mentions that after the application of this punishment, soldiers would have their wheat rations ...
Inquisitive Lynx's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
212 views

Where can I find a historic recipe for red cherry-onion jam?

A while back, I had duck with red cherry-onion jam at a medieval restaurant. Allegedly, it was a historic recipe, originally prepared in 1445 for the wedding of one of René d’Anjou’s daughters. As for ...
user149408's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
388 views

Why are milk and beer the only food item that are still measured in imperial units? [closed]

Apologies if this is in the wrong stack site, I couldn't think of a more appropriate place for it. I live in the UK. We're known for having mostly switched to the metric system except for a few ...
Hashim Aziz's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
121 views

Did the Japanese use native Camellia species before Camellia sinensis was introduced from China?

According to Wikipedia the first known references to tea occured in the 9th century, when Buddhist monks introduced tea, a drink made from Camellia sinensis to Japan. The Camellia variety sinensis is ...
RakeALeaf's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
642 views

How was sugar consumed by industrial revolution workers?

I seen several times the claim than sugar was an essential nutrient for industrial revolution workers (for example this blog) and even that sugar availability made possible the industrial revolution, ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 3,871
-4 votes
1 answer
294 views

Were ice buckets used to chill wine in Victorian England?

Any quick answer as to whether they were used in the Victorian era (in the comments) would be deeply appreciated (I need a quick answer). So when did this form of wine chilling come about?
yolo's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is rye bread Turkish?

Scandinavian airline SAS released a controversial advertising video titled What is truly Scandinavian? It claims that many things considered traditional in Scandinavian countries are actually ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
274 views

What are some primary sources for Chinese restaurants?

I am currently working on a research paper on the history and development of Americanized Chinese food and restaurants, but finding primary sources has been a challenge. I currently have a few ...
Mark Fievet's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
719 views

Which early Imperial Roman writer said this about grains?

I definitively although vaguely recall a quote by a (first century AD?) Roman that asserts more or less that civilised Romans use wheat in baking, whereas Germans/Celts (I forget which) would use rye (...
Noldorin's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
331 views

Was lobster considered a poor man's food in the Georgian era?

Many years ago I took a tour through a restored Georgian-era house in Dublin (best €2 I spent that summer). This included some pretty good explanations on the everyday life and customs in that period, ...
AEhere supports Monica's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
215 views

How did Indian diets change after arrival of Muslim kings?

I would like to know how did the diets of people changed due to the new kingdoms that came in and took over the Indian Subcontinent. Was it earlier more vegetarian due to religious reasons and shifted ...
user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How exactly were beer/bread made in Ancient Egypt?

I'm writing a novel set in large part in Ancient Egypt and am incorporating many tasks of everyday living into the narrative. The one I'm stuck on is the making of bread and beer (which were ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 271
6 votes
1 answer
841 views

Why did sailing ships so often employ Chinese cooks?

During the age of sail, it was common for Western ships to employ Chinese cooks. I don't have any numbers except that there are pages and pages of relevant results from search queries including "...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ( ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
324 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 ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
725 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
332 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 ...
Sushant's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
248 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 ...
whaley 's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
118 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 ...
Abraham Ray's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k 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?
Hao S's user avatar
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