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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36
votes
2answers
6k 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. ...
-1
votes
3answers
315 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
295 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
267 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
239 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
130 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? ...
-3
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
141 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
414 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
159 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
201 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
109 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
418 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, ...
-4
votes
1answer
149 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?
26
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
204 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
460 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 (...
3
votes
0answers
249 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, ...
4
votes
0answers
203 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
664 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 "...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ( ...
0
votes
2answers
274 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
656 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
958 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
669 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?
49
votes
5answers
17k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
150 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 - ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
646 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
9k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
450 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 ...
71
votes
7answers
22k views

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): ...
1
vote
2answers
200 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 ...
94
votes
6answers
23k 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 (...
13
votes
2answers
987 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) have to ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
477 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
759 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
220 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
505 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
497 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
753 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
731 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?
58
votes
1answer
15k 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 ...