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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4
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0answers
158 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 ...
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1answer
117 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? ...
6
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
8k 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 ...
7
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1answer
861 views

During the Middle Ages, how many people could fishing feed?

I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age. But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher? I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea ...
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1answer
195 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 ...
14
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2answers
6k views

What are the origins of knife and fork language etiquette?

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...
3
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1answer
231 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
1k 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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130 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, ...
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238 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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2answers
939 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 ...
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3answers
493 views

What was special about ground foods for sacrificial meals?

To avoid repetition, I use 'pabulum' to mean food products ground for sacrificial meals. [Etymonline:] [...] immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from ...
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183 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 ...
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0answers
107 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 ...
30
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4answers
10k 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 ...
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1answer
375 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, ...
14
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2answers
515 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
382 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 ...
25
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1answer
9k 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 ...
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2answers
710 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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3answers
4k 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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3answers
952 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.
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3answers
472 views

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

Today, when you go shopping, most of the food is kept in plastic or paper containers (or tin cans). In the everyday life, what types of containers were used to sell, transport and keep food before ...
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1answer
132 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?
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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 ...
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2answers
619 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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2answers
431 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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1answer
449 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 (...
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0answers
196 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 ...
16
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1answer
873 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 ...
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0answers
240 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, ...
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4answers
22k views

When Adam Smith discusses “corn” to what crop does he refer?

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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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 ...
51
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5answers
17k views

How did they cook 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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0answers
199 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 ...
6
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1answer
639 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 "...
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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 ( ...
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2answers
258 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
643 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
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2answers
264 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 ...
12
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7answers
3k views

Was there a Japanese Exchange, à la Columbian Exchange?

After the European (re-)discovery of the Americas, there was a widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas and ...
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1answer
277 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 ...
13
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4answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
10k views

Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

Why was there lack of food during the WW2 in the UK? I understand the lack of food in the countries occupied by Germans, as they recruited a lot of agricultural products for their war machinery. But ...
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1answer
196 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 ...