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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6
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3answers
417 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 ...
2
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0answers
139 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
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0answers
95 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
9k 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 ...
3
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1answer
228 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
467 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 ...
11
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3answers
375 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 ...
8
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2answers
613 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?
36
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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 ...
10
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3answers
846 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.
7
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3answers
457 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 ...
-4
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1answer
110 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
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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 ...
6
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2answers
495 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 ...
8
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2answers
392 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 ...
4
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1answer
276 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 (...
4
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0answers
159 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 ...
15
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1answer
617 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 ...
3
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0answers
206 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, ...
14
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4answers
20k 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 ...
49
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5answers
16k 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
15k 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-...
4
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0answers
186 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
603 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
684 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
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2answers
223 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 ...
7
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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 ...
20
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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
617 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
193 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
2k 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 ...
4
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1answer
264 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 ...
24
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4answers
9k 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 ...
-4
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1answer
178 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 ...
16
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8answers
23k views

How did societies adapt to using alcohol to make water safer?

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 ...
-1
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1answer
73 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 ...
19
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5answers
3k views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From "...
8
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1answer
568 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
528 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?
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
131 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
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3answers
3k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Was “the modern cocktail” 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 ...
91
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6answers
21k 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 (...
21
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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 ...
15
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1answer
2k 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 ...
70
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7answers
20k 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): ...