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93

In "Millennium From Religion to Revolution: How Civilization Has Changed Over a Thousand Years"*, Mortimer explains the origin of 3 meals a day: As for mealtimes, few people in northern Europe ate breakfast in 1501. The medieval two-meal rhythm of the day persisted: dinner was at about 11 a.m. and supper at about 5 p.m. But as more people moved into ...


93

Many babies were indeed fed mashed food, typically of cooked vegetables and fruits. While it's true that not all foods can be prepared like this, keep in mind that pre-modern families rarely have access to the kind of dietary diversity as modern developed economies anyway. So this was likely not a realistic concern for most. Nonetheless, there is a variety ...


90

I live in Thailand, and I wondered about the same. I asked this question to several Thais with some knowledge in history. Chili peppers come from the Americas. That's correct. They are imported into Asia. Also correct. But the peppercorn from the black pepper is native to Asia. This was - and still is - in use before Europeans introduced Chili peppers to ...


70

While it is true that most hot spices originated in the Americas, spicy food was evident in most ancient civilizations and originated from many different regions of the world. There is both physical and literary evidence for the use spices and spicy food dating back to antiquity in Asia and Europe, as well as the Americas. The Cambridge World History of ...


61

That's a good question. As far as we know, most ancient voyages didn't venture that far from land. Ships like the Bronze Age Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya shipwrcks are thought to have been coastal traders. They simply plied their trade around the coast of the Mediterranean, probably never getting far out of sight from the shore. This would mean that they ...


61

It seems the issue may be with generalizing 'Romans' as single entity and not as a group which changed through time. Johnston in The Private Life of the Romans goes into the changes seen in the Roman diet over time: The table supplies of a given people vary from age to age with the development of civilization and refinement, and in the same age with ...


50

There wasn't a lack of food in the UK, not in the sense that people weren't getting enough to eat or were suffering malnutrition. What there was is a lack of variety of food. Anything which was imported (citrus, tropical fruits, tea, coffee, sugar), expensive (meat) or important to the war effort (fats, meat, canned anything) would be rationed. Rationing ...


48

Mustard, horseradish, ginger and cumin all grow in the old world and are by most definitions spicy.


48

There is quite some strange quotation mixing up the interpretation. My version of that book reads: An ancient L.A.C. had been trying to fill his lighter from a large petrol tin. He does it by tilting the tin with the result that the petrol spills over the lighter whereupon he keeps flicking it to see if it is already working. There is a terrific bang; the ...


47

In short, either when it was empty or it had a stand. Drinking horns were used by many different cultures on different continents (Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe e.t.c.) and in different time periods up to this day. Often, they were not intended to be put down while liquid remained but this was not always the case. Xenophon, among others, attested to ...


46

The Agrarian History of England and Wales E. J. T. Collins, Joan Thirsk Cambridge University Press, 2000 page 993: Retailers complained that railway milk was not as fresh as town milk, and a difference in price reflected this fact. The European Cities and Technology Reader: Industrial to Post-industrial City, David C. Goodman, Psychology Press, 1999, ...


46

Mother's milk, overlapping with more solid food, was typically a major part of a baby's diet for much longer than we now think of in many western countries, where starting weaning at a few months and completing within another few months has become common in the last few decades, and breastfeeding is by no means guaranteed. Susbstitutes for breastmilk weren't ...


44

Answer to question as originally posted: This is more of a language use problem, in several ways. The first comment is correct in stating that capsaicin containing dishes (these are the "hot, spicy") are very popular in Asia now. But in Asia it was impossible for those dishes to contain capsaicin before Columbus. The whole genus Capsicum was simply absent ...


37

Here is one noting: The European medieval diet was largely determined by social class. For the majority of the of the people, peasants, a large portion of their daily diet was made up of grains such as wheat, rye, oats or barley(carbohydrates). The grains were boiled whole in a soup or stew, ground into flour and made into bread, or malted and brewed into ...


34

Well alcohol does have a strong anti-bacterial effect,and adding water to wine was a way to create more drink as there was very little clean drinking water. During the fermentation process many microbes die, eventually the yeast too dies in the anaerobic environment. I think adding water to wine and letting the two mix for a while would kill a significant ...


29

Methods for making fruit and vegetable purees existed long before the modern electric blender. A mechanical food mill is usable on most cooked fruits and vegetables with very good results. I don't know about early historical times, but these things were very typical throughout the 20th century in locales where blenders were not common, for example in ...


28

First and foremost, for an army recommendations and even regulations would be always conditional on availability; if there was not enough cheese available or if cheese had gone bad then simply cheese would not be distributed. In other words, the fact that cheese was recommended does not mean that every time the soldiers had to do long marches they would have ...


27

Its not quite that simple. Since the process typically relies on evaporating out water from pools, it turns out you either need a somewhat reliably sunny climate to do this, or you have to set up a lot of extra large boilers. So some places are much better than others to set up shop. That being said, the South did in fact have large-scale salterns they ...


24

According to this well sourced article, wine was diluted to reduce its strength, in order to avoid over-inebriation. Those who did not drink it diluted were seen as barbaric, uncultured, or besotted. There are claims on wikipedia and other online sources that the ancients drank diluted wine or small-beer to avoid water-borne illness, but I can't seem to ...


24

The short answer to your question is that the general avoidance of consuming pork meat is not unique to Islam, and dates back at least roughly to the ancient Egyptians. The oldest confirmed evidence of pigs domesticated and kept for pork meat come from Hallan Cemi in Southeastern Turkey from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork appears ...


23

These did not have indigenous alcoholic beverages, aiming to be as exhaustive as possible: Inuit (called "Eskimos" in Hornsey "Alcohol and Its Role in the Evolution of Human Society", p. 1) peoples of Tierra del Fuego (South America) (ibid) Australia (ibid) most of the natives of the North America (ibid) including Navajo (Hornsey, p. 554) including Hopi ("...


21

Tofu's origins are not conclusively known. The leading theory, however, is that it was invented during the Western Han Dynasty by Liu An, the king of Huai Nan. The earliest known reference to this is made in the Shiyi (a type of history book that is sort of an unofficial addendum to the official histories) written by a Liang Dynasty official, Xie Chuo (502-...


20

Rations on ships during the age of exploration were typically of a type that would require little or no cooking. They included things like "hardtack" (unleavened bread), and salted meat, that could be stored for months without spoiling. Salted meat was "boiled" which required less fuel and lower temperatures than regular "cooking" (212 F vs. 400 F). The "...


19

Spicy and related words can definitely describe the sensations provoked by various food items. The words seem used most often to describe the substance capsaicin, present in chile peppers. In that sense, assuming there are no capsaicin-bearing Old World plants, the claim is true. In the sense that peppercorns and so on are spicy too, it is false.


18

The big difference is geographic diversity. Wheat doesn't do very well in the tropics. Rice requires tropical and semi-tropical areas where lots and lots of water are available. However, corn can be grown nearly anywhere. Corn kind of had a tough row to hoe (pardon the pun) in the Americas. It was first domesticated from the grass Teosinte in tropical areas ...


18

Awareness of underground rivers dates back many thousands of years. BABYLON In Babylon, there is a bronze Babylonian panel showing a visit to caves near the source of the Tigris in about 852 BC....We see stalagmites and, in the lower portion, an underground river. CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY The underground city of Derinkuyu, which may have housed as many as ...


17

Wondering if it's like this in all cultures currently, and if not, how variable it is Well, it certainly isn't like that in all cultures. In Spain we have 5 meals: Desayuno Similar to breakfast. 7-8 am. Mainly coffee and/or some dairy product. Maybe some fruit, juice or cereals (specially kids and people who are not in a hurry to get to work). Almuerzo ...


16

The Oxford English Dictionary attests the use of cock-tail as a mixed drink from 1809 in W. Irving's Knickerbockers: They lay claim to claim to be the first inventors of those recondite beverages cock-tail, stone-fence, and sherry-cobbler. and from 1839 cocktail as a more general mixed drink in Marryat's Diary American: He frequents the bar, calls for ...


15

Wikipedia has a pretty decent write-up with references. Specifically to tomatoes, it says: Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the New World with the introduction of items such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and maize, now central to the cuisine but not introduced in quantity until the 18th century. As far as not-in-quantity, the ...


14

UK, like most other developed (and not so developed) countries, does not produce all food that it consumes. Some food is imported. In the case of UK during WW2 much of the food was imported. As the war started, a) the oceans became dangerous. Because of the German cruisers and submarines. b) the shipping capacities were needed for other purposes (to ship ...


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