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99

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 ...


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 ...


48

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


47

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. Substitutes 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 ...


31

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 ...


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.


14

From Pakistan to Japan is indeed a big region and "before rice" a long and varied time frame. But this question seems to imply that it is concerned with the early neolithic centers of agriculture in Asia and what the first main staple foods in these were, excluding all rice. Short answer to that for the North-Eastern region in question, over the course of ...


13

Discrimination against the Chinese was clearly a key factor, excluding them from higher paid and more desirable jobs aboard ship. Here is a quote from the article "‘I Espied a Chinaman’: Chinese Sailors and the Fracturing of the Nineteenth Century Pacific Maritime Labour Force" by John T. Grider, published in the journal Slavery & Abolition (2010). ...


12

Your imagination is right. A mortar for grinding and a cloth for straining were the most often used tools. One recipe: Le Menagier de Paris’s almond milk soup This delicate soup is ideal for the infirmary, but can also be enjoyed by healthy monks. Bring a pot of water containing two onions to the boil. Meanwhile blanch about 300 grams of almonds in ...


9

Vegetables, fruits can be pureed. Meat is very easy to grind, or cooked meat can be chopped fine pieces. Carbohydrate sources like noodles, potatoes or rice are generally very easy to cook to a soft mash. Blender is not a must, even nowadays.


8

Sure, places to eat out were known already in antiquity. But like the very word 'restaurant', the concept and specific meaning was unknown back then. The word is French in origin as is the concept of an enclosed space, with multiple dishes to choose from, and the option of being seated at separate tables where somewhat classy food is available, and served ...


6

According to a travel report from Karl Koch, 1842: Reise durch Rußland nach dem kaukasischen Isthmus in den Jahren 1836, 1837 und 1838, Volume 1 What was sold in the Caucasus most often as black pepper was really Vitex agnus castus: . This description is found in several books of the 19th century. That plant yields fruit that are called Vitex agnus-...


6

Demonstrably false. While it is true that the Capsicum genus (as in chili and the like) comes from Latin America, the Piper genus ("pepper" in its various forms) as well as ginger is native to Asia. Their use in Europe predates the Columbian Exchange by over a thousand years (pepper being rare, but known and available via the Silk Road) and at least 3,000 ...


5

Well, according to this peer-reviewed academic research eating three meals a day is a product of the Industrial Revolution. Until about 1800 people in England ate 2 meals a day. And lunch is the latest addition, but a 1755 dictionary described it as an amount of food you can hold in your hand, rather than a meal at a specific time.


5

First of all, the question is based on an incorrect assumption: the Japanese actually widely use Western utensils (fork, spoon, knife). This is generally missed because of the context. The long answer is that everyday Japanese food consists of food of very different origins, and utensils often follow accordingly. Generally, food of Japanese and Chinese ...


5

This blog on mince pies from the organisation English Heritage contains the following passage. Our mince pies undoubtedly have medieval origins, although we would not immediately recognise them. Pie crusts were known as coffins, and used as a vessel to cook delicate foods or house pre-boiled meat fillings. Pastry was little more than flour mixed with ...


5

Chicken is cheap animal food easily raised and gaining weight quickly and efficiently. Whether slaves or workers or general "Southerners", they can be fed economically with chicken. Whether doing it themselves or being provided food from master or employer. Plus, it tastes so good it is the yard stick for almost everything else; although "tastes like chicken"...


5

No ancient recipe has been found, however Dr. Delwen Samuel has chemically analyzed beer residues on ancient pottery. She suggests ancient Egyptians used malted emmer (emmet which had already been sprouted), which they ground and mixed with cool water; this was added to an equal quantity of emmer wheat which was ground and boiled with water. The mixture was ...


4

Producing eggs on a large scale requires feeding your hens grain. I deduce that the shortage of shipping space meant that priority would have been given to grain for human consumption, so the price of chicken food would rise. Since eggs weren't rationed during WWI, but meat was, demand for eggs would rise. With production costs and demand both rising, eggs ...


4

The Japanese were never fully isolated from the rest of the world. They're far closer to the Eurasian continent and were not geographically isolated any manner that compares to contact with the Native Americans or the American continent(s). The Tokugawa Shogunate did restrict trade with the outside world during the Edo period (1603-1868) but they didn't ...


4

Near Thetford in Norfolk, there is a place called Thetford Warren. The remains of Thetford Warren Lodge is still standing, and is managed by English Heritage. The lodge was used by the warren keeper. There is a write-up on their website: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/thetford-warren-lodge/history/rabbits-warreners/ The following quote ...


4

Until India became independent, the question wasn't so much whether the diet was balanced than it was whether there was enough food to not starve. There have been a few famine threats since, but thankfully nothing like the 1943 Bengal famine, which resulted in an estimated 2.1-3 million deaths from starvation or malnutrition. As to the evolution of the diet ...


4

You will not find an objectively non-nutritious cuisine, as people would die. But I have an answer valid at least for part of the year. The Iroquois / Huron in Canada did not have a comfortable way of cooking or heating their tents. The cold required them to have a fire, but they could not have good ventilation or smoke management, and the French Jesuits ...


3

I think people are correct when they mention the ambiguity of the term in English, but I think I know what you mean. In Spanish, the spicy sensation of chilli peppers are called "picante". Other "spicy" (as from spice) flavors, such as mustard, we wouldn't call them picante although in English some people might say it's spicy. We would say they are "...


3

Summary: It's not. First of all, there is one fatal flaw in the basic assumptions here. Maize is just not the most important crop. It is as of 2016 the biggest grain producer, starch plant and indeed very important. But it is dwarfed by another crop, which is produced at nearly double the weight harvested and used. Rice is eaten by people, maize is eaten ...


3

I am not going to even come close to answering this simple question. But it's worth a try because of perennial confusion on Southeast Asia. The region, concept and people of Southeast Asia is, to me, a living museum. Southeast Asia Political Border Source: Geographic guide. Country names in orange box, region is the larger dark blue box. MSEA (mainland ...


3

I believe you are referring to a pasty. This pie with a savory filling has been popular in England for centuries, but the method you describe of eating it and throwing away the crust is often associated with tin miners in Cornwall. The pasty was a convenient, sealed way for miners to carry a meal with them. It is alleged that the pasty was a way for them to ...


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