How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking




A really cool article about one of my weird niche interests (ask me about Renaissance recipes sometime, they’re great).

Since I have my main cookbook right by me at the moment, here’s a small sample of some flavour profiles from Renaissance England, prior to the shift in European cooking styles that’s described in this article–all of them from savoury recipes involving meat:

  • Rosemary, currant, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, pepper.
  • Shallot, mustard, nutmeg, honey, white wine vinegar.
  • Onion, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savoury, bay, parsley, pistachio.
  • Sage, shallot, mace, parsley, nutmeg, pepper.
  • Parsley, mint, sage, caraway, coriander, nutmeg, capers.
  • Fennel, savoury, rosemary, thyme, bay, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger.
  • Nutmeg, pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cloves, grapes.

Hardly the plain boiled fare most people picture in traditional English cooking, right?

Renaissance food is awesome.

This has been intermittently getting a note or two and it’s awesome so I’m going to reblog it again. Everyone learn about one of my strange niche hobbies.

One of my roomates has a recipe for Viking Meatballs. It’s basically ground pork, an egg or two, and a crapload of a spice mix called powder forte. To the best of my knowledge it includes allspice, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. All of which the Norse would have had access to through the trade routes they set up.  You boil them up and use the super rich broth left over for soups and stews.

How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking


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