[Sca-cooks] Why fat in feast food

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 15 07:55:37 PDT 2006

Master A hit on what I think is the most important reason why the big feast dishes contained suet and marrow: caloric heat. Also, these are special-occasion dishes that required the slaughter of an animal, usually at times when feed was low, such as deep in the winter. Judicious slaughter of a few of the herd would ensure the rest of the herd could survive until the spring. But once those animals were slaughtered, that was it for fresh meat and meat products until well into the spring, so everyone welcomed the opportunity to gorge. So the taste of fresh marrow and fresh suet was an extra-special treat, and those who ate well of it had a better chance of surviving the cold.

Today, we don't need the extra calories to keep our body heat up, and we have access to fresh meat and butter and cream all year round. But when the days are at their darkest and coldest, we still feel an atavistic need  for that extra fat — bite into a holiday cookie made with margarine and then eat one made with real butter. See what I mean?


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