[Sca-cooks] Honey child - the pith of the matter

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 16:03:42 PST 2007

Many thanks to Terry's contributions on dental problems:
> . . .apparently they were rare prior to the Neolithic, when there was a increase 
> in dental problems (the attendent societal change is from hunter/gatherer to 
> agriculture). . . apparently a sharp and continuous increase in caries after 1000 CE 
> (roughly the start of the widespread use of sugar in Europe).
    She also cited a website which I did find interesting. Many thanks.
    My subject on food starts in the 9th Century Ziryab during Arab 
occupation and his culture cultivation of Al-Andalus and terminates with 
Nola as he is believed to written his manuscript well before 1492. Too 
it is obvious that many of his recipes are elaborations taken from Sent 
Sovi. I am quite interested in causes for tooth removal during that 
period in medieval Spain and England. One cause was that even though the 
cavity could have been filled it did not necessarily the stop 
deterioration of the tooth so as a last resort, bye, bye toothy! 
Periodontal disease, what causes that? Nutrition such as rough food as 
grains were incorporated into the diet due to agriculture prior to 
Ziryab's appearance in Andalusia. They lead to deterioration of enamel 
by chewing improperly milled products; honey  - baring in mind horrible 
state bears' dentures leads us to point the finger at the medieval human 
before he had sugar; improper diets are obvious in the case of women who 
started multi-pregnancies from the age of 13 or 14 to 30 in the Middle 
Ages with no calcium supplement. Although out of my time a case point 
today is the state of Spaniards' teeth on rations or lack of proper 
nutrition after their Civil War until the 1950's and in areas during the 
Civil War (1936-39) prior to that and even today worldwide in general 
which do not include much sugar looking at third world countries and 
obesity in people throughout the ages well off economically.  Illnesses 
such as survey also caused loosening of teeth and presumably fall out at 
some stage.  Until the reconquest of Cordoba in 1236 we have no 
documentation on sugar in the rest of Spain. One thing is the first date 
of citing a text, see Teresa de Castro, but another is the reality that 
it was grown in Valencia south from the moment Arabs introduced it, 
whether that is 9th century before or after is a good question. My gut 
feeling is that Ziryab had it in Cordoba when he arrived in 822 but 
there is no way to prove it as he is a legend today.
     Arias & Garralda did a fine study on dental pathology in 1991 which 
can be found on internet. They slack off after the Iron Age and fail to 
connect lose of teeth with the all factors we must deal with if studying 
medieval food. 
    I can see why Terry is not stimulated on this subject. Medical 
subjects go over my head as people in their world have such a problem 
trying to explain layman terms to a member of the lay like me! But the 
bottom line is that when looking at meat recipes in Spain at least 
during the Middle Ages we have pottages or what we may today call 
anything from porridge to stews or thick soups. It is most difficult to 
find meat recipes it on a spit or roasted at least in Spain. Pooh pooh 
Hollywood's Henry VIII roast beef, now tell me how many teeth one must 
have had to eat medium rare off a bone? His second daughter is no example!

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