[Sca-cooks] [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: Nutmeg in stale ale]]]

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Aug 2 09:34:56 PDT 2008

On Aug 2, 2008, at 11:23 AM, Laura C. Minnick wrote:

> -------- Original Message --------
> Which raises the further question: is the moist ale which the Host  
> and Pardoner seem to want or expect on the pilgrimage a cheaper or  
> inferior brew likely to be more readily available or perhaps easier  
> on the palate and stomach in the quantities ale drinkers seem to  
> prefer?

You might take a look here:

I gather that "moist" in Chaucerian ale terms is the polar opposite of  
"stale". Neither is bad and either can be appropriate for certain  
specific conditions, but it's conceivable that moist ale was cloudy  
and still had bits of unsettled grain and yeast in it, and while  
deprecated by some later medical authorities such as Boorde, it may  
have been considered more robust and more filling for someone on a  
On the other hand, a bellyfull of active yeast isn't necessarily the  
first thing I'd be looking for to get ready to walk all day.

> Is there evidence that anyone in the Middle Ages expected the nutmeg  
> to have hallucinogenic properties?

I don't think that's a period concept; I believe that's a discovery  
made in the 20th-century American prison system, and one highly  
disputed, at that, but everyone seems to agree that it takes a large  
amount of nutmeg to have any effect.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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