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

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Mon Aug 4 07:29:52 PDT 2008

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius did speak thusly:

>On Aug 2, 2008, at 5:45 AM, Laura C. Minnick wrote:
>>So, what do you all think? Why is the nutmeg in 'stale ale'?
>"Stale", as in "stale ale", and in fact as in, "English ale, good and
>stale," is regarded by brewers and drinkers as a good thing, in case
>that matters. It means it's fully fermented, and is not only at full
>potency, but also doth not engendyr wynde, etc.
>So while I have no idea as to why the nutmeg's there, it's probably
>not a matter of throwing good money after bad.
---------------- End original message. ---------------------

Flavor, plain and simple. Many ales of the period were flavored with 
herbs or spices no longer in use today. In fact, hops, the ubiquitous 
beer "seasoning" today faced a long and nasty fight for acceptance in 
the brewing world.

This is yet another example of words morphing meanings over time and 
across disciplines. Much like "throwing" in common use means to hurl 
or toss while in the vernacular of the potter it means to twist or turn.


  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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