dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Thu Aug 7 08:49:47 PDT 2008
Sandra Kisner wrote:
>>Johnna Holloway wrote:
>>>I mentioned this question to the author of
>>>Take A /Thousand Eggs/ or More and Cindy Renfrow wrote me that
>>>"Off the top of my head...
>>><shrug> Spices were expensive imports. Except
>>>for a few notable exceptions in the
>>>collection, and as far as I recall, spices
>>>were used sparingly and in a manner that
>>>they'd be most noticed by the diners i.e. as
>>>a final tasty, colorful garnish. This was
>>>especially true on white dishes. Herbs, ginger
>>>and saffron, OTOH, were grown locally and used in larger quantity.?
>>Then how does she explain the sometimes
>>enormous quantities of spices such as cinnamon
>>and pepper and nutmegs that show up in some
>>household inventories of the period? (I am at
>>work and have no direct references handy, I'll
>>try to dig some up later at home if anyone
>>really wants some). I can only surmise that
>>these great quantities of spice were not
>>allowed to just sit unused until they went bad.
>>I am also convinced that conspicuous
>>consumption and showing off one's wealth were
>>just as much in fashion then as they are today.
>>People have always operated on the principle of "if you have it, flaunt it".
>How big a household are we talking about,
>though? The kind of place that we have
>cookbooks from are often feeding a very large
>number of people, and would go through spices
>faster than the average family today.
---------------- End original message. ---------------------
I understand that factor, but we are also talking
about some of these inventories showing many
pounds of cinnamon or some other spice. I seem to
recall one of them saying something like 100
pounds of cinnamon on hand (or maybe it was
pepper). That is an enormous quantity, even for a large household.
I'll try to remember where I saw that and if I
can find it, I'll post the reference.
Even cooking for large groups several times a
year and liking my food quite flavorful, I have a
hard time going through even one pound of
cinnamon in a year. Or pepper for that matter.
Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
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