[Sca-cooks] Beverage experiments

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Feb 13 16:16:52 PST 2008

On Feb 13, 2008, at 7:03 PM, Laura C. Minnick wrote:

> At 03:16 PM 2/13/2008, you wrote:
>> See, now I'm stuck with this image in my head of two serfs working in
>> the fields, working up a good sweat in the sun. They pause briefly,
>> and one of them says to the other, "You know whatte? I coulde doe  
>> wyth
>> a couple of luke-warm ones ri3t aboutte nowe. Howe aboutte you?"
>> Adamanti... errr... Phlip
> Uh, if they're smart, they've put their jug in the creek next to the
> fields. Running water does a really good job of cooling things off.

Yes it does. It's also terrific for removing salt from cod. And then  
there's evaporation, and various forms of burying or cellaring, to get  
things cooler than the ambient air temperature, and certainly cooler  
than the body temperature of an active person. We, of course, tend to  
be conditioned to think of cool beverages as being at about 40 degrees  
F., since that's a common temperature for retarding bacterial growth,  
which is why we keep our fridges at around there.

But it _is_ interesting to think of where, on the map of Europe, we  
find people cooling with unglazed pottery wine coolers soaked in  
water, say, and simply drinking things like "warm" ale. There's  
obviously a much broader range than, "Ick, that's warm!" and beverages  
chilled with snow from the mountains. I'd also be curious as to how  
much we really know whether people would even care about beverages  
being cold, bearing in mind that these people may conceivably have  
been a lot more concerned about keeping warm in the winter than about  
being cool in the summer, how the Little Ice Age enters into all this,  
and the fact that there are still entire cultures today  who prefer  
beverages warm even in the summer.


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