[Sca-cooks] Spices in meals: a thought and a question

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Tue May 5 07:35:03 PDT 2009

Thank goodness for "creative anachronism" - I'm willing to forgo this depth
of getting into personna - I much prefer events where people have just
recently come from the 21st century (and a bath).


On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 8:23 AM, <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net> wrote:

> > If you can smell your neighbours' armpits at 20 feet, can you only
> > stomach that lovely slice of venison if it is smothered in a very
> > aromatic and spicy sauce?
> Since underarm deodorant wasn't manufactured until the 20th century, and
> daily immersion bathing wasn't practiced until well into the 20th century,
> one can safely assume that there's nothing specifically *more* stinky
> about the pre-seventeenth century as opposed to the nineteenth century
> (whose food was notoriously bland).
> Now, the late 16th and early seventeenth century, when massive personal
> and room scenting with distinctive items like musk, civet, ambergris, and
> lavender (as well as lots of rose) *might* have required more spices for
> the user to NOTICE them; but the cookbooks of the time don't actually
> reflect this as far as I can tell.
> As for the mid-to-late seventeenth century and early 18th century (where
> upper class people paranoid about plagues were urged to 'wash' only by
> wiping themselves down with DRY linen and changing their undergarments,
> that'd be even stinkier than our period of study.
> --
> -- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
> jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
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