[Sca-cooks] Myth of Spoiled Meat

H Westerlund-Davis yaini0625 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 23 22:40:01 PST 2009

My family did a great deal of backpacking in the Sierra Nevada and we made our own jerky and dried meats. Without seasoning the meat is very bland and nasty to eat. We did experiment with different rubs and alternatives to salt. After a long trek, reheat meat in water with some dried vegies made a nice hearty stew. 
I surmise that spices served two purposes. One to flavor the meats for perserving and Two: to show off wealth...Pepper was considered "Black Gold." What a way to show off your wealth by using the very spices in the cupboard. You know, the one the Lady of the House only had the key for.
Just my two cents

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From: wyldrose <wyldrose at tds.net>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Fri, November 20, 2009 4:05:27 PM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Myth of Spoiled Meat

I think that some herbs/seasoning/etc were used to preserve meat for long term preservation.  Someone who didn't understand this might instead think the meat was spoiled and the herbs/spices were covering up the flavor.  Many of the herbs/salts/rubs/ spices actually draw moisture out of the meat and preserve it instead.  You would be able to extend the palatability of the meat from days to months (or longer) by the use of preservation and smoking of meats.
  Am I remebering correctly that many 'period' chimneys held inside racks or separeate stone chambers for storing smoked meats or to smoke meats?  I know many homes/homestead sites here in the US had speacel  chimneys or even 'smoke-houses' used to smoke or store preserved meats.
My parents both of which were barely literate and were brought up in the depression insited we have a smoke house to store foods.  My mom also used 'rubs' way before they were popular.  In fact my mom would mix up pounds of salt, brown sugar (sometime molases) and herbs and coat meets with them and then store the meet for at least three days (in a cold area) and then cook it and eat.  She said she lerned this from her family and it had been pased down from generation to generation.  (My great grandparents were born in the 1880-1890's and had told  her they lerned it from their grandparents).    My parents were a big fan of pickled meets (I hated them) so I never learned to do the pickling part.
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