[Sca-cooks] olive oil too expensive to be used as a cooking oil?

Daniel Myers dmyers at medievalcookery.com
Mon Jan 30 14:01:39 PST 2012

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>
> Date: Mon, January 30, 2012 4:07 pm
> You aren't factoring in the cost of transportation.  Olive oil is a large 
> bulk
> commodity which was most easily transported by water.  Most of Europe was
> accessible by water.  Hauling it overland to Baghdad and beyond would have
> been more expensive than transporting it to Northern Europe.
> From what I see in this discussion, Miller is saying that olive oil was so 
> expensive in Baghdad, that other oils more readily available and less costly 
> were used.  While Goitein and Miller make the point that locally available 
> oils were the most commonly used in given regions.
> Also, the use of olive oil in Northern Europe was driven by Christian 
> religious doctrine that was not present in Islamic religious doctrine, 
> therefore there was not the need to import olive oil to olive oil poor 
> Islamic states as there was to Christian Northern Europe.  I'm sure the 
> Northern Europeans would have been happy to use lard and butter with olive 
> oil as a rare treat, just as the people of al-Islam used fat tail sheep and 
> local vegetable oils with olive oil a rare treat in some locales.
> Miller may be in error, but I don't think he is whacked.

That makes sense - I misunderstood the initial premise.  I stand

- Doc

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