How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking
Complex, contrasting flavors are a hallmark of Indian cooking. They used to dominate Western food, too. What changed? When spices became less exclusive, Europe's elite revamped their cuisines.
A really cool article about one of my weird niche interests (ask me about Renaissance recipes sometime, they’re great).
Since I have my main cookbook right by me at the moment, here’s a small sample of some flavour profiles from Renaissance England, prior to the shift in European cooking styles that’s described in this article–all of them from savoury recipes involving meat:
- Rosemary, currant, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, pepper.
- Shallot, mustard, nutmeg, honey, white wine vinegar.
- Onion, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savoury, bay, parsley, pistachio.
- Sage, shallot, mace, parsley, nutmeg, pepper.
- Parsley, mint, sage, caraway, coriander, nutmeg, capers.
- Fennel, savoury, rosemary, thyme, bay, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger.
- Nutmeg, pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cloves, grapes.
Hardly the plain boiled fare most people picture in traditional English cooking, right?
Renaissance food is awesome.