Elizabethan Food Meat was the primary food consumed by most people that are considered to be part of the wealthy and privileged class. But meat wasn't just the type of food consumed by people during those times. Agricultural products were also widely consumed, thanks partly to the introduction of agricultural techniques during those times.
Why did humans start cooking their food? Food historians, archaeologists, and paleontolgists do not have exact an answer due to the age of the evidence. They do, however, have theories. While roasting over an open fire appears to be the first method, boiling was not far behind.
Whether or not it came as a gastronomic revelation can only be guessed at, but since heat helps to release protein and carbohydrate as well as break down fibre, cooking increases the nutritive value of many foods and makes edible some that would otherwise be inedible.
Improved health must certainly have been one result of the discovery of cooking, and it has even been argued, by the late Carleton Coon, that cooking was the decisive factor in leading man from a primarily animal existence into one that was more fully human'.
Whatever the case, by all the laws of probability roasting must have been the first method used, its discovery accidental.
The concept of roast meat could scarcely have existed without knowledge of cooking, nor the concept of cooking without knowledge of roast meat. Charles Lamb's imaginary tale of the discovery of roast pork is not, perhaps, too far off the mark. A litter of Chinese piglets, some stray sparks from the fire, a dwelling reduced to ashes, and unfamiliar but interesting smell, a crisp and delectable assault on the taste buds Taken back a few millennia and relocated in Europe this would translate into a piece of mammoth, venison or something of the sort falling in the campfire and having to be left there until the flames died down.
But however palatable a sizzling steak in ice-age conditions, the shrinkage that resuts from direct roasting would scarcely recommend itself to the hard-worked hunter, so that a natural next step, for tough roots Although the accidental discovery of roasting would have been perfectly feasible in the primitive world, boiling was a more sophisticated proposition.
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This book contains much more information on early cooking techniques than can be paraphrased here. Your librarian will be happy to help you find a copy. Fire's general use, according to both paleontological and archaeolgical records, began only about 40, to 50, years ago The use of fire, extended to food preparation, resulted in a great increas of plant food supply.
All of the major domesticated plant foods, such as wheat, barley, rice, millet, rye, and potatoes, require cooking before they are suitable for human consumption.
In fact, in a raw state, many plants contain toxic or indigestible substances or antinutrients.
But after cooking, many of these undesirable substances are deactivated, neutralized, reduced, or released; and starch and other nutrients in the plants are rendered absorbable by the digestive tract.
Thus, the use of fire to cook plant foods doubtless encouraged the domsetication of these foods and, thus, was a vitally important factor in human cultural advancement.
We can only base conjectures on the customs of existing primitive peoples. Bones and walnut or hazelnut shells have been found on excavated sites, but there is no means of knowing whether they are the remains of cooked meals, the debris of fires lit for heat, or even the remnants of incincerated raw waste matter An oven could be as simple as a hole in the ground, or a covering of heated stones.
However, improved textures and flavours may not have been the reason fire was first controlled. People could have employed fire to keep wild beasts at bay, to trap them, to scare them out or to create open grassland, where tender shoots and leaves would be more accessible.
People have long used fire to harden wooden weapons, and to keep warm at night.
But even these uses, while not cooking in the narrow sense, improve the cooks' supplies, expanding the human niche. However, she says, we transform food on a different level. The human species prepares its food by heat She proposes that the culinary act distinguishes the human species, and is not just a symbol of, but a factor in, that very humanisation Cooking is highly intentional Discovery is attributed to happy accident.
Boiling was no accident. It was a carefully considered process achieved with tools crafted specifically for the purpose. According to conventional wisdom, prehistoric man went to a good deal of trouble for his boiled dinner. First he dug a large pit in the ground and lined it with flat, overlapping stones to prevent seepage.
Then he poured in large quantities of water, presumably transported in skin bags. Other stones were heated in the campfire and manhandled by some unspecified means possibly on the bat-and-ball principle into the water to bring it to a simmer.
The food was then added and, while it was cooking, more hot stones were tipped in from time to time to keep the water at the desired temperature.
There is no law that says thing have to be done the easy way, and the method is still used by modern tribals.Although food was often bland, it provided peasants with the energy needed to work, and was usually high in nutrients when home-grown vegetables were available.
Bread was a staple of all meals in Medieval England. The food and the presentation of it that was served and consumed during the time of Elizabethan England can be viewed as varied, and the variations of the food was due to differentiation in social standing and wealth.. Elizabethan Food.
Meat was the primary food consumed by most people that are considered to be part of the wealthy and privileged class. But meat wasn't just the type of food.
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